Many of us can remember navigating the dramatic changes of our teenage years, from body changes to mood fluctuations to - of course - skin challenges. It’s a well-known fact that these changes are completely normal and expected for teens. However, in your 20s, hormonal changes and imbalances are a much less talked-about conversation… but they are far more common than you think. If you’re anything like me, you have been experiencing the unpredictable waves of hormonal changes as an adult, and have been left screaming at the sky, “I thought I got through puberty years ago! What is happening?!”
Here at Pretty Clean Shop, we hear your concerns, and we have your back! The first thing you should know is that, like the hormonal changes that happen in your teen years, this time is completely normal. Our bodies are constantly changing, including our hormones, and this is especially true during our prime years for fertility. You may be experiencing weight, mood, and skin health fluctuations that follow along with your menstrual cycles. Or, you may feel as though your changes are much more unpredictable, similar to how you may have experienced them as a teenager.
In any case, we like to see this time as an opportunity for you to grow and learn more about your body and health – and that can be exciting! Nonetheless, we understand that it can be frustrating throughout the process of trying to decipher what our bodies are trying to tell us. Here at Pretty Clean Shop, we have many suggestions for how to manage these changes and make this time a little bit easier. Of course, we always recommend talking to your doctor first and foremost about any concerns you may have!
Skin & Hair
Skin and hair changes are some of the most common challenges that people experience alongside the hormonal changes of their 20s. Hormonal acne and breakouts are common as our peak levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout the month, often appearing on our chin, jawline, and other lower face areas. Hair loss or growth in new places are other common experiences related to hormonal changes. These challenges are often exacerbated by stress, lack of sleep, and unhealthy dietary choices, all of which can be common in our 20s and 30s as we work to navigate the responsibilities of adulthood.
When it comes to hair thinning and overall hair and skin health, collagen production in the body is a key link. Collagen, a protein that helps keep skin plump and hair thick and healthy, fluctuates alongside estrogen during hormonal changes. We believe that healthy skin and hair starts from the inside, which is why we recommend including some high-collagen foods in your diet such as fish, eggs, berries, citrus fruits, garlic, and red/yellow vegetables, and then supplementing when necessary. Our favourite supplements to help increase your body’s collagen production in support of healthy skin, hair, joints, and nails are the Vegan Collagen Booster gummies from Herbaland and the Marine Collagen from Aura Inner Beauty.
With hormonal acne, it’s so important to maintain a quality skincare routine. The first step of this is to build a daily routine that works for you and to ensure that you’re cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. Our favourite product for this is the Brush Cleanser by Elate Cosmetics, which not only removes unwanted bacteria but also prolongs the life of your makeup brushes. Building a skincare routine that works for you can be a complicated process with lots of trial and error, since everybody’s skin is so different. However, there are a few essential steps that everyone should consider for a well-rounded skincare routine: (1) cleanse, (2) moisturize, (3) SPF. And, if you’re looking to step it up a notch, you can add serums and exfoliation into the mix! Here are some of our favourite products from each of the skincare routine categories:
- CLEANSE: Active Clay Cleanser by Étymologie (purifying and balancing), Golden Milk Cleanser by Sahajan (non-stripping, nourishing), Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever by Living Libations (clarifying, nourishing, gently-exfoliating)
- EXFOLIATE (optional): Face Cleansing Grains, Konjac Sponge, Detox Face Mask by Wildcraft, Dry/Wet Massage Face Brush by Redecker
- SERUM (optional): Zippity Dew Dab by Living Libations (spot-treatment, cleansing, clearing), Refine Face Serum by Wildcraft (hydrating, cleansing), Probiotic Vitamin C Serum by Étymologie (protecting, restoring)
- MOISTURIZE: Ultra Hydrating Facial Moisturizer (unscented, soothing, deep hydration), Clarify Face Cream by Wildcraft (balancing, nourishing), Frankincense Best Skin Ever (calming, nourishing, softening)
- SPF: All Good SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen Butter, Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 by Green Cricket, Makeup Setting Spray Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 by COOLA
Thinning or shedding hair is another change that can occur with hormonal imbalances, and this is a challenging one to manage because everyone’s hair is so different and requires unique things. Along with maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins such as collagen, we have a few products here at Pretty Clean Shop that may be helpful. For washing your hair, we love the Stimulator Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner Bars by Unwrapped Life as well as the Amazon Rainforest Shampoo Bar for Thinning Hair. Follow that up with a strengthening hair oil, such as the Hair Oil by Sahajan, and you’re good to go!
