Hormones are fun. As a teenager they make your skin go crazy, but the end of puberty doesn’t mean that you’re done with pimples. Oh no! Some of us lucky ones also get to deal with pregnancy related acne. Cystic pimples that love to pop up (literally) due to pregnancy hormones. These blemishes can be brutal, but unfortunately due to so many skin care ingredients being off limits during pregnancy.
What to do with Pimples during Pregnancy?
So… What are your favorite topical ingredients to treat blemishes? Because it sure seems like all of mine (Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic acid) were both on that list of no-no ingredients. Just try finding an acne treatment that doesn’t contain either of those or a hydroxy acid. Pretty much impossible.
A reader asked me about Witch Hazel recently, and that is safe in pregnancy, so that is an option if it doesn’t try you out like crazy (like it does me, so I avoid it like the plague).
So…. those hormone induced bumps… you pretty much need to wait them out. I swear my pimples were there for the last part of the first trimester and most of the second trimester, and then something happened and they disappeared overnight. I only had pregnancy related acne during my first pregnancy, none with my second pregnancy (and I have 2 girls, so there goes that old wives’ tale!).
Simple Pimple Treatments
My pregnancy related acne was mostly deep, painful cystic acne. Those kinds of pimples are hormonally driven and less likely to be helped by topical treatments like spot treatment creams (which are usually on the no-go during pregnancy list anyways).
I found that keeping my pores as clear as possible did help prevent some of the smaller pimples. As well, warm compresses on the larger cystic pimples made them less painful and helped them go away faster.
I used my Clarisonic every day and did some masking. Using a clay containing mask to help suck up all the nastiness in my pores about 2-3 times a week helped a lot. I love the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask, it would pull everything out of my pores but wouldn’t dry out my skin.
If you want to use a spot treatment, look for one with Sulfur as the active ingredient. The only pregnancy safe spot treatment that I’ve found is the Belli Beauty Acne Control Spot Treatment.
One treatment that was not available at the time of my pregnancies was light therapy, such as the Neutrogena Light Therapy Mask and the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment. I’ve heard from dermatologist friends that the light therapy does work very well for pimples.
Don’t forget to check out the other articles in my Pregnancy and Nursing Skin Care Guide!