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Article: Cycle-Syncing your Skincare

Cycle-Syncing your Skincare

Cycle-Syncing your Skincare

Cycle-Syncing your Skincare 

Chances are, if you've come to our clinic with period breakouts, you've heard up talk about Cycle Syncing (altering your skincare routine around the different phases of your menstrual cycle to maximize the effects of home care treatments). Recently, cycle-syncing has been getting more chatter so let me tell you what it all means.

There are 4 Phases in a woman's menstrual cycle that affect our skin's appearance: Menstruation, Follicular, Ovulation, and Luteal. From a hormonal standpoint, the first half of our month is Estrogen dominant right after menstruation and leading up to ovulation. In the second half, Progesterone becomes more dominant, weakening our skin as we get close to our period. Estrogen and progesterone levels bottom out during menstruation, and Testosterone is the dominant hormone.

It is easiest to think of the month-long cycle in 4 different skin phases, each roughly seven days in length when mapping out skin treatments. 

Phase 1:

The start of bleeding (Estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest). Skin is lackluster, feels drier, tighter, and duller, seemingly overnight. The skin's barrier is weak, causing those prone to rashes and eczema to have flares at this time. 

What to do: Re-Hydrate and balance. Choose calming, hydrating ingredients, and avoid aggressive exfoliation at this time (retinol, peel pads, scrubs, etc.) Treat your skin to a hydrating mask (Aqua mask), or sprays of a skin-calming mist to your routine (Sensiderm Treating Mist).

Phase 2: 

Estrogen levels rise, leading to ovulation, increasing skin moisture levels and resiliency. As estrogen production boosts, skin gets plump, hydrated, brighter, and blemishes seem to fade away. Cellular turnover and collagen production are at their peak during this phase, so capitalize on it.

What to do: Take the time to exfoliate take advantage of the skin's increased cell turnover. Exfoliation will help bring these new plump, beautiful skin cells to the surface and help the dull old cells fall away (Intensive Exfoliating GelMandelic acid tonerPeel Pads). Anti-aging ingredients work best in this phase, too, so don't forget your serums (The ONE Serum). **It is essential to remove excess dead skin cells if your skin tends to get breakouts during your period. Dead cells get 'stuck' and pile up when estrogen levels are high and contribute to your pimples in the coming weeks. 

Phase 3: 

Progesterone Dominance, post ovulation. Oil production is through the roof in this phase, creating the perfect glue to keep dead cells and debris from clearing out of your pores, creating a perfect storm for acne.

What to do: Add an acne-fighting cleanser to your routine; Exfoliating cleansers with mild acids are perfect for helping break down excess oil and keep breakouts to a minimum (Puractive Cleansing Foam). Use a clay-based mask to reduce shine and regulate oil production (Pure Mask).

Phase 4: 

Preparing to Menstruate, Testosterone dominance. Testosterone thickens and inflames, leading to puffy skin, clogged pores, and breakouts. 

What to do: Use antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients like Hexamidine (LexxelHexam), along with calming and hydrating ingredients that also protect the hydration levels on your skin's surface (Native Collagen GelQuench Mask ). You can continue your acne products in this phase but be sure to back off if skin starts to show signs of dryness or sensitivity.

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