Hormones and your skin
For the past couple of months, I have been sharing my skincare diaries with you on all things to do with getting rid of spots in return for glowing skin.
Something that I believe goes hand in hand with good skin is how well your hormones are behaving. I have always been really interested in the link between hormones and how much control they have over your complexion. From oily and dry skin to breakouts and uneven skin tone, your hormones are in control most of the time!
I have been looking forward to doing this diary entry for a while, so let’s see how much of an impact your hormones have on your skin.
Is my skin hormonal?
It’s always around a week before your period is due that you may start to see spots and breakouts. Hormonal spots are usually linked to your chin or jawline; this is due to hormonal fluctuations and imbalance.
Of course our body and skin needs these hormones in order to work properly and keep us healthy. If like me you have been lucky to never suffer from bad acne breakouts, then it’s always a shock when your skin does start to breakout. I never know what to do or how to keep it under control.
My skin will usually start to calm down towards the end of my cycle, but it can sometimes continue if I am stressed or haven’t been getting enough sleep.
How do I keep my hormonal skin under control?
It has taken me a while to workout what works for my skin and how I keep breakouts at bay come that time of the month. Getting rid of spots isn’t easy, especially those that are persistent and keep reappearing.
I have put together my top tips on how to keep hormonal skin at bay, as it can be trial and error to find out what works best for you. But with these simple steps you will be pre-empting your skin from becoming worse when that time of the month arrives.
My top 3 tips for hormonal skin
#1 De-stress and get plenty of sleep
I know this is a pretty obvious one and it is easier said than done, but clearing your head and getting good nights sleep can make all the difference.
We are all so busy that come the end of the day, it can be really difficult to switch off for a bit of ‘me’ time. Did you know that stress and a lack of sleep could negatively affect the skin?
Stress not only affects acne flare-ups, it generally worsens the overall condition of the skin. It induces the adrenal glands into overproduction of cortisol (a steroid), which in turn makes sebaceous glands produce more oil and make skin extra oily.
Sleep and stress imbalance your hormones and I definitely notice a change for the worse in my skin when I am feeling stressed and tired.
– Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a night.
– Switch off technology at least an hour before bed (hard I know, but our minds need time to calm down before we go to sleep). Read a book or write in a journal to get your thoughts out of your mind before you go to sleep.
– Take up yoga or meditation to calm your mind. This has made all the difference for me. Just 10 minutes of breathing exercises and silence clear my mind.
– Use a pillow spray (I love sleep spray!). I love the smell and its calming effect.
#2 Limit sugar and foods high in carbohydrates
This is another key aspect for preventing hormonal breakouts as it could be linked to what you are eating.
Those sugary carbs a lot of women crave during their period (for some reason I don’t…) can cause a prolonged increase in insulin levels and may be the very thing causing breakouts to occur.
– Try cutting back on the carbs and sugary treats (especially prior to your period).
– Drink plenty of water, especially during your period as you can become dehydrated due to the imbalance in hormone levels.
#3 Use a gentle and calming cleanser to help aid hormonal breakouts
The chemistry of our skin changes during our menstrual cycle so you may find switching cleansers (not your entire skincare regime) can help head off a breakout.
Your skin can be extra sensitive at this time of the month so if you are suffering from breakouts, exfoliators are a no go (trust me, I have experienced first hand!). If your spots are whiteheads and they hurt (usually these types of spots do), exfoliator’s will only aggravate your skin more.
Be gentle to your skin, especially at that time of the month when it can be overly sensitive.
– Opt for a gentle cleanser to calm your skin. I love Claudia Fallah’s Azulene Gel as it’s great for even the most sensitive of skin.
– Stay away from exfoliators as this can damage your skin and you could make your breakouts worse.
– Leave a facial until after your breakouts calm down. I am always eager to go for a facial (especially during my period) as I think it could help my skin and calm me down. But actually it can have a negative effect, especially if the facial includes extraction. Your pain threshold isn’t too good at this time of the month so best to opt for one that doesn’t offer extractions.
These tips may seem pretty obvious but you would be surprised at how many people miss out sleep and use the wrong products on their skin. It can make the biggest difference between a clear and bright complexion vs. hormonal, imbalanced skin! We will beat those hormones!!
Next week…How does the weather impact on your skin?