We all know that our periods can make us break out more – in fact, that’s one of the most common complaints about dealing with our monthly *gift,* if you will. But even though the biggest PMS woes are acne, cramps, bloating, headaches, and mood swings, that doesn’t mean that’s all we deal with. Our periods do so many things to our bodies that we probably don’t even realize are happening. That goes for our skin as well – our period does more to our skin than just make it break out.
Thanks to an influx of hormones, our menstrual cycle affects our entire bodies. When we experience things that are happening because of where we are in our cycle, we most likely don’t even know that that’s the reason why. We should know what’s going on in our own bodies though! After a while, it becomes easy to detect a pattern – I know that, personally, a few days before I get my period, I become so irritable that it’s barely safe for me to leave my bedroom – but there are still some things we either never learned about or just don’t think about. Here are eight weird things your period does to your skin, as examples:
It Makes Your Pores LargerOkay so your period might not actually make your pores larger, but your cycle definitely makes them seem larger. About a week before you get your period, your pores get clogged with sebum, thanks to an increase in progesterone and testosterone. This can make them seem and look larger. Don't reach for a pore strip, though - a dermatologist talking to Women's Health recommends using a cleanser with salicylic acid to soothe them. Source: iStock
It Makes Skin Blotchy and PuffyOn the first day of your period, your hormones are pretty low. This, according to Total Beauty, means there are "chemicals called prostaglandins that cause the run-down feeling by increasing inflammation." These prostaglandins make skin feel puffy and blotchy, so no, you're not imagining it. Source: iStock
Your Skin Gets More OilyDo you ever feel like your face becomes a shiny oil slick a few days before your period? You're not alone. This is true, especially if you're prone to acne all the time. The week before you get your period, your body produces more androgens, which lead to an increase in oil production. This is one of the things that makes your pores appear larger, and it also makes your skin look shinier and feel and look more oily. Source: iStock
Your Skin Gets More Sensitive To SunThose same hormones that make your skin oily and shiny also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. This is why you should be extra careful when staying in the sun a few days before and after your period. Source: iStock
It Makes Your Skin More DryYour face might be oily to the touch a few days before your period, but when you actually start bleeding down there, you'll probably notice a swift change. During your period, your estrogen levels are low, and this can cause skin to get dry and flakey. Yes, it's true, ladies: we get the best of both of worlds in a short period of time. Source: iStock
It Makes You More Sensitive To PainHere's proof that your period makes you feel pain everywhere - it even makes your skin more sensitive to pain. As prostaglandin hormones release, it makes your skin more tender and sensitive. You might not notice that if you just touch your skin, but you will if you do something more, like waxing. In fact, waxers recommend not coming in a few days before your period because it can hurt so much more. Source: iStock
You Get AcneAnd yes, of course, it's true: you get a lot more acne during your period than any other time (usually). The increased oil production that makes your pores seem larger and makes your skin more oily also contributes to clogged up pores, which lead to acne. It's tempting to pop them, but a doctor speaking to Women's Health says you shouldn't: "Whatever you do, don't squeeze those pimples, as the process can cause permanent damage, leaving marks and also promoting bacterial infection." Source: iStock
Your Skin Looks Its Best A Few Days AfterHere's the good news: after all of the bad things that happen to your skin for a few weeks, your skin enjoys its best days a few days after your period. The week after your period is controlled by your production of estrogen, which synchronizes with progesterone to make your skin hydrated and smooth, and looking amazing. Enjoy it while you can, because the cycle repeats itself! Source: iStock
Do you experience these skin problems? What else happens to your skin during your period?