Acne: How to prevent the pre-period breakout?
We all know the dreaded pre period breakout all too well! With our hormones raging and our cravings out of control, it is inevitable that will we start to see pimples start forming.
So what is making imperfections appear during our period and how do we control this?
Why do we get acne breakouts?
Most women are pre disposed to experiencing premenstrual breakouts due to the shift we experience in our hormones. The week before our period our oestrogen levels drop and our progesterone & testosterone levels increase.
This causes our skin to become more oily and our pores to become clogged and inflamed. As we head into our period, our skin can also become more sensitive so using simple & gentle products will be a good idea to prevent unnecessary inflammation.
Get to know your skin's pattern
It sounds silly but spending the time to notice your skins reoccurring patterns will help you identify when you need to begin using products to prevent these breakouts and when you can afford to focus on simple hydration rather than fighting breakouts.
While it is no guarantee that your skins pattern every month will be exactly the same, by doing this you are going to get an idea of your skins habits and how it changes as your hormones do.
The pre-period skincare to prevent acne!
Pre period is all about preventing and halting those breakouts in their tracks. It is important to use cleansers that contain chemical exfoliants to not only gently cleanse the skin but also slough off the excess dead skin and oils to prevent the pores from being clogged. Try the Algae Face Wash from ByMukk as it contains a natural salicylic acid which will help prevent breakouts and remove excess oils.
AHA masks will help to remove the build-up of excess dead skin on the surface of the skin to reveal bright, glowing skin. Our favourite is the Miracle Mask from Evolve. This exfoliating mask is packed with natural AHAs derived from fruits and the smell…oh wow!
While your skin can become more oily & congested around the time of your period, it can also become dehydrated. Dehydrated skin is completely different to dry skin and the common signs of dehydrated skin include:
- The pores appear enlarged
- The skin can feel tight and dry although it can sometimes look oily and have breakouts
- Absorbs moisturisers really quickly
- Makeup disappears or goes patchy throughout the day
Using serums that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin will help to maintain optimal hydration levels and keep your skin balanced. The Hyaluronic Acid 3% serum from Your Natural Side is an excellent lightweight hydrating serum that is great for all skin types. If you want hydration on the go, try the Daily Defence Mist from Evolve. This lightweight spray is infused with prebiotics, hyaluronic acid and glycerin to keep the skin moisturised and soothed throughout the day.
It is no secret that the way in which we choose to live our lives can clearly show on our skin. Stress, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and lack of water can all cause havoc on our skin! Now, I’m not saying that you need to cut out that glass of wine you have been looking forward to all week or that bar of chocolate that is just calling your name but it’s all about moderation and being sensible.
As we approach our period, our cravings begin to go all over the place which is caused by the fluctuations in our hormones. These cravings are often around sugary and fatty foods but guess what, it’s okay to treat yourself! Foods high in sugar have been shown to cause an increase in acne production however it becomes more stressful to try and avoid the craving or find different foods to supress the craving as opposed to just listening to your body and giving it what it wants.
Stress is another big one! When we experience stress, a hormone called cortisol sky rockets. High cortisol levels can lead to inflammation, in which our bodies are in tune to fight. This increased inflammation can cause our skin to become irritated and breakout. In the weeks leading up to your period, begin working on your self-care routine and be sure to take the time for you to unwind and destress.
The key anti-acne skincare ingredients
Combatting breakouts requires an effective combination of acne fighting products with soothing and calming ingredients. They ingredients you want to start looking out for are:
Perhaps an ingredient that we don’t speak enough about, azelaic acid helps to soothe inflammation, irritation and redness that you often see with breakouts. This ingredient also has antibacterial properties while encouraging gentle cell turnover to help the skin heal faster.
BHA – Beta Hydroxy Acid
This oil soluble acid gets into the pores and slowly dissolves the build-up of oil, dirt and bacteria to help minimise the look of breakouts and with regular use this can also help to prevent the breakouts from forming.
Tea Tree Oil
Its natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties help with acne and breakouts. Its healing properties will keep acne causing bacteria at bay while helping to treat the inflamed lesion.
Please note: do not apply pure, concentrated tea tree oil directly to the skin. It is a powerful ingredient, that when applied direct to skin can cause skin burns. Mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 3 – 4 drops of neutral oil to help dilute the oil and ensure it is skin safe.
Hydrated skin is happy skin! This ingredient is suitable for all skin types and skin conditions. This lightweight ingredient helps to deeply hydrate the skin without leaving it feeling suffocated – which is great for oiler skin types! Hyaluronic acid will leave the skin feeling plump and radiant.
There is no magic cure to prevent break outs before our periods.
It is the way our bodies are wired and while it may be frustrating, remember that it is temporary. To prevent your breakouts from being large & angry every month, use the ingredients I mentioned in the blog post to take care of your skin and regularly balance your skin.