Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your skin. Here’s a look at why pregnancy acne happens, how to deal with it, and some of our favorite products for keeping it under control.
Our bodies can change dramatically during pregnancy, and for many people, that includes some drastic changes to the skin. It’s very common for pregnant women to develop acne in their first and second trimesters, regardless of skin type. Here’s what you need to know about pregnancy acne, as well as some of our favorite products to treat it.
What To Expect With Pregnancy Acne
Going into a pregnancy, you may feel a little overwhelmed by all the changes to your body. Hormone levels increase dramatically during pregnancy, which triggers your skin to produce more sebum. This means that your pores will be much more likely to clog, and acne will be more likely to form. If you haven’t struggled much with acne in the past, you may feel at a loss as to how to prevent it. The acne will likely clear up on its own once your pregnancy is over. However, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the severity of pregnancy acne.
- Be gentle on your skin. Don’t use harsh exfoliants or wash with hot water, as this can irritate it during this sensitive period. Instead, use mild products that don’t contain any harsh fragrances or chemicals. You also shouldn’t forget the moisturizer, even if your skin is naturally oily. Moisturizer actually helps balance your skin’s oil levels and can prevent clogged pores.
- Eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water. Unhealthy processed foods can further aggravate your skin, so stay away from them and opt instead for plenty of fruits, veggies, lean meats, and whole grains.
- Wash your pillowcases and towels frequently. They can harbor bacteria, which can irritate your already-sensitive skin. You should also keep your hair clean and out of your face, and avoid touching your face with your hands, as these are also things that can transfer bacteria to your pores.
It’s important to note that there are certain skin care ingredients you should avoid while pregnant. These include retinol products, as well as some harsh acid ingredients. Although the risk is low, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to pregnancy products. If you’re ever unsure about what is and isn’t safe to use, consult your doctor to be sure.
Best Products For Pregnancy Acne
If you start breaking out during your pregnancy, you may want to consider making some changes to your skincare routine. Switching to products that are specifically designed for hormonal acne can help you keep your skin clear. Here are some of our favorite products for managing pregnancy acne.
Jane Iredale Lemongrass Love Hydration Spray
During pregnancy, the skin can get inflamed and irritated very quickly. Just a few pumps of this spray can visibly calm the skin in just a few minutes. It hydrates the skin and minimizes oil production, and it soothes inflammation and reduces redness. The spray also has a fresh and light citrus scent, and is made with organic ingredients. You can use it on bare skin or to set makeup.
Mario Badescu Drying Cream
This potent cream can be used as a spot treatment to stop even the most stubborn zits in their tracks. It uses sulfur and zinc oxide to draw dirt and bacteria out of your pores, shrinking swollen acne clusters. It also contains aloe vera, which soothes the skin, reduces inflammation, and can help skin tone look more even. Try applying this cream at night for a much-improved skin tone in the morning.
StriVectin Advanced Acids Glycolic Face Mask
Exfoliating is particularly important when you’re dealing with acne – it removes the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal the healthy ones underneath. A good exfoliant will help the rest of your products soak into the skin faster and work more effectively. This peel from StriVectin is a great way to remove all those dead skin cells while also minimizing oil production.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream Moisturizer
A common misconception that many people have is that you shouldn’t use moisturizer when treating cane. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth – moisturizer helps keep your skin balanced and prevents it from overproducing oil, which can clog pores. This option from Neutrogena is a great choice, because it contains hyaluronic acid, an ultra-moisturizing ingredient that’s very effective for improving the skin’s texture. Like many other Neutrogena products, this moisturizer is very gentle and won’t irritate sensitive skin.
Glamglow Flashmud Brightening Treatment
Glamglow is well known for their excellent masks, and this one is no exception. Although it contains strong ingredients that will fight acne and brighten the skin overall, it’s still completely safe to use during pregnancy. It contains salicylic acid, which is great for drying out acne and sloughing away the dead skin, and is also a great alternative to using retinoids. A vitamin C complex also brightens up the skin and prevents scarring. Glamglow suggests applying the mask to dry skin and leaving it in place for 20 minutes, two to three times per week.
Glytone Enhance Brightening Complex with 12% Azelaic Acid
If you’re dealing with painful or cystic acne, you’ll want something that can clear it up fast. However, many of the strongest acne products on the market aren’t safe to use during pregnancy. This option from Glytone, a leading skincare brand, is a great choice. It contains azelaic acid, a powerful acne-fighting ingredient that’s safe to use during pregnancy. It kills the bacteria that can cause clogged pores, but it also reduces acne scarring for clearer skin after pregnancy. It has a lightweight cream texture that’s easy to apply. It’s recommended to wear sun protection while you’re using this product, as it can make you slightly more sensitive to sunburns.
While pregnancy acne is frustrating, you can rest assured knowing that your skin will calm down after you have your baby and your hormones go back to normal. Using skincare products designed for hormonal acne is a great way to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.