Period Acne. Why do we get them?

As though painful cramps are not bad enough, women still have to go through period breakouts! Just why do women experience period acne?

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Period, or the better term for it; menstrual cycle. The time of the month all women hate. From cramps to bloating and to make it worse: hormonal acne breakout. Typically for most women, the week leading up to your period is when your hormonal acne tends to flare up. The good news is that your breakout will start clearing up when your menstrual cycle is ending.

The big question is this: Why do women experience hormonal acne breakout leading to or during their period? Even women with clear, healthy-looking skin might notice 1 or 2 pimples popping up when it’s nearing their period!

#Know Your Acne!

Acne – Blackheads (Open Comedones)

No, it’s not dirt that causes blackhead. Blackheads are a result of clogged or plugged hair follicles. Blackhead occurs when your pore is clogged by dead skin cells and sebum but the pore outer layer still stays open.

Acne – Whiteheads (Closed Comedones)

Unlike having blackheads, when you have whiteheads, your pore is closed, dirt, sebum and dead skin cells are ‘trapped’ in your pores, resulting in a small bump protruding out of the skin. This kind of acne is more difficult to treat as the pores are closed.

Acne – Papules

Papules are when your pores break down from inflammation and are sensitive to touch. Not only that, your pores are hard and clogged too. Avoid picking or squeezing it as it can lead to scarring and worsen the inflammation.

Acne – Pustules

Contrary to papules, pustules are filled with pus. The head/top is usually filled with white or yellow pus that creates the signature pimple look.

Acne – Nodules & Cysts

Nodules and cysts are large bumps that developed inside the skin. This kind of cystic acne is the most severe form and should be treated professionally. Cystic acnes are usually quite painful.


Hormones are the main reason why acne flares up before or during a woman’s period. Nearing to her menstruation, a woman’s hormone levels start to fluctuate, and may result in premenstrual acne. Hormonal levels gets even more unstable during their period.

During your period, as your estrogen levels and progesterone levels decrease, the skin increases its production of sebum (oil production) in their sebaceous glands which results in more clogged pores and breakouts. Sebum is a waxy/oily substance produced by the body. Hormonal fluctuations also contribute to factors such as increased skin inflammation and more sebum production due to the rise in androgen levels.

Where does period acne usually appear?

Based on research, period acne usually appears around your jawline and chin area. 


DO NOT pop your pimples! Popping a pimple spreads bacteria and pus from the infected pore to the pores in the area, leading to more outbreaks! Even worse, it may lead to scarring! Always leave extractions to the professionals! In need of a professional extraction / facial for Acne Skin? Check out our Anti-Acne Facial!

What you can do to soothe Period Acne

Here are some options to help with your hormonal breakout:

  1. Cleanse your skin twice a day with a gentle cleanser.
    Recommended Products:
    Oily Skin: Arena Purifying Wash
    Combination Skin: Arena M1 Balancing Mousse Cleanser
  2. Avoid products that can further irritate your skin, such as those with a heavier consistency.
  3. Always apply sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays. Find sunscreens with at least SPF 30 and for period acne, it is good to find a sunscreen with added benefits like oil control or has anti-inflammatory properties!
    Recommended Product: Arena Foundation Mousse 35
  4. Use a warm compress on your acne to soothe the pain, reduce the swelling and drain out the pus
  5. Have a proper diet by cutting down on sugary diet nearer to your cycle
  6. Go for professional acne treatments like our signature 90min Anti-Acne Facial.
  7. Use a mask to detoxify and thoroughly deep cleanse the skin
    Recommended Product: Charcoal Foaming Mask


To quickly get rid of Acne when it emerges, it is a lifesaver to always have an Acne Spot Treatment product on hand! Like the name “Spot Treatment” suggests, they are to be used directly on the acne itself; and they really do work wonders! Find one with antibacterial ingredients like salicylic acid or sulphur to instantly treat those nasty outbreaks. Recommended Products: Arena Sayonara AP Lotion

Products Featured In this Article

  • ARENA Charcoal Foaming Mask 50mL
    ARENA Charcoal Foaming Mask 50mL
  • 90 Mins Acne Facial Treatment
    90 Mins Acne Facial Treatment
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  • ARENA Oxygenating Foam Cleanser 215mL
    ARENA Oxygenating Foam Cleanser 215mL
  • ARENA AP Lotion
    ARENA AP Lotion
  • ARENA Purifying Wash 150mL
    ARENA Purifying Wash 150mL
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