You can suffer through period cramps and power through the mood swings, but what really upsets you are the ginormous eruptions on your face each time your gal-pal “Flo” comes around!
Period pimples are a common PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptom and many of us get them month after month, which means that you also have to deal with acne scars. But what causes these pimples that only appear before your periods, and is there any way to prevent them?
How Your Period Messes With Your Acne
You follow a regular skin care routine that works perfectly for the rest of the month, but just before your period, your skin starts to break out and it seems like there is little that you can do about it. Before you start to wonder if this is somehow your fault-if it was that plate of samosas you sneaked or the one night you went out drinking with your girls..it isn’t!
Blame your hormones! Your hormones don’t just mess with your moods, they mess with your skin too.
Your levels of pogesterone increase briefly about a week before your period. Unfortunately, this hormone stimulates sebum production which then rises up through your skin pores and if the pore is blocked, you will get a pimple.
Testosterone levels are also tied to sebum creation and even though testosterone rises only slightly at this time, it is enough to compound the problem.
How To Stop Period Acne In Its Tracks
Period pimples are a manifestation of an internal problem and so there’s a limit to the effects of any external applications. This is not a free pass for you to just stop your regular pimple prevention skin care routine and also use a face wash that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid- these compounds help to unclog blocked pores and if you are lucky you won’t get a single period pimple.
A Retinol Cream Will Unblock Clogged Pores
Many women swear by Retinol or Tretinion creams for treating period acne and studies prove that they are among the most effective ways to unclog pores. But a word of caution, Retinol or Trentinion will make your skin sensitive to sunlight and will cause some amount of peeling, so use a good sunscreen and moisturizing lotion.
Alter Your Hormonal Levels With The Pill
Fight fire with fire! Since the problem is internal, one of the best ways to fight off period pimples is with The Pill. Birth control pills contain hormones that control your hormonal levels and so they can quash those nasty breakouts.
However, not all women enjoy better skin after going on the pill and for some women, birth control pills just make their acne worse.
Just as every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, so too are the causes and triggers for acne. Remedies and treatments for acne that work can also vary greatly, so it makes sense for you to try out a few to find what works best for you.