If you’ve noticed that your skin and hair look oilier during certain times of the month, you’re not alone. The same changes in hormone levels that cause your period are also to blame for monthly changes in your skin.
Even though these changes may seem random, as acne or pimples pop up then disappear, changes in your skin typically mimic the ups and downs of your hormones each month.
The Daily Mail describes five ways your hormone cycle can affect your skin and what you can do about it:
1) Days 1-7
Your cycle starts when your period arrives. Estrogen and progesterone levels are low at this time, which can make your skin feel drier.
This can make small lines or wrinkles seem more prominent. You may also flush more easily, and pimples or other spots may feel more sensitive during this time.
Help your skin by pampering it during these days. Clean gently, and use products designed to plump the skin.
2) Days 8-11
During this time, your ovaries resume the production of estrogen as your period ends. Estrogen bumps up serotonin, which is the “feel good” hormone.
Estrogen also plumps your skin and encourages collagen production. This strengthens the skin and makes you less likely to have pimples.
Your reaction to pain is generally reduced at this time, so these are the best days for hair removal or skin peels. Now is also a good time to exfoliate if your skin has dry patches.
3) Days 12-16
The middle of your cycle is when you ovulate. Many women look and feel their best now, when they are fertile. This can be a great time to schedule photos to be taken.
Increased estrogen means collagen levels are high, so skin looks plump and healthy. But it can also mean levels of melanin in the skin are higher.
This can lend a healthy glow, but may also make you more prone to sun damage. You may also start to see pimples break out in oilier spots on your skin.
4) Days 17-24
If you are not pregnant, these are the days when your hormone levels start to drop, to get ready for your period.