Pregnancy Acne: Treatment Do’s and Don’ts

Have you recently woken up with a whopper of a zit? Pregnancy acne is a major and very typical concern for expecting mamas; it’s caused by the sudden shift in hormones in your changing body. Read on to learn how to change your skincare routine to treat your acne.

During these 40 weeks, the production of androgen (a pesky hormone that is necessary for organ function but, in excess, leads to acne)  increases and causes the sebaceous glands (those oil-producing buggers) to generate excess sebum (an oily substance) that then clogs up pores and results in pimples. And all along, you thought it was just cruel punishment for eating one too many chocolate chip cookies—think again! 

According to dermatologists, acne is the most prevalent skin problem to affect preggos. Knowing that you’re not alone in this battle may help a little, but what might make it even better is the following list of treatment dos and don’ts—print it out and post it on your fridge for moments when pregnancy brain kicks in.


  • Do wash your face every morning and every evening with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. Cetaphil and Purpose are particularly great options that work for all skin types.
  • Do try products that contain glycolic acid or alpha-hydroxy acids, which are effective and safe to use while pregnant.
  • Do use oil-free concealers, foundations, and blushes. Your skin is already working hard to fight naturally-produced oils—don’t make it do double duty battling the artificial oils added to many cosmetics.
  • Do keep oil blotting papers on hand to dab away pooling sebum. Not only will they eliminate shine, but they will also prevent further clogging of your pores.
  • Do consult your doctor if you have any questions, concerns, or abnormal skin reactions.


  • Don’t pick, poke or touch your pimples because your hands may introduce further bacteria onto your skin. Also, prodding your skin can cause inflammation and scarring.
  • Don’t ever ingest or apply skincare products that contain vitamin A and/or vitamin A derivatives, as they may cause serious birth defects.
  • Don’t book any microdermabrasion or chemical peel treatments until after you deliver. Your skin is extra-sensitive right now and these harsh treatments may cause irritation, inflammation, and/or scarring.
  • Don’t use products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids while pregnant. These are not safe while you’re expecting.

Once your sweet baby is born, you’ll quickly forget about these temporary beauty annoyances, and your skin should return to its pre-pregnancy state rather quickly. In the meantime, don’t focus on your troubled skin—instead, enjoy all the things you’ll soon miss like your gorgeous, shiny, full mane, the rhythmic kicking within your belly, and the kindness shown to you by strangers.