Nobody looks forward to that time of the month. You’ve got mood swings and cry fests, unusual cravings and bloating, plus endless bouts of fatigue. And it doesn’t even end there—as hormone levels fluctuate throughout your cycle, your skin goes through various stages. One week you’ve got glowing, firm skin and the next, breakout city.

Luckily, the right formulas help manage moisture levels and keep breakouts at bay as your menstrual cycle restarts, progresses, and peaks. Below, your complete skincare guide to making red days a little more bearable. Stay informed, beauties!

DAY 1-7: HORMONAL FATIGUE (MENSTRUATION PERIOD)


Your period lasts between five to seven days. During this time, your body produces a hormone called prostaglandin, which causes contractions in the uterine walls (period cramps) and, as a side effect, also makes your skin feel more tender and susceptible to pain. On top of that, estrogen and progesterone levels take a massive drop during this phase, slowing blood circulation and metabolism. As a result, cellular turnover turns down a notch—making your skin look gray, dull, and sometimes dry.

WHAT TO DO: A dull, dry complexion can lead to a nasty buildup of dirt and dead cells. Double-cleanse with a cleansing balm and your favorite foam cleanser. Then, add a kick of moisture with a fast-absorbing essence. To get that circulation going, try incorporating a crystal roller in your routine too. TRY: Heimish All Clean Balm, now on sale at P926 (limited time only), Dewytree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Essence Water, now on sale at P1,039 (limited time only), CHI Beauty Chrysoberyl Cat’s Eye Roller, now on sale at P1,899 (limited time only)

DAY 8-14: GLOW UP (FOLLICULAR STAGE)


You’ve made it past the storm, and your skin can look forward to brighter days ahead. During this phase, estrogen levels rise and balance out. Additionally, oestrogen stimulates the production of collagen—there’s no doubt about it, your skin is at its best! Notice that you’ve been in a better mood, too? Chalk it up to larger doses of your signature happy hormone, serotonin.

WHAT TO DO: Your skin is calm, balanced, and radiant—so keep it that way! Try a nutrient-packed toner to maintain balance and maintain moisture levels. Then, if you have any existing scars from your period breakout, add a Vitamin C serum to speed up healing and boost your skin’s existing glow. Treat yourself with a sheet mask every couple of days to keep your complexion soothed and refreshed. TRY: Dear Klairs Supple Prep Facial Toner, now on sale at P920 (limited time only), By Wishtrend C 21.5 Advanced Serum, P1,300, Baroness Aloe Vera Mask, now on sale at P24 (limited time only)

DAY 15-22: ACNE-PRONE STAGE (OVULATION STAGE)


About 15 days before your next period, hormonal changes trigger your ovaries to release an egg, making you more fertile. While estrogen takes a dip, progesterone levels increase—this can trigger sebum production and larger pores. Another active hormone at this stage is the luteinizing hormone (LH), which determines the exact day you ovulate. It makes your skin more vulnerable to bacteria, often leading to breakouts.

WHAT TO DO: Wear less makeup and opt for non-comedogenic products. Then, supplement your routine with anti-acne solutions—such as an acid toner or serum. Pair it with a light moisturizer that incorporates healing ingredients (think snail or propolis!) to balance oiliness. TRY: Some by Mi Miracle Toner, now on sale at P790 (limited time only), Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion (120ml), now on sale at P810 (limited time only), Skin Revolution Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Gel, now on sale at P245 (limited time only)

DAY 23-28: PMS SEASON (LUTEAL STAGE)


Well, you’re back to square one—PMS has returned and, with more hormonal changes afoot, is back with a vengeance. Your body is producing elevated amounts of androgens, which help regulate the reproductive tract, but can also lead to more cystic acne and hormonal breakouts.

WHAT TO DO: The key is to simplify your routine, stay hydrated, and prioritize self-care! With larger pores producing excess oil, detox with a clay mask to keep things clear. Then, keep breakouts at bay with gentle, but effective formulas, such as a salicylic acid-infused cleanser. Finally, give your skin a good pampering with a concentrated, nourishing treatment to stimulate cellular repair. Take that, PMS! TRY: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (454g), P525, COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser, P540, Seed & Tree Plant Cell Essence, now on sale at P1,040 (limited time only)

For more cool stories and members-only perks, sign up for BeautyMNL!

Like us on Facebook.
Follow us on Instagram (@beautymnl).
Tweet us on Twitter (@beauty_MNL).
Watch us on YouTube.

The BeautyMNL App is also available for iOS and Android! For Apple devices, download it on mobile here. For Android devices, download it on mobile here. Stay tuned for updates and app exclusive promos!