10 Self-Care Essentials for Hormonal Breakouts and More
Updated: Dec 28, 2019
Keep these stocked to survive PMS.
Hormones are making a ruckus of my adult life. I don't know how I can be the age that I am and still find myself stumped by PMS, but here I am. Actually I can, because hormones are tricky — and if you're anything like me, with a thyroid condition, you might also experience some of the difficult sides of hormonal fluctuations.
The fact is that most months, I find myself transforming into a cranky beast with cramps and cravings, and become a napping machine. To help you deal with this time of the month, here are 10 self-care essentials to help you survive PMS — from hormonal breakouts, to cramps, and more.
Ada Thong, $32
Period-proof undies like Thinx are amazing, but I'm stoked that this is the first thong option I've found. It has the absorbency of a tampon to help prevent period-related stains or damage to your wardrobes.
Killa Kit, $29
These are the most amazing spot-treatment skincare products for hormonal acne or breakouts of any kind. The first step is the CLEANA swab that contains tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and vitamin E. Then you wait for it to dry and apply the second part, a microneedle patch that sends hyaluronic acid, peptides, salicylic acid, and niacinamide into the skin. You feel the slightly sticky feeling — which can feel sore if you have an inflamed cyst — and apply pressure for 10 seconds. Then you let it sit and absorb for a couple of hours.
I like to keep these stocked at all times. They're the best Skin S.O.S. option available.
This is a prescription medication that I relied on during my 20s to keep hormonal breakouts at bay. It's a diuretic that causes you to pee out the excess androgens in your blood, which are testosterone-like hormones that cause breakouts.
There are certain factors that make you more likely to suffer from higher androgen levels as a woman. For instance, a diagnosis of PCOS, high stress levels, and obesity can all correlate. But other than antibiotics (yuck), Accutane (yikes), or pricy Photodynamic Therapy, this is one of the most effective options.
At a high dose, I found spironolactone to be highly effective. It makes your skin produce less oil, minimizing the occurrence of clogs and breakouts. The symptom to note is that it can lower your blood pressure, so look out for feeling light-headed.
Rapid Response Detox Kit, $130.50
This is essentially an emergency facial system when your complexion becomes out of control. The masque was the initial holy grail product for hormonal breakouts, and was one of the first face masks I started keeping stocked in my beauty collection. When used in conjunction with her triple berry peel, a brightening favorite of mine, the duo works wonders.
More recently, Renée came out with the detox cleanser and toner to complement her two, holy grail breakout-saviours. The celebrity esthetician took care to formulate four synergistically functioning, anti-inflammatory and skin-clearing products to holistically take on the skin.
Some of the ingredients in this line are a balancing prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria on your skin's microbiome, along with tea tree oil and anti-microbial Manuka branch oil to prevent future breakouts. Glycerin and Panthenol serve humectant and anti-inflammatory functions, while the acids — Malic, Lactic, Salicylic, and Tartaric — purify pores, exfoliate, and keep oiliness at bay.
As I said, I love both masks. Both the cleanser and toner are on my must-try list. I highly recommend Renée Rouleau's line.
Mask Next Generation, $1,900
LED therapy is the cutting-edge of skincare treatments. Your best treatments will be found in the spas of celebrity estheticians like Joanna Vargas, whose patented RevitaBrite bed was mentioned in my article on Infrared Yoga.
While at-home masks are never going to provide treatments of the same intensity as the full body beds, the anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-aging powers are still so incredible they're worth seeking out. I would recommend sticking to a brand like Déesse or LightWave — but to cut costs, go for the older version of the mask or for one of the handheld devices on the market. Why? Because not all devices are FDA-cleared and you want bulbs that work. (Don't go for the old Neutrogena model, for instance, because that is essentially like using your car's tail light.)
The mask above has six different modes that treat your skin in different ways. Mode 1, red, is the collagen-boosting light. Mode 2 provides bacteria-killing blue light to prevent acne. Mode 3 is green, which improves pigmentation. Mode 4 uses Red, Blue, and near infrared light for what they term "post procedure healing," but which I consider to mean, "anti-inflammatory." Because of this, I might consider this the best mode for healing PMS breakouts. Mode 5 uses blue and green light to calm the skin. Finally, mode 6 is a 10-minute "anti-aging express" treatment that uses supercharged red light for a quick session. This is the setting that I will have Tom use, but I'm going to try to make this a part of my daily ritual for 20-30 minutes at a time. I even downloaded Audible so that I can listen to an audiobook if I start feeling ancy.
Organic Tampon Bundle, $10.99
I do think it's important to use organic tampons and there are a number brands to choose from, from Rael to Blume to Seventh Generation. You can buy these with cardboard applicators or without applicators, both are which are more sustainable options than plastic applicators. Some organic tampons even come as subscriptions, which means you won't run out and have to head to the store in a last-minute emergency.
I love using CBD to help with cramps! I have a CBD oil roller but can only imagine that these would work faster and more efficiently. I have purchased from this company before and thoroughly enjoyed the product.
Period-proof leggings from a sustainable fashion brand that gives back to a number of charities. What more can we ask for (other than a full-length pair)?
These organic pads use far infrared heat to soothe your cramps. I am beyond intrigued!
Life Elements CBD Bath Bomb (200 mg), $20
This is one of the most potent CBD bath bombs I've seen with up to 10x as much CBD per bath bomb as other popular formulas. When it comes to period cramp relief, take no risks and go for the strongest blend you can find.
What helps you survive PMS? Please share.
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