Why Does My Period Cause Acne?

Do you struggle with acne right before your period? Blemishes can appear at any time, but we seem to be the most prone to them in the days before we’re expected to get our period! You’ll be happy to know that it’s not your imagination. You’re not alone! Increased acne before periods is a very real thing, but you can combat it and take better care of yourself with the knowledge and tips we’re about to share with you. 

What Is Premenstrual Acne?

If you get periods and you’re between the ages 20 and 40, chances are good that you experience something called premenstrual acne. Also known as hormonal acne, it affects up to 80% of those who have monthly periods! These breakouts aren’t your run-of-the-mill acne and tend to look and act differently from ordinary blemishes. You can spot the difference by looking for some key characteristics:

  •     Painful cysts that are tender to the touch

  •     Pimples that are inflamed, red and don’t have white tops

  •     Acne occurring along the chin, cheeks and jawline

Hormonal breakouts can manifest differently for each person. Some report having clear skin during the entire month, then experience breakouts a few days to a week before getting their periods. Others have blemishes the entire month, only to find them worsening right before their period. Some individuals continue to have this type of acne during periods.

The Science Behind Period Breakouts

We’ve mentioned that hormones are the main cause of period breakouts. You already know that they work together to regulate the monthly cycle, controlling how the body prepares for ovulation, possible fertilization and menstruation. Yet a quick review of these behind-the-scenes workings can help illustrate what triggers your breakouts!

The three major hormones involved are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Your body produces a consistent level of testosterone during the month: low enough to maintain reproductive tissues and bone mass but not high enough to disrupt your body’s normal functions. Estrogen levels are highest around the time you ovulate but dip afterward, coinciding with an increase in progesterone.

When there’s more progesterone in your body, it can cause your skin to swell up and stay oily. It also compresses the pores, effectively squeezing them shut. Meanwhile, testosterone triggers the sebaceous glands and prompts them to produce oil. With relative estrogen levels lower, this combination leads to clogged pores and more acne!

Skin Care Solutions for Hormonal Acne

Your skin care routine can play a huge role in minimizing hormonal acne. Natural products achieve both goals without introducing irritants that can inflame or dry out your skin. Choosing an all natural face wash and an acne treatment with botanical ingredients is a great first step! Plant-based components like chamomile, lavender, grapefruit extract and cumin seeds contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and nourishing compounds that heal skin, nourish cells, fight redness and even target the signs of aging at their sources. 

Natural Self-Care Is Essential

So, now that you know periods can cause acne, does having your period make you breakout? For many, the answer to this question is a solid “yes,” which is nothing to be ashamed of! We’re human after all. The key to minimizing these breakouts is cleansing and treating skin while maintaining its balance of healthy oils and moisture. The secret for the best results? Focus on a period acne treatment regimen with natural skin care products such as organic blemish treatment and daily cleansers. Oh, and don’t forget to stay hydrated and get those hours of sleep in! It’s never too late to join this natural self-care party.