What's the link between skin, periods and hormones anyway? Here's the lowdown!
Guest blog written by Tailor Skincare
It feels like breakouts always occur at the most inconvenient times.
Ever wanted to know why your skin is sometimes a bit different around your period? It comes down to hormones, as well as some other factors including diet, stress and the environment.
How do hormones, diet, stress and the environment contribute?HORMONES
There’s a receptor on the sebaceous gland of the skin called the androgenic receptor. This receptor is activated by androgens*, a group of hormones released by the body.
*What are androgens?
Androgens are a group of sex hormones. They help start puberty and play a role in reproductive health and body development. The most well known is probably testosterone.
The activation of the receptor sends a message to the skin telling it to produce oil. This means the more androgens in your system, the more oil the skin is likely to produce. Androgens are released in high amounts during puberty and your period. This gives us the link between breakouts and hormones!
What we eat can also increase the amount of oil our skin produces, particularly dairy and refined sugars. Individuals with diets high in sugar and dairy products are likely to have increased levels of a protein called IGF-1. Increased levels of IGF-1 protein are associated with increased activation of the androgenic receptor and excess oil production by the skin, giving us a link between diet, oil production and breakouts. On the other hand, caffeinated drinks like coffee and many “energy drinks” as well as alcohol are very dehydrating to your system and can often result in inflammation.
When people are on their period, the change in hormones can cause cravings for sweet foods and high-carb foods. We’ve all experienced period cravings at some point! This means the increase in refined sugars and dairy products you eat could be linked to your skin’s oil production, and therefore breakouts.
On your period, you might be feeling a little more stressed than usual due to hormones, which may have an impact on your skin.
Stress also promotes inflammation by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inflammation combined with blocked pores, excess oil production and bacterial growth can lead to a follicle rupture and acne breakouts.
Lastly, environmental pollutants like cigarette smoke or car fumes produce free radicals which can promote inflammation and can cause the oil on your skin to oxidise. This oxidisation can create the perfect growing environment for acne causing bacteria.
So there you have it - diet, stress, hormones and the environment all play a role in the formation of breakouts, and these factors can be amplified during your period.
Tailor’s Top Recommendations for Acne-Prone skin
Tailor Polish plays the short-term game. The ingredients chosen in this multi-purpose product work to reduce breakouts and unclog pores. You can spot treat daily, scrub every other day and/or mask once per week with this deep cleansing, skin clearing, super hero.
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Norman, R. A., Shenefelt, P. D., & Rupani, R. N. (2014) Integrative Dermatology, Oxford University Press.