Question Peri.d 3: Why does skin become so oily during the Luteal Phase?
Many women deal with excess shine and acne breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, congested skin and more, during their monthly cycle. But what’s causing this?
Well, before we can answer, it’s important to know a couple of things about the skin. The skin, is our first line of defense to this outside world of pathogens and potential infection by viruses, bacteria and fungi that are constantly bombarding it. It has 2 main ways of keeping these bacterial and fungal baddies out.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT SKIN:
Skin's pH (potential hydrogen) level is a measure of its acidity or alkalinity. This protective acid mantle, as it's called, has a pH that is on the acidic side (4.7-6.0), which helps fend off the baddies like Streptococcus pyrogenes and Staphylococcus aureus, and helps upkeep the good bacteria and fungi that live on our skin. A good thing!
Aside from the pH and good bacteria, there’s another backup line of defense at play helping our skin out, and that’s our skin’s sebum- which is an oil-like substance, produced by a sebaceous gland that lies right next to our hair follicle- so at the root of each hair on our body.
Sebum, does 2 things:
- It helps keep us waterproof! so we don't get waterlogged when taking a bath or walking in the rain, sans k-way.
- Sebum also provides an immune boundary- it’s a strong anti-bacterial and antimicrobial substance. So sebum helps protect our skin from infection- from harmful baddies, getting into the hair follicle and into our skin.
Now that we know this, it's important to understand that testosterone, one of our three main reproductive, androgenic hormones, responsible for hair growth, oil/sebum production and lots more, can cause sebum prodction to spike during the luteal phase, to help protect the body from infection from the outside, in case of pregnancy. A good thing, thanks testosterone!
Quick facts about testosterone:
1- WHAT IS IT? It’s is one of the 3 main reproductive hormones that is involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle, along with estrogen and progesterone.
2- SHINE: When it comes to skin, Testosterone binds to the receptors on the sebaceous glands in skin that are found near the hair follicle, and more sebum is produced which can make skin look shiny.
3- ACNE: This sebum can combine with dead skin cells from within the pore causing a blockage and that can trap excess sebum being produced and trigger ‘period acne’ or PMS breakouts.
SKINCARE SOLUTIONS with KAVANA:
If you're not comfortable with the excess shine or want your skin to feel less congested, here's what you can do with Kavana.
Remember, it's all about balance! If skin is oilier than usual, remember it’s our body’s way of protecting us so we don’t want to dry skin out, within an inch of it’s life! Simple swaps that are gentle yet effective may look like:
1-Instead of using a harsh soap or drying face wipes that can increase the pH of the skin by 1.5-2 degrees, and also make it feel dry and tight by potentially reducing acidity, and increasing acne risk, try Kavana’s Calming Cleansing Milk, which only needs to be wiped off with a washable bamboo face cloth or opt for Kavana’s wash off Phyto-5 Purifying Cream Cleanser with 3 kinds of clays in it that suck excess oil and dirt out of your pores without making your skin feel tight or pulling.
2-Swap your Reviving Rose Glow Mist for the Niaouli Calm Mattifying Mist- the Tesla of face mists because it is a hybrid mist- simultaneously moisturizing and mattifying your skin. Perfect for when skin needs moisture sans the sweaty betty look!
3-If you’re feeling a little extra, try swapping out your Foaming Face Polish, for the Purifying Face Mask. You can safely use both in weeks 3 and 4 on rotation, but the mask has 3 kinds of clays in it, which will also help pull out pollution from your pores. Twice a week should do the trick for normal to combination skin and 3 times a week for oily to acne prone skin types.
You can find all Kavana products at Kavanaskincare.com