Sunday Edit: A Conversation about skin and hormones
Many women experience changes in their skin in correlation with the hormonal fluctuations of their menstrual cycle. It's possible that a single skincare routine throughout the month may not yield the desired results. Listen to your skin and discover what it’s telling you; what does it need more or less of? We spoke with our skincare expert, Camilla Schjelderup, about which products and ingredients you should reach for depending on the condition of your skin and where you are in your cycle.
Psst... Why do we divide our cycle into inner seasons, such as inner spring, summer, autumn, and winter? Learn more about yourself and your cycle in our interview with author Laila Tórsheim here.
Inner Spring and Summer
During the time after menstruation and leading up to and during ovulation, many will experience their skin having more radiance and being more nourished. It's during this phase that the skin is more receptive to moisture absorption and generally appears full of life.
Why does the skin often have more glow in the first phase of the cycle?
"In this period, a woman's eggs mature, and the body prepares for ovulation. Estrogen levels steadily rise, increasing collagen production, and thereby giving the skin an enhanced glow. It's a wonderful time in many ways."
Which products are particularly suitable during this phase?
"For many, the skin is at its best during this phase, similar to the period just after a vacation. Therefore, use your usual favorite products and allow yourself to have a simpler routine. This is the period where you can get by with fewer products. Use multifunctional products like Sun Face Cream, which is so nourishing that it can replace your day cream during the spring and summer months; chamomile soothes and calms the skin in the sun, cucumber extract tightens and moisturizes the skin, while Vitamin E and organic oils nourish for a soft, well-hydrated complexion."
How can one maintain the glow throughout the rest of the cycle?
"Always remember to take the time to cleanse the skin thoroughly with gentle but effective products. It's through your cleansing routine that you lay the foundation for a healthy, balanced skin, regardless of the starting point. Assess how your skin feels before applying your usual serum, oil, and moisturizer. How does it feel? Dry, dull, oily? These questions provide a clue about how your skin is doing and what it may need more or less of."
During the time after ovulation and leading up to menstruation, many women experience their skin becoming oilier and perhaps more prone to blemishes.
Why does the skin often appear more blemish-prone or oily before menstruation?
"During this period, the body produces less estrogen and increases progesterone production. For some, this can lead to increased sebum production and result in a pimple that shows up at the most inconvenient time. Try not to pick at your skin to minimize irritation; picking can create more irritation and increase the chance of spreading bacteria on the skin. If you have dry skin, this oilier period can actually be a positive change as the increased sebum production brings more balance to the dry skin."
How can one best maintain skin balance during this period?
"A good and gentle cleanser, a mist that cleanses and tones the skin, and a lightweight moisturizing cream form a solid foundation for skin that experiences unrest. Gentle Cleansing Foam contains ingredients like echinacea and witch hazel, which cleanse and counteract impurities. Organic chamomile soothes the skin, while açai and wheat protein strengthen and protects the skin. Follow up with Açai Facial Mist; active drops with echinacea and witch hazel that have gentle cleansing properties, prevent blemishes, and tone the skin. Despite the tendency for the skin to become oily and blemish-prone, moisture is still important. Moisture Delight is filled with natural extracts and oils, such as cucumber extract, which soothes and moisturizes the skin. Elderflower extract calms, while chia and argan oils restore the skin's natural elasticity and leave it silky smooth."
What type of cleanser and/or exfoliation do you recommend when the skin is acting up?
"Gentle Cleansing Foam is ideal for troubled skin. Additionally, Time To Glow Peeling Mask is a good companion when the skin needs exfoliation and surface renewal. The mask tightens pores, which is precisely what the skin needs when there is an overproduction of sebum. The gentle fruit acids exfoliate the skin and stimulate cell renewal, helping you achieve clear and vibrant skin with a smoother texture."
When women have their menstruation, many will experience their skin as duller, dry, and sensitive.
Why does the skin tend to become more easily irritated, dry, and sensitive during menstruation?
"Both estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest, which can result in less vibrant and glowing skin. At the same time, there is less oil production, which can give a more matte appearance to the skin."
Which products are good for soothing sensitive and irritated skin?
"Gentle cleansers like Cleansing Milk and Nourishing Cleansing Oil are suitable for the skin during this phase. Take your time to massage the products into the skin to increase blood circulation and restore the skin's radiance and moisture balance. Açai Facial Oil is always the go-to oil when the skin needs maximum glow and moisturization. Few products restore the skin's balance like this oil; just a small drop is enough to deeply nourish your skin."