Our menstrual cycle can affect our skin in several ways, so it’s essential to adjust our skincare routine accordingly. Dryness, sensitivity, acne… are just some of the consequences of hormonal fluctuations throughout our cycle.
[Las hormonas más allá de la regla: así pueden afectar a la salud de las mujeres]
Learn to recognize the different phases and changes that occur at all times in your body so that your skin is not too affected.
The four phases of the cycle
The complete menstrual cycle usually lasts between 21 and 35 days and is made up of four hormonal phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory and luteal. FOREO experts detail:
Menstrual phase: During the menstrual phase, which is also known as the shedding phase, the inner lining of the uterus is shed through the vagina. This phase usually lasts 3 to 7 days. Hormone levels during this phase are at their lowest, which can cause dry skin, breakouts, and sensitivity.
Follicular phase: The follicular phase begins after the menstrual phase and lasts until ovulation. This phase is when the egg follicles mature and estrogen levels begin to increase. Increased estrogen can cause increased sebum production, which can lead to breakouts.
ovulation phase: The ovulation phase is when the egg is released from the ovary and travels down the fallopian tube. This phase usually lasts between 24 and 48 hours. Hormone levels during this phase are at their highest, which can cause dryness, redness, and sensitivity.
luteal phase: The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts until the beginning of the next menstrual cycle. In this phase, progesterone levels increase and estrogen levels begin to decrease. Increased progesterone can cause sebum production to decrease, which can cause dryness, redness, and sensitivity.
The role of hormones
“The hormones estrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and can affect the skin in various ways.
The first is a hormone produced by the ovaries. It plays a critical role in the development of egg follicles and the thickening of the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus). Estrogen levels are at their lowest during the menstrual phase and begin to rise during the follicular phase. Increased estrogen can cause increased sebum production, which can lead to breakouts.
The second is a hormone produced by the ovaries and the corpus luteum (the follicle that remains after the release of the egg). It helps prepare the endometrium for the implantation of a fertilized egg. Progesterone levels are highest during the luteal phase. Increased progesterone can cause sebum production to decrease, which can cause dryness, redness, and sensitivity.
To them are added the so-called Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It helps stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. FSH levels are highest during the follicular phase. Increased FSH can cause increased sebum production, which can lead to breakouts.
It is also worth taking into account Luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Helps trigger ovulation. LH levels are highest during the ovulation phase. The increase in LH can cause dryness, redness and sensitivity,” the firm explains.
What problems can it cause?
The fluctuation of these hormones has direct consequences on the skin. Some of the most common are dryness and sensitive skin, which can occur as a result of decreased sebum production. A moisturizer rich in hyaluronic acid or glycerin can help limit it. To them you can also add a uneven skin tone. The best way to combat it is to use a serum that contains vitamin C or niacinamide.
The opposite case, excess sebum, can lead to acne breakouts. Requires the use of a cleanser containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
How to adapt skin care?
It is essential to determine your skin type: dry, oily, combination… since it will be the only way to provide it with the care it needs and therefore look radiant.
Be consistent with your care and remain attentive to your skin’s signs.. Remember to cleanse and moisturize your skin daily, being careful with exfoliants that are too aggressive. You should also use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, even on days when you think you won’t be spending much time in the sun.