Moisturize well and apply sunscreen during PMS

I was looking at my face last Friday and noticed it was looking unusually dreadful. Before that, I had quite a healthy glow but somehow, that completely disappeared overnight. Initially, I thought it was due to some stress and late nights but it turned out, it was due to my PMS! I wasn’t aware as I don’t get the usual mood swings these days. And although I know breakouts are common during PMS, this is the first time I noticed a drastic change in my complexion. I looked so much older than usual! But funnily, my face is more or less back to normal again now.

Hormone changes affect skin cell membranes
Actually, I shouldn’t be so surprised because our skin is at its most vulnerable during the premenstrual phase due to the changing hormone levels. As a result, this increase sebaceous secretions and a higher skin bacteria count; hence our skin becomes more susceptible to spots and breakouts. In addition, it is also said that our skin becomes drier due to a breakdown of our skin cell membranes, which can cause higher moisture loss, and it is also at its most vulnerable to UV radiation! And for some women, their skin can get really sensitive.

Care for our skin during PMS
As such, it is important to drink lots of water, moisturize our skin well and use proper sun protection products during the PMS period. Hydrating your skin with a hydrating mask would be useful during the period. Ideally, you should rest as much too, in order to counteract whatever skin woes you may be suffering. According to the SkinGenesis essential guide to premenstrual skin, a low pH anti-inflammatory wash should be used to cleanse the skin as this will help to make the skin more acidic, reduce bacteria, strengthen the cell walls as well as helping to retain natural moisture. Plus, avoid facials and any harsh skin treatments during this period as our skin is more vulnerable to breakouts.  The best time is to go about two weeks after your menstruation, when your female hormone estrogen has increased. This is also the time when our skin looks the best because the increased estrogen helps maintain skin moisture by increasing acid mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid in the skin and possibly maintaining stratum corneum barrier function (source).

Come to think of it, I’ve never really thought of special care for my skin during PMS.  Besides caring for any acne breakout, I still continue with my usual skin care routine and I sometimes even head out for that facial.  I guess it’s time to rethink this!


  1. AtelierGal says:

    At first I thought moisturizers & sunscreen can help combat PMS ?

    I wish PMS period can be a holiday for us, ladies. Times like these that I want to hide at home T-T

  2. pf1123 says:

    There is a country I know with 1 day “physical leave” for women. That’s south korea.

  3. hazelnut says:

    well… i nvr thought of special care during PMS period too… thanks for enlightening!

  4. sesame says:

    I feel like that sometimes too.

  5. sesame says:

    It’s every month on top of their medical leave? Wow. South Korean women are so lucky!

  6. sesame says:

    Neither have I. I just continue as per normal. But now, I will pay more attention.

  7. pf1123 says:

    Yep. Not exactly sure if the no. of medical leave days is lesser than ours. But then its good that they can take “physical leave” as its legitimate.

  8. Sylvia says:

    Interesting. Never realised this so clearly. But come to think of it I did see on television that there is a very clear reason for this. 2 weeks after menstruation is when we ovulate and therefore we have to look our absolute best. It has actually been proven in research that we look more radiant and attractive when we are in our fertile stage of the month!

  9. Sherry says:

    my friend will not have PMS now as she is pregnant.

  10. KTee says:

    i read in some magazine years ago that we should use different face masks before and after PMS. i never use to pay attention to the change in my skin’s condition except the ‘hormonal breakout’during that time of the month, which is impossible to ignore. however, i agree that our skin is at its best during ovulation period because that’s when my husband would compliment me on my skin. ha!

  11. Yvette says:

    No wonder my skin looks like crap during PMS. Thanks for sharing the tips too!

  12. sesame says:

    Yes, to be on our best to attract the opposite sex! Haha…

  13. sesame says:

    Hope she’s enjoying it!

  14. sesame says:

    Different masks? Interesting. More hydrating ones during PMS and purifying type during other times?

  15. sesame says:

    You’re welcome!

  16. joy says:

    True!! my skin is very dry and like crap during PMS too especially when i’m having mood swings n i love to eat something sweet. intensive facial care is needed#k8SjZc9Dxk#k8SjZc9Dxk

  17. KTee says:

    cant remember.. but my skin needs more purification during pms. i usually follow up with a hydrating mask afer washing off the purifying mask. this combination seems to work well for my skin as it would look really clean with a nice glow and the breakout would be tamed considerably.

  18. karen says:

    everytime i break out that means my menses is coming! and i really dread it… argh!!!! then i’ll put on moisturising masks, anti acne mask, whitening mask etc etc etc.. and the same goes for my acne whitening creams and blemish creams…. TIRING!

  19. sesame says:

    Need to balance out the hormones too. Not being overly stressed about the skin might help it too cos stress can trigger the breakouts.

  20. sesame says:

    Something hydrating would do great. I need more hydrating masks!

  21. df says:

    pms used to be the worst for me when i was really sleep deprived and stress. I used to have terrible fatigue, suicidal thoughts, TERRIBLE dry, lifeless skin…ugh the works it was terrible. Things are not as bad now, especially my skin. I just react by increasing my omega 3,6,9 (i ingest the oil) and moisturizing more. I never thought about using a hydrating mask though..or a cleanser with low ph! very informative post.

  22. sesame says:

    Glad you managed to manage your PMS. It sounded really bad! I really feel that a change in diet and lifestyle can improve. Since my detox, I have very little PMS.

  23. Hayashi says:

    I experience the same. Spot darkens and more breakout. Struggle to maintain with using just my normal / routine skincare. What may u suggest?

  24. sesame says:

    This is a bit tricky. I’m using a cream to balance my hormones but I hesitate to recommend cos hormones are not the same for everyone and what works for me may not work for you. Such creams normally contain chasteberry extracts or wild yam to help regulate the hormones.

  25. Jojo says:

    My skin gets TERRIBLE before my period. My face and body get bloated, I get fluid-filled bags under my eyes, my skin is dry and breaks out, and I look so much older! Then after my period comes I look normal again! I’m glad to know I’m not alone and I’m going pay more attention to how I eat, sleep, and moisturize from now on.

  26. sesame says:

    Yeah, you’re not alone. I’ve recently come across a product that can possibly remedy this. It’s a supplement though. If you’re interested, stay tuned to my posts next week. ?

  27. Laura says:

    I am 42 and had been suffering with PMS and mood swings. The skin issues discussed above are also a part of my problem. I read a book titled “Hormone Harmony” by Dr. Alicia Stanton and that drove me to meet with a doctor in Austin, Texas to discuss bio-identical hormones. My life has COMPLETELY changed! My hormones were totally off balance! If any of you are suffering with pre-mature aging, mood swings, depression, skin issues… Read this book! There is a nationwide list of doctors that support this work. Most doctors want to put you on anti-depressants! I feel 200 %better! Good luck ladies! ❤️

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