As if enduring a monthly period wasn’t enough, you also have to go through the indignity of an oily, acne-ridden face during your menstrual cycle. The period ends in a few days, but the acne stay behind. Developing acne during your period is a usual occurrence, but you don’t have to bear it any more. We tell you what to do about it, from using the right skin care products to sleeping right.
Why do you get period acne?
Blame your hormones – they cause acne during this time and what’s more, the acne might not even exit without leaving a scar or indentation on the skin.
Hormonal imbalances are par for the course around the time your period is due. Your estrogen and progesterone levels keep fluctuating, and these have a direct impact on your mood, digestion, mental health, and the state of your skin and hair. The hormone levels go up and down throughout your cycle, but they drop sharply before your period begins. In response, your skin’s sebaceous glands go into overdrive and secrete more sebum or oil than they normally do. This keeps the skin lubricated, but too much sebum secretion clogs the pores and imparts an oily sheen to the face.
Soon, you are left with acne breakouts. Hormonal imbalances also upset the natural composition of the skin and causes inflammation – another reason why you get period acne. The PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome) stage also triggers the stress hormone in the body, which worsens sebum secretion and acne.
Period acne – always focussed in one area of the face
A typical characteristic of period acne is that it appears on the chin area. You may notice tiny pimples or acne on the jawline, or on the chin. Acne in this area is typically linked to hormonal changes in the body. Also, period-related acne is often more tender and painful than other acne on the rest of the face. It is not uncommon to develop tiny cysts in the chin and jawline. They look like ordinary acne, but are quite painful to the touch.
What you can do about it
Consult your dermatologist if you suffer from a lot of period acne every month, with associated skin distress. Your doctor can examine your skin and recommend the right course of treatment and the best skin care products you can use.
Here’s what you can do to ease the situation:
- Keep your skin cleansed and moisturised in the days leading up to your period. Follow a twice daily cleansing-toning-moisturising routine to keep excess oil away, and unclog the pores so that acne is not formed. Keeping the skin moisturised calms the underlying sebaceous glands, which do not secrete as much sebum as they otherwise would. In turn, the incidence of acne reduces.
- Drink as much water as you can to keep the skin hydrated and aid blood circulation and toxin removal. Toxin removal is hastened by consuming chamomile or ginger tea with a dash of honey and one spoon of lemon juice.
- Use the best products to ensure that your skin is pampered and nourished the way you want it to be. We recommend Kaya skin products for their scientific approach to each skin issue, and ease of using the products. Kaya skin products offer a range of solutions from cleansing to age control, and from sun damage reduction to undereye puffiness removal. However, ask your dermatologist before you try any new products.
- Use doctor-recommended sheet masks or clay masks to remove excess oil from the skin’s surface. Unsuitable products may exacerbate the condition further.
- Do not touch the zits and acne that appear on the face. Period acne is prone to leave scarring and discoloration and prodding or poking the acne will ensure a scar is left behind.
- Steer clear of oil-based products and makeup if you have an acne breakout. This includes cleansers, sunscreen lotions, concealers, foundation, primer, etc. Use water-based skin care products and be sure to cleanse the skin before sleeping at night.
- Change your pillow case every night or place a sanitised towel on the pillow prior to sleeping, to minimise the chances of bacterial infection in the skin.