For the past three weeks, my skin’s been wrecking havoc, as a result of my irregular hormonal cycle. I’m not always affected by skin problems during PMS, but the severe lack of sleep and stress must be getting to me. I was affected by these pesky problems:
- Tiny blemishes on cheekbones and forehead
- Dry and peeling skin on cheeks
- Peeling fingertips
- Severe dehydration lines on forehead
It is impossible to use my regular skincare products in this state. Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX, for example, sting really badly. I went on to experiment with all of the products that I own, to identify those can be tolerated, and those that must be avoided. Below are my emergency skincare products:
- Cure Natural Aqua Gel—to get rid of the patches of peeling skin, I didn’t dare to apply a chemical exfoliant in case the blemishes are further aggregated. I opted for the Aqua Gel which is a physical exfoliant. Dead skin is removed through the gentle rubbing motion.
- IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning (read review)—it quite a surprise that there is no stinging or tingling when applied to skin. I did not really love this product when used on normal days. However, I’ve read how SK II helped people with acne prone skin so I’m giving it a shot, since it is a dupe of the SK II. It’s been working out great.
- L’Herboflore Masks (read review)—for added moisture to the peeling skin. All masks are essentially humectanta, so it doesn’t matter what “flavor” you choose. Even though these masks contain fragrance, they feel really comfortable, non-irritating and hydrating to the skin.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask—used as a moisturizer rather than a mask. Even without fragrance, there is a mild tingling sensation when applied, but much better than any other moisturizer.
I did not touch most of my other products, because anti-aging or whitening is not my priority, and fragrance and fragile skin doesn’t mix. I feel safer just sticking to the most basic items with simple ingredients. I have only used the four products above in the past three weeks, and my skin is on its way to recovery. I will not declare them miracle products, since I’m sure much of it is my body’s natural healing process, but they’ve worked out fine. I do wish I have La Roche-Posay Cicaplast on hand though, it sounds wonderful for damaged skin.
Aside from skincare products, there are also some natural remedies, both applied topically and taken orally:
- Manuka Honey—Apply a small dollop on a white head and covered the spot with a piece of cotton pad (or a band-aid), it will go down the following morning. Preferably higher UMF.
- Honey & Cinnamon Mask—Mix cinnamon powder with raw honey and apply to trouble spots, leave for 20 minutes. Both honey and cinnamon are anti-bacterial. Use a cheaper honey (manuka honey with lower UMF, raw honey, regular honey) for this as the mask t is going to be washed away soon.
- Evening Primrose Oil—Taken orally to help reduce PMS symptoms, promote and maintain hormonal balance.
- Flaxseed Oil—Caroline Hiron recommended taking fish oil or flaxseed oil for people with problem skin in her article here.
- Vitamins—I don’t think severe vitamin deficiency is the cause of peeling skin in my case, I’m not malnourished. But still, a little vitamin boost won’t hurt, especially since I’ve stopped taking them regularly in the past few months.
Of course, the best course of action is to eat well, sleep well and be stress-free. If you cannot do any of those (like me), then think of teddy bears and flowers, let thoughts of happier memories push you through the tough times! 🙂