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Acne Tips for Pregnancy

Posted by Dr. Nava Greenfield, M.D. on Jun 17th 2019

Acne Tips for Pregnancy

Pregnant women have many more options than they think to deal with acne breakouts, which can be very bothersome during pregnancy. A basic skincare regimen that includes a gentle cleanser and a good moisturizer is essential. Prescription medications that are safe to use include clindamycin and finacea. Avoid the alpha and beta hydroxy acids that appear in many acne products such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid. However, lactic acid is safe for use in skincare during pregnancy and has the same pore cleansing abilities as glycolic and salicylic acids. 

Finding products that are gentle and made for pregnant women are your best bet and using safe, effective ingredients that won’t harm your baby. Ask your doctor before using a chemical exfoliator because many are not safe for pregnancy despite the fact that they are over the counter. As an alternative to a chemical exfoliator, pregnant women can use a muslin cloth with their cleanser to gently remove dead skin cells from the surface of their skin.

I use sulfur as an active ingredient all the time for most types of dermatitis on the face. It also works great for acne and rosecea. During pregnancy there are very few safe options to use to treat acne but sulfur products are one of them. It helps by unclogging pores and absorbs the oil buildup that occurs from overactive sweat glands which contributes to acne.

Hygiene tips: You may need to start washing your face either more or less frequently during pregnancy, as the oil glands change concentration and production in your skin. If your skin is very oily during the day use a tissue to blot off the excess oil. Use a sunscreen daily that is mineral or physical based, not a chemical SPF, which may be absorbed into the skin and can also lead to skin irritation. Get into the habit of washing your face before and after exercising to avoid sweat mixing with makeup and potentially causing breakouts. Avoid toners which are alcohol based that will dry out your skin and could worsen acne.