Beauty

This Calendar Explains When and Why You're Breaking Out

Your monthly guide to acne.
IMAGE Mark Jesalva

In case you don't already know it, our menstrual cycle has a huge impact on the condition of our skin. It's frustrating, but the good news is that someone's managed to figure out the pattern behind it all! According to the beauty gurus of Neal's Yard Remedies in their book Beauty Book, our skin follows a monthly cycle, which determines when it becomes drier or oilier than usual. The secret to great skin? Working with the cycle rather than against it.

Take day 1 to be the first day of your period and day 28 to be the day before your period begins.

DAY 1 to 4, DAY 22 to 28

Day 1-4 is considered to be part of the the most acne-prone stage. Your skin will likely be oilier than usual and the dark circles under your eyes may seem more pronounced. During this time, it's a good idea to eat more green veggies and exercise as these will help unclog pores. However, wash your face immediately after exercise to get rid of sweat and dirt. It's also a good idea to exfoliate more during this time (2-3 times a week) and to wear face masks to nourish your skin.

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DAY 5 to 10

Your period should be ending or might have already ended during this stage of the cycle. Your skin might be drier than normal at this time so remember to drink plenty of water moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Gentle exfoliation and Vitamin C are also great to help you take care of your skin!

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DAY 11 to 21

It's during this time of the month that your hormone levels have gone back down to normal, so enjoy the way your skin looks as it's usually glowing during this time. Blood circulation also increases so ingredients in your skin care are more easily absorbed. Try a nourishing face mask and remember to sleep well and keep stress levels so so that when it hits day 22, your face won't immediately break out.

What do you think of this skin calendar? Let's talk beauty!

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About the author
Ryanne Co
Fashion and Beauty Intern
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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