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Pregnancy and Acne: Natural Ways to Treat Pimples When You Are Expecting

Frankly said pregnancy and acne occur simultaneously more often than we want them to, bringing back terrible memories from puberty. But, believe it or not, blemishes are common during those nine months. The changes that your body is going through can make a little bit of a mess that sometimes results in pimples. If it’s of any consolation, you are in good company. Many mothers-to-be face the same problem. So is there something you can do about it? For sure. Stick around and we’ll get to that in a minute.

So, what is acne really?

types of acne

In short, this is a skin condition where the production of oil (sebum) increases and causes pimples to form. In a normal environment, the pores remain clear and open, but with an acne outburst, they can get blocked by the excessive amount of oil. Then, instead of leaving the body throughout the pores, the bacteria is trapped inside and given the chance to multiply. It goes without saying that this can lead to an infection.

Now, it should be pointed out that the sebaceous glands were made to produce oil and lubricate the skin. However, when this seemingly innocent process goes out of control, it has a significant impact on the biggest organ in the body.

Why do I develop acne during my pregnancy?

Hormones are to blame for this unwanted side effect. The biggest culprits are androgen, testosterone, progesterone, and oestrogen. The first two are male sex hormones and the rest are female sex hormones. They play a significant role in the baby’s survival. Aside from stabilising the pregnancy, they also help the baby grow by directing nutrients to the placenta.

Additionally, insulin might be responsible for pregnancy acne.

Contrary to what some people think, pimples and blemishes are not a result of bad hygiene. There are many factors to consider.

Will acne go away once the baby is born?

If you hoped for that “pregnancy glow”, but you ended up pimple-stricken instead, that’s unfortunate. But don’t lose faith. The blemishes are likely to disappear after the first trimester. And if they don’t, the problem will solve itself after you give birth. Just remember it will take some time for the hormones to settle back to their normal levels.

Pregnancy and acne: What can I do about it?

It is commendable to seek medical advice on how to tackle the issue best. There are myriads of therapies and drugs that you would normally go for, that is, if you weren’t pregnant. But when you are expecting a baby, you should be extra careful in terms of the products you’re using.

In other words, stay away from any acne medication that could put your foetus at risk. Even if the label reads, “a minimum chance of causing a birth defect,” you should still put that product in the “no” pile. Always check with your doctor about any over-the-counter acne treatment you want to use.

Generally speaking, here are some harmful treatments you should avoid like the plague: isotretinoin, topical retinoids, tetracyclines, benzoyl peroxide, hormonal therapies, and salicylic acid.

And here are some natural remedies that help with acne during pregnancy

natural acne treatment

Coconut oil

Cold-pressed coconut oil is packed with amazing nutrients that help nourish the skin and keep bacteria at bay. In addition to that, it comes with hydrating properties. And you know what? It is also safe to use during pregnancy, both orally and topically.

To experience all of these benefits, apply coconut oil on your face every night before you hit the pillow. Of course, it makes sense to clean the skin well beforehand. Remember to wash your face with water first thing in the morning.

Believe it or not, this lovely-scented oil will help banish toxins, blackheads, dirt, and bad oil from your skin. That will certainly have an impact on your acne.


Ah, honey. It makes a wonderful ingredient to any dessert. It’s natural and healthy, and has a great deal of benefits when digested. But that’s not all – it can be used topically too. Owing to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it can prevent infections and soothe the skin. Not to mention, it’s a gentle exfoliator.

You can use it directly on your face, just make sure to prep your skin a bit. Wash with warm water to open the pores up and remove any oils or impurities. Spread honey all over the face (avoid the area under the eyes) and let sit for half an hour. Rinse well and pat dry with a towel.

Glycolic acid

Find an over-the-counter cream which contains no more than 10% glycolic acid. Ask your health care provider if the ointment is safe for pregnant women. Then use as you usually would a facial cream or read the label for directions.

Cucumber & oatmeal

Cucumbers are quite beneficial for oily skin. When left on it for more than five minutes, they can absorb excess oil and prevent pores from clogging. Furthermore, they help minimise dark circles, dark spots, and under-eye puffs. The delicious veggie contains silica, which helps keep the skin’s connective tissue in place. That means cucumbers work great as an anti-wrinkle therapy.

Coupled with oatmeal and honey, they can really up your skincare routine. Blend one cucumber, add a cup of oats or as much as necessary to make a homogenous concoction.

Next, add two tablespoons of honey and a quarter cup of plain yoghurt. Send the mixture straight to the freezer for 5-10 minutes so it has some time to solidify. Then take out and apply on your face. Leave on for 15 minutes. It is recommended you lay down and relax while the mask is working its magic. Otherwise, it may fall off your face.

When the time is up, wash away the mixture with cold water.

Additional tips that won’t hurt:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and foods high in protein. Try to maintain a healthy diet all throughout your pregnancy.
  • Make sure you change the pillowcases once every two weeks.
  • Don’t overdo your skincare routine. It’s easy to go overboard. As much as you want to keep your face oil-free, you won’t. Washing it too often will remove the skin’s natural moisture. And this will cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil to make up for the loss.
  • Do your best to keep your hair off your face.
  • Stay hydrated at all times.
  • Resist the temptation to squeeze your pimples.

It is vital to pay extra attention to your skin during pregnancy. Yet, you shouldn’t forget that not all acne medications you normally use will be a good choice this time around. Stick to natural ointments and always consult your doctor about anything you want to take orally or put on your skin.

If you enjoyed and found this article informative, feel free to check out our other posts in the blog section.

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