PMS Acne Treatment: How to Prevent PMS Breakouts | Mario Badescu Skin Care
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PMS and Acne

When that dreaded 'time of the month' arrives, it's no picnic for women who experience Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Premenstrual Syndrome is not exactly conducive to a good self image, especially when PMS-induced acne rears its ugly head (no pun intended). Similar to pregnancy or menopause, monthly cycles are accompanied by hormone fluctuations—and acne breakouts are often a byproduct of these changes. Breakouts can erupt anywhere on the face, but when a woman breaks out on her jaw and chin area it is often attributed to hormone changes linked to her menstrual cycle. These breakouts can consist of blackheads, whiteheads and/or red, inflamed acne.

What Causes PMS-Induced Acne?

PMS actually begins around mid-cycle—usually around two weeks after the last menstruation. During this time, levels of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone start to change. Moreover, the ovaries also produce testosterone, one of the primary causes of acne eruptions. In males, testosterone levels remain at a constant level all month, unlike their female counterparts whose testosterone levels increase before and during menstruation (perhaps explaining why women are notorious for their mood swings while men tend to be more emotionally stable). Even worse, stress coupled with PMS may also further exacerbate breakouts. When this occurs, the adrenal glands become overactive and produce more androgens than normal. Androgens are hormones that stimulate oil production in the sebaceous glands, which ultimately leads to clogged pores and breakouts. Sounds like hormone city, right? It is no wonder lots of women break out during their premenstrual rollercoaster.

How to Treat & Prevent Acne during PMS

Although giving in to a PMS craving for a Snickers bar will not necessarily breed more blemishes, consuming a healthful, balanced diet rich in antioxidants and good fats will yield clearer, radiant looking skin. After all, what you put in is what you will get out. You’ve heard it a trillion times, but drinking at least eight glasses of water a day helps flush toxins out of the body, thus also promoting hydrated, healthier skin.

Those who have oily or acne-prone skin may struggle with worse breakouts during their menstrual cycle than someone with dry skin. It is imperative to know your skin and how to address it during a monthly breakout. If you do not know your skin type, take our online skin care analysis to determine your skin type and what products are best to suit your needs.

  • Hands off! As tempting as it is, resist the urge to pick your face. You will only make your acne worse and picking could even lead to scarring.
  • Implement a skin care regimen that is customized for your skin type to ensure a cleansed, healthy complexion and to prevent breakouts.
  • You already know this rule, but never sleep with makeup on—regardless of how tired and lazy you are feeling. Neglecting to wash off your makeup before bed can cause breakouts or worsen existing breakouts.
  • Wash your makeup brushes 1-2 times a week with a mild soap or baby shampoo and let air dry. Not doing so will breed bacteria on your brushes, which will obviously transfer to your skin and create a pimple party. Not cool.
  • Always sleep on a clean pillowcase—for obvious reasons.



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