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Diana T. Seo(Licensed Aesthetician)answered(4/2/2013)Menstrual acne is fairly common these days since our skin's chemistry changes during and after a period.The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, and each of these days is different hormonally. “In the first half of a woman’s menstrual cycle, the predominant hormone is estrogen; in the second half, the main hormone is progesterone,” explains ob-gyn Elizabeth Gutrecht Lyster, MD. Lyster is part of Holtorf Medical Group in Orange County, Calif. “Then levels of both hormones fall to their lowest levels of the month as bleeding approaches,” she says. (Webmd.com, April 2, 2013) The increased progesterone levels usually increase one's water retention, leading to the swelling of the skin and changes to the pore size trapping oil and dirt on the surface. These factors usually lead to the breakout after a period.
Switching up your skin care to include more powerful zit-zapping ingredients such as lactic and salycylic acids can help head off a breakout. Start about three days before your period hits, as that's when hormones begin to change, and continue through the week.