When it’s that time of the month, your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. This is bound to affect your skin just as it does if you’re pregnant or going through menopause.

Even if you’re feeling grumpy, have stomach cramps or headaches, at least there are things you can do for your skin which will help you avoid nasty pimples, dry skin or redness etc. Here are a few useful tips:

1) If your skin changes, why not change your skin care routine?

It’s worth modifying your beauty routine at that time of the month and taking care of your skin with products that are adapted to the changes.
Keep a calendar so that you can see in advance when these changes are about to occur. Some women see changes a week before their period, others just a few days before. If you keep a diary, you can be proactive and treat the problem before it arrives instead of reacting when that pimple appears.
Make a note of the changes you see. Is your skin oilier, drier, do you have pimples, red spots etc. Forewarned is forearmed! 😉

If your skin becomes drier

Dry skin during your period is generally due to low oestrogen levels. So ditch the water-based foaming cleanser and use a gentle cleansing milk. Your daily moisturizer should be slightly creamier too without being necessarily ultra-rich.
If you don’t want to change your moisturizer, use a moisturizing mask a few times during the week. As well as hydrating your skin, you’ll have a few relaxing moments which will do you a lot of good if morale is low.
Exfoliating is good too, to get rid of dead skin cells and rough areas. Do it before the mask to get the best results..

If your skin gets oilier

Don’t make the mistake of going to extremes and using harsh aggressive products. You’ll only aggravate the problem. Be a little more assiduous with cleansing, use a gentle cleanser twice a day, follow with toner and use a liquid rather than creamy moisturizer. Some moisturizers have matifying ingredients that stop your face from shining like a beacon during the day while providing sufficient hydration.

If you have pimples

Discipline is the key. Cleanse twice a day, don’t forget the toner and use a non-greasy, water-based moisturizer (oil-free). Some moisturizers contain anti-acne agents like salicylic acid for example. And you can get anti-acne foundation too. So you could use these products for a short period of your cycle.
Arm yourself with a local acne treatment too. The drying agent contained in these products will be very useful when you wake up with a nasty pimple. There are two kinds: one with salicylic acid and one with benzoic peroxide. Both are effective when applied locally.
You can also get concealers to camouflage pimples. As well as hiding them, they treat and dry up the blemish. Most of them contain salicylic acid.

2) Go for products designed for sensitive skin

Most people have sensitive skin which is subject to react during their period so it makes sense to use products designed for this type of skin. Your skin can become redder, rougher or more irritated so product ranges like Toleriane and Rosaliac by La Roche-Posay, Sensiphase by A-Derma or Tolérance Extrême and Peaux intolérantes by Avène can make it easier to get through this difficult phase.

3) Protect your skin from UV rays

Your skin will also be more sensitive to the sun during this time: there’s a greater risk of sunburn so use sunscreen if you’re going outside.
You can use a non-greasy product to avoid a proliferation of acne pimples. Some moisturizers also contain sunscreen, such as a light fluid moisturizer with an SPF of 15. A foundation containing sunscreen will complete the process.

4) Test your perfume, toilet water or other perfumed products

Hormonal changes cause chemical changes in the skin and the effects of your perfumed products might be completely different. It’s the same for pregnant or menopausal women. You’ve been wearing the same perfume for years and it suddenly doesn’t smell very nice. It’s because of the hormone fluctuation. Do a few tests in the evening at home and wait and see if your usual perfume has changed its smell, this way you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises.

If you follow these steps, the worst will be avoided during this time and unless you’re extremely grumpy, no-one will be any the wiser… 😉

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