According to research, 65% of women report that their acne gets worse while on their period. As if bloating, cramps, cravings and mood changes aren’t enough to deal with. Let’s take a look at some of the different ways that you can manage and treat period acne.
Know What You Are Dealing With
Knowing the difference between a hormonal acne breakout and a regular acne flare is simple enough. Acne that’s related to your cycle is more likely to happen the week leading up to your period and throughout the duration. It will likely improve as your period ends. If you already have acne, it will get worse during your cycle. If you tend to have clear skin, you might notice a pimple or two pop up once your cycle starts.
There are several different types of blemishes that can pop up while you are dealing with your cycle. These include the standard blackheads and whiteheads. You might also experience papules and pustules, which are an inflammatory type of acne. Nodules and cysts are deep within the skin and happen very rarely.
Why does your acne start to flare up right before your period? Your body is producing lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. This causes your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum and can cause your pores to clog up. Once your period starts, it doesn’t end and sometimes will get worse. During your cycle, your body will also produce varying amounts of testosterone, which can cause your pores to also become clogged up.
Soothing and Taming Those Painful Breakouts
During a breakout, there are a few ways to soothe the pain. A warm compress used throughout the day can help draw out pus. Cold compresses can also be used to help tame the pain. Once you get rid of the pain, it can be fairly easy to tame the outbreak:
- Use benzoyl peroxide to reduce the swelling and redness.
- Salicylic acid can also be used to peel away a layer of the skin and reduce symptoms.
- Vitamin A (retinol) can be used to treat mild to moderate acne and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Home remedies like tea tree oil, turmeric, and honey can all be used to deal with period acne.
- If you are going to consider using medication, always consult with a medical professional.
Avoid irritants, like greasy sunscreens, cosmetics, oils, and concealers. These will make your acne worse. Protect your skin from things that irritate your skin, like tight collars are straps. If you are out in the sun, try to wear sunglasses and a hat and use specialized sunscreen to protect your skin. If you are active, wash your face if you sweat. This will help alleviate agitation to your skin. Use acne products as directed as applying too frequently will dry out your skin, making your period acne worse.
Natural Remedies for Period Acne
There are several different ways that you can tame your acne, while at the same time taming those hormones.
What we put into our body during our cycle plays a role in how we react to it. Eating healthy foods like quinoa, avocados, leafy green vegetables, and herbs help balance out our hormones. Certain types of meats, like fish, contain vitamins and minerals that can help soothe the hormones. Pasta, rice, and other high-carbohydrate foods can increase the severity of an acne breakout.
Staying hydrated is another way to tame period acne. Drinking more water (up to 10 glasses a day) can help us stay hydrated, eliminate toxins that cause breakouts, and leave us feeling better. Avoiding caffeine is also a good course of action when it comes to your cycle and acne.
Getting Plenty of Sleep
Getting plenty of sleep gives the skin a chance to rest, as well as the rest of the body. When you get enough sleep, serotonin stabilizes within the body, which balances out your hormones.
Get Some Exercise
You may hear that sweating can cause acne, which is true. Exercise causes us to sweat, but good hygiene after a workout will help keep that acne away. Exercise can regulate blood sugar levels in the body, which in turn can mitigate an acne breakout.
Soak Up Some Sun, But Not Too Much
It is important to get outdoors and be active while on your cycle, but too much UV exposure can make acne worse. Some of the different blue and red wavelengths of visible light can potentially reduce sebum and kill the bacteria that cause acne. Vitamin D occurs naturally through some exposure to sunlight. However, you can also find Vitamin D in Scarlet and other supplements.
Scarlet is a gentler alternative to some of the medications and supplements that are out there. Scarlet contains superherbs, like chasteberry and wild yam. While these ingredients are still being studied scientifically for their effectiveness on the skin, they do help regulate hormones within the body, which can lead to taming your acne before it becomes a problem.