It can appear like clockwork, a huge cyst or a smattering of blemishes appearing like a constellation on your chin right before your monthly period. While it may seem like your skin is screaming that you’re about to shed your uterine lining, these hormonal breakouts may be prevented by tweaking your skincare regimen. “Not all women have noticeable fluctuations but some, especially the ones with hormonal acne, do benefit from adjusting their routine accordingly,” says O3+ Global Skin Expert, Priti Singh. Likewise, diet and environment can also play a role, “a lot factors go into your skin’s hydration and propensity for pimples, and the menstrual cycle is one,” adds Priti. Here’s how to help your skin topically so you can prevent that monthly breakout.

Week 1

“During your period, focus on hydrating, nourishing and calming the skin,” says Priti. In Week 1, your skin might feel dry and dull and look blotchy. Now is the time to load up on moisture! Priti suggests swapping in products with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and antioxidants to keep skin smooth. Apply a hydrating face mask every couples of days to keep skin supple and glowing. We love the O3+ Chamomile Hydrating & Cooling Mask which helps hydrate without clogging pores and also calms skin with a combination of green tea and chamomile.)

Week 2

“Now, estrogen starts to increase and this is when your skin tends to look its best,” says Shah. Your complexion should look radiant, pores looks more refined and less prone to oil slicks. While it might be easy to feel like you can skip out on double cleansing and the rest of your regimen right now, don’t fall into the temptation. Properly cleansing and treating your complexion will help prevent breakouts that could be coming up down the line. Try the O3+ Brighten Up Cleanser to further amplify glow!

Week 3 and 4

The luteal phase is often the time when women often notice acne flareups, says Priti. “As progesterone levels increase, so does oil production.” Keep pores clean of buildup by dabbing a salicylic acid based toner daily. “Beta hydroxy acids penetrate into the hair follicle deeper and reduce pore clogging sebum,” adds Priti. This salicylic acid spiked toner O3+ Pore Clean Up Cleanser cuts through oil and helps unglue dead skin cells. Make sure to follow up with a hydrating serum or moisturizer as salicylic acid can have a drying effect. The O3+ Derma Fresh Mask which uses milk proteins, salicylic acid and lavender to help gently slough away dead skin cells in a moisturising lightweight formula.

You may also use a tea tree oil cleanser” says Priti Try O3+ Cooling & Purifying Face Wash for a gentle option, it contains 93% tea tree & aloe vera to help mitigate flaking. With all that said, understand that no two menstrual cycles are the same and hormones can get a bit complicated. It’s always best to check with your doctor and have comprehensive bloodwork done to see if there are any underlying imbalances if you have persistent breakouts.