How do you get your skin to behave itself during that time of the month?
When is the best time to have anti-ageing treatments so you get the highest return on your investment?
In this blog, I answer these 2 important questions plus what products and routine to focus on each week so your skin can look it’s best throughout the month.
I call this The Skin Cycle and I wrote about it in length in my book “The Hormonal Acne Solution” and also shared key points in an interview for an article in The Sunday Times Style section.
But for the purpose of this blog, I’m sharing a simplified version of The Skin Cycle.
WEEK 1 – DRY PHASE
Your monthly cycle starts when you have your period. During this week, your skin is dry, dull and sensitive as the female hormone, oestrogen is at it’s lowest.
Skin Routine: Focus on products that nourish and calm. Use products that have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties e.g. green tea, chamomile and botanicals. Try to avoid exfoliation. To restore the glow of your skin, use skin products that are hydrating (containing hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E) and brightening (gentle exfoliation plus kojic acid, vitamin c, fruit enzymes).
Skin Treatments: Choose treatments that are calming, relaxing and hydrating. You want to avoid any laser, injectables or peels during this week as your pain threshold may be a little lower.
WEEK 2 – SKIN IMPROVING PHASE
As oestrogen slowly rises, the skin improves in colour as it prepares for the next phase when you’re most fertile.
Skin Routine: If your skin is still dull and dry, use skin products that are hydrating (containing hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E) and brightening (this week, you can use stronger ingredients e.g. Vitamin A, glycolic acid and lactic acid to exfoliate and brighten).
Skin Treatment: You can choose more intense treatments e.g. skin renewal with chemical peels, light therapy, lasers. You can opt for mesotherapy or skin booster treatments to maximise your Glowing Phase.
WEEK 3 – GLOWING PHASE
This is when you look your best. The surge of oestrogen causes you to ovulate. During this phase, your skin is more hydrated, less oily, your pores are smaller and you just glow from ear to ear. Even collagen production increases during this time of the month. It’s when you’re the most fertile and your skin will show it.
It’s Mother Nature’s way of making sure you put your best face forward to attract a mate to fertilise the egg that you just released.
Skin Routine: Enjoy it! No need to tamper with what’s working.
Skin Treatment: Since collagen production is increased during this phase, anti-ageing treatment will give better results. However, high oestrogen also causes high colour so your melanocyte (pigment producing cells) is the most active during this phase. I would recommend avoiding any skin peels or lasers during this time to avoid the risk of PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Remember to wear sunscreen every day!
WEEK 4 – OILY PHASE
The dreaded oily phase, also commonly known as PMS. Oestrogen starts to fall while Testosterone remain relatively high, resulting in increased oil production, larger pores and fluid retention (resulting in a puffy face).
Skin Routine: Focus on removing excess oil on your skin, removing the bacteria and balancing your sugar levels to reduce inflammation. Avoid picking at your skin and ensure you clean off your makeup well to avoid further clogging of pores. Use skin ingredients e.g. salicylic acid to reduce sebum, glycolic acid and lactic acid to resurface and renew your skin. If you are exfoliating your skin, increase to 3-4 times a week, leading up to your first day of your period.
Skin Treatment : This is a good time to see your beauty therapist or cosmetic doctor to do a clarifying, anti-acne facial or treatment for you. It’s a good time to do extractions and make sure your pores are clean.
And there you have it. The simplified version of The Skin Cycle. Try it out for yourself. Make notes each day/week, documenting what your skin looks and feels like.
If you have irregular cycles, ask yourself if you have a hormonal imbalance that may be causing the irregularity. When your hormones are balanced, your cycle will be more regular and you will be better to predict how your skin behaves on a weekly basis.
To your best self.