What causes pregnancy acne and how can you treat it?
If you were ever in doubt about the impact that hormones can have on your skin, you won’t be when you’re pregnant. While some women are lucky enough to experience that ‘radiant pregnancy glow’ that we so often hear about, pregnancy can also bring with it many other side effects – one of the most common being acne breakouts. Yes, pregnancy acne is a real issue, and because some of the more potent ingredients used to tackle breakouts are not advised during pregnancy, it can be tricky to treat too.
So, if you’re concerned about pregnancy acne and how to treat it, this is everything you need to know – and the best solutions to look out for.
What causes acne during pregnancy?
Acne in pregnancy is most common in the first and second trimesters. It happens due to elevated circulating hormones called androgens and increased oil secretion, making the skin more susceptible to congestion, inflammation, and bacterial overgrowth. Pregnancy can also be a stressful time, meaning there might be an increase in cortisol which may also have a knock-on effect on sebum production.
Pregnancy acne can be characterised by cystic, under-the-skin blemishes that are usually painful to touch and often situated along the jawline, chin, and neck.
The products to avoid
While you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid traditional acne remedies such as retinol, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide, as there’s some debate about whether these acne-fighters are safe for use during pregnancy. But some alternatives are safe to be used during pregnancy. And with the right treatment approach, acne can be effectively managed and controlled, even whilst you’re pregnant and unable to reach for the products you usually would.
The pregnancy-safe acne fighters
Bakuchiol is a clinically proven, plant-based substitute that delivers many of the same benefits as retinol but is a pregnancy-safe ingredient. It is very effective for minimising oil production, reducing the appearance of pores, and eliminating inflammation.
LED Light Therapy
LED is safe to use as skin treatment during pregnancy, so we often suggest LED treatment to our pregnant patients who are experiencing changes in their skin during this period. LED lights can kill bacteria, reduce inflammation and fight signs of ageing by improving fine lines and wrinkles.
Gentle polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) such as gluconolactone and lactobionic acid are chemically and functionally similar to AHAs (such as glycolic acid), but they have fewer sensitising effects, so they can be beneficial for clearing away dead skin cells, sebum, and reducing the appearance and recurrence of breakouts.
Azelaic acid is a multitasking active ingredient with anti-acne and anti-bacterial effects against C. Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. It also lightens hyperpigmentation by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase that produces melanin, so it’s excellent for fading post-acne marks.
Meder Beauty Eu-Seb Concentrate
Meder Beauty is a clinically proven, science-backed skincare range, which is entirely safe to use throughout pregnancy. And if pregnancy acne is an issue, this range is one to have on your radar.
Highly effective for oily and inflamed skin, Meder Beauty Eu-Seb Concentrate quickly eliminates acne without the side effects of acids and retinol. Microbiome-friendly prebiotic therapy is a new generation of anti-acne skincare, eliminating spots, enlarged pores and redness in the first weeks of use.
If you’re battling acne breakouts, ultimately, it’s about finding the products that work for you. Like most pregnancy-related things, there are many opinions out there, and finding the answers you need can mean wading through a great deal of noise. So if you’d like more help, or if you have any questions, book a consultation with one of our expert practitioners, who can talk you through your options.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.