FEWE Crew: An interview with Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe
21st September 2021
Dr. Ewoma Ukeleghe, our resident skin expert, on board to support you with your skin curiosities throughout each phase of your cycle.
Do you think it’s important for hormones and the menstrual cycle to be taken into consideration when creating skincare products and should more brands be doing it? Why?
Absolutely; our cycle has a huge effect on our skin so should absolutely be taken into consideration when selecting our skincare products. A little bit of preparation in the different phases of your cycle can go a long way in preventing breakouts and calming inflammation and redness.
Which areas of the skin are most affected during the menstrual cycle?
As a general rule, hormonal spots tend to present themselves around the chin, lower face and jaw area. Whilst we don’t exactly know why this area is so commonly affected, it is thought that the excess hormones in your body stimulate the oil glands and many of which are around your chin area.
What are the key changes to the skin during the menstrual cycle?
Fluctuations to our hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, cause increased oil production which can ultimately lead to clogged pores and in turn breakouts. We can also expect drier, dehydrated skin in the early phases of our cycle which can be helped with nourishing, hydrating formulas.
What are the benefits of FEWE’s key ingredients included within their product line?
One of FEWE’s key ingredients present in each of their skincare products is CBD.
The antioxidants in CBD when used on the skin, helps lessen the visible signs of ageing. By counteracting free-radical damage and reducing the look of inflammation, cannabidiol skincare can help to visibly diminish issues like wrinkles, skin dullness, and red-coloured skin tone as well as offering a moisture surge.
Other key ingredients present in the ranges are salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, vitamin b5 and vitamin c.
What weeks during the menstrual cycle should people expect their skin to look its best and how can people enhance their skin during this time using FEWE?
So our skin looks it’s best during the follicular phase as levels of oestrogen and testosterone peak; it will feel more moisturised, contain more collagen so will feel more elastic. When we are ovulating, our oestrogen drops but our skin should still remain healthy and glowing. Maintain this glow with brightening and hydrating formulas, looking out for actives such as vitamin C. FEWE’s Get up and Glow is apt here; boosting natural glow and enhancing luminosity of the skin it utilises skincare powerhouses vitamin c and CBD.
Similarly, what weeks during the menstrual cycle should people expect their skin to look its worst and how can people enhance their skin during this time using FEWE?
In the first phase of our cycle- known as our menstrual phase- our oestrogen and progesterone levels are at their lowest, our body temperature is lower and our circulation is slower- because of this our skin is likely to be drier and more dehydrated. Reach for deeply hydrating formulas here- FEWE’s Thirst Trap is spiked with the ultimate hydrating molecule hyaluronic acid to thoroughly hydrate our thirsty complexion. In the final phase of our cycle, our premenstrual week is when we are most likely to be affected by excess oil production and breakout outs. Reach for targeted spot treatments and actives such as salicylic acid. FEWE’s spot the difference is packed with CBD and salicylic acid to reduce redness, minimise oil and tackle breakouts.
What lifestyle changes can people make to supplement the FEWE product line that will compliment the changing state of body, skin and hormones during each week of the cycle?
I’m a huge advocate of taking a 360, holistic approach to your health. In order to look good on the outside, it’s unsurprising you have to nourish yourself from the inside. As well as topical treatments, eating a good diet high in vitamins and nutrients will have a major impact on your overall wellbeing and health. Avoiding heavily processed and sugary foods is also key here as well as introducing supplements to your routine will have a major impact on your complexion. Practising mindfulness is also important to keep stress levels down, as cortisol can have a detrimental effect on our skin, physical and mental health.
What’s the biggest misconception when it comes to changes to the skin during the menstrual cycle?
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of knowledge on what exactly we can be doing to support our skin during the different phases. The subject of hormonal acne is often thought of as an unfortunate ‘fact of life’ and we aren’t offered much education around what the different stages of our cycle mean for our skin and in turn what we can be doing to assist, in terms of products and ingredients.
It’s also important to track/be aware of how your period affects YOUR skin. It can vary from person to person. I personally know that I need to up my anti-acne routine about 2 weeks prior to my period in order to keep my breakouts at bay. So I'm actually preventing breakouts instead of the approach of only treating them when they occur. More effective and less heartache in the long run.
This is why I’m so excited about FEWE and their all encompassing approaches to skin and wellbeing.
What is your advice on tackling a breakout?
There’s a common misconception that breakouts should be treated with harsh, stripping and alcohol-based formulas but this can actually exacerbate the problem. Instead implementing lots of nourishing and hydrating products into your skincare routine is essential. As well as this, key actives to look out for are salicylic acid to properly unclog pores, as well as products high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients.
How much is your skin affected by seasonal changes throughout the year?
Unsurprisingly changes to the season massively affect our skin. Fluctuations to heat and humidity will naturally impact our complexion; it goes without saying in the winter we are more likely to experience drier and more sensitive skin as humidity and temperatures drop. Subsequent exposure to hotter showers and central heating will also exacerbate dryness and dehydration. In the summer months, we might be more prone to oilier skin and in turn breakouts as pores become clogged with oil. For these reasons, it's important to always take into consideration external factors and adopt a holistic approach to our skin health.