You’ve taken the test and saw the lines you’ve been wanting to see forever; you are pregnant!!! Yay! But wait a second, why on earth do you feel like you’re going through puberty all over again? Don’t worry, while this symptom is annoying you do have some natural remedies for acne during pregnancy.
Natural Remedies for Acne During Pregnancy
Acne during pregnancy starts around week six which is usually when you find out that you’re pregnant, unless you’ve been trying to conceive and know your cycle like the back of your hand, then you might find out a little earlier about your pregnancy status. If you are prone to breakouts during your period the likelihood of having pregnancy acne increases, however, everyone is different. I am prone to a breakout during my cycle, however, being pregnant gave me the best skin so it really varies from woman to woman. Before we can dive into natural remedies for acne during pregnancy let’s get to the basics so we can understand what causes this flair up in some pregnant mamas.
What causes pregnancy acne?
Everyone say it with me….HORMONES!! Hormones rule the world for a woman and this couldn’t be truer than during pregnancy. The hormones called androgens increase and can cause the glands in the skin to grow and produce more sebum, an oily, waxy substance (you know, the white or yellow stuff at the center of that pesky zit). Sebum clogs pores and that leads to bacteria, inflammation, and breakouts. You also begin to retain fluids which can contain toxins and that may lead to zits.
What’s a gal to do?
Pregnancy acne peaks during the first and second trimester and while it may be incredibly annoying it’s not really something you can cure. Here are a few tips to help you get through this annoying symptom.
- Daily washing with gentle, natural cleanser twice a day. I personally like Cetaphil because it’s so gentle and it doesn’t contain anything that may be harmful to my baby.
- Do not over scrub. A lot of things change with pregnancy – your hair, your feet, and your skin. Being overzealous with the exfoliate will not help your acne woes; it will most likely create more oil as your skin’s way of overcompensating for dry skin. Gentle exfoliation with a washcloth is perfectly acceptable if you feel like you need to exfoliate.
- Up the Vitamin A intake through food. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin so try increasing your daily intake by including carrots, milk, eggs, and fish. Do not go out and get a supplement to increase your intake as too much Vitamin A can cause birth defects when it’s in a concentrated form like a supplement. Getting more Vitamin A through food is safe because it’s not in a concentrated state.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. Some people swear by it, I’ve never tried so I don’t know from personal experience, but using apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a toner can work wonders. Simply put it on a cotton ball and apply after you’ve washed your face. ACV is naturally rich in enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are great for your skin.
- Use baking soda for spot treatment. Baking soda can dry the oil on your skin and promotes healing. To make a paste use 1 TBS of baking soda to 1 TBS of water and mix together. Then apply it to each pimple and allow it to dry before washing off.
- Moisturize! It sounds counter-intuitive but if your skin is dry it will create more oil to remedy that problem so give your skin a break and use a gentle, fragrance free moisturizer. Some people swear by coconut oil as their moisturizer because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Use virgin coconut oil.
- Drink your h20!!!! You need a lot, and I mean a lot, of water when you’re pregnant for many reasons which I’m going to get into but your skin craves water and the more you have the better it will look.
- Before starting any treatment consult your doctor. You need to consult your doctor before you begin any over-the-counter treatment since many acne products have salicylic acid and Vitamin A which can be harmful to your growing baby. (Remember we talked about the overuse of Vitamin A.)
Try not to stress too much about it. It will not last forever and thankfully you aren’t in middle school anymore. The social scarring from that experience is enough to make me have nightmares! (Yeah, like the time in sixth grade when I got a big red zit on the tip of my nose…and it was in the month of December.) Stay calm, drink lots of water and when it doubt use baking soda.
Bert Anderson is a blogger and social media manager mom of three living outside of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She’s the author behind the blog First Time Mom, where she honestly chronicles the peaks and valleys of parenting. Even though she has more than one child, Bert maintains that whether you have one child or 19, there’s a first time for everything. She’s a lover of coffee, conversations, pop culture, healthy living and fitness.