If you get hormonal acne on a monthly basis, it’s time we start talking about cycle syncing and your skincare. 

For most women, monthly breakouts are just another regular occurrence, along with bloating, cravings, and the works. Whether it’s one painful pimple on your chin or a whole batch of pimples, the first step to finding a root cause is to understand and work with your menstrual cycle, which is also called cycle syncing.


It took me 30 years to learn ANYTHING about my menstrual cycle and its inner workings, but when I did, it was mind blowing!


There are actually four phases in a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormones fluctuate depending on the phase.


If you pay attention to when you break out, you’ll probably notice that it happens in around the third week of the month, during the Luteal Phase, when progesterone makes skin swell, pores to get tight, and oil production increases.


The first step to stopping hormonal acne is to track your menstrual cycle. 

Download an app. There are so many free apps available to easily track your monthly cycle and all of its symptoms. Two of my favourites are FLO App and CLUE. Consistently track your symptoms for 2-3 months to start to see patterns.


Flo Living App for Cycle Syncing

Get to know the four phases of your menstrual cycle and start cycling syncing with small changes to your skincare routine, based on each phase.

Note: Days are an estimation, based on a 28 day cycle)

Menstruation (Days 1-6): Moisturize and Nourish 

Low estrogen and progesterone can make skin feel dry and look dull or tired. A rise in prostagladins hormone can cause skin to feel more sensitive and inflamed.

      • Avoid exfoliating and waxing
      • Focus on hydration
      • Rest
      • Use an anti-inflammatory raw honey mask to hydrate and calm any existing breakouts

Follicular Phase (Days 6-12): Maintain & Stimulate

Estrogen starts to rise, collagen levels boost, skin is thicker and more elastic creating a natural ‘glow’.

        • Use a vitamin C serum to prolong your skin’s glow
        • Now is the time to try new products since your skin is at its best
        • Exfoliate with lactic acid or fruit enzymes to keep pores free from build-up

Ovulation (Days 13-16): Prevention

Estrogen and testosterone rise, high levels of luteinising hormone cause an egg to be released.

      • Book a facial to deep clean pores before oil increases during Luteal Phase
      • Exfoliate with lactic acid or fruit enzymes to keep pores free from build-up

Luteal Phase (Days 17-28): Calm Inflammation & Control Oil 

Progesterone peaks which causes skin to swell and pores to tighten. An imbalance of testosterone can increase oil production, which gets trapped in tight pores, causing pimples to form.

        • Cleanse with a gentle foaming cleanser or oil cleanser
        • Use anti-inflammatory spot treatments like black cumin seed oil
        • Use niacinamide (B3) serum to balance oil production and reduce inflammation
        • Calm skin and breakouts with cooling clay masks

Cycle Syncing Skincare

Seek a practitioner, like naturopathic doctor, to further explore internal issues like hormonal imbalance.

Cycle syncing skincare throughout the month is an effective way to help counteract potential breakouts and side effects, but if there’s a true imbalance then that will need to be addresses to see a real change. Tracking your cycle is the first step to stop the cycle of hormonal acne and finally feel in control again!

For extra reading on cycle syncing and hormonal imbalance caused by the birth control pill, I recommend you check out the following resources: 

Cycle Syncing Skincare - period skincare