We all know that getting a poor night’s sleep is the absolute worst, and hormonal changes and imbalances can unfortunately bring some sleep-related challenges that will take some getting used to. It can become a vicious cycle, with stress-related sleep deprivation causing hormonal imbalances, and hormonal imbalances causing sleep problems such as insomnia. While it’s always important to talk to your doctor or naturopath for more specific treatments, we’ve gathered a few recommendations that could have you counting sheep in no time.
To combat sleep disruptions and insomnia, we recommend the sugar-free Sleep Max and Sleep Plus gummies from Herbaland. Containing melatonin, vitamin B6, and lemon balm, these gummies can help you to maintain sleep quality, reset the body’s sleep-wake cycle, stimulate calmness, and reduce stress. Along with the gummies, comfort is key to sleeping well throughout the night. One of our favourite products for this is the Eye Pillow with Flax and Lavender from Lot8 – it can be heated in the microwave and smells beautiful. We also love the Unwind Room and Linen Spray made in-house at Pretty Clean Shop – enjoy the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils such as lavender, orange, and frankincense. We hope you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time!
Sex Health & Menstrual Care
With hormonal changes and imbalances, menstrual, vaginal, and sexual health can definitely be impacted. Symptoms could include irregular periods and vaginal dryness, as estrogen plays a key role in promoting menstrual and vaginal health. Luckily, we have a few products at Pretty Clean Shop that can help you navigate these changes – have no fear!
For washing, we recommend using a gentle soap that respects the delicate balance of the vaginal flora. Our favourite is the Savon Orgasmique from Mme L’Ovary – it is natural, fragrance-free, and can be used daily. Next, a hydrating vaginal cream or serum could be especially beneficial during this time. We love the Petal Passion Yoni Serum by Living Libations which is not only moisturizing but also increases elasticity, tones the tissue, and can act as a lubricant. Speaking of, lubricants are also essential when experiencing vaginal dryness, and we have a variety of natural ones to tickle your fancy. If you prefer a butter, we recommend the Radiant Love Butter, Lucky Love Butter, or Languid Love Butter, all by Living Libations. From the same brand, we also recommend the Radiant Love Lube if you’d prefer to go with an oil-based option.
When it comes to sustainable menstruation, we carry a few tried-and-true options that can provide you with safe, comfortable, low-waste care throughout your cycle. For all-day wear, we recommend a menstrual cup – we carry the original Diva Cup, the Aisle Menstrual Cup, and the easy-to-use, stem-free Nixit Cup. If you’d prefer reusable pads, we carry several sizes by Aisle, including panty liners, mini, maxi, and super. Finally, you might want to give the comfortable period underwear by Mme L’Ovary, offered in shorty, bikini, and nighttime varieties.
Mood & Energy
Any changes to your hormones can impact your mood and energy levels, as you have likely experienced through PMS symptoms before your period. It is common for women to experience brain fog, fatique, and mood changes during these times, all of which can be frustrating to manage. Luckily, we have a few suggestions and products here at Pretty Clean Shop that can help you to improve your energy levels, reduce brain fog, and manage mood changes.
Top tips include eating a healthy and balanced diet filled with whole, colourful foods, regularly exercising, reducing stress, getting enough sleep (see the tips above!), and reducing screen time. We also recommend integrating wellness teas and revitalizing aromatherapy scents into your daily routines. Lake and Oak Tea Co., a Toronto-based wellness brand, offers a wide variety of superfood teas and adaptogen blends that have a range of mood-lifting, energy-boosting, and brain-clearing benefits. Their Ashwagandha and Chill Tea can help to reduce stress and insomnia, their Cacao Mylk has ingredients shown to boost mood and energy, and their Chaga Coconut Chai is great for reducing physical, mental, and emotional fatigue. We also carry a line of organic superfood tea powders from Tealeaves, which includes their energizing and brain-clearing Ashwagandha and Beetroot Reset and their mood-boosting Wild Dandelion Cocoa.
We hope you learned some helpful tips for using natural products to navigate hormonal imbalances and the many bodily changes that can come along with it…either for yourself, or for a friend. Share these tips with your community to help open up the conversation around hormonal changes and imbalances and to empower those around you to share their experiences during this natural stage of life.