*This post is based on research and personal experience. Always check with your doctor before making any changes to your routine*
Why is this happening to me?!
The primary cause of acne is an imbalance in circulating levels of sex hormones. Acne is actually common during pregnancy. In fact, more than one out of every two pregnant women can expect to develop acne (you are not alone!). During the first trimester the hormone levels increases and so does the production of natural oils (sebum). If you have a history of acne or experienced acne flares at the star of your menstrual cycle you may have a higher risk of experiencing acne during your pregnancy. If you do not develop acne during the first trimester, you probably won’t have breakouts that are out of the ordinary during the second or third trimesters (lucky girl!) Just remember that pregnancy acne is a natural, cosmetic condition. It usually subsides when hormone levels return to normal.
What are some things I should avoid when treating acne during pregnancy?
*Isotretinoin- an oral medication that is use to treat severe acne. Isotretinoin is very dangerous when you are pregnant and can seriously affect a fetus and cause birth defect (it’s a big NO NO, stay away!)
*Hormone therapy- this includes the “female” hormone estrogen and the anti-androgens flutamide and spironolactone.
*Oral tetracycyclines- Antibiotics such as tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline. These can inhibit bone growth and discolor permanent teeth (no thank you)
*Topical retinoids- Products like Differin, Tazarotene, tretinoin(Retin-A) are similar to isotretinoin and you should avoid them during pregnancy.
*Salicylic acid- Many experts recommend against using topical treatments containing salicylic acid while pregnant. Did you know that this is an ingredient found in almost all over-the-counter acne products.
Okay, so is there an alternative treatment?
Finally, to the good part! There are actually several safe ways to treat your acne:
*Limit washing your face to two times a day. Over-washing and over-drying your skin will stimulate your skin to produce more oil! Wash your face with lukewarm water rather than hot water (hot water will over dry your skin)
*When you clean your face, use a gentle, oil-free, alcohol-free, and non abrasive cleanser. Also, use a noncomedogenic moisturizer twice a day.
*Use a washcloth (but change it every time you wash your face). Remember to be gentle and to not rub or injure the irritated parts (breakouts/acne). Personally, I used a Clarisonic Skincare Tool and use the Sensitive cleansing brush heads with it and I have been very satisfied with the results!
*Avoid squeezing or popping pimples, cysts, blackheads or whiteheads. This will most likely add more inflammation and possibly leave you with permanent acne scars.
*Use natural DIY acne-prone skin masks. There are lots out there but one of my many favorites is mixing baking soda with a little water (make a paste). I leave it on my face for about 10-15 min and wash it off gently with warm water. This really helps control my breakouts. I will normally do this once a week. If you want to know more about our homemade facial masks that keep our skin clear and healthy leave us a comment and we can do a separate post about it!
*Drink lots of water it helps keeping your skin hydrated and also helps in blood circulation.
* Change your pillow case twice a week! The oils on your pillowcases can cause acne by spreading dirt, grime, and dead skin, yuck. You might find yourself waking up in the morning to newly formed acne along your cheeks and chin. That is because each night, bacteria, oil and dead skin cells is pressed against your face, causing your pores to become clogged resulting in acne breakouts. I change my pillow case every other day (I am obsess with having clear skin)