Pregnancy is a joyous occasion and most of you would have heard of the term ‘pregnancy glow’, an idea that entails lustrous, thicker hair and beautiful, shining skin. However, experiencing pregnancy is different for every woman, thus this does not mean that everyone will be able to have the famed ‘pregnancy glow’. Instead, as the hormone levels in your body fluctuate, the body’s immediate response could prompt the formation of acne. Treating acne while you are pregnant warrants extreme caution, but there exist safe ingredients without putting you and your baby’s health at risk.
Is it normal to have acne while pregnant?
To put it simply, yes, it is normal to experience acne while expecting. More than half of women suffer from acne during their pregnancies; in several instances, pregnant women may develop a severe form of acne, namely cystic acne. The cause of this is due to hormone fluctuations required to occur during pregnancy. For instance, during the first trimester, a pregnant woman’s hormone levels shoot up, boosting sebum production. This leads to clogged pores and the development of acne. If you generally have acne-prone skin or have experienced frequent bouts of acne flares in the period of time before pregnancy occurs, it is far more likely for you to develop acne in the duration of your pregnancy.
Furthermore, the world’s current pandemic crisis certainly does not help matters. Fluctuating pregnancy hormones combined with high stress situations caused by the pandemic could exacerbate hormonal acne. Spending your days indoors may cause restlessness and further boost stress levels, causing havoc in your skin. Disrupted sleep schedules due to staring at screens all day to ease boredom could also mean less sleep and a lesser chance for your skin to recover at night. Yet, the frequent use of masks and the recommendations to stay indoors may also mean the reverse. There is less of a need to apply heavy makeup or look a certain way, which may alleviate stress from some folks.
Using the same products in order to treat acne as you normally do when you’re not expecting could prove dangerous for the wellbeing of your unborn child. There are oral antibiotics usually prescribed for acne-suffering patients which are imperative for pregnant women to avoid. Isotretinoin is used to treat the most severe forms of acne, for example, but if consumed while pregnant may cause birth defects. In fact, those who take isotretinoin must take two types of birth control in order to prevent pregnancy, as the risk is so high. Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline must also be avoided.
Can I still take supplements to help with my hormonal acne during pregnancy?
Although there are oral antibiotics to avoid, as mentioned earlier