Skin and hair changes during your monthly cycle

It’s no secret that hormones have a big impact on your skin, but you might not know that they can also affect your scalp and hair. Your skin changes in response to hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen. Any hormonal imbalance can lead to greasy skin, breakouts, flaky scalp, greasy hair, dryness and many more super fun surprises.

The following is a general guide on what to expect based on a regular 28-day cycle. Of course, how many of us actually have a “normal” 28-day cycle? Not me, that’s for sure! So this guide is just that, a guide. Do what works for you. There are lots of period tracking apps available so you can chart your cycle’s start and end dates, as well as any changes to your mood, hair, skin or general wellbeing that you think may be tied to your cycle.

Days 1-6
Your period has begun, and a drop in estrogen is making your skin more sensitive. This is a good time to pamper yourself, but avoid treatments like facials or waxing, which can be extra uncomfortable due to the increased sensitivity you may be experiencing. Opt for hair and skin care products that contain gentle ingredients like vanilla, rose, and lavender. A gentle oat facemask can soothe dry, tired- looking skin. Follow up with a hyaluronic serum to lock in moisture. A moisturizing hair mask will help revive dry, frizzy hair. If your scalp is dry try giving yourself a scalp massage with coconut or almond oil (or better yet, get someone else to!). Drinks lots of water, avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, and don’t’ shy away from healthy fats. Your skin needs all the lovin’ it can get!

Days 6-12
Now that your period has ended your estrogen levels will start to rise. Your complexion should even out and with any luck you can expect clear skin for the next couple of weeks.

Days 12-16
It’s the middle of the month and you’re ovulating. Your skin should have a nice moisture balance and a healthy glow. You may experience a boost in energy and generally feel your best. But hang on….

Days 16- 28
Sigh. The storm clouds are rolling in. Oil production is starting to amp up as you head towards PMS territory. You may notice your skin is starting to get oiler, your hair is getting greasy and limp. Now is not the time to skip showers or flop into bed with your makeup on, mmmkay?

A detoxifying face mask can help to draw excess oil out of your skin. Look for natural ingredients such as bentonite clay, and stay away from heavy lotions or oils. Lately I’ve been using Saje Natural Wellness Zap lotion; it has natural ingredients like tea tree and geranium to control breakouts without drying your skin. If you like using oil on your face, try Argan; it’s a little lighter than olive or coconut.

Now is also a good time to use a more clarifying shampoo, such as John Master’s Spearmint and Meadowsweet Scalp Tingle shampoo, especially if your hair has lost its luster and gone flat. If you find that your ends are dry, use a mask on the ends only. It’s generally best to avoid heavy conditioners on your scalp, but especially during these two weeks. Congrats, you’ve made it all the way back to day 1!

Rinse, lather, repeat.
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