I recently read a meme that expresses my sentiments about menstrual cycles perfectly—"Periods are ridiculous. I shouldn't be punished for not being pregnant." The bloating. Ugh. The abdominal discomfort. Double ugh. The breast tenderness, irritability and trying to find the best way not to leak during the heavy days. Yuck.
Girl, and please don't get me started on one thing that frustrates me to no end—period pimples. Is it just me or does it seem like whether it's one or three zits, they always pop up in the most inconvenient-yet-obvious areas possible? Plus, 8.5 times out of 10, they leave a mark behind? (I'm getting pissed just thinking about it!)
Why is it that whether we're 20 or 40, it seems like there's no way to avoid the totally obnoxious period pimple? The medical reason is that right before (and during) our menstrual cycles, the testosterone in our body becomes higher than our estrogen levels. When this happens, more sebum (oil) is produced, which oftentimes leads to clogged up pores and ultimately breakouts.
The bad news is there isn't much you can do to prevent this from happening. The good news is, there are steps you can take in order to make coping with this totally sucky part of your cycle a lot easier to bear.
7 Natural Remedies To Treat Hormonal Acne
1.Eat Foods That’ll Balance Out Your HormonesGiphy
First things first. Since we already know that our hormones are all over the place in the days leading up to our period, it's a good idea to eat foods that will help to balance our testosterone and estrogen levels out.
Some of those include clean proteins like quinoa and wild caught fish; healthy fats like avocados and raw butter; foods loaded with antioxidants like leafy greens and berries and healing spices including cinnamon, garlic, ginger, cumin and turmeric (although it's best to consume turmeric in moderation because it can also increase blood flow during your cycle).
2.Drink More Water. Drink Less Alcohol.
Something that tends to happen when we're PMS'ing is we get dehydrated. When that happens, one of the outcomes is more toxins running through our system. The more toxins, the more likely we are to experience breakouts. That's why it's a really good idea to up your water intake the week before and the week of your period. Something that's even better is to make some of your own infused water. It tastes great and can give you some additional nutrients too (there are some delicious recipes here).
On the flip side, something you should drink less of (even if your body seems to crave it more) is any form of alcohol. For one thing, it's a diuretic (it makes you excrete water faster). Also, there are several studies pointing to the fact that consuming alcohol is a surefire way to put your hormones on a roller coaster ride. And, as we've already discussed, imbalanced hormones are the main cause of period pimples.
3.Do a Parsley Spot Treatment
Beyond it being a garnish for our food, a lot of us don't give parsley much thought. It's too bad too because it's a food that's a pretty powerful antioxidant. Parsley contains vitamins A, B, C, and K. It also contains the flavonoid apigenin that helps to reduce our cancer risk, along with the volatile oil eugenol that reduces body inflammation. Plus, parsley strengthens our immune system and protects our blood vessels.
Since parsley is so good at reducing inflammation, it makes sense that it would be a great treatment for breakouts. All you need to do is combine 4-5 branches of parsley with 5-7 drops of fresh lemon juice, a half-teaspoon of olive oil, half-teaspoon of raw honey and 2-3 slices of cucumber. Take a spoon and mush everything together until it turns into a paste. Then, on your freshly washed face, dab a cotton ball into the solution and apply it directly onto your pimples. Let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse with cool water. It will dry out your breakouts without drying out the rest of your skin in the process.
4.Apply a Charcoal MaskSkincare Brighten Up GIF by Vasanti CosmeticsGiphy
Activated charcoal is one of the best ways to rid your body of toxins and chemicals. It's so powerful that it's oftentimes prescribed for food poisoning and even drug overdoses. Whether you're looking to get rid of gas, a hangover or to heal your kidneys and liver, you can't go wrong with this product (just make sure that the packaging confirms that it's made from coconut shells or woods made from ultra-fine grains; otherwise, you might not get all of charcoal's benefits).
Because activated charcoal detoxifies so well, it's one more all-natural way to get rid of your period pimples. It opens up your pores, pulls out all of the "gunk" and helps to heal your skin so that your blemishes won't be quite as noticeable. Also, it does all of this without drying your skin out too. If you'd like a step-by-step recipe on how to make your own charcoal mask, this YouTube video will walk you through the process.
5.Try a Tea Bag to Reduce Inflammation
Whether you're trying to bring a period pimple to a head or you messed with it before it was ready (meaning, before it had a head) and now it's bigger and more inflamed than ever, something that can help to reduce a pimple's redness and size while speeding up its healing process is to place a warm herbal tea bag over it.
The heat from the bag will open up your pores. The herbs contain tannins that help to treat and heal the zit (black tea bags are best, tannin-wise). I like the tea bag approach because I've noticed that it helps to decrease my chances of having a long-term acne scar once the pimple has gone down and that's always a win.
6.Use Potato Juice, Honey and/or Carrot Seed Oil for Scarsrosh hashana satisfying GIFGiphy
The only thing worse than a zit is the mark that it leaves behind. Before applying foundation to your acne scars, first put on a little potato juice, honey and/or carrot seed oil. Potato juice contains vitamins B6 and C, potassium and niacin—all of which boosts your immune system and reduce skin inflammation; it also contains properties that can help to lighten acne marks over time. Honey contains powerful antioxidants that will heal damaged scar tissue. Plus, while your skin is in its healing stages, when you apply honey to it, it produces a hydrogen peroxide effect that aids in removing germs too (just make sure the honey is organic). And carrot seed oil? It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties in it; ones that are so powerful that it's great at healing old scars.
As far as honey and carrot seed go, all you need to do is dab a little of them (whether separately or together) on your finger and apply them to your skin before turning in at night; then rinse in the morning. If you want to learn how to make potato juice to apply to your acne scars as well, click here.
7.Take a Nap
Really…what doesn't a nap cure? When you rest, it gives your body time to rejuvenate, your skin included. Something else that sleep does is give your body the opportunity to get a dose of serotonin, which balances out your hormone levels. The more balanced they are, the healthier your skin will be.
So, try and get no less than 6-8 hours of zzz's every night. If there is a day or two that you miss, treat yourself by taking a 15-30 minute nap during the daytime hours too. Your entire body—including your period pimples and scars—will be eternally grateful.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
We all have a dream life that we spend our free time daydreaming about. You know, the one with a loving partner, high-rise apartment, thriving career, and endless abundance. But as much as we can dream about it, there has to be a little extra sprinkle of “magic” to make it become a reality, and that’s when manifestation comes in.
The uptick in manifestation techniques is nothing new to the internet. Since The Secret and the Law of Attraction became available on YouTube in the early 2010s and fast forward to today, where #manifestationtok and #spiritualtok surging in popularity, it’s clear that there are a number of different ways to get what you want out of life with the right action, affirmation, and visualization.
Still, with so many ways to manifest, from scripting to the 3-6-9 Method, it can be hard to know which one to lean into. But there’s one new technique that’s promising to yield “instant results,” and we’re curious about it.
The "I Am Sure" Manifestation
Replying to @A I M E E 🖤 lG: hothighpriestess 🤍 this is the “I am sure” method #iamsuremethod
The “I Am Sure” manifestation gained traction this summer by TikTok creator Sara Perl of @hothighpriestess, who initially introduced the method.
In her original video breaking down the concept, she detailed the steps to use the technique for those looking to “manifest overnight.” To do so, start by stating “I am sure,” followed by “your desired manifestation in the present tense.” If there’s a job, promotion, or text from a crush that you want, then you’d say, “I am sure that I got X job,” or “I am sure that I make a $100K salary.” Repeat this out loud 10 times, or for faster results, write them down on a piece of paper and say it back to yourself whenever the desire comes up.
Using your words and speaking in the present tense, affirmatively, “puts you in the frequency that has that desire,” as Perl states. “We know our thoughts create our reality, but our words create our reality even faster.”
No matter how you choose to manifest your dream life, there’s nothing like channeling a powerful affirmation and some faith to get what you desire. In every instance, though, allow yourself to dismiss any doubt that may try to cloud your hopes in good things coming into your life, and don’t hold too tightly onto the “how” or “when.” Trust the process and know that the “thing” that you desire is just waiting for the perfect time to enter your life.
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Featured image by Tassii/Getty Images