Did you know that May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day? To honor this day, we’re covering every girl’s favorite topic (sarcasm) — the period.
If there’s ever a time when a girl could use extra pampering, it’s that time of the month. No matter what you call it — Aunt Flo, the special time or the girl flu — those hormonal changes and cramps leave us sorely in need of some TLC. And while you might want to hide under the covers until the dreaded five days are up, that’s not always practical. So here’s the next best thing: expert self-care beauty hacks to help you survive the crimson wave gracefully.
Skincare During Your Period
Those darn fluctuating hormones during the menstrual cycle can wreak havoc on the skin. A week or so before your period, you may notice acne appearing, although this usually improves once the period starts. But just as that acne is clearing up, skin may become more oily, dull or lackluster in appearance.
Try a purifying mask
Purifying face masks can work wonders on oily skin. Try a clay face mask to help remove excess oil and freshen up your complexion.
Go easy on the makeup
If possible, go lighter on the makeup during your period. Makeup, especially foundation and concealer, blocks pores — and that’s problematic for oily skin. It’s best to wear no makeup and give your skin a chance to breathe, free and clear.
If going without foundation isn’t an option, consider a lightweight, noncomedogenic product. Or opt for a BB cream . And don’t forget to wash all your makeup off before you go to sleep!
Treat yourself to a mini facial
A mini facial can perk up your mood and keep your skin clear. You can pop over to the salon, but this basic at-home facial from Live About is a good option also.
Skin becomes more sensitive before and during your period. This is because the shedding of the uterine lining releases prostaglandins, which influence hormones, inflammation and also the oil production. More sensitive skin can react unpredictably to anything harsh, like a scrub. That’s why it’s best to avoid grainy cleansers and exfoliates during this time.
Nourish with a facial oil
Make your skin feel extra nourished with a botanical-based
facial oil. Organic facial oils are great for plumping up tired skin.
Get enough sleep (or learn how to fake it)
Sleep is important all the time, but can be especially helpful when Aunt Flo is in town. But of course, when you need it most, your schedule may not allow for more sleep. Or maybe you have the time, but you have trouble sleeping when you’re on your period.
If you can’t get any extra shut-eye, try these tips to fake it:
Just like your skin, hair can also become oily just before and at the start of the period. Again, hormonal changes are the culprit here, and they can put your body’s oil production into overdrive.
Use dry shampoo
While it can be tempting to wash your hair more often during this time, doing so will strip the hair of its natural oils. That’ll only make your hair strands dry and may even cause your roots to get oilier. Instead, invest in a decent dry shampoo to absorb the excess oil and keep your hair looking clean and healthy.
Avoid tight ponytails
Your scalp will be more sensitive during your period, so avoid tugging and pulling your hair into submission. Brush your locks gently and opt for hairstyles that go easy on your scalp. That means no harsh ponytails or tight plaits.
Use a moisturizing shampoo
When you do wash your hair, use a moisturizing shampoo that offers deep cleansing to remove excess oil, without stripping the hair strands. Use only lukewarm water to wet and rinse hair, as it’s more gentle than hot or cold water.
Makeup During Your Period
Use multitasking makeup
If the whole makeup routine feels like too much, invest in some multipurpose products. Things like NARS Multiple or the NYX Wonder Stick can do the job of highlighter, blush and shadow in one easy application. That’ll streamline your routine without leaving you feeling any less polished.
Wear a bold lip
A bright, bold lipstick will brighten up your face and divert attention away from blotchy, oily skin or even under-eye bags. The other benefit of a bold lip color is that it pretty much stands alone. You won’t need or want a smokey eye, for example, when your lips are the star of the show.
Katy writes for TOTM, a company that specialises in period care that is kind to the body and the environment. TOTM is passionate about changing the way we think about, talk about and care about our periods.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm Catherine, your Budget Fashionista style editor. I'm a bargain shopper at heart, as I love nice things but hate paying for them! I'm also a personal finance writer who's been featured on USA Today and MSN Money.