How To Predict Skin Changes During Your Monthly Cycle
by: Alisha Whitley, June 30, 2015Updated on February 21, 2019
You’re bloated, cranky and to top it off, your skin’s an unholy mess. Welcome to the mysteries of your monthly cycle and the effect of hormones on your skin. On certain days of the month, your complexion glows with health; other days, you find yourself fighting the worst case of hormonal acne. Want to predict which days your skin will be gorgeous or grotesque? Here’s how to track hormonal skin changes and treat your skin according to your monthly cycle.
Three hormones impact your skin during your monthly cycle: Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These hormones fluctuate through the duration of your cycle, and their shifting ratio is what causes changes in the look and feel of your skin.
Estrogen is the predominant hormone in the first half of your monthly cycle. This hormone stimulates the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, thereby impacting your skin’s structural integrity and moisture retention. When estrogen is at its peak, your skin looks and feels plump, hydrated and wrinkle-free.
In the second half of your cycle, progesterone rises. Progesterone stimulates the production of sebum and, as it rises, causes your skin to swell and compress your pores. This compression can lead to a build-up of oil and hormonal breakouts.
Testosterone remains constant throughout your cycle and takes the lead when estrogen and progesterone dip during menstruation. Like progesterone, testosterone activates the sebaceous glands, triggering them to produce more oil. The result: Excess sebum and clogged pores, both of which contribute to acne during your period.
What To Expect During Your Cycle
During your monthly cycle, it may seem like your skin has a mind of its own. However, its seemingly mysterious patterns are often related to your hormone levels. Here’s what you can expect from your skin during a 28-day cycle.
On the first day of your period, all of your hormones are at an all-time low. Sebum production may decrease, and without the help of estrogen, your skin may have difficulty retaining moisture. As a result, your skin will likely look and feel dull, dry and lackluster.
During this first week, your body also produces more prostaglandins. These compounds with hormone-like effects usually control inflammation but, when off balance, increase pain sensitivity. This can cause your skin to feel more tender and reactive.
Skin Care Tip: Your skin feels sensitive, so stay away from painful procedures like waxing. It’s also incredibly dry and can benefit from rehydration with a serum or moisturizer rich in hyaluronic acid.
During this time, your body restarts estrogen production. This process stimulates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid creation, encouraging the growth of stronger and more elastic skin cells. As your skin cells turnover, your complexion feels more plump, fresh and youthful.
Skin Care Tip: Focus on exfoliation during these days. New skin cells are forming, and it’s a fantastic time to amp up the turnover process. Try a gentle physical or chemical exfoliant to remove dead cells from your skin’s surface and reveal the healthy skin underneath.
Right before ovulation, estrogen is at its peak and your skin looks sensational. During this time, moisture levels are high, pores appear smaller and the increase in collagen and elastin is working wonders (hello, radiance!).
Skin Care Tip: Now is not the time to sit pretty! Boost your body’s natural hike in collagen production with solutions that reduce the visible signs of aging. Reach for products containing natural retinol alternatives and botanical peptides to keep skin bouncy and youthful.
After ovulation, estrogen levels plummet and progesterone starts to rise. The surge in progesterone activates sebum production and causes your skin to swell and pores to compress. While this makes your pores look teeny tiny (yay), it also traps oil and causes buildup that can lead to breakouts (yuck).
Skin Care Tip: Add a clay mask to your skin care routine to soak up excess oil and draw impurities from deep within your pores.
You’re entering full-blown PMS territory and possibly suffering from hormonal acne symptoms. Progesterone and estrogen dip below the level of testosterone, causing bloating, puffiness and an oversupply of oil. Your skin may appear extra shiny and, as your pores loosen, they may begin to look larger. Oil residing within your pores can mix with acne-causing bacteria and lead to an eruption of hormonal breakouts across your chin and jawline.
Skin Care Tip: Two words: Salicylic acid. This beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) clears blockages, kills bacteria and prevents future breakouts.
How To Tackle Hormonal Acne
Hormonal acne is a struggle for more than fifty percent of women. It typically emerges in adulthood and can be triggered by the menstrual cycle’s hormonal highs and lows. Hormonal breakouts are deep, and painful cysts that tend to appear on the lower third of the face where the androgen spikes have the most impact. Two ways to fight hormonal acne is internally (diet) and externally (skin care).
You can help hormonal skin by limiting your intake of inflammation-causing foods like sugar, dairy and refined carbohydrates. You can also add foods that combat excess androgens to your diet, like healthy fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, leafy greens and items with high zinc content.
If you struggle with hormonal acne, Eminence Organics Product Support Representative Alicia Hawthorne recommends pairing the Acne Advanced Treatment System with our Eight Greens Collection. The Acne Advanced Collection’s encapsulated salicylic acid combines with the Eight Greens Collection’s powerful phytoestrogens to balance skin and improve the look of hormonal breakouts. Together, they help to keep skin fresh, clear and healthy-looking, no matter the time of the month.
What changes do you see in your skin during your cycle? Share your skin concerns with us in the comments below and join the conversation on social media.
