Q: How to get rid of breakouts that occur regularly before my period?

Firstly (and importantly): breakouts related to the menstrual cycle are absolutely normal. Knowing this can make it easier to handle: you no longer feel like your skin is rebelling despite all your retinols, vitamins, and probiotic serums. This process is regulated by hormones and happens every month for most women on this planet.

How the Menstrual Cycle Works

On average, it lasts 28 days. From a hormonal perspective, each stage is unique.

  1. First Phase – Menstruation (Days 1-7): Progesterone and estrogen levels drop. Sebum secretion decreases (we become less oily), and the skin’s moisture-retaining function worsens (skin dries out faster).
  2. Second Phase – Follicular Phase (Days 7-14): Estrogen levels rise. This hormone is linked to collagen synthesis, increased skin density, water content in the dermis, and improved skin barrier function. When its levels rise, the skin becomes smooth, even, and elastic. This is the best time of the cycle!
  3. Third Phase – Ovulation (Days 10-18): Estrogen gradually decreases, and progesterone rises. Sebaceous glands produce a lot of sebum.
  4. Fourth Phase – Luteal Phase (Days 14-28): Progesterone peaks. This is the time for oily skin and breakouts. The effects of progesterone are less understood by scientists, but it is known to stimulate the activity of sebaceous glands and sebum production. Therefore, after ovulation, our skin often becomes oily and shiny, and prone to breakouts.

How to Control Menstrual-Related Breakouts

  • Use AHA Acids and Niacinamide: Start using these about a week before your period, when estrogen drops and progesterone rises. This is when the skin produces a lot of sebum, which typically triggers breakouts.
  • Moisturize During the Follicular Phase: During this phase, the skin loses moisture quickly and becomes dry and sensitive.
  • Recommended Products:
    • Niacinamide Products: Look for serums and creams with niacinamide to regulate sebum production and soothe the skin.
    • AHA Acids: Incorporate AHA-based exfoliants to help clear out pores and reduce the likelihood of breakouts.
    • General Breakout Solutions: Products with salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur can help control and reduce breakouts.

By understanding your menstrual cycle and adjusting your skincare routine accordingly, you can better manage hormonal breakouts and maintain healthier skin throughout the month.


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