Should Your Skin-Care Routine Change With Your Period?

Photographed by Caroline Tompkins.
We don't always need a period-tracking app to remind us when ours is on the horizon — sometimes, all it takes is one or two zits popping up on the jawline to tell us everything we need to know.
But it's not just right around your period that the skin shows hormonal changes; you're likely to spot a number of differences throughout the month. A few days before your period begins, you might find that your skin is oilier and more congested overall thanks to excess sebum production, while skin sensitivity is at its highest right in the middle of the month. If that rollercoaster sounds familiar, you might benefit from a cyclical skin-care routine.
Touted by Cult Beauty's Alexia Inge as one of the biggest skin-care trends to watch in 2019, cyclical skin care shines a spotlight on tailoring your morning and evening routine to your hormonal cycle, to keep things like breakouts and sensitivity to a minimum.
As Inge stated in her annual trends prediction, "Hormones have an influence on every single function of the body, affecting everything from weight and sleep to skin clarity." Says Rebecca Booth, MD, a board-certified obstetrician, gynecologist, and cofounder of VENeffect, "Each day of the menstrual cycle is a reflection of different levels of the 'big three' hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Not only are we designed to have these levels fluctuate, but their relationship varies each day as well, influencing how we look and feel."
Inge believes that tuning into our hormonal cycles is now influencing the way we shop for skin care. "Female consumers are becoming more acquainted with the rhythms of their body and are now more openly sharing and understanding the physical ups and downs that accompany these fluctuations and imbalances," she says. "This includes seeking out products that can interact with — and even help regulate — cycles."
It makes perfect sense. While your hydrating moisturizer might work well at the beginning of your cycle, when skin tends to be calmer, it could be exacerbating your breakouts or oiliness at other times, which is why it pays to switch up your routine in response. "Getting to grips with what’s going on with your hormones every month can give you a head start on what to use on your skin to keep it looking youthful and clear," says Charlotte Ferguson, a psychotherapist, skin expert, and founder of Disciple Skincare. Ahead, Ferguson explains exactly which ingredients to incorporate into your routine, and which ones might be worth avoiding.
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