breakout around your period? this is why

breakout around your period? this is why

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages and genders, but for many women, the connection between acne breakouts and their menstrual cycle can be very frustrating. Hormonal acne, often characterised by deep, painful, cystic spots, can be especially challenging to manage.

Let's delve into the relationship between hormonal acne and the cycle of fluctuating female hormones, explore the impact of androgens on the skin, and provide you with three simple yet effective tips for supporting hormonal acne.

The Female Menstrual Cycle & Hormonal Acne

The female menstrual cycle, which typically lasts about 28 days, is regulated by a delicate balance of hormones. The two primary hormones at play here are oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones fluctuate throughout the month, affecting various aspects of our body, including her skin.

Oestrogen and the First Half of the Cycle: During the first half of the menstrual cycle, oestrogen levels rise. This surge in oestrogen often leads to clearer, more radiant skin. Many women notice that their skin looks its best during this time.

Progesterone and Androgens: However, as the menstrual cycle progresses, progesterone levels rise and peak, while oestrogen starts to decline. This hormonal shift can stimulate the sebaceous (oil) glands to produce more sebum. It can also trigger an increase in androgens, which are male hormones that women also produce in smaller amounts. Androgens can lead to an overproduction of sebum, clogging pores and creating a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.

    The Impact of Androgens on the Skin

    Androgens, including testosterone, DHEA, and DHT (dihydrotestosterone), play a crucial role in the development of hormonal acne. Here's how they affect your skin:

    1. Increased Sebum Production: Androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. Excess sebum can clog pores and create an environment where acne-causing bacteria thrive.

    2. Thickening of Skin: Androgens can cause the skin's top layer to thicken, making it harder for dead skin cells to shed properly. This can lead to clogged pores and the formation of acne.

    3. Inflammation: Androgens can also promote inflammation, which is a key factor in the development of acne. Inflamed acne lesions are often red, painful, and more challenging to treat.

     Zinc has natural anti-androgenic properties, this is one of the reasons that supplementing with zinc (zinc picolinate in particular) can be very helpful. Zinc can also act as an anti-inflammatory and given that acne is an inflammatory condition, it's no wonder that zinc is so great at supporting the reduction of acne!

      Three Simple Tips for Supporting Hormonal Acne

      1. Maintain a Consistent Skincare Routine: A gentle, consistent skincare routine can help manage hormonal acne. Use a mild cleanser twice a day to keep your skin clean and reduce excess oil. Incorporate a salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatment to help unclog pores and combat acne. Don't forget to moisturise, even if your skin is oily, to maintain its natural balance. Finally, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from potential damage caused by sun exposure. Everyone's skin has very individual needs so we would highly recommend getting a skincare plan that's tailored to your needs!

      2. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Your lifestyle plays a significant role in hormonal acne management. Aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit the consumption of sugary and processed foods, as these can exacerbate acne. Regular exercise can help regulate hormones and reduce stress, which can also trigger acne. Make sure to get adequate sleep to support your body's overall hormonal balance. Supplements that support the natural detoxification of excess hormones in the body including dandelion, DIM and vitamin C can be very helpful.

      3. Consult a Dermatologist or Skincare Professional: If hormonal acne persists or becomes severe, consider consulting a dermatologist or skincare expert. They can offer a range of treatments tailored to your specific needs, including topical and oral medications, hormone therapy, or light-based therapies. A dermatologist can help you create a customised plan to manage your hormonal acne effectively.

        Understanding the connection between hormonal acne and the female hormonal cycle is the first step towards managing this frustrating condition. While hormonal fluctuations can trigger acne breakouts, implementing a consistent skincare routine, making healthy lifestyle choices, and seeking professional guidance when necessary can significantly improve the appearance and health of your skin. Remember that you're not alone in this journey, and with the right approach, you can achieve clearer, healthier skin.

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