Oh no, here come the pimples. What causes pregnancy acne and how to treat it safely?
Surges in hormones cause pregnancy acne. Your body is producing more progesterone. That hormone is making your glands release more oil that clogs pores and causes breakouts.
You’re likely to start noticing the increase in pimples around the sixth week. They may be located anywhere on your body, not just on your chin.
- 1 Is acne in pregnancy a sign of a girl?
- 2 Does pregnancy acne go away after birth?
- 3 What are safe acne treatments during pregnancy?
- 4 How to get rid of pregnancy acne
- 5 What kinds of treatments are safe for pregnancy acne?
- 6 Which anti-acne treatments are not safe during pregnancy?
- 7 When will pregnancy acne go away?
- 7.1 Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
- 7.2 Belli Skincare Anti-Blemish Facial Wash
- 7.3 Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
- 7.4 CeraVe Face Wash Acne Treatment | Salicylic Acid Cleanser
- 7.5 InstaNatural Glycolic Facial Cleanser
- 7.6 CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser | 4% Benzoyl Peroxide
- 7.7 Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
- 8 Conclusion
Is acne in pregnancy a sign of a girl?
Rumor has it that worse acne in pregnancy predicts that you’ll have a baby girl but there’s much evidence for that. You’d be better off getting an ultrasound if you’d like to know before the birth.
Does pregnancy acne go away after birth?
The good news is that the acne will probably go away after the baby is born – but not right away. After birth, there will be postpartum hormonal fluctuations.
Also, if you take the mini-pill with progestin while you’re breastfeeding, it might make acne worse.
But don’t stress because the same things that help keep pimples under control during pregnancy will help your skin after birth.
What are safe acne treatments during pregnancy?
You already know that what you eat and drink can affect your developing baby in the womb. Sometimes, topical treatments for acne can do the same. Let’s start by talking about the safe acne treatments you can use during pregnancy.
For starters, switch to oil-free products to avoid clogging pores. These include moisturizers, makeup, and even shampoo and hair care products. They should be labeled “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”.
Second, eat healthily and drink plenty of water so that your skin will stay happy. Protect it with sunscreen if you be spending time outdoors. And don’t forget to take breaks when you feel the stress levels rising.
Third, you can use certain kinds of over-the-counter anti-acne products. It’s smart to talk it over with your OB/GYN, dermatologist, or doctor first just to be sure that they will be right for you. We review the best anti-acne products for pregnancy below. Some of them contain benzoyl peroxide which kills the acne-causing bacteria. Others have salicylic acid that dissolves excess oil to unclog pores and also reduces inflammation (1).
How to get rid of pregnancy acne
Your doctor may have ideas beyond the range of this article so please don’t hesitate to consult them about managing acne during pregnancy. In the meantime, here are some simple things that clear up the skin:
- Wash your face morning and night
- Use a gentle cleanser or an acne face wash
- Keep the skin hydrated, preferably with an oil-free moisturizer
- Don’t pick or pop pimples – use a spot treatment or drying cream instead
- Skip the scrubs – there are more gentle ways to deal with blackheads
- Put on less makeup and try not to touch your skin
- If you have acne on the scalp or hairline, try shampooing daily or every other day
- If you have body acne, stay away from perfumed soaps and body washes
Be gentle and patient with your skin and these tips will pay off. It may take a couple of weeks to get your complexion in balance – hang in there.
What kinds of treatments are safe for pregnancy acne?
Since most women have to deal with pimples while they’re expecting, most OB/GYNs can advise you about how to treat them safely.
Over-the-counter products with non-prescription concentrations of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, azelaic acid, and tea tree oil are generally safe as long as they aren’t applied to a large area of skin. You can learn more in the reviews below.
If you don’t have a spot treatment on hand, you can even use a wet tea bag as a compress. Lay back and relax while the tannins in the tea dry up the pimple. This works with green, white, and black tea as all of them have astringent properties and lots of antioxidants to reduce inflammation.
Which anti-acne treatments are not safe during pregnancy?
Generally, the medications considered unsafe to use during pregnancy include anything with Retin-A or tretinoin and related products based on vitamin A as they can be absorbed into the mother’s body and passed to the baby, causing birth defects (2).
Some antibiotics may be safe, but we strongly recommend talking to your doctor.
Treatments like Differin, Zenatane, Spironolactone, and Zorac usually need to be stopped during pregnancy.
But light therapy, azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid should all be safe when used according to the directions.
When will pregnancy acne go away?
How long does pregnancy acne last? Well, it’s likely to start after the first month and continue throughout the pregnancy. The hormonal fluctuations after birth may trigger another round, but there’s hope. Women around the world have found these acne treatments helpful:
|The best acne treatments during pregnancy||Why we love them|
|Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser||
|Belli Skincare Anti-Blemish Facial Wash||
|Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash||
|CeraVe Salicylic Acid Cleanser||
|InstaNatural Glycolic Facial Cleanser||
|CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser | 4% Benzoyl Peroxide||
|Mario Badescu Drying Lotion||
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
Vanicream’s face cleanser has no artificial fragrance, no oil, no sulfates, no parabens, and no formaldehyde releasers. It has no need for any of these additives to clean your skin thoroughly and keep acne at bay.
