If you are a woman with a period there is hardly a chance you haven't experienced the pre-menses breakout.  It’s so common, and most of us do the exact opposite of what we should do meaning we squeeze, poke, pick, dry out, etc. Here is a little background on what is going on in your body and why the [almost predictable] breakout.  

The average woman's menstrual cycle is about 28 days and during this cycle hormones shift and change before and during menstruation.  Initially, the predominant hormone is estrogen for the first half of the cycle and then the second half is progesterone; and then both fall into their lowest levels during actual bleeding.  Congruently, testosterone stays a Steady Eddy the entire month. All of these hormonal shifts do all sorts of different things to our skin.  For instance, when progesterone rises, there is a rise in the production of sebum AND it also causes the skin to swell and pores to compress shut.  So essentially, your body creates more oil and then traps it below the surface. This sebum then creates a feeding ground for bacteria which is why we break out in a crater size cyst. We have the most sebaceous glands in our face and head- great.

I wish I could tell you there is a lot you can do here.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton since this is something caused internally but the best advice I can say is the following: stay consistent with your skincare regimen-wash thoroughly morning and night, get lots of rest, resist the urge for sugar, and drink water.  In addition, some ingredients like tea tree, retinoids, and alpha hydroxy acids can assist with combating the breakout once it pops up but the internal process happening in your body is almost unavoidable.  Many birth controls can help regulate hormones that could be creating breakouts but the long term effects of having a synthetic pill manage your body’s hormones is more than frightening.  Take with caution.

Written by Allyson Welch

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