Should You Change Your Skincare Routine to Suit Your Cycle? The Answer is Yes.

There is no better feeling then when your skin is playing ball, but for me, this only lasts a few days a month and I can guarantee that by the time I really need it to… it doesn’t. But have you ever stopped to think about why this might happen? That it might not just be the skin gods out to get you?

If you look back at your skin over the last 4 weeks, you might start to spot a few differences (no pun intended). For me, a few days before my period, I always notice that my skin is slightly shinier and more congested – we can thank the excess sebum we produce for this. During, it is extra sensitive and after, it seems to have that ‘born again’ glow, like the calm after the storm. Does this sound familiar? Well maybe we should start tailoring our skincare routine throughout our cycle rather than continue with the ‘one size fits all’ methodology – I mean, it makes sense right?

Marked by experts from within Cult Beauty, Cyclical Skincare Routines is one of the biggest beauty trends to watch in 2019. It shines a spotlight on tailoring our morning and evening routines to our hormonal cycles, to keep things like breakouts and sensitivity in control. 

Our hormones influence almost ever single function of our body from affecting our weight, our sleep and our skin. Rebecca Booth, MD, board-certified obstetrician, gynaecologist and cofounder of VENeffect, says that “Each day of the menstrual cycle is a reflection of different levels of the ‘big three’ hormones: oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, Not only are we designed to have these levels fluctuate, but their relationship varies each day as well, influencing how we look and feel.”

Does it not make perfect sense? While our super hydrating moisturiser might be the perfect fix for calmer skin at the beginning of our cycle, it could be feeding spots and oiliness at other times. So we could all start to benefit by being a little smarter in our response.

“Getting to grips with what’s going on with your hormones every month can give you a head start on what to use on your skin to keep it looking youthful and clear,” says Charlotte Ferguson, psychotherapist, skin expert and founder of Disciple Skincare. Ahead, she explains exactly which ingredients to incorporate into your routine, and which ones it might be worth avoiding.

Weeks one and two

This starts from just after your period ends, when your skin is rebalancing itself as your oestrogen begins to increase.

What to look for;

Vitamin C – to boost and extend your glow. Best applied in the morning, this antioxidant protector will help to mop up all the environmental aggressors we are exposed to in the day. 

Vitamin A (or Retinol or Retinoids) – this will help to minimise acne, hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.

Week three

This week is all about prevention. Your skin will start to become more oily when your oestrogen drops and progesterone/testosterone surge leading to clogged and inflamed pores. 

What to look for;

Salicylic acid – This will reduce inflammation and remove excess oil by exfoliating deep inside your pores.

AHAs (Alpha hydroxy acids) – to help remove dead skin cells, which, along with excess oil, cause clogged pores. It is recommended to stick to one exfoliating product in this week though so either a mask, cleanser or leave on treatment otherwise your skin may feel irritated and dry. 

Week four

In the final week of your cycle (when you have your period) skin can become more sensitive so the best type of skincare to use is non-fragrances with simple ingredients. 

 What to look for;

Hydration – swap this in place of your acid cleanser to help with dryness but still stick with your retinol treatment to keep those breakouts at bay and minimise hyperpigmentation.