Skincare Routines for my Menstrual Cycle
This blog is written by Kimiko (Miiko Skin Co’s founder!), who struggled with acne-prone skin from a very young age. It wasn’t until her early 20’s when she eliminated her food allergies (gluten and dairy) from her diet that she was comfortable going off her over-the-counter medical prescription for acne.
“Eliminating my food allergies made a huge difference for my eczema and acne, but I still had regular breakouts around my chin and jaw. When I started Miiko Skin Co and developed a regular skincare routine I noticed a consistent difference in my complexion.”
Last year Kimiko removed her hormonal IUD...
This is her shared skincare experience as her hormones started to balance out for the first time in 13+ years.
"I was really nervous my skin would break-out really badly and my skin would revert back to how it was when I was 13 years old, but it didn’t! Probably because my skincare routine is completely different now and so is my lifestyle."
After the IUD Removal…
- It took over 90 days before my first period… another 90 after that, 45 days after that, then 25 days, 25 days, 28 days, and now 35-38 days 3x in a row.
- I found myself on Google a lot. Wondering what was considered “normal” after having an IUD removed and if I should be concerned.
- I used the app called Natural Cycles to track my cycle and my temperature. It’s considered an effective form of birth control in the UK; however I would not suggest people rely on this app to avoid pregnancy. You have to be consistent with your temperature at the same time every day and tracking ovulation. I didn’t trust it because I wasn't getting a period at all. Nothing could be accurate until I had a regular cycle.
- I experienced severe PMS symptoms for the first year. My boobs hurt a lot, and I experienced a lot of bloating and cramping.
Learning about the menstrual cycle...
At 30 years old, I was just learning about the luteal and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle.
- The follicular phase was the beginning part of the menstrual cycle. I could expect varying degrees of better skin, better mood, increased libido, and more energy.
- The luteal phase was the second part of the menstrual cycle. I could expect varying degrees of carb cravings, bloating, breakouts, and lower energy.
Learning about the physical signs and symptoms of the follicular phase and luteal phases allowed me to look for patterns in my skin behaviour.
I had no idea when I would get my period next so I used these symptoms to help guess where I might be in my cycle.
How my skin changed throughout my cycle
- Totally clear and great complexion
- Crazy breakouts around my chin - rashy and small bumps
- Puffy and tired looking, clogged pores and more blackheads
I began to develop routines for my skin depending on the time of the month or the visual cues I was getting.
My Skincare Routines
My Go-To Daily Routine → for generally clear skin
Clear skin for me is blemish-free, tight, and a little shiny. Most of the time my skin is good and this is what I do 2x per day.
- Honey Face Wash → Apple Toner → Luminous or Golden Serum → plus i-Zinc at night around my eyes and nostrils.
- Will use i-Coco if I need to remove make-up
- Special note: this is a typical winter routine. As soon as fall hits, I notice my skin gets drier, especially around my nose and cheeks. In the summer I don’t need to moisturize as often.
- I like to apply the Honey Face Wash and lather it onto dry skin. I rarely rinse my face with water before using the Honey Face Wash. However, I don’t wear foundation on a regular basis, so this step may be different for others.
Breakout Management Routine → red bumpy chin + breakouts around the mouth
Once or twice a month my chin (left and right side below my lip line) will get bumpy, red and sometimes dry and flakey. It kind of resembles the texture of the pavement.
- Konjac Sponge → 1-2 days in a row, to help move the breakout along without picking
- The first day I use it with the Honey Face Wash and spend quite a bit of time moving the Konjac Sponge throughout my face in circular motions. After I rinse clean, I use the Apple Toner and the Serum.
- The next day I will monitor the progression of the bumps. If I think my skin could use the Konjac Sponge again I will use it again that night but with Oil cleansing instead.
- Oil cleansing - If the skin is flakey. I always finish with Apple Toner but sometimes I will switch it up with the Hazel Rose Toner.
Breakout Management Routine → zits
Zits show up when you least want them too. If I work out and don’t wash my face or run out of product sometimes (yes I forget to bring my bottle back for a refill too) I will experience zits.
- Honey Face Wash → Apple Toner and sometimes Luminous or Golden Serum. I like to dry out zits with the Apple Toner... but be cautious, too much drying of the skin can also result in acne.
Clogged Pores Routine → blackheads and little whiteheads
This usually happens for 1-2 days during each menstrual cycle (for me).
- Honey Face Wash → Hazel Rose Toner → Serum.
- Oil Cleansing with Hazel Rose Toner
- Honey Face Wash with Konjac Sponge, followed with Hazel Rose Toner.
I do notice that the Hazel Rose Toner can sometimes bring blackheads to the surface, thanks to the tightening action of the witch hazel. You can use the Konjac Sponge with the Honey Face Wash to extract the blackhead. Use the Apple Toner after to reduce redness and risk of infection.
The body is so cool! Getting in touch with your body and being aware of how you feel, and the changes you notice daily, monthly, seasonally in your skin and other areas of your well-being is an awesome thing to do for yourself.
It is easy to be hard on yourself and think your skin is not looking good, but the truth is... it changes every day. So pay attention to when it looks good because that is information you can use to get to know yourself better.
The more often you notice when your skin is looking good, the more emotionally equipped you will be for the breakouts and fluctuations. Breakouts are the result from something happening in your body and do not define the amazing human you are!!
Important note about switching to natural skincare
Switching to new skincare products and routines can take at least a month for your skin to adjust. Especially if you are changing from water-based commercial products to our natural whole ingredient recipes.
Please book a consult with us if you have questions about your Miiko Skin Co routines and switching from commercial brands.