Know Your Skin & the 3 M’s

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about what exactly the 3 M’s are and how they affect the skin so we decided to make a helpful guide to the various changes your skin will experience. 

The 3 M’s refer to a woman’s major hormonal cycles: menstruation, maternity, and menopause. Our Knours products have been thoughtfully and innovatively crafted to maintain skin wellness during these important stages of womanhood. We want you to really know your skin (hence the name Knours) and to feel confident and beautiful no matter what challenges life may throw at you! Here’s a breakdown of each of these stages of womanhood and the effects they have on the skin.

Menstruation

The phases of menstruation are: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. The menstrual phase is when you have your period and the average period length is between 3-7 days, but it can be longer depending on the person. The follicular phase is when your body prepares to release an egg and it starts on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation. Ovulation is when the egg is released and typically occurs 2 weeks before your period begins. The luteal phase (aka the PMS phase) is when your body prepares either for pregnancy or to release the uterine lining and triggers the start of your period so the cycle can repeat.

Common skin changes

  • Menstrual phase: low levels of estrogen and progesterone cause your skin to become dry and dull and can make fine lines and wrinkles more apparent
  • Follicular phase: estrogen levels start to rise, which will give your skin a glowy appearance. Testosterone levels also begin to rise, which leads to more natural moisture and greater collagen production making your skin stronger and more elastic
  • Ovulation: increased hormone levels can cause your skin to become more prone to bacterial overgrowth and acne
  • Luteal phase: your skin will become oilier during this time and will become more prone to acne breakouts and the appearance of other blemishes
  • Hormonal acne: acne that occurs during times of hormonal fluctuations. It appears in the T-zone, the bottom of the cheeks, and around the jawline. Some common signs are blackheads, whiteheads, small pimples, or cysts. Cysts form deep under the skin (they don’t come to the surface) and are often sensitive to the touch.

Caring for your skin

  • Drink a lot of water to keep yourself and your skin hydrated
  • During the menstrual phase: use products that contain vitamin C and antioxidants to revive your natural glow
  • During the follicular phase: you can stick to your everyday skincare routine since this is typically when skin is on its best behavior
  • During ovulation: use water-based products over oil-based ones
  • During the luteal phase: be sure to cleanse your skin very well during this time, look for products that will help keep oil in check and will hydrate the skin

Maternity

The period during pregnancy and shortly after birth. Changing hormone levels greatly affect your skin during this time.

Common Skin Changes

  • Pregnancy glow is a real thing! Increased blood volume gives you a flushed appearance and a change in hormone levels releases more oil giving you a shiny, glowy appearance
  • Acne and pimple breakouts are common since the release of excess oil makes your skin more prone to breakouts
  • The “mask of pregnancy”: increased hormones (especially during the third trimester) may cause the appearance of large, dark patches that appear on your cheeks, nose, and forehead (AKA melasma or chloasma); this should fade after giving birth
  • Darkening of freckles, moles, and other areas of your skin - the color will decrease once you have given birth, but if you notice significant changes then consult your doctor
  • Sensitive, dry, itchy skin and skin tags are common during pregnancy

Caring for your skin:

  • Use clean, fragrance-free skincare products so you can avoid harmful ingredients like parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, etc. to protect yourself and the little one growing inside
  • Avoid chemical sunscreens and products with retinol, retinoids, salicylic acid, or vitamin A while you are pregnant and breastfeeding
  • Stay out of direct sunlight and use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to reduce the appearance of melasma
  • Make sure to moisturize all over, especially your face and belly. Jojoba oil provides a great layer of moisture and is also a wonderfully soothing oil for your belly!

Menopause 

Menopause occurs in three stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Perimenopause begins around 8-10 years before menopause and is when your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen than usual. Menopause marks the end of your menstruation cycles and occurs 12 months after your last period. Women typically start to see signs of menopause in their 40s or 50s and the average age is 51 in the U.S. Postmenopause occurs after menopause and lasts for at least a decade.

Common Skin Changes

  • Decreased hyaluronic acid levels lead to dehydrated skin and decreased estrogen levels lead to dry, less plump skin and more acne breakouts
  • Decreased collagen production leads to a loss of skin’s youthful volume and tightness resulting in enlarged pores 
  • Age spots may appear on sun-exposed areas - they are harmless and are common for older adults, people with fair skin, and people who've spent a significant amount of time in the sun

Caring for your skin

  • Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like glycerin and ceramides to really provide the hydration your skin craves and locks in that moisture
  • Continue to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to avoid getting more age spots
  • Look for products that contain a topical vitamin A (like retinol acid) and Vitamin C, which increases skin regeneration, boosts collagen, and replenishes moisture to the skin

We hope this has been a helpful guide to the various ways your skin changes during your hormonal cycles. Every woman has a different experience and we want to continue to celebrate just how special and unique womanhood is!