As if cramps, bloating, and mood swings aren’t enough, monthly periods come with one unwelcome guest … acne.
Is this normal? Or are you just “lucky?"
Period acne is a flare-up of blemishes that coincides with menstruation. It's very common. In fact, a study by the Archives of Dermatology reveal that 63% of women prone to acne experience these flares. It strikes 7 to 10 days before a period and settles down as bleeding begins.
Is it possible to go through a menstrual cycle without the flare-ups? Better yet, how do you get rid of period acne?
We All Just Want to Know How to Get Rid of Period Acne
Hormonal shifts are the guilty culprits behind period flare-ups. Mid-cycle, the rise in progesterone stimulates sebum production. Sebum is the oily, thick substance that lubricates the skin. Produce too much and you can expect your skin to swell and your pores to compress shut, creating acne.
Higher testosterone levels during menstruation also activate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum. While sebum produces a healthy glow for some women, in others it can create a persistent oil slick. The oil itself feeds bacteria, causing inflammation and breakouts.
Not a very good picture, is it?
Unfortunately, you can’t change how your body works. The relationship between your hormones and acne is perpetual. BUT there are effective ways we can lessen the severity of these breakouts or even prevent period acne before it happens!
10 Ways to Get Rid of Period Acne
Period acne isn’t just a matter of sanitation and hygiene because it really is an internal effect. Nonetheless, its crucial to take special care of your skin especially during those days so things don’t worsen. There are a plethora of ways to get rid of period acne from skincare methods to medication.
Here are some of them.
1. Use more acne-preventative products leading up to your period
How to get rid of period acne? Maintain a regular skin care routine. Cleanse, tone, moisturize. The key is consistency. With proper use of the right products for your skin type, you can keep flare-ups at bay.
2. Try birth control
How to get rid of period acne? Acne that is closely related to your menstrual period may need hormonal intervention. In such case, see an ob-gyn or an endocrinologist. They will most likely prescribe birth control pills.
Birth control pills work by increasing a certain type of protein known as SHBG or sex-hormone binding globulin in the blood. SHBG acts like a sponge. It soaks up the free testosterone in the bloodstream. Less testosterone, less acne.
Birth control pills also work by slowing down oil production.
It may take a while to see the changes (around four months). But your period acne will definitely subside as your body adjusts.
3. Wash your sheets, cell phone screen, etc. to decrease the chance of you getting your regular period acne
How to get rid of period acne? Proper hygiene is our cardinal rule for all things acne! As sebum production revs up, your skin is more likely to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Prevent bacteria from laying territory over your face by washing your sheets regularly and cleaning your cellphone screen with alcohol.
Remember how mom strictly enforced handwashing? This advice is real! The bacteria you get from handling phones, door knobs, pens, and bannisters are tremendous. The simple habit of washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap and water prevents these harmful bacteria from settling down.
4. Eat more fruits and veggies leading up to and during your period
How to get rid of period acne? Loading up on veggies has been known to help with menstrual cramps. A diet full of fiber can also keep your digestive tract running smoothly. But what can fruits and veggies do for period acne? Aside from reducing bloat, the nutrients and hydration you get from fibrous foods help keep your skin clear.
5. Cleanse more during your period
How to get rid of period acne? Your hormones like throwing parties during your period. While some breakouts may wane during bleeding, some of us aren’t as lucky. If this is the case for you, up the ante when it comes to your skin care regimen. Have your facial wash handy. Consider using a liquid exfoliator to prevent clogged pores.
6. Drink more water during your period!
How to get rid of period acne? We know that proper hydration is crucial for our health. 60% of our body is made up of water. Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize the impact hydration has on our periods – from regularity, to cramps, weight management, and skin condition.
Estrogen and progesterone, the hormones responsible for menstrual cycles, influences your body’s hydration levels on those days leading up to your period. These fluctuations, together with blood loss during menstruation wrecks havoc on your water levels. To stabilize hydration, a glass or two can make a huge difference. Not only does it keep headaches and fatigue at bay, it also keeps your skin supple and clear.
7. Eat less dairy and sugar during your period
We get it. Who doesn’t want a mouthwatering piece of salted caramel cake or chocolate milkshake when you’re at your wits’ end dealing with menstrual cramps and period acne?!
Before you reach out for dairy and sugar, know that some of these foods can make you feel good at the moment, but can make you feel worse later on!
Blood sugar levels are volatile during your menstruation. Consume more sugar and your blood sugar levels radically rise and drop.
Dairy, on the other hand, worsens bloating and cramping. Milk, cheese, and (sorry, ladies) ice cream contain arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid which can increase inflammation.
Craving something sweet? Stick to natural sugars found in fruits. And do hold off on the dairy, at least till your menstruation is done.
8. Use acne-fighting face masks during your period
How to get rid of period acne? Bring out the masks!
Facial masks are ideal skin care treatments because they work really fast! Celebrities swear by face masks because of the multitasking benefits – it cleanses, and hydrates, all while catching up on R & R. Some masks are even more effective if left overnight. Regular use has yielded positive results. Our take? It’s the perfect anti-period acne product – an effective skin treatment while you relax!
9. Use spot treatment religiously—even on bumps that aren’t quite pimples yet!
How to get rid of period acne? Anti-acne spot treatments help heal individual pimples. Unlike other types of anti-acne products, spot treatments are dabbed only on blemishes rather than on the entire face. More often than not, period acne makes its appearance even before they are visible to the naked eye. You’d know they’re there because of the pain. When this happens, an over-the-counter topical cream works great for surface level pimples.
Effective spot treatments contain benzoyl peroxide which helps reduce inflammation and makes pores a hostile environment for acne-causing bacteria.
10. Use products with salicylic acid
How to get rid of period acne? Salicylic acid is great zit buster! It dries up pustules (pimples with white heads) by penetrating the follicle to get rid of trapped bacteria. Its anti-inflammatory properties ensure that bumps appear less noticeable.
Our Favorite Skincare Products that Fight Period Acne
Penny and Pine’s clay-based mask is heaven sent for oily skin types, as well as those with blemish-prone skin. The zinc and sulfur combination repairs the skin’s natural barrier while effectively unclogging pores.
This exfoliating toner by Penny & Pine is easy to use! Unlike granular or manual exfoliators (such as scrubs), this product renews skin surface with a swipe of a cotton pad. The result is a clearer and tighter-looking complexion… sans the downtime! Perfect for oily or blemish-prone skin
Don’t you just wish for a wand that could erase pimples and blemishes at a whim?
Well, someone’s come up with that in the form of a blemish stick! Penny and Pine’s on-the-go blemish stick is perfect for problem skin. Keep it in your purse for that quickie anti-acne treatment. The secret of this product lies in the combination of glycolic acid, salicylic acid, menthol, and witch hazel. It relieves pain as well as inflammation. Simply dab on red spots any time.
This overnight blemish relief treatment by Penny and Pine literally reduces swelling and dries out pimples overnight! It’s an effective quick (especially if you’ve got a big day). Perfect for oily, acne-prone and combination skin.
This brightening serum by Penny and Pine works so fast, results are visible with just one use. It contains Omega fatty acids, proteins, and antioxidants that don’t just reduces redness, it also fights blemishes and rejuvenates the skin.
Penny and Pine has got you covered when it comes to period acne! Got some great tips? We’d love to hear from you! Do comment in the section below.