How To Shrink Pores And Why They Get Bigger With Age
SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
If you feel like your pores are getting larger as you’re getting older – you’re not alone! In fact, figuring out how to minimize pores while also tackling the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is a common concern. But why is this? And what’s the best skin care routine to treat both of these issues at the same time? Find the answers to these questions below and share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
It’s no secret that as we age, our skin changes – but why is this? Two major factors are a loss in elasticity and a decrease in oil production. As you age, production of collagen and elastin decreases (both of which are crucial to keeping skin firm and flexible), leading to less “bounce back” in your skin. This is due to hormonal changes and changes in the connective tissues, and it’s the reason why fine lines deepen into wrinkles and skin often begins to sag. Sebaceous glands also produce less oil as you get older, leading to the skin looking and feeling more dry, itchy and tight than in your youth. The outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) will become thinner and more delicate as well, so this dry, itchy skin will also become more easily irritated by environmental stressors.
Why Do My Pores Look Bigger?
Pores are also elastic, and as collagen levels decrease, pores lose this elasticitySo, how exactly does a decrease in elasticity and oil production make your pores larger? Pores are also elastic, and as collagen levels decrease, pores lose this elasticity. As you age, the skin’s natural exfoliation process, known as desquamation, slows down – all while your skin is becoming more dry. The result is more dead skin cells, sitting on the skin’s surface for longer and filling pores that are likely to stay stretched out.
Not helping this process? Sun damage and exposure, which we often see as symptoms of aging skin. As Livestrong points out, “Sun damage creates a rim of cells around individual pores. Although this accumulation takes place on a microscopic level, the end result is noticeable … While genetics are 20 percent responsible for pore size, exposure to sun accounts for a whopping 80 percent.”
How Do I Shrink Pores And Smooth The Look Of Wrinkles?
So what are the key treatments and techniques to minimize pores while also reducing the look of wrinkles and sagging skin? Exfoliation, sun protection and professional treatments with an esthetician are your best bet. To help mitigate a slower desquamation process, incorporate gentle exfoliation into your daily skin care routine, along with professional peels that clear away build up of dead skin cells.
We recommend booking a treatment with our Mangosteen Lactic Pro Peel 10%, which is safe for even the most sensitive skin types, minimizes pore size and leaves the skin feeling deeply conditioned and supple. Additionally, consider booking a skin assessment with a licensed esthetician who can create a custom routine with you and address your main concerns. To get you started, we’ve put together the following at-home skin care routine featuring some fan favorite Eminence Organics products.
Skin Care Routine
As we’ve mentioned, exfoliation is key to minimizing pores and fighting the visible signs of aging, but so is hydration to nourish the skin and keep it feeling healthy.The following six step routine focuses on these two principles to leave skin looking smooth and plump.
Our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser is a beautiful milky gel containing our Lactic Acid Complex to leave the skin glowing. But our main reason to suggest this cleanser? In an #AskNatalie video, Eminence Organics Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar was asked: “What are the best products to help with … large pores but also help with fine lines, wrinkles and aging skin?” Natalie recommended our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser because it lifts impurities and preps the skin for exfoliation. Watch her response in the video below for some more great tips on shrinking pores and helping diminish the visible signs of aging.
Also recommended by Natalie? Eminence Organics Firm Skin Acai Exfoliating Peel. Use this firming peel solution up to three times a week to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as to slough off dead skin. If you prefer more of a physical exfoliation, our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant will leave skin feeling smooth, with rhubarb and BioComplex to improve the signs of aging. Gentle enough to use daily, our Dermafoliant can either be mixed with a few drops of water, or with a cleanser like Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser.
To balance the skin’s pH level and prep it to absorb further treatment, toning is a crucial step in your skin care routine. We recommend our Stone Crop Hydrating Mist to soothe dry skin and leave your complexion looking bright and youthful. This award winning toner is deeply moisturizing thanks to ingredients like stone crop and aloe juice. Spritz this mist directly onto the skin or, if preferred, onto a cotton round first, then gently sweep it over the face.
To treat the skin, our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate and Bamboo Firming Fluid work seamlessly together. First apply Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Concentrate to refine pores and clear buildup. Once absorbed, massage in a layer of our best selling Bamboo Firming Fluid to hydrate the skin and improve the look of firmness and wrinkles.
5. MOISTURIZE AND PROTECT
Moisturization and sun protection are key to fighting the look of fine lines and shrinking pores. We recommend applying our Balancing Moisturizer Duo morning and night to hydrate the skin without clogging pores. As this duo features both a Green Tea T-Zone Mattifier and a Pomelo Cheek Hydrator, you can easily customize for the level of moisture your skin needs. During the day, an SPF is key and we suggest using our Red Currant Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 over top of the duo to protect from the sun’s rays while reducing the look of wrinkles.
6. TREAT OVERNIGHT
Lastly, to give your skin some extra love, incorporate our Lotus Detoxifying Overnight Treatment into your routine. This luxurious creamy treatment works, while you sleep, to repair dry skin and detoxify the pores. Apply a generous layer to the face and neck area before bed, massaging deeply into the skin. You will wake up with skin that looks rejuvenated and restored.
With this routine, we feel confident that you can shrink pores and tackle the visible signs of aging. Do you have any additional products you would include? What other pore size concerns do you have? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | G+.