How To Tailor Your Skincare For Hormones, Per Experts

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Skincare

We’ve said a lot about hormones, from contraception to hair loss to how it can impact your fitness. Now, we’re talking about skincare for hormones – specifically, dealing with hormonal fluctuations that impact your skin.

From acne to hyperpigmentation, your hormones not only play a role in your weight, mood and periods but also how your skin appears. Case in point: that pregnancy ‘glow’ in the first trimester is totally real! But bummer: hormones can also be behind breakouts. “By understanding your hormonal cycle, selecting skincare products based on your hormonal changes and exploring in-office treatments, you can harness the power of hormones to enhance your skincare routine and achieve a radiant complexion,” adds Dr Alek Nikolic, a specialist in aesthetic medicine and owner of SkinMiles. Here, Dr Nikolic’s steps on managing your hormonal fluctuations with skincare.

How hormones impact your skin

Your first period marked the beginning of a brand new journey with your hormones: the menstrual cycle. But added to that, there are two other major periods that hail significant hormonal shifts. The first is pregnancy and the second in menopause. And they all prompt different skin responses. As your hormones change, you could notice variations in oiliness, hydration levels and skin texture.

Oestrogen and progesterone in particular play an important role in regulating skin health and appearance, says Dr Nikolic. When you are pregnant, hormonal shifts are driven by increased levels of oestrogen and progesterone. Conversely, during menopause, hormonal changes occur, including a decline in oestrogen levels. “It is important to pay attention to your skin’s response during these different phases of your life and adjust your skincare products accordingly,” explains Dr Nikolic. 

READ MORE: 10 Random Daily Things That Are Making Your Hair Fall Out

How to tailor your skincare for pregnancy

During pregnancy, hormonal shifts can lead to a range of skin issues such as melasma (hyperpigmentation) and acne which is caused by the overproduction of sebum due to increased hormone levels. While expecting, pregnant women might also experience dryness and hypersensitivity.

There are also quite a few products not to be used during pregnancy, like retinol (vitamin A) products. “Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. Oral retinoids used as an acne treatment are known to cause birth defects,” Dr Nikolic. But thankfully, you don’t need a whole new skincare regimen for the next nine months. Instead, Dr Nikolic advises that you keep your skincare as simple as possible. Your skin is unpredictable during this stage of your life, so you want to avoid any potential skin reactions or sensitivity. Here’s how to beat the main skin concerns during pregnancy.

READ MORE: How Your Skin Changes During Pregnancy, Per Experts 


“Products containing vitamin C will reduce pigmentation and brighten your complexion,” says Dr Nikolic.

LAMELLE Correctives Vita C Lipid
LAMELLE Correctives Vita C Lipid

This gentle formulation goes easy on your skin but delivers the benefits.

The Body Shop Vitamin C Serum skincare for hormones
The Body Shop Vitamin C Serum

This serum has 10% vitamin C, all from natural sources.

Lelive. All Glow'd Up Brightening Serum
Lelive. All Glow’d Up Brightening Serum

Hyaluronic acid and turmeric bulk up this brightening complex.


Swerve clear of salicylic acid right now, says Dr Nikolic. Instead, try a cleanser or serum with glycolic acid, and also try azelaic acid and niacinamide – they both have anti-inflammatory properties.

Jorgobe Niacinamide Serum skincare for hormones
Jorgobe Niacinamide Serum

This balancing serum evens out skin tone and reduces redness.

SkinCeuticals Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment
SkinCeuticals Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment

This daily corrective treatment reduces redness while smoothing skin.

The Ordinary Glycolic Toner
The Ordinary Glycolic Toner

This exfoliating toner targets dullness, texture and signs of ageing.

Sensitivity and dry skin

This concern can be managed by incorporating moisturisers that include hyaluronic acid, ceramides and shea butter which will help replenish your skin barrier, says Dr Nikolic.

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2-4-2
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2-4-2

This moisturiser injects moisture and plumpness back into the skin.

CeraVe Advanced Repair Ointment skincare for hormones
CeraVe Advanced Repair Ointment

This non-greasy formula hydrates and soothes very dry skin.

Aveeno Dermexa Emoillient Cream skincare for hormones
Aveeno Dermexa Emoillient Cream

Perfect for very dry skin, this oat-based lotion soothes skin.

How to approach skincare during menopause

Common skin-related issues during menopause include dryness, thinning of the skin and reduced elasticity. “These changes are primarily caused by a decrease in oestrogen production, leading to decreased collagen production and impaired skin barrier function,” explains Dr Nikolic. “It is also important to note that menopause can also worsen pre-existing conditions like rosacea or eczema due to the changes in the skin’s pH and moisture levels”.

To manage these skin problems you need to have a consistent skincare regime that is targeted towards aged skin. Dr Nikolic’s recommendation is to consider applying Vitamin C to treat pigmentation, texture, collagen loss, and elastin stimulation during your morning skincare routine and consider retinol for your evening routine.

For everything else, here are some product recs for hydration, moisturisation and sun protection.


During menopause, consider regular exfoliation to remove unwanted thick and dead skin cells, give a better glow and increase cell turnover. Glyco-10  skincare for hormones Glyco-10

This peel-at-home assists with dull skin and wrinkles.

Sothys Gommage Exfoliant
Sothys Gommage Exfoliant

This grain-free formula with Jasmine Extract gently removes dead cells.

Beauty Of Joseon Peeling Gel
Beauty Of Joseon Peeling Gel

This gentle exfoliator removes dead skin cells and promotes clear and bright skin. 


A moisturiser will replenish water loss with hyaluronic acid, ceramides and fats. Your night-time moisturiser should contain additional antioxidant ingredients.

Lamelle Serra Restore Cream
Lamelle Serra Restore Cream

This nourishing cream locks in moisture for plump skin.

Skin Active Matric Support
Neostrata Skin Active Matric Support

This hard-working moisturiser supports skin function.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

This cult favourite is a lightweight, hydrating moisturiser that deeply replenishes.

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