Your cycle affects your skin much more than you might think and healthy skin comes from within. That is why it is so important to get to know your skin and to know what it reacts to and why. In this article, we shed light on the relationship between your skin and your cycle, based on four seasons.
WINTER (menstruation - about day 1 to 6)
What is your body doing: your endometrium is broken down and you lose blood
What are your hormones doing: Your estrogen and progesterone level is low
What does that mean for your skin?: In many cases, a low estrogen level means that your skin is more sensitive and the protective function of your skin is less strong than usual. Estrogen normally stimulates collagen production, which keeps your skin strong and resilient. Your skin could therefore become a lot drier at the beginning of your cycle and pores are more visible.
This is what you can do for your skin: Your skin is extra sensitive during this period, so avoid painful treatments such as waxing for a while. Also take the time this week to make a face mask from ingredients from your kitchen such as banana, avocado, honey and a little oatmeal.
SPRING (follicular phase - about day 7 to 13)
What is your body doing: Your uterine lining builds up slowly.
What are your hormones doing: Your estrogen level is rising again.
What does that mean for your skin?: Estrogen stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid which makes your skin strong and resilient. In the spring of your cycle you will therefore notice that your skin will look fresher and healthier.
This is what you can do for your skin: Try gently exfoliating your skin - don't exfoliate, it's too aggressive - with a mild exfoliant or konjac sponge.
SUMMER (ovulation - about day 14 to 16)
What is your body doing: Ovulation takes place.
What are your hormones doing: You are at the peak of your estrogen levels and are energetic.
What does that mean for your skin?: Right before ovulation, your skin is "at its best." Your estrogen levels are peaking, your moisture levels are high, pores appear smaller and your collagen levels leave your skin looking strong and radiant.
This is what you can do for your skin: Not only does your skin look relatively good, you also feel more energetic, creative and motivated to try new things during this period of your cycle. So, go for it!
AUTUMN (luteal phase - about day 17 to 28)
What is your body doing: The endometrium grows until menstruation starts again.
What are your hormones doing: Shortly after ovulation, your progesterone levels peak, which drop during the fall. Then you can suffer from PMS complaints.
What does that mean for your skin?: Progesterone can cause your pores to compress a little more and it stimulates the production of sebum, which can cause pimples during the fall. When your progesterone levels (and your estrogen levels) drop — such as during the fall and winter of your cycle — your testosterone levels take over. Since testosterone also stimulates your sebum production, you can suffer from acne in the fall and winter of your cycle.
This is what you can do for your skin: Keep your skin clean morning and night by using a mild cleanser - or simply washing your face with clean hands and water - before applying a nourishing product. It is also good to change your pillowcase every few days because your pillow can hold a lot of dirt from your skin at night. And - not unimportant - try to be very kind to yourself during this season of your cycle.
The idea of dividing the menstrual cycle into four seasons has been made big by the fantastic @_maisiehill_ , author of the book (and host of the podcast of the same name) Period Power.
A small disclaimer: Everyone who menstruates is unique, and no cycle is exactly the same. Your cycle and the different phases of your cycle may be longer or shorter than the average we indicate.