The inevitable rollercoaster of mood swings during the monthly period is not something we signed up for. However, it’s not all about emotional outbursts and cupcake cravings–experts say your skin and hair can also act out during certain stages in the menstrual cycle. Let’s find out more.
Skin And The Cycle
Our bodies are programmed for hormonal fluctuations during the entire cycle, which impacts our skin and hair health. Dr Chytra V Anand, celebrity dermatologist and founder of Kosmoderma Clinics, breaks down the day by day effects:
Day 1-3: All three hormones (progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone) are low. By the third day lower oestrogen level leads to decreased collagen stimulation and hydration.
Day 8-15: Post periods, oestrogen and testosterone rise towards a peak for ovulation on day 14. During this time, skin is glowing and hair is voluminous. There is an increase in skin thickness, improvement in barrier function and skin repair.
Day 16-28: After ovulation is completed, this phase observes progesterone dominance while the other two hormones dip. As a result, your skin is likely to dehydrate and flare up due to clogged pores. Since the scalp is an extension of facial skin it may break out easily, and the hair will feel limp and greasy.
Tricks To Prevent Skin And Hair Issues
Besides reducing the intake of refined carbs and sugar, try these tips at home:
– Consume more fruits and vegetables. Dr Jamuna Pai, celebrity dermatologist and founder of SkinLab clinics says, “Foods rich in fibre help reduce bloating. Additionally, eating probiotics will help clean the gut and normalise hormonal activity.”
– Dr Anand recommends, “Opting for azelaic acid, salicylic acid or niacinamide based serum on acne spots. And also applying ceramide based moisturiser to protect the skin barrier.”
– Washing your hair with deep conditioning masks can avoid greasiness and damage.
– Try skin-calming masks with chamomile, aloe vera and rose water to reduce redness.
Get Your Facts Right!
Myth: You should not exercise during periods
Fact: Dr Pai sets the record straight, “Exercising during periods will ensure that skin and hair cells receive a good amount of oxygenated blood. Thereby reducing any inflammatory responses of the hormones. It helps in relieving abdominal cramps too!”
Myth: Everyone gets acne around periods, which means your hormones are working.
Fact: Acne is common during the luteal phase (Day 16-28). But, Dr Anand clarifies, “If it remains persistent during the entire month you should consult your doctor right away and get a hormone profile done.”