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How Hormones Impact Skin & What To Do About It

You have a unique opportunity to harness the power of your fluctuating hormones through your nutrition and lifestyle habits. Adapting your skincare will help you navigate the changes!
Oct 7, 2021 | Joy McCarthy

Do you get breakouts right before your period? Or have you ever noticed that your skin has a natural glow about a week or 10 days after your period?

I don't know about you, but it took me roughly 35 years to come to terms with the fact that my skin changes throughout the month because of my hormones and so should my skincare routine. Hopefully, you have come to this conclusion much sooner than me and have adjusted your nutrition, lifestyle and skincare routine accordingly!

But if you haven't, I'm here to help you navigate your changing skin by sharing with you how your hormones change throughout the month and exactly what you can do to support them. Once you have this information it is going to make a big difference!

For example, at certain times of the month, I use our Hella Hydrating serum twice daily and other times only in the morning because my skin is producing enough oil on its own. You can learn more about my personal skincare routine here. I also adapt my diet and exercise routine to better suit my hormone levels. 

monthly hormonal description

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As you can see in the chart above, for those of you who are still menstruating, your hormones fluctuate considerably throughout the month which has a direct influence on your skin's moisture level. Let's dig a little deeper.

I'm going to take you through your monthly cycle and share what's happening and what to do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective.

Estrogen and progesterone levels drop.

Your Period: Day 1-6

The sebaceous glands in the skin will be producing the least amount of oil they do all month. This is when your skin may look and feel dry. If your skin is acne-prone, this is when you're least likely to break out although you may be dealing with pimples from the week prior. 

What to do:

  • Hydrate: Drink 2-3L (8 cups) water or caffeine-free herbal teas per day. Radiance Tea or Rejuvenate tea would be great choices to sip on - rich in skin-loving herbs and antioxidants. I often combine these two wonderful teas together! 
  • Nourish: Eat plenty of grounding and nourishing foods such as sea veggies, sweet potato, squash, beets, carrots, flaxseeds, good quality protein and healthy fats. This Fall Harvest Soup or Roast Chicken are both great choices. 
  • Lifestyle: Go to bed 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally do. Get good quality shut-eye. Follow these natural health tips for restorative sleep. Practice meditation or do a gentle yoga class. 
  • Reminder: Be gentle with your skin and body. Now is not the time for a HIIT class or up your fitness training.
  • Skincare: Apply topical hydration. Try our Magical Mist and pair it with our Hella Hydrating serum. 

Ovulation

Ovulation: Midway through your cycle 

This is when you may feel the most attractive because your skin is looking its best. You may feel you have a natural "glow". You're right, you do!

What to do: 

  • Hydrate: Drink 2-3L (8 cups) water or caffeine-free herbal teas per day. Drink Joyous Detox tea on an empty stomach as it is an excellent choice for its liver-detoxifying benefits. Your liver's job (one of many) is to eliminate excess hormones from the body. Since this tea is a gentle detox, it's safe to drink any time of the month. 
  • Nourish: Focus on fibre-rich foods such as leafy greens, brussels sprouts, apples, pears and antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, prunes, avocados and asparagus to support detoxification and elimination. Eat protein and fat to sustain this amazing energy you have! This Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie or Butternut Squash Lentil Pie or Creamy + Dreamy Kale Salad are all great choices. 
  • Lifestyle: This is the ideal time to start a new workout routine and do a challenging class. I love strength workouts and do them 2-3 times every week. However, this is the week I always do the harder classes because I have the stamina for it. 
  • Skincare: This is the time of the month where I adjust my nighttime routine and only use a hydrating serum in the morning. I use an extra spritz or 2 or 3 of the Magical Mist because it has anti-bacterial rose geranium in it which helps prevent breakouts. 

Luteal Phase

The Luteal Phase: Second half of your cycle - day 15 onwards

Progesterone increases which impact your body temperature and production of sebum in your skin. 

What to do:

  • Hydrate: Drink 2-3L (8 cups) water or caffeine-free herbal teas per day. Try a cup of Rise + Shine Tea rich in anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and ginger. It's caffeine-free so you can drink it any time of day despite its name. Radiance tea has light caffeine from the white (green) tea but it's very blood sugar balancing. Drink this tea earlier in the day. 
  • Nourish: Focus on blood-sugar balancing foods (ditch the sugar and refined carbs - think complex carbs such as chickpeas, quinoa, millet, sweet potato) to help manage carb cravings and emotional ups and downs. Be sure to always include good quality protein and healthy fat to balance out the carbs and satisfy your belly. If you're craving something sweet and comforting, try these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies or this Golden Smoothie or this Chickpea Coconut Curry.
  • Lifestyle: Since your heart rate and body temperature increase during this time, you may feel tired, overheated, or get winded more quickly than at other times of the month. Just be aware of it and adjust as needed. 
  • Skincare: Make sure you wash your face at least once per day to remove any excess oil and all makeup before bed. This is the time of the month where you may feel that you want to wash your face twice daily. Using a nourishing face wash like Fresh Face which is packed with anti-inflammatory comfrey root which can calm any irritation or redness. 

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Day 17-24 menstruating woman

Day 17-24: Your period is just around the corner!

What to do:

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: If you get bloated before your period or your breasts get tender because you're retaining water you need to drink more water and eat more hydrating foods. I know it feels counter-intuitive but then your body will hold onto LESS water when you drink water. Drink 2-3L (8 cups) water or caffeine-free herbal teas per day. Avoid coffee and any caffeinated beverages during this time. 
  • Nourish: This is the time when cravings can be the worst they are of the whole month and your appetite increases. Make sure you don't restrict or deprive yourself as it will only backfire. Instead, choose foods that are comforting and fulfilling. Healthy comfort foods can take the edge off cravings and nourish your body. Bake some banana bread, make a delicious bowl of pasta or eat some chocolate avocado pudding
  • Lifestyle: Continue to exercise but not high intensity. The key is to listen to your body. Powerwalking, yoga, or low-intensity cardio may be your best choice. 
  • Skincare: Be gentle with your skincare routine and adjust according to how oily or dry it is. Our skincare bundle can be adjusted to your needs. If your skin feels excessively oily, you can water down the Hella Hydrating serum with Magical Mist or a few drops of water. 

I hope this information empowers you to realize you have a lot more control over your body and your ability to influence your hormones positively. 

Here are a few more posts that will help if you find your hormones are unbalanced:

If you have no idea what phase of your cycle you are in (other than when you get your period), you can use a period tracking app. I don't personally use one, I just use my calendar so if you have a recommendation on an app you love, please share below!

Any questions, feel free to post below.

Joy xo

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