Whether you’re a novice with Mother Nature or you’ve had your period for 20 years, managing your skin, stomach and sanity during Aunt Flo’s monthly drop-in can be a challenge. With hormones buzzing all over the place, the resulting lack of balance can affect everything from your mood to your pores. If you want to outsmart your period and all its tricks, you need to know what your body is doing and why and – more importantly – how to fix it. That’s where we come in…
Know your skin
For some of us, it’s our skin that suffers most during our periods. With oestrogen levels all out of whack, oil production amps up and – BAM! – blemish after blemish pops up unwanted, and it’s bye-bye clear skin.
Prevent a T-zone takeover by making sure your pores are properly cleansed so that oil doesn’t build up and cause pimples. Pair a thorough cleanser like Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Wash with a purifying L’Oreal Pure Clay Purity Face Mask for a blemish-busting combo. Use the face wash daily to get rid of excess oils and dirt and the mask once a week, when you have some downtime for removing impurities from deep in your pores.
If a spot manages to sneak through, get yourself a targeting treatment like La Roche-Posay Effaclar A.I. Targeted Imperfection Corrector. With salicylic acid and niacinamide working together, a spot of this on affected areas morning and night will reduce the appearance of spots and prevent residual marks.
Know your skin
When the gripes strike, there’s nothing wrong with taking painkillers, but there are other ways you can curb them, so give these a go first.
Remember when your period pains meant you’d try to skip PE and your teacher wasn’t having any of it? That’s because exercising mellows out aches and pains. Don’t get us wrong – we’re not expecting you to do an hour of HIIT and heavy weight lifting, just a spot of gentle yoga or a chilled walk with a friend.
If you really can’t bear the thought of dragging yourself off the couch, heat is a miracle worker. Fix yourself a hot-water bottle, place it on your abdomen and let the soothing warmth work its magic.
Monitor your mood
It’s no secret that periods wreak havoc on our hormones, which can mess up our mood. Understanding and monitoring what happens and how we feel during those low, snappy or sad moments can help you make them better. We chatted to Lola Ross, a qualified nutritionist who’s been working with everyone at Moody Month – the app that’ll help you become an expert on your body and its swings and roundabouts during your period.
‘As a clinician working primarily with hormonally driven conditions,’ she says, ‘I see women who are still sadly unaware of the influence and significance of our hormones, and are totally unaware that genetics, environment, stress, diet and lifestyle can cause imbalance and impact our cycles.’
Moody Month allows you to log everything from low moods to libido and provides easy-to-read articles that are selected to suit your needs. You can also use the calendar to track your cycle and find out when your oestrogen and progesterone levels are at their peak.
For more info on the app, visit moodymonth.com
Beat the bloat
Period podge is never wanted, but does that stop it from making an appearance… nope! Whether you’ve gorged on yum-worthy goodies (#noregrets) or your hormones are causing a bit of premenstrual water retention, there are ways to beat the bloat.
Avoiding refined sugars and salty foods can help decrease water retention by helping your kidneys tick along properly. Try drinking Protein World The Slender Tea, which contains dandelion; its diuretic properties can help your body flush out excess water. The tea also contains peppermint, nettle leaf and green tea, all of which will help your digestion. Winner!