It’s fair to say that not everyone gets chance to access their own personal facialist, but yes, we’re pretty good to you here at RIH. Anti-ageing queries or acne concerns? Puffy eyes or fine lines? Each month, we give you the chance to put your questions to super facialist and skincare expert Antonia Burrell

My skin is generally pretty good but at that time of the month I tend to get the worst breakouts. Hormonal spots seem to be so hard to get rid of – never mind prevent! Have you got any tips for what I can do about these as it’s actually really annoying and distressing.


Spots and blemishes brought on by our hormones are very difficult to manage, as our menstruation cycle is a natural occurrence within our bodies that we’re unable to change! Although we’re lead to believe that spots appearing during this time are caused our period, these spots are in fact caused by ovulation. The truth is, spots actually develop under our skin for a lot longer than we think, so spots caused by ovulation only actually become visible a couple of weeks later during our period – hence the confusion!

During ovulation our bodies produce hormones including testosterone which stimulates the production of sebum on our skin, blocking pores and promoting the onset of breakouts. An increase in our core temperature also means we are more likely to sweat, so the key here is deep cleansing to remove excess sweat, sebum and build up. A good cleansing routine around the time of ovulation will work wonders – I recommend double cleansing morning and night for good measure.


It’s also worth stepping up your exfoliation routine around this time to gently buff away dead skin cells, and following with a deep cleansing mask. Keeping your hands clean is also important to prevent grime and build up spreading to your face, so wash your hands often or use some antibacterial gel or wipes.

Some women can just tell, but if you’re unsure as to when you’re ovulating I recommend using a period tracker app to help you monitor your cycle. You can get some good ones for free on the App Store, such as P Tracker Lite.


Have a question you’d like to put to Antonia? Pop your details below and if you’re lucky, you’ll get the answer to your query in a future edition of Five Minute Therapist! What are you waiting for – not everyone gets access to an A-List facialist just like that!