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10 Korean skincare tips to keep your skin clear & glowy during your monthly cycle

Vicky Lee

Words by Korean beauty expert Vicky Lee.

Like clockwork, our monthly cycle comes around and we are far too familiar with the overflow of excess oil that appears on our complexion, alongside the onslaught of cramps, hormones and that dreaded bloated feeling that leaves us all feeling just a little irritable.

During your 28 day cycle, the body experiences numerous hormonal shifts on a daily basis, playing havoc with the skin. The increased production of progesterone mid-cycle alone, stimulates the production of sebum in the skin, creating the oily appearance so many of us experience.

Making a few tweaks to your skincare routine can go a long way in fixing blemished skin woes, but unfortunately will have little impact on your overall wellbeing alone. That’s why, at this time more than ever, Korean skincare takes a more holistic approach, incorporating all sorts of elements from diet choices to quick and easy lifestyle changes, which help to completely nourish and soothe both the skin, body and mind alike.

Proving that the side effects of the monthly cycle are no match for healthy glowing skin; I’d like to share my top 10 Korean skincare secrets, helping to curb the effects of our monthly cycles and keep the complexion bright and dewy all month long,

1. Try acupressure, also known as pressure point therapy. The best pressure point to relieve menstrual cramps is the Three Yin Crossing, which is located about four fingers above the inner part of the anklebone and close to the back of the shinbone.

2. Always double cleanse at night to remove impurities, makeup and germs that may cause more skin trouble with Banila Co. Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm and Skinfood Rice Brightening Cleansing Foam.

3. Don’t pop pimples! Instead, use sheet and clay masks designed for troubled skin to minimize blemishes and breakouts, which usually occur around the forehead, mouth and chin. Oil-controlling products, like Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder, help reduce excess oil and shine too.

4. Use an eye serum with ginseng, like It’s Skin Prestige Yeux Ginseng D’Escargot, to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

5. Source extra hydration for skin with toner, essence and soothing and hydrating sheet masks like Dr Jart + Water Fuse Water-Full Hydrogel Mask. Skin tends to be drier and more sensitive at this delicate time, so to further reduce the puffiness try keeping your sheet masks in the fridge.

6. Follow the magnesium diet. Food rich in magnesium, like spinach, kale, pineapple and nuts, help to relax the muscles, reducing painful cramps.

7. During your menstrual cycle, you may experience a higher craving for sugar. Curb it with ginger tea, which warms up your stomach, improves your digestion, and soothes menstrual cramps. Try and avoid cold foods as these can hinder good blood circulation.

8. Regular exercise, particularly walking and stretching, can help to improve blood circulation and ease the pain of menstrual cramps. One of the best yoga positions to soothe cramps is the one-armed camel position because it stretches out the abs and front of the hips.

To try this at home, stand on your shins so your knees are just underneath your hips. Reach your right hand back and place it on your right heel while extending your left arm in the air. Shift your weight forward onto your knees as this increases the stretches in your belly, chest, and quads. Lower your hand behind you and stay still for five breaths. Switch side and hold the position for another five breaths.

9. Keep your lower body warm. For example, taking a warm 30-minute long bath helps relieve menstrual cramps.

10. Onion is one of the best foods for our both our mental and physical health. Incorporating plenty in to your diet will improve blood circulation, purify the blood, and even prevent the formation of premature wrinkles and blemishes.