Acne During Pregnancy: Safe Ways to Treat Pregnancy Acne

To pop or not to pop? That’s the question for anyone who suffers from adult or hormonal acne, but it’s even more pronounced during pregnancy for some lucky women. I happen to be one of them.

During my first pregnancy, I had what I thought was the worst of the worst skin. I waited and waited for that fabled ‘pregnancy glow’, to no avail. Yes, my skin was oily, and full coverage make-up helped me look presentable on camera when I was a national news anchor, but when I got home and the make-up came off, you would find me in front of the bathroom mirror for an hour picking away.

It became my bedtime ritual, and no night seemed complete without it. My husband would have to wait until I was done before we could begin watching our favorite tv shows together.

Post-partum, I found myself juggling and newborn and cystic acne for the first time in my life. I spent hours online researching what could be done to get my skin back to normal.

Here’s how I’m working to keep my skin as clear as can be during pregnancy.

Simple Ways to Treat Acne During Pregnancy

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Wash, rinse, repeat. At least something like that. I narrowed my skincare routine down to the bare minimum, with only the safest ingredients for my growing baby. This meant finding a simple oil make-up remover, a non-drying face wash, and oil-free moisturizer. My doctor also gave me the all-clear to use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide after my first trimester, which helped to combat some unruly flare-ups.

Clear skin treatment plan for acne during pregnancy.

Try a Mask

When all else fails, try a mask to bring some balance back to your face. I found that using a mask once a week helped to combat flares of whiteheads, blackheads and cystic acne. During my first pregnancy, I used Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, mixed with apple cider vinegar. It worked at the time but also left my skin feeling dry. Now that I find myself in a dry environment, I can’t strip my skin during the mask process, so I am now rotating several masks to give my skin the boost it needs.


No one likes to hear this, but hormonal acne associated with pregnancy or breastfeeding will heal in time. For me, it took about three to four months before my skin began feeling normal again, but for some women, it may be longer or shorter. And although the cystic acne disappeared, I still had a number of scars on my face – due mainly to my self-inflicted picking.

Call in the Experts

Know when it’s time to ask for help. Yes, this is an intervention. If you’re experiencing hormonal acne while pregnant, you already have a lot on your plate. Your skin should be the least of your worries during this exciting time of your life – easier said than done, right?

When booking an appointment let them know that you are pregnant, as this will ensure that no harmful processes or chemicals are used during your treatments.

Also keep in mind that your skin may be more sensitive while pregnant, so give your skin time to bounce back before applying makeup after a service.

Safe Skincare Practices During Pregnancy

If you absolutely must tackle your breakouts on your own, follow these rules to prevent scarring and spreading bacteria.

  • Clean Hands, Clean Tools – Use only clean hands and clean tools made for extractions. No bobby pins allowed!
  • Whiteheads Only – If you’re tackling one type of breakout, stick with whiteheads only. In my opinion, they’re easier to identify and they will absolutely let you know when they’re ripe for the picking.
  • Dry Flaky Skin – I will also allow myself a pass to pick if my skin is dry and flaking off of my face. It’s not a pretty sight, and will not allow for the proper application of makeup or any kind of cover-up, so I would rather tackle the flakes than let them sit on my face.

I still get the occasional breakout but my skin feels and looks a lot better than I could have imagined during pregnancy.

Have you or are you experiencing hormonal acne related to pregnancy? How did you cope and what were some of your favorite products?

How to treat acne during pregnancy.

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