Should you base your skincare around your period?

Cyclical skincare is the new way to achieve glowing skin - here's how to harness a beauty arsenal that syncs with your hormones

Hair & Beauty

Hormones influence just about every function of our bodies, which explains why we sometimes want to gorge on chocolate, cry at TV adverts or sleep for what feels like an entire week. But they’re also the reason for that constellation of pimples that appear along your jawline - seemingly out of nowhere. As Rebecca Booth, MD, board-certified obstetrician, gynaecologist and co-founder of VENEffect, explains: ‘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.’

Your skin can change depending on what stage you’re at in your menstrual cycle - from greasy and acne-prone to dry and normal. That’s why it makes sense to tailor your routine alongside your period, rather than sticking with one universal cleanse, tone, moisturiser and treatment schedule.

Read on to find out how you can create your very own ‘skin cycle.’


day 1 to day 6

On the first day of your period, oestrogen is at its low point. Skin may appear clear however it can still be vulnerable to breakouts. With this in mind it’s important to cleanse effectively.

Use: Cleansing effectively is key. Skip a double cleanse as it can remove too much good bacteria from your skin. Instead, invest in the FOREO LUNA mini 2, £99, device which can remove 99.5 per cent of dirt. You may also want to cleanse with a glycolicbased toner as the anti-inflammatory properties will cut through excess oil to help slow down production. Try PETER THOMAS ROTH Glycolic Acid 8% Toner, £34, to reduce pores and shrink spots. Always follow on with a sunscreen to avoid sun damage.

Cyclical skincare stage 1


day 7 to day 14

Also known as the Venus week, during this phase there is a rise of estrogen from roughly day 7-14 which includes ovulation. Now is a good time to harness a hyaluronic-based serum. A highly potent hydrator, use it every morning to keep thirsty skin at bay.

Use: Apply a few pumps of THE ORDINARY HA 2% + B5, £4.99. Enriched with vitamin B5 to increase efficacy, this lightweight serum will leave skin softened and strengthened. If you’re using a retinol then it’s best to stop during this phase as it can make dryness worse, but you can resume the following week. If skin feels sensitive, keep MAVALA Vitalising Alpine Micro- Mist, £17.50, on hand and spritz over your face throughout the day.

Stage 2 cyclical skincare


day 15 to day 28

In the last stage of your cycle, blood circulation will increase thanks to climbing estrogen levels and your skin will start to regain its natural glow. During this progesterone dominant phase your skin can also absorb product ingredients much more effectively.

Use: Vitamin C is a great ingredient to incorporate into your routine around this time of the month when your skin is clearer and calmer, as it will help boost your natural radiance. DAYTOX Vitamin C Serum, £29, contains 10% vitamin C and a high concentration of active ingredients to rejuvenate the skin. If you prefer to use a cream, the award-winning SUPER FACIALIST Sleep & Reveal Night Cream, £16.99, gives a brighter complexion that’s instantly noticeable the following day.

Cyclical skincare stage 3

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