Menstrual cycle and acne

Menstrual Cycle and Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Acne is usually associated with hormonal changes, and the menstrual cycle is one of the most significant factors that contribute to acne breakouts. In this article, we will discuss how the menstrual cycle affects acne and the various ways to manage acne during menstruation.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is a natural process that occurs in the female body every month. It is the process by which the lining of the uterus sheds, and bleeding occurs. The menstrual cycle has four phases – the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase, and menstruation.

The follicular phase occurs when the pituitary gland releases follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen. Estrogen thickens the uterus lining and prepares the body for ovulation. Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases an egg. The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts until the start of menstruation. During this phase, the ovary produces progesterone, which prepares the uterus for pregnancy. If no pregnancy occurs, the levels of progesterone and estrogen drop, and menstruation occurs.

The Link Between Menstrual Cycle and Acne

Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can trigger acne breakouts. The increase in estrogen during the follicular phase usually results in clear and healthy skin as it promotes collagen production, which helps to prevent acne. However, the rise in progesterone during the luteal phase can increase sebum production, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

The hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can also cause inflammation, which can exacerbate acne. Prostaglandin, a hormone that triggers menstruation, can also cause inflammation and acne. Additionally, during menstruation, the immune system is often weakened, making it easier for bacteria to infect the skin and exacerbate acne.

Managing Acne During Menstruation

Managing acne during menstruation can be done in several ways. Here are some tips:

1. Stick to a regular skincare routine – A proper skincare routine can help to prevent acne breakouts during menstruation. Cleanse your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser and moisturize regularly.

2. Use topical acne treatments – Over-the-counter acne treatments can be effective in managing acne during menstruation. Products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help to unclog pores and reduce inflammation.

3. Avoid touching your face – Touching your face can transfer bacteria from your hands to your face, leading to acne breakouts. It is advisable to avoid touching your face during menstruation.

4. Practice stress management – Stress can exacerbate acne during menstruation. Practicing stress management techniques like yoga and meditation can help to reduce stress and prevent acne breakouts.

5. Maintain a healthy diet – A healthy diet can help to prevent acne breakouts during menstruation. Avoid consuming dairy products, processed foods, and sugary drinks that can trigger acne. Instead, eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.


Acne during menstruation is a common problem that affects many women. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can trigger acne breakouts. Proper skincare, topical treatments, stress management, and a healthy diet can help to prevent and manage acne during menstruation. Understanding the menstrual cycle and its impact on acne can help to manage the condition effectively and maintain clear and healthy skin throughout the month.