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Progesterone is a sexual hormone, meaning that it has a role in reproduction and in the development of sexual behaviours at puberty.
Progesterone is produced in both men and women. In women, progesterone is the dominant hormone after ovulation. In men, progesterone is a precursor to testosterone.
Progesterone belongs to the large class of steroid hormones. A steroid hormone is a hormone that's made from cholesterol. In women, it's mostly produced by the ovaries after ovulation, but also by the adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) and by the placenta when pregnant.
Main roles: Progesterone readies the body for a possible pregnancy by preparing the lining of the uterus for the implantation of the fertilized egg. Once pregnant, progesterone works to maintain a healthy pregnancy and reduces the risk of miscarriage. It also works by preventing a second pregnancy (this is the mechanism used in birth control pills). Progesterone also stimulates the development of the mammary glands in preparation for lactation.
Effects on the skin: On the skin, progesterone acts by attaching itself to a receptor in the sebaceous glands. This has the effect of stimulating the production of sebum and making your skin oilier. Because progesterone production is higher in the second week of your cycle, this is when your skin is at its oiliest.
Discover the first periodic serums
4 serums to meet the needs of each week of your menstrual cycle, whatever your skin type:
Week 1: moisturising and soothing serum
Week 2: radiance and suppleness serum
Week 3: moisturising and astringent serum
Week 4: mattifying and anti-blemish serum