Pregnant women love this cleanser because it’s odorless so it doesn’t trigger nausea. Plus, it creates a nice amount of lather and can even remove makeup if left to sit for about half a minute before rinsing.
No, it’s not as cheap as some drugstore face washes. But in our experience, a single pump is more than enough to wash our face and neck. It doesn’t dry out the skin so our faces don’t feel tight or itchy after washing.
It’s a dermatologist-tested formula that has earned the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. Feel free to use it on your body to clear up body acne.
Belli Skincare Anti-Blemish Facial Wash
Belli skincare products are formulated especially for use during pregnancy but anyone with acne-prone skin, cystic acne, or hormonal breakouts can benefit from them. They are all allergy-tested and avoid harmful chemicals like parabens and perfumes.
This face wash is sulfate-free and gentle for all skin types. It’s not surprising that it’s often recommended by dermatologists and OB/GYNs for treating pregnancy acne. It’s made in the USA with gentle and natural ingredients.
Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
Our editor loves this tea tree face wash. After a couple of weeks of using it, her rosacea was in complete remission and pimples have become really rare. If you prefer natural solutions for skin care, it’s definitely worth a try.
It’s based on Castile soap similar to Dr. Bronners. Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, is one of the primary ingredients alongside chamomile and other organic herbs. Tea tree is naturally antimicrobial and good for acne as well as fungal infections.
What’s interesting is that this face wash doesn’t dry out the skin but it’s an excellent cleanser that gets rid of excess oil.
It’s packaged in an 8-ounce pump-top bottle but there are 32-ounce refill bottles, too. A full pump is probably more than most people will need as just a dab creates a pleasant amount of lather. The soap has a mild herbal scent that fades soon after rinsing.
CeraVe Face Wash Acne Treatment | Salicylic Acid Cleanser
CeraVe makes several different face washes for different skin care concerns. This one features salicylic acid, an anti-acne treatment that unclogs pores and calms inflammation. It’s also an exfoliant that can help reduce blackheads and keep the skin looking young.
The formula is mild enough to wash with twice a day. It contains clay to soak up excess oil and therefore eliminates the need for scrubs and beauty masks. Moreover, it’s enriched with ceramides to keep the skin hydrated and has no artificial fragrance or parabens.
However, salicylic acid can make the skin more sensitive to sunburn, so don’t forget the sunscreen. Also, this is an over-the-counter concentration of only 2% so it should be safe during pregnancy. Still, it doesn’t hurt to run it by your doctor.
InstaNatural Glycolic Facial Cleanser
Glycolic acid is an exfoliant that helps prevent acne by keeping pores clear and removing dead skin and oil. It’s more moisturizing than salicylic acid so it’s appropriate for combination and dry skin.
This formula is made without harsh chemicals – even the fresh fragrance is naturally derived. Highlights include lemon, apple, chamomile, and vitamin E to support healthy skin.
Feel free to use it on body acne or to treat rough elbows and dry patches. Give it a couple weeks and you’ll be amazed at how much better your skin looks and feels.
CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser | 4% Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide comes in concentrations up to 10% when purchased without a prescription in drugstore acne treatments. But 10% is pretty strong and can dehydrate and irritate the skin We decided to start with this 4% cleanser instead.
It starts out creamy almost like lotion and quickly turns into foam that removes makeup, dirt, and oil in seconds. Regular use doesn’t just clear up pimples, but it also gets rid of blackheads.
This cleanser features hyaluronic acid and ceramides to keep the skin hydrated. Furthermore, it’s non-comedogenic, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. As long as you rinse it completely from the skin, it won’t bleach your clothes or towels. Nevertheless, it’s not a bad idea to use a white washcloth or an old towel that you don’t mind staining.
One other thing: benzoyl peroxide makes the skin more sensitive to the sun, so please remember to use sunscreen.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
This pink lotion is the secret anti-acne weapon of the stars. No joke, it looks like Pepto-Bismol, but it works miracles overnight.
It blends zinc oxide, sulfur, and salicylic acid to kill acne bacteria, soak up oil, and reduce redness and swelling in a matter of hours. Just put on a little dab and leave it alone until you wash in the morning.
Happily, the formula is paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
Pro tip: don’t shake the bottle. The treatment comes with instructions about how to use it to get the desired effect.
Never fear, pregnancy acne is annoying, but it can be treated. Although you might not have access to the same medication you did before becoming pregnant, you still have options. There are many safe and effective acne treatments that you can use. The keys are consistency and patience. Stick with your chosen treatment for at least a couple weeks to give it a chance to clear up your complexion.
We hope our article and reviews helped you find what you need today. If you’re happy with what you’re using to manage pregnancy acne, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop us a comment below.
1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/pregnancy-acne/faq-20058045 What’s the best way to treat pregnancy acne? Answer From Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
2. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/derm-treat/pregnancy is any acne treatment safe to use during pregnancy?