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Skin Secrets Exposed: How to Sync Your Skincare Routine to Your Monthly Cycle

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Have you ever wondered why, at certain times of the month, your skin looks happy, healthy and hydrated, while at others it’s dull, dry and dehydrated? Well, you may not know that one of the biggest culprits is, in fact, your menstrual cycle. 

To help understand what happens at each stage of the menstrual cycle and how best to sync your skin care routine to it, Cult Beauty spoke with the Co-founder and COO of Hertility, Dr Natalie Getreu to reveal all. 

Hormones wield immense power over your skin. Dr. Natalie Getreu explains how sex hormones regulate menstrual cycles and skin health, leading to common issues like hormonal acne. Androgen hormones like testosterone trigger excess sebum production, while high progesterone can clog pores. Beyond surface-level concerns, hormones also impact collagen production, which is crucial for skin elasticity and moisture. Understanding this connection is key to addressing skin issues effectively.

How to sync your skincare routine to your menstrual cycle

Fear not, there are ways to sync your skincare routine to your monthly cycle to help combate dull, dry and dehydrated skin. Dr. Getreu’s expert guidance on syncing your skincare routine to your monthly cycle, will help give you back flawless skin. From the power of tracking your cycle, embracing balanced nutrition, and incorporating stress-reducing techniques into your routine:

Days 1 to 5: Menstrual Phase

Dr Natalie Getreu explains that during this phase “declining oestrogen levels (particularly during the first half of the cycle and just before your periods) can lead to decreased moisture retention. Skin may feel dry, tight or dehydrated”. To stay hydrated we suggest you incorporate moisturiserscreams and face oils during the day and end your evening with an overnight mask. What’s more – if your skin is feeling sensitive or dry – it’s important to avoid exfoliators as they’re prone for being too sensitising at this stage.

Days 1 to 14: Follicular Phase

With estrogen levels rising during the follicular phase, your complexion is well on its way to looking its best. So, instead of accommodating your routine to your cycle, this is the prime time to try out those new and trending products… while working to maintain that natural radiance. To prolong your glow, we suggest reaching for vitamin C and hyaluronic acid-based solutions. 

Day 14: Ovulation

While your skin will be looking its best during the ovulation phase, when it comes to your complexion cycle this step is all about being one step ahead. While visually your skin may have hit its peak, the increase in the luteinizing hormone can result in the onset of hormonal acne. “As hormone levels shift, you might notice skin becoming oily and breakouts appearing. Skin conditions like acne, eczema or rosacea can also get worse at this stage” describes Dr Natalie Getreu. To help treat your blemishes, we suggest deep cleaning pores with exfoliators powered by lactic acid. This not only diminishes dead cells but enhances a brighter complexion.   

Day 15 to 28: Luteal Phase

To shield your skin against the complexion concerns above you need to eliminate excess oil, without prompting inflammation. The best course of action? To cleanse twice a day with a gentle yet effective foaming cleanser. Those enriched with niacinamide will help balance your oil production and reduce the look of redness.   

Top tips for dealing with period skin

Navigating period skincare can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can conquer hormonal fluctuations and achieve radiant, resilient skin. Here are some top tips to help you tackle period-related skin concerns with confidence:

  • Track your cycle. Keep a record of your menstrual cycle to understand your fertility, manage hormonal symptoms, and gain control over monthly changes.
  • Symptom monitoring. Note down symptoms to predict where you are in your cycle, anticipate your next period, and identify fertile days.
  • Prioritise overall health. Maintain balanced nutrition, engage in regular exercise, and establish a healthy sleep routine to support hormonal health and overall well-being.
  • Manage stress. Invest in stress-reduction techniques to mitigate the negative impact of stress on skin conditions and hormonal balance.

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