Question Peri.d 1: How does your period affect your skin?
If you've ever woken up and noticed that your skin looks different at different times of the month and throughout your life, this can be connected but not exclusively so, to many things like fluctuating hormones, physical and mental stress, diet, sleep, sexual activity, birth control, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), other types of medications, exercise or lack thereof, sunlight exposure and lots more.
When it comes to hormone fluctuations, major reproductive hormones estrogens, testosterone and progesterone, are all at their lowest levels at the start of a woman's menses (period). As they slowly rise through the first and second week during the follicular phase leading up to ovulation and then either pregnancy or the luteal phase, estrogen begins to rise, dominating the beginning phase of the monthly cycle. This hormonal fluctuation -rising estrogen- can have significant effects on the skin.
One of the hallmarks of the second week of the follicular phase when estrogen is at it's highest level of the month, is what I like to call a 'good face day'!
We've all been there, right?! A good face day is when you wake up with glowing skin, your features look symmetrical- especially that lazy left eye-, and nary a blemish in sight, can ruin your countenance or mood!
Estradiol or E2 is the primary form of estrogen in the body during the reproductive years that we can thank for 'good face days'. It's sisters E1 (estrone) is the main menopause estrogen type and Estriol (E3), the primary pregnancy estrogen are 'weaker' estrogens, associated with different times in a woman's life. An estrogen for all seasons, quoi?
So how does Estrogen (E2), our strongest form of estrogen, affect the skin during our reproductive years and monthly cycle and how does the start of it's drop and more dramatic drop in the second half of the monthly cycle, in perimenopause and finally menopause, affect the skin?
Well, E2 stimulates the production of Hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin in the skin, which respectively give the skin plumpness and moisture from within, as well as tensile strength or firmness and elasticity.
When estrogen (E2) plummets, dropping dramatically in the luteal phase or second half of a woman's cycle, it is on route to it's lowest level in the menstrual phase. This can show up in the skin, especially as other reproductive hormones like progesterone and testosterone take over.
These hormones have other effects I'll discuss in other posts but for now, suffice it to say that low levels of estrogen (E2) during the monthly cycle and during menopause, can make skin feel less plump and hydrated, dull and lackluster looking and less firm, elastic and strong.
What can you do to support you skin and care for it with Kavana during the second half of your monthly cycle and in menopause, when E2 is low?
A holistic approach involves many things, from getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating whole foods and getting the right kind and amount of exercise but it can also include non-toxic, hormone safe, plant powered skincare, like Kavana Skincare.
My top recommendations would be to use moisturizing products for face and body that enhance moisture and glow like Kavana's Reviving Rose Glow Mist, Niaouli Mattifying Mist, Phyto-5 Face Cream and Phyto-5 Face Nectars (Cocoa + Immortelle, Restorative Rose and/ Nourishing Niaouli)and Phyto-5 Afterglow Body Oil and Body Cream or Phyto-5 Homebody Butter during the day and before bed, to refresh, revive and restore skin.
These variously contain humectants like Vegetable glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5) and Allantoin that can help skin look plump and dewy, silk peptides that can help skin feel softer to the touch, lightweight, linoleic fatty acid rich oils like Sunflower Seed, Rice Bran oil macerated with Kavana's 5-plant (Phyto-5) blend of calendula, comfrey, echinacea, plantain and rosehip seed oil, as well as Sugar Cane Squalane, Evening Primrose seed oil and others, that can help quell acne and seal moisture in the skin to prevent TWEL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss).
Blends of different essential oils that can have different effects on the parasympathetic nervous system and just smell delicious overall, add to the elevated sensorial experience.
Discover them all right here at Kavanaskincare.com so you can 'wake up like this' and try 'skin cycling' or adjusting your skincare to your cycle, throughout the month.
Be sure to tune into Kavana's weekly "Question Peri.d" series of 2 minute long episodes, over on Instagram @kavanaskincare. I talk all things period, skin and skincare and so much more, every week. Please send me your questions and I'll research them and do my best to answer.
See you here...and there!