This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network. All opinions are my own
That time of month, our monthly visitor, shark week,— whatever you call your period, it’s never convenient. As if the bloating and bleeding isn’t enough, we’re more prone to acne breakouts and sensitive skin during this time, as well… the most unwelcome cherry on top ever. For me, period acne is almost the worst part of it all since it outwardly shows how you feel inside: dull, irritated and icky.
Why does period acne happen?
Your skin goes through many changes throughout your menstrual cycle, which lasts about 28 days. According to dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, your estrogen is high during the first half of your cycle to help prepare for a new egg to mature and get your uterine lining ready for implantation. This is when your skin is looking its best.
During the second half of the cycle, progesterone rises which increases sebum production. As your skin and follicles swell, sebum and oil gets held in and creates a perfect environment for acne to start forming. This is the time to start using a face wash with salicylic acid to reduce oil on the skin, paired with a benzoyl-peroxide cream to kill bacteria, says Shainhouse.
Right before your period starts, both estrogen and progesterone levels plummet. This means that you don’t have enough balance for the testosterone in your body. Testosterone is the culprit for even more sebum production as well as increased inflammation. Voila, acne. Hormonal period acne is super stubborn to both prevent and manage, and for most people is just an inevitable evil to the natural cycle. Especially since I already have acne-prone skin, period acne hits hard for me. My skin almost never feels completely clear.
How can you treat problem acne on your period?
During my last period, I decided to take Shainhouse’s advice and use products that could target these hormonal and stubborn problem zits. I already have a pretty great skin care routine that I like for when things are calm, but adding just a couple key products from ZAPZYT during my period made a huge difference.
I started using the ZAPZYT Acne Wash Cleanser, which contains salicylic acid. It gets deep into the pores to unclog and clear blemishes, while also getting rid of excess oil. It’s balanced with aloe and chamomile which helps soothe irritated skin, as well as preventing a tight feeling after washing.
I paired the cleanser with the ZAPZYT Acne Treatment Gel, a maximum strength 10% benzoyl peroxide gel. This blemish spot treatment targets those pimples that won’t go away to reduce their appearance quickly.
Adding these two products to my skin care regimen made a huge difference— the redness and size of my acne breakout decreased overnight by about a third, and consistently shrunk over the week. Usually, my period acne sticks around for about a week after Aunt Flo leaves, so the rate it was clearing up was a huge relief. The acne breakout was way easier to cover with makeup, and didn’t hurt as much as stubborn acne usually does.
Now that my period’s ended, my skin is looking great. I still have a couple of small blemishes because I generally have acne-prone skin. Still, this is literally 80% clearer than before I used acne treatment products specifically for my time of month. Now I’m back to using my normal skin care routine that keeps my skin clear in the mean time, since ZAPZYT isn’t for treating consistent acne issues. It will instead be on standby until my next problem pimple pops up.
Even though period acne is incredibly inconvenient, having specific products you turn to when it’s super stubborn is your best shot at getting back to clear skin quickly. You can find ZAPZYT products at drugstores and supermarkets near you.