Do you get the regular breakout premenstrually and wonder why? Does your skin glow around ovulation time for no apparent reason? Does it feel dry and flaky straight after your period has finished?
Women, hormones and the skin - we are complex beings and are highly sensitive to changes in diet, lifestyle & stress. But did you know that our hormones play a massive role in the condition of our skin?!
The three hormones that impact our skin during the monthly cycle are - Estrogen, progesterone & testosterone. When these hormones fluctuate there is a shifting ratio that impacts not only on how we feel but also on how we look, in particular that of our skin.
When Oestrogen is at it highest (day 7-16) your skin looks plump, hydrated and glowing, because oestrogen stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
Progesterone is at its highest the second half of the cycle (day 17-24), which can lead to build up of oils and hormonal breakouts, think those pimples that pop up around the jaw line and chin. This is due to progesterone stimulating the production of sebum, causing the skin to swell and compress the pores.
Testosterone is a constant feature throughout the whole month but is particularly high during your period (day 25-28) when oestrogen and progesterone dip. Testosterone is similar to that of progesterone in its activation of sebaceous glands, triggering them to produce more oil, clogging pores and resulting in acne during your period.
SO here is a run down of what your skin goes through every month as well as some tips to help nurture your skin & get that glowing complexion all month long:
DAYS 1- 6 - PERIOD TIME
When you first get your period your hormones are at their lowest. You also produce more prostaglandins with the goal to reduce inflammation, however it can have the reverse affect and make your body and skin more sensitive to pain & more tender and reactive. Without adequate oestrogen levels our skin can feel dry & dull have difficulty in retaining moisture.
GLOWING SKIN TIP - during your period is the most important time to up your intake of omega 3 oils as this will help not only with the prostaglandin levels but also to ensure your skin glows. Add - nuts and seeds, avocado, olives, & oily fish into your diet.
Vitamin C rich foods are great for collagen production at this time, up your intake of such foods as - Berries, broccoli, parsley, pawpaw, capsicums, cabbage, rosehips, tomatoes, sweet potatoes. Water intake is also imperative at this time to hydrate the cells and ensure the skin isn't dehydrated. Having nourishing herbal teas is an excellent way to hydrate and support the skin. Check out my "Glowing skin tea" in the online shop. It is also important to avoid any facial treatments at this time, especially waxing and ensure you are using a nourishing facial oil like jojoba, baobab or pomegranate to help your skin retain the moisture.
DAY 7- 16 - BUILD UP OF OESTROGEN & OESTROGEN PEAK
Your body now restarts oestrogen production, which stimulates collagen, hyaluronic acid & elastin production, resulting in plump, fresh, youthful skin.
Days 12- 16 is ovulation time, you look and feel fabulous & your skin naturally glows.
GLOWING SKIN TIP - continue to nourish your body with omega 3 oils, zinc rich foods and plenty of water & enjoy that glowing complexion.
DAY 17 - 24 - THE BEGINNING OF THE END
After ovulation, oestrogen plummets & progesterone rises which in turn activates sebum production, causing the pores to compress , trapping oil and causing a build up of oil which leads to breakout.
GLOWING SKIN TIP - now is the time to start added extra leafy green vegetables into your diet, along with foods rich in zinc & anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Drinking herbal teas high in silica & lymphatic tonics, is also great at this time -Check out my "Glowing skin tea" on my online shop.
Avoid the use of oil based moistures at this time and opt for jojoba oil as this is a wax ester and will carry excess oil away from the pores. Dry skin brushing the whole body at this time is also important as it will support lymphatic congestion clearing.
DAY 25 - 28 - PMS ON HIGH ALERT
AT this time both progesterone an oestrogen have dropped below the level of testosterone, causing bloating, puffiness and clogged pores= HORMONAL ACNE. The pores loosen and your skin appears extra shiny, oil mixes with bacteria leading to an eruption of hormonal breakouts.
GLOWING SKIN TIP - ample amounts of water at this time is imperative to flush the lymphatic system. Antioxidant rich foods are also important for clearing this congestion - berries, citrus fruits, vegetables rich in yellow & red colours, green tea and leafy green vegetables as they contain beta-carotenes which help to reduce excess skin oils. Omega 3 oils will help to balance oil production at this time as well.
Beauty is never just skin deep and hormones is one of the many factors that are contributing to the health of our skin. Whilst hormones play a major role, chronic stress faulty liver detoxification, digestive issues & insulin levels are all linked to acne & less then glowing skin.
To have a in depth consultation & to receive a personalised treatment plan to help ensure healthy skin and healthy body, book an initial consultation with me, Sarah Emily Herbalist to take a wholistic approach to health & vitality.