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.
10 Of The Absolute Best Period Hacks - Read More
I Tried Whoopi Goldberg's Weed Products For Period Pain - Read More
Women Are Using Yoni Steams To Heal Themselves From Reproductive Issues And Sexual Traumas - Read More
- Best Hyperpigmentation Products to Clear Skin Fast - xoNecole ›
- 10 Signs You're Totally Dehydrated - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- 7 All-Natural Ways To Fade Acne Scars - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How I Got Rid Of My Hyperpigmentation Fast - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- How To Balance Your Hormones - xoNecole: Women's Interest, Love, Wellness, Beauty ›
- Banish Hormonal Acne For Good With These 5 Supplements | Flo ... ›
- Forehead acne and pimples: Causes, treatment, and prevention ›
- 5 Signs You're Dealing with Hormonal Acne—and How to Treat It ... ›
- Acne Before Period: Causes, Types, and Treatment of Premenstrual ... ›
- Hormonal acne: Causes and treatment ›
- The best natural supplements for preventing hormonal acne | Flo ... ›
- How to Treat Hormonal Acne During Your Period - Teen Vogue ›
- 13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne ›
- How To Prevent Period Acne: Causes And Top Skincare Products ... ›
- Home Remedies for Acne: 10 Easy Ones That Work - Dr. Axe ›
After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
Take Our 2-Minute Wellness Quiz To Up Your Self-Care Game!
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
Welcome to Black Girl Whole, your space to find the wellness routine that aligns with you! This brand-new marketplace by xoNecole is a safe space for Black women to activate their healing, find the inspiration to rest, and receive reassurance that we are one small act away from finding our happiness.
Want to discover where you are on your wellness journey? You don't have to look far. In partnership with European Wax Center, we're bringing you a customized wellness quiz to help you up your wellness game. Answer our short series of questions to figure out which type of wellness lover you are, what you need to bring more balance into your life, and then go deeper by shopping products geared towards clearing your mind, healing your body, and soothing your spirit.
Ready to get whole? Take our quiz now!
Everything Kerry Washington Has Said About Her Husband Nnamdi Asomugha
Actress Kerry Washington and her relationship with her husband, actor Nnamdi Asomugha, is the perfect example of a winning team.
The pair became an item following a chance encounter in 2009, and many years later, on June 24, 2013, Washington and Asomugha would secretly tie the knot. Since then, the high-profile couple has expanded their blended family by welcoming two children, a daughter Isabelle Asomugha, 8, and a 6-year-old son Caleb Asomugha. Asomugha also has a daughter from a previous relationship.
Despite Washington and Asomugha choosing to live a relatively private life for the most part by not sharing images of their family on social media and occasionally attending events together. The rare glimpses they provide to the public showcase that Washington and Asomugha have much in common regarding essential topics.
For example, Washington is highly involved in politics and encourages others to participate by spreading information about various issues and how everyone would be affected.
As for Asomugha, the 41-year-old officially founded the Asomugha Foundation in 2010, years after doing other charity work in Nigeria. According to its site, the organization was created to help "disadvantaged youth and women by providing educational opportunities and mentorship."
Washington's public remarks regarding her relationship with Asomugha and their family may be rare, but when she does speak about their family, it's all positive.
Kerry On Why She Keeps Her Relationship Private
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bronx Children's Museum
In March 2016, the UnPrisioned actress revealed during a discussion panel at SXSW Festival that one of the reasons why she is adamant about remaining private about her union with Asomugha is because she doesn't want the public to make any narratives regarding her marriage.
At the time, it was reported that Washington and the former NFL player were experiencing marital troubles and were allegedly planning on getting a divorce. Washington would shut down those allegations by saying she hasn't and will not share any information about her private life.
"Social media has actually been great for [other celebrities'] relationships with the weeklies or the gossip sites because people say things and they say, 'That's not true!' So I'm thinking in some ways, it's been great because people are able to maintain their voice," she explained.
"It's a little different for me because I don't talk about my personal life. That means not only did I not tell you when I was getting married, it also means if somebody has rumors about what's going on in my marriage, I don't refute them, because I don't talk about my personal life."
Kerry On How She Met Nnamdi And What A Normal Day Looks Like for Their Family
Fast forward to October 2018, the Scandal star gave insight into how she met Asomugha and their family life. During an interview with Marie Claire, Washington shared that she and Asomugha met in 2009 while she was working on the Broadway play Race.
The mother of two told the publication that her life has "completely transformed" since their encounter. "The last time I did theater, it completely transformed my life. That's where I met my husband. I love being with my family. My days off look like homework, reading, and watching stuff. Just hanging out, doing things we love to do," she stated.
Kerry On Nnamdi's Accomplishment
Photo by Jeffrey Camarati/Getty Images
But as time progressed, Washington began speaking a little more openly about her man. In October 2022, Washington gushed over Asomugha and his Netflix project, The Good Nurse, which came out around the same time her film, The School for Good and Evil, was released. While talking to Entertainment Tonight, the star expressed how "proud" she was of her husband.
"I'm really proud of him, I think he's doing amazing work. I'm really excited for his film, The Good Nurse," she said. "It's really exciting to both have really important films at Netflix right now, we feel really blessed.”
Kerry On Why Nnamdi Is Her Soulmate
Washington shared how her love with Asomugha goes beyond the surface after spending over a decade together.
In a March 2023 interview with Marie Claire, Washington explained that she and Asomugha are perfectly aligned because she's allowed to be her authentic self with him.
"I'm in my immediate truth with [him]," Washington said. "Those mirrors are important because they help me get back to myself."
Kerry On The Couple's Upcoming 10-Year Wedding Anniversary
Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
That same month, Washington expressed that in addition to the many years the couple has been together, and their personal and professional accomplishments, she still finds Asomugha "incredible."
Washington shared this revelation while promoting her latest project, UnPrisioned, in an Entertainment Tonight interview.
"I do have an incredible husband," the actress told ET host Kevin Frazier as she disclosed little to no details about their upcoming plans for their tenth wedding anniversary. "Do you remember how secret my wedding was? How private and secretive it was? That's how the anniversary is gonna be too!"
Kerry On Why She Thinks Nnamdi And Their Children Are A Gift From God
Washington's love and admiration for Asomugha and their family grow increasingly each day, so much so that she uses it as inspiration to share positive messages with her fans.
The 46-year-old revealed during a panel with Al Sharpton at National Action Network Convention on April 12 that she sees her husband and their children as "proof" that God exists and loves her because of the great joy they bring to her life.
"Well, you've met my husband, my husband's amazing. I got a good one. We have three beautiful children. And I think, you know, when I look at my marriage, and I look at my kids, fundamentally, they are proof of God to me,” she said. "Because I know that God loves me to have put those people in my life. And that sense of like, knowing that God loves me. That, to me, is so much of how I make the decisions about the activism that I do and the content that I make."
Regardless of what the public may think about Washington and Asomugha's private union, they are proving with each moment that love can conquer all.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Arturo Holmes/MG23/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue