Lusciously sensitive skins, Oh how we have rubbed and scrubbed and picked and prodded at you. You are doing your best for us, we know. You do so well in protecting us from the elements; in pushing out the toxins of this weird and wild world which find their way inside of us; in absorbing the essential vitamins of the Sun and the minerals of the Sea; in greeting the world with your uniquely perfect aesthetic of being. Speak to us. Be a vessel of the voices of the wise for us. Show us where to slow down, where to be soft, and how to walk in our worth.
Just as the inner workings of our bodies are different day to day and week to week, so too is the largest organ of our body ~ the skin. Fluctuations in hormone levels throughout the menstrual phase make a menstruating person's skin more sensitive, more receptive, or more durable on some days more than others. Here is a general, wonderful guide for how to care for your skin during each phase of your menstrual cycle ~
Days (approximately) 1- 6 :: MENSTRUATION Phase
This is Winter. All hormones are at their lowest (dropping off very quickly when bleeding begins), causing potential breakouts and leaving the skin tender, lackluster, and dry. Focus on soothing skincare practices for hydration such as creamy, nutrient rich cleansing that does not strip or exfoliate, light moisturizing (Alchemy is ideal for this), and calming masks.
A Moisturizing Mask Recipe ::
1/2 - 1 tsp of Manuka Honey with a 30+ UMF minimum (we love Activist’s 850+) + 1 dropper full of Alchemy + pinch of turmeric powder + pinch of calendula flower powder. Mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon in a small vessel // apply to face and neck for 30 mins // wash off with warm water and pat dry. Follow up with 5-7 drops of Alchemy for extra moisture.
Days 7 - 12 :: FOLLICULAR Phase
This is Winter going into Spring. Estrogen and FSH increase to prepare eggs for Ovulation, making the skin feel dry at the beginning of this phase, with moisture and color coming back into it as the days pass by. At this time, it’s best to focus on doffing off any extra dead skin cells to prepare fresh skin to receive new nutrients. This is the time to exfoliate, either do extractions on yourself, or schedule a facial to do so. This is also the time to do any hair removal.
An Exfoliation Recipe ::
2 Parts Almond Flour ~ 1 Part Organic Dry Milk Powder (or coconut milk powder) ~ 1/4 part dry orange peel ~ 1/4 part lavender flowers ~ 1/4 part sea salt (optional for a deeper exfoliation). Mix all ingredients together in a small mason jar for many uses // Scoop 1/2 tsp into palm of one hand, spritz it with rose water or just a few drops of water, and exfoliate lightly over damp skin for 60 seconds. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Days 13 - 24 :: OVULATION Phase / First 1/2 of LUTEAL Phase
This is Summer going into Autumn. Estrogen and progesterone are rising, as well as testosterone which rises and then quickly drops around the moment of ovulation. This particular hormone elixir is supporting glow and plump. Keep things super simple on these days, as the skin doesn’t need much to feel great. Also avoid doing extractions during beginning of the Luteal Phase, as skin is becoming more sensitive and slower to heal wounds. Hot tip from Alisa Vitti is to dry brush as a way to help the lymphatic system flush any excess estrogen.
A Dry Brushing Ritual ::
Before hopping in the shower or bath, take a few minutes to run a natural-bristle dry brush over your entire body, starting at the ankles and moving gently yet firmly in long strokes always towards the heart. Go over each area two or three times. On the belly, brush in a clockwise motion. After showering, apply an herbal body oil as needed to replenish moisture. (Fyi, dry brushing for the first time, or first the first time in a long time, can cause an itching sensation if you don’t oil up after showering, so just adjust to your personal needs).
Days 25 - 28 :: Second 1/2 of LUTEAL Phase
This is Autumn going into Winter. Progesterone is continuously rising until it drops just before bleeding. These are the days when skin takes the biggest beating with breakouts, congestion, and inflammation. These are ideal days to practice compassion with ourselves, sending gratitude and nourishment to the body for its mysterious workings which support the cycles of creation. Clay masks are great during this time to balance sebum production. If you don’t use a cleanser during other phases of the month, at least do during this phase. Do not have any extractions or hair removal during this phase. And avoid picking at your own skin! Just don’t touch it ~ the game of these days is to just let the skin be and breathe. This is when skin is thinnest with increased blood flow to capillaries, which means potential swelling. Wait for any facial appointments until after bleeding ends.
Gentle Circulation Cleansing ::
With your favorite gentle cleanser, make it a ritual of massaging your face both nightly and in the morning, infusing gratitude and love through every pore. It is of course helpful not to think too much into whatever is arising on the skin during this time, which means not obsessively looking at it or worrying about it. But still, the act of physical touch in areas which need extra love can go very far in both physically and energetically nurturing them back into equilibrium. Reiki your skin yourself each morning and night, maybe repeating the mantra below.
An Everyday Mantra for Skin Health ~
I love you, skin. Thank you for holding me. I am willing to release the patterns lodged within me that created the conditions that no longer serve me. I am worth healing. I am worth the time it takes to learn how to nourish myself best. I Am Beauty.
Today, and all days, may you remember your Beauty beyond just your physical form. Place this mantra on a mirror or somewhere you often look.
Much love ~
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