Wait—Why Do I Break Out Before My Period?
By Hannah Burnstein
POV: it’s an ordinary morning. You wake up, hop out of bed, get ready for the day… But when you look in the mirror, there’s a deep-seated, painful pimple making itself known on your chin. More likely than not, that’s your period entering the chat! But how can you make your skin and your body, like, not freak out every time you get your period? Read to the end for our answer to this question—it fights not only pre-period acne, but all manner of PMS symptoms, and it’s called MOOD FOOD.
The phases of your cycle, explained
It’s worth noting that the menstrual cycle is actually two coinciding cycles: one in your uterus and one in your ovaries. Within those two organs, there are hormones at play during each phase—you know, the chemicals that control our metabolism, mood, and reproductive system. For simplicity, consider estrogen and progesterone to be the main ~influencers~ of the menstrual cycle. During the first half of the menstrual cycle, estrogen is the dominant hormone. Then, progesterone takes center stage during the second half. That is the guy responsible for ramping up your body’s natural oil production, paving the way for clogged pores and breakouts during PMS. The fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone form the accompanying PMS symptoms—acne, mood swings, breast tenderness, et cetera—that we all know and
The beginning of your period also signals the start of the follicular phase, a time when the body turns its focus to the possibility of making (gasp!) a child. Hormones are chilling at low levels and you might notice you have clearer skin, more energy, and/or higher sex drive. Your ears just perked up, didn’t they? 😈 After about 14 days, the body ovulates and then enters the luteal phase, when it prepares for an entirely new cycle beginning with another period. The highlight—or lowlight, let’s be real—of the luteal phase are the PMS symptoms that accompany it. As hormones rise a few days before your period, your energy levels may fall and you might start to feel some good ol’ PMS symptoms coming on. The follicular and luteal phases mean that it’s important to acknowledge your cycle as a full month of uterine activity—not just the week you bleed. This means that everything you do leading up to your period—otherwise known as ~your lifestyle choices~—will impact the severity of your PMS symptoms each month.
What causes pre-period acne?
One deeply infuriating PMS symptom that you can bet a brand called ZitSticka is writing about is—*say it with us*—ACNE! And while attention to your lifestyle choices can alleviate pre-period acne to an extent, there’s a more dependable, direct, and drug-free way to do it. But more on MOOD FOOD later!
First: to explain the whole moody skin thing. Let’s welcome our friends, the fluctuating hormones, back to the stage! Like we mentioned earlier, during the middle of your cycle, a boost in progesterone stimulates the production of sebum (your body’s natural oils) which clogs pores. This, along with your very own highly individualized lifestyle factors, contributes to the ~cool~ phenomenon that is PMS acne. Essentially, your sebaceous glands become more active, and sebum can block hair follicles, which leads to breakouts. Is anyone surprised that Mother Nature didn’t make this easy for us? No? We thought so.
Period acne usually presents on the lower half of the face (chin, cheeks), jawline, and neck. It’s commonly the deep-set kind that doesn’t form a head, but instead, forms feelings of dread and unrest :/ Those are the pre-period feelings most of us are used to, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way! We have the hookup—more on that soon.
Common avenues for relief
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that we have some tried and true fixes for pre-period acne! For breakout-prone types especially, skincare becomes all the more important around the time of menstruation. If an angry pre-period zit shows up around the chin, jawline, or anywhere else, KILLA is a great way to knock it off its feet—overnight! Its microdarts are filled with derm-loved goodies like salicylic acid and niacinamide to soothe your zit stat. Additionally, PRESS REFRESH is great for when you want to exfoliate, but PMS hormones ratchet up your skin’s sensitivity. It’s effective enough to lift dead skin cells, but gentle enough to not irritate skin further.
Another remedy for period relief is to think of menstruation holistically. When we think about the menstrual cycle, all we think about is, well, menstruation. But we think the best way to care for yourself during your period is actually to care for yourself all month round. There are a lot of long-term lifestyle tools to alleviate PMS symptoms (a wholefood-rich diet, regular exercise, stress management or relaxation techniques). There’s also birth control and NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and Midol, but those who prefer to stay drug-free are out of luck. Until now!
A new innovation: MOOD FOOD
Aside from lifestyle choices or harsh drugs, there’s one more thing you can try to alleviate period woes: MOOD FOOD! It’s our gummy supplement that’s formulated to quell allll uncomfortable PMS symptoms. Period pimples? Check. Cramps? Check. Bloating? You betcha! That’s not even to mention the excessively oily skin, mood swings, and breast tenderness (MOOD FOOD takes care of those, too!). Our gummy contains a proven blend of plant extracts, adaptogens, and homeopathic herbs to give period-getters a drug-free way to manage their cycles.
Okay, but… Does it work? If MOOD FOOD’s time-tested ingredients could talk, they’d say, ‘Absolutely, ofc!’
- Evening primrose oil balances hormone levels and contains omega-6 fatty acids, which lessen inflammation and support hormones.
- Broccoli extract (DiM) regulates oil production, controls hormonal acne and supports healthy estrogen levels.
- Dong quai is an anti-inflammatory herb that relieves menstrual cramps and other PMS symptoms like bloating and muscle pain.
- Chasteberry relieves a wide variety of PMS symptoms like hormonal acne, mood swings, cramps, and breast tenderness.
- Reishi is a powerful adaptogen that helps to improve blood circulation, sleep quality, and problems related to hormonal disorders.
The path to better periods is paved with MOOD FOOD gummies! But not literally. We’ll just stick to eating them.
Want some of the best ways to be kind to yourself during that time of the month? Read more here!