Right before your period starts, you’re in the luteal phase. During this time certain hormones spike that are often associated with excess oil production (progesterone and testosterone mainly), which can lead to blackheads and breakouts.
And the most common reaction for folks who see clogged pores and shiny T-zones is to reach for drying or exfoliating products (like astringent toners, scrubs, or acids). But Ge says this is the time you should actually be going gentler on the skin–not harsher.
“When you start your period, your skin is at your most sensitive. So this is actually the time you should take a break and give your skin some space to rest,” she says, noting that you should do the same for yourself too.
And after your period–when you’re seeing an influx of estrogen–is “actually a great time for all the peels and treatments to bring out that fresher side of your skin,” she says. “It’s actually when your skin can handle it too. That way you’re not overdoing it and causing further irritation to the skin.”
For more menstrual health tips, tune into the episode here.