A pregnant woman’s skin is supposed to ‘glow’, right? The truth is that’s not always how it goes. In fact, many women get pretty serious hormonal acne for the first time during pregnancy. According to Dr. Francesca Fusco, a leading dermatology expert at Wexler Dermatology in New York City, “Acne is not uncommon during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to hormonal fluctuations.”
If you’re struggling with stubborn pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads, you don’t have to swear off all acne treatments just because you’re pregnant. In fact, with the right routine, you can keep acne at bay and encourage that glow you’ve heard so much about.
So, how do you know which products you should avoid and which should you stock up on to save you from unwanted breakouts? Dr. Fusco’s first rule is to ask your OB and dermatologist if you’re planning on using an oral medication or prescription strength topical cream for acne. Your doctors know you and your pregnancy better than anyone and can give you the best advice for your skin.
If you’re just hoping to spot treat occasional pimples or are simply wondering which over-the-counter treatments are pregnancy-safe, read on for a few recommendations that are effective and risk-free. And the best part? In addition to working on clearing up your skin, these products will even out your skin tone, smooth out any texture changes, and make your skin look healthy and radiant.
Daily Gentle Cleanser
Dr. Fusco notes if you want to fight acne effectively, you shouldn’t overlook any part your routine. She says, “Cleansing is important in properly controlling breakouts. Often it’s the women who over-cleanse who have acne. A gentle cleanser will clean skin and without irritating or aggravating acne.” She recommends a reliable, gentle cleanser that is designed without harsh ingredients or chemicals. These cleansers effectively remove makeup without drying out your skin, and work well on all skin types.
Overnight Spot Treatment
While Dr. Fusco and other dermatologists agree that over-the-counter topical acne medications that contain benzoyl peroxide are generally safe for pregnant women (since such small amounts, if any, are absorbed into the skin and bloodstream), many women prefer to stick to more natural options to eliminate any risk. Choose a spot treatment that is specifically for pregnant women. Most will contain tea tree oil, colloidal sulfur, and chamomile to help control acne and help keep skin clear of new breakouts.
Weekly Exfoliating Treatment
Exfoliation is the key to effective acne treatment, according to Dr. Fusco: “An excellent formulation to help dry out superficial whitehead is a mask or topical glycolic acid. It will gently and safely dry out the type of acne caused by pregnancy hormones without risk.” To make things easy, pick up a pack of pre-soaked pads to clear away dead skin cells, sebum, and reduce the appearance and recurrence of breakouts.
Pore-Clearing Face Mask
There’s no better time than during pregnancy to relax and take time for you, so why not kill two birds with one stone and treat yourself while you treat your skin? Try a pore-clearing face mask that helps to reduce the appearance of pores and purges impurities from the skin. When you remove the mask, you’ll notice a smoother and calmer complexion with a dewy glow.
At-Home Light Therapy
For a true, skin-spa experience at home that will clear your skin without any risk to your baby, try a blue light treatment. The tools use LED light to clear existing acne and help kill bacteria.