How to Deal with Acne During Pregnancy
There are several practical steps to manage acne during pregnancy:
1. Cleanse your face daily using gentle solutions.
Avoid masks, facial scrubs, and astringents that may irritate your skin. Choose non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) and water-based products, including moisturizers, instead of creams and gels with alcohol, oil, and soap.
Mandelic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid made from bitter almonds, is one of the recommended gentle cleansers for pregnancy acne. This acid will not trigger any inflammation due to its large molecules that are absorbed by your skin more slowly.
It's all right to use a hot towel wrap or to steam your face, although having a sauna or hot bath on your tub is discouraged. Your heart is already working extra hard to supply oxygen to your baby, and the heat from a steam room or hot tub can be an added burden to your circulatory system. Exposing the whole body to steam might also pose risks to your baby, particularly brain and spinal cord abnormalities, also referred to as neural tube defects.
2. Alter your makeup choices.
Choose makeup products that are similar to your cleansers: water-based/non-comedogenic and oil-free.
3. Exercise and stay hydrated.
Do moderate-intensity exercises for about half an hour daily to help flush out your body's toxins through sweating. Moreover, drink plenty of water to improve both your skin and overall health.
4. Keep your skin clean.
Keep your hands off your face as much as possible, and don't squeeze or pick your pimples and skin blemishes.
Shampoo regularly if you notice the appearance of acne on your hairline area. Although sweating through mild exercises is recommended, sweat that develops and gets trapped from wearing tight hats and clothes can allow grime to get clogged in your skin's pores.
5. Watch your diet.
Consult your ob-gyn doctor or dermatologist about achieving the right balance of vitamin A, which can improve cell turnover and reduce your skin's sebum production. Meanwhile, include vitamin C-rich vegetables and fruits in your diet to help with your skin's elasticity. Minimize or avoid processed food altogether, especially products with refined sugar. High-glycemic-load diets are linked to the occurrence of acne.
6. Develop a healthy sleeping pattern.
Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep. Your skin tends to create more sebum when you don't get the amount of rest through sleeping. Dim lights, and avoid watching TV or using electronics half an hour or so before bedtime so you'll have an easier time falling asleep.
7. Manage your stress level.
If you've been living a high-stress life before your pregnancy, you'll have to reduce your chores or tasks because your stress also affects your baby. Your body produces more cortisol hormones when you're under stress, causing your sebaceous glands to release more sebum. You'll need to slow down, stay healthy, do relaxation techniques, and ask for help by joining a support group or finding a therapist to help you with stress management or feelings of anxiety or depression, if necessary. Ask your ob-gyn how you can handle discomfort.