AS if the “time of the month” was not unpleasant enough, along comes a faceful of zits just to make you feel worse – with the horrible breakouts appearing like clockwork.
Hormonal changes are partly to blame for our skin feeling like sandpaper one day and super-oily the next. But getting in tune with our body can help beat the breakouts.
Consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk believes understanding your monthly cycle can be key to working with your skin, rather than against it.
She says: “Changes to our skin over the course of the month is not news to many of us.
“But it’s also not something we really understand.
"By getting to grips with what is going on, we may be able to make better choices about the products we use.”
Dr Kluk a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, guides us through a typical monthly skin cycle.
DAY 1: DRY SKIN
On the first day of your period, when oestrogen levels are at their lowest, skin can appear dry or dull.
JUSTINE SAYS: “The key is to moisturise. Look out for what we call humectant ingredients in your products, which can help hold water in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is one of them and it acts like a sponge, holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Avoid hot showers, as this could further dehydrate your skin.”
TRY: LA ROCHE-POSAY HYDRAPHASE INTENSE RICHE, £16.50 for 50ml from lookfantastic.com.
DAYS 2-6: SLIGHTLY DRY SKIN
At this stage, progesterone and testosterone levels remain low, while the production of oestrogen begins to increase.
JUSTINE SAYS: “Rising oestrogen levels are good news for dermal water content, but you should continue to follow your moisturising regime. Consider adding a hydrating serum if you feel your skin needs an extra moisture boost.”
TIP: Drink plenty of water and increase your intake of healthy fats to keep skin supple.
DAYS 7-9: SKIN AT ITS BEST
Oestrogen levels continue to climb and your complexion may start to improve.
JUSTINE SAYS: “Oestrogen is involved in collagen production which is why we have nice firm skin when we are young and it becomes thinner and more wrinkled as we get older. Don’t be complacent.
It’s important to maintain your regime and prepare the skin for what is to come.”
TIP: Stick to your skincare regime.
DAYS 10-14: RISK OF BREAKOUTS
Oestrogen peaks for most women as they ovulate on or around day 14 of their cycle.
JUSTINE SAYS: “Testosterone also peaks around this time so some women will have a breakout. Three in four women suffer with PMS at this time and stress can also affect the skin.”
TRY: Yoga or meditation to reduce stress.
DAYS 15-19: OILY SKIN
After ovulation, progesterone levels start to rise, which can increase the production of sebum. Too much can make the skin oily.
JUSTINE SAYS: “This phase is associated with an increase in sebum — the oily, waxy substance that serves to lubricate and waterproof our skin.
“Cleanse twice daily, and you might also want to think about using an oil-fighting cleanser with salicylic acid to help soak up the shine.
“A clay or charcoal mask can help to draw out impurities. Exfoliate a couple of times a week unless you have any red spots or pustules, as this could make things worse.”
TRY: KIEHL’S RARE EARTH DEEP PORE DAILY CLEANSER, £12 for 75ml at debenhams.com.
DAYS 20-24: LIKELY TO BREAKOUT
Progesterone is now at its peak and breakouts are most likely to flare up.
JUSTINE SAYS: “Stick to your skincare routine, keep it simple and don’t be tempted to deviate from it. Vitamin A derivatives like retinol or retinoids are great for stopping grease and debris from building up in your pores and they also have a direct anti-inflammatory effect.
“Keep your make-up brushes clean and opt for non-comedogenic products that will not clog your pores. Exercise can help to sweat out dirt — but avoid wearing make-up in the gym and use toner to remove grease afterwards.”
TRY: INDEED LABS RETINOL REFACE, £19.99 for 30ml at boots.com.
Justine's Routine Tips
- Establish a routine, which should include cleansing twice daily. Apply cleanser to a wet face and rinse off with lukewarm water. Do not scrub vigorously.
- Be consistent with your regime, do not regularly chop and change the products you use. Find what works for you and stick with it.
- Adapt your routine, if needed, to deal with changes. But don’t change all your products at once – figure out your problem times and choose appropriate products.
- Hydrate skin by moisturising regularly. For dry skin, use a product with hyaluronic acid. For spot-prone skin use a non-comedogenic formulation.
- Wear sunscreen – SPF30 or higher in spring and summer.
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DAYS 25-28: SKIN PRONE TO IRRITATION
Oestrogen and progesterone begin to plummet again in preparation for day one of a new cycle.
JUSTINE SAYS: “This may be a good time to try a hydrating mask if your skin feels like it’s lacking in moisture. Oestrogen also contributes to skin barrier function. People who suffer from conditions such as eczema or psoriasis may find that they flare up more at this time. Try using fragrance-free cosmetics and shield skin from harsh weather.”
TRY: GARNIER MOISTURE BOMB POMEGRANATE HYDRATING FACE SHEET MASK, £1.99 for one mask at superdrug.com.
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Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/6415114/skin-care-routine-for-the-month/3193