Every month, your body goes through a lot of changes. It’s maintaining your daily needs like digestion and keeping blood moving. If you’re a woman, there’s the whole menstruation thing to deal with. Your body constantly adjusts to fluctuating hormones and the effects that come from them. One of those can be changes to your skin.
From breakouts to struggling with more oil and a lackluster appearance, your skin can look different depending on the week. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept these skin troubles. There are several steps you can take to improve your skin’s health and appearance regardless of the time of the month. Here are a few to test out.
1. Learn More About Your Birth Control
Modern medicine is a wonderful tool that can help cure headaches, manage health conditions, and improve your quality of life. It can also make dealing with a monthly period more bearable. But did you know that your contraception choice could be making your skin worse? It could also be the key to combating hormonal acne and other skin problems.
It’s all dependent on a few things. First, the ingredients of your birth control can make you more or less likely to deal with acne. In particular, options including progesterone are the most frequent offenders of unwanted breakouts. The second factor is you. Sometimes certain medications just won’t work for you and your skin even though they work for others.
Of course, you’re not void of options when it comes to birth control. You can try different methods until you find one that has the skin benefits you’re after. Or you can opt for combination hormonal birth control — like Sprintec — that has a reputation for helping improve skin. It’s just about researching and trying out options until you find one you and your skin both love.
2. Incorporate Glowy Skin Ingredients to Your Diet
You are what you eat, as they say. And if you’re downing foods known to cause or worsen acne, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Of course, you don’t have to ditch junk food and dairy altogether to have clear skin. But finding ways to incorporate more skin-boosting ingredients into your diet can help your skin be more consistent.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, or simply a picky eater, there are likely at least a few you’d enjoy. Some of them include:
- Citrus Fruits
If this list doesn’t sound appealing to you, consider challenging yourself to find one recipe using one ingredient. Research the latest kale salad or recipes that make adding avocado to your smoothie sound delicious. Then, keep trying new recipes until you land on one you enjoy. Making small changes to eat more of these foods can only help your skin thrive all month long.
3. Practice Cycle Syncing Your Skin Care
Like it or not, you can be adamant about your skin care routine and still have troubles. But did you know you can regulate your skin throughout the month by cycle syncing? This approach factors in the phase of your menstrual cycle to your skin regimen. That allows you to create more balance and cater your products to your body. And it’s not as complicated as you may think.
When you’re on your period, your skin may be actively breaking out. That makes it the perfect time to focus on gentle products and put pimple patches to use. Right after your period, in your follicular phase, you may notice your skin is in great shape. So, it’s the time to try out new products and be a bit adventurous, if that’s something you want to do.
When you’re ovulating, acne can begin to brew, meaning prioritizing acne-fighting ingredients is key. Commit to using a salicylic acid toner to prevent breakouts and flush out dirt and bacteria from your pores. Lastly, your luteal phase is just before your period when you may be dealing with premenstrual symptoms including blemishes. Focus on oil-controlling skin care to fight the excess sebum production and calm the skin. Try cycle-syncing skin care and see how your skin reacts — it may be your key to consistent skin.
4. Simplify Your Skin Care Routine
Sometimes less is more. That’s certainly the case if you’re struggling with breakouts, rosacea flares, or eczema. The only real way to know what could be the culprit topically is to scale back and simplify your product usage.
Take all of your skin care products out and lay them on a table or counter. Group each step of your routine together so you can get an idea of how many products you use daily. Moisturizers should be in one stack with serums in another. Then, think about what you actually need to be applying and what can be benched. To start, choose one cleanser and moisturizer. If that combo is missing SPF, add sunscreen. Once you whittle down your routine, you wait to see trends.
Maybe you had fewer blemishes when using limited products rather than when you previously had a 10-step regimen. Perhaps you noticed your skin was glowing when using one product combination over another. Whenever you like your skin’s appearance, gradually add products back in and see how it goes while you continue to monitor. Before long, you’ll know what does and doesn’t work for you so your skin can regularly be at its best.
Clear Skin All Month Long
Will you be able to control your skin’s appearance every day? Unfortunately, no. But taking any or all of these steps to manage your skin despite hormonal changes is a great start. At the very least, you’ll feel more prepared for whatever your next month might have in store.