Skincare For Your Follicular Phase

From the deep wintry, watery well of the menstrual phase, we emerge into the follicular phase of the cycle. Associated with Spring, the waxing moon, and the Air element, this is a time of growth, creativity, and high energy. It's the energetic equivalent of a cool breeze gently clearing away any remaining leaf litter and debris. Ideally, after your bleed, you feel refreshed and renewed, energized and optimistic about this next chapter.

The follicular phase typically lasts 7-10 days and occurs when your body is preparing to release an egg during ovulation. In the follicular phase, maturing follicles in the ovary release estradiol into the bloodstream to build up the endometrium (uterine lining) in which a fertilized egg would implant, should fertilization occur. We see the energetics of Spring mirrored in the dominant follicle that continues to swell and nourish the egg inside, preparing to rupture and be released from the ovary.

This phase is marked by a rise in estradiol (a type of estrogen) levels, which increases serotonin and dopamine, generally leaving you feeling more confident, happy, and outgoing. You may feel inclined to plan, organize, socialize, and generally be "productive." Creativity is flowing freely and it feels easier to make decisions, problem solve, and take initiative. This is a time to tune into your vision for the future, set intentions, and gain clarity actionable steps to take next.

Pro-tip: Planning in this way actually helps decrease stress later on in your cycle when you're less inclined to make decisions and start projects. Imagine how your future luteal or menstrual phase self will feel when your meal planning is done and you don't have to decide what to make for dinner.

For your skin, the rise in estrogen levels tend to lead to improved skin hydration, elasticity, and resilience. Healthy levels of estrogen promotes collagen production and helps to maintain the skin’s thickness and moisture, leading to a clearer and more radiant complexion. This phase is characterized by the skin becoming more balanced and less prone to breakouts compared to the luteal phase. 

Skincare should focus on supporting your skin's natural health and detoxification processes as well as natural cellular turnover.

During the follicular phase, your skin is naturally increasing its moisture, resilience, and radiance, so your skincare will reflect this arising. When you attune to your skin's innate ebb and flow, it stops feeling like you're fighting against your skin and instead feels like a partnership in deep listening and connection rooted in your own inner rhythms.

Here are our recommendations:

Gently cleanse with Sanctum Cleansing Milk, making sure to slow down, take some deeper breaths, and allow the coniferous essential oils to ground and stabilize you. Sanctum cleanses your skin without stripping your natural oils, helping to maintain your skin's balance while nourishing skin and reminding it of its innate brilliance.

Keep your skin hydrated with Rose or Calendula Hydrosol under your moisturizer(s). These hydrosols will calm, soothe, and work with your skin to balance your skin's pH, microbiome, and any inflammation that may have appeared in the last week or so.

Moisturize with Solis Antioxidant Serum, a lightweight oil serum packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that will nourish and protect your skin and support your skin's lipid barrier. Rich in vitamin C and its co-factors, Solis can brighten and smooth skin tone while replenishing vital nutrients.

Once a week, treat your skin to Claritas Brightening Mask to gently exfoliate and encourage your skin's natural cellular turnover. Just as in Solis, Claritas bursts with high levels of vitamin C and other phytonutrients to repair damage on a cellular level while it strengthens connective tissue, firms skin tone, and supports your skin's microbiome.

In addition to this potency of the vitamin C dense Camu Camu in this mask, the other herbs, roots, and resins also stand out for promoting circulation, calming inflammation, and repairing skin damage. Tulsi soothes blemishing and calms inflammation that may have arisen during your menstrual phase, Licorice root improves skin tone and discoloration, Comfrey hydrates and repairs connective tissue, and Pearl reduces the appearance of pore size and evens out pigmentation.

You want your skincare to reflect your skin's inner tides, supporting its natural ebb and flow, not going against it. Ideally, your skincare feels like its in partnership with your skin, your body, your inner knowing. Listen and follow your rhythm, trust your skin to communicate about what it needs, observe any potential impulse to quiet your skin's symptoms and instead, listen first. What is your skin telling you?

You can use your skin's cycles to attune to your own deep knowing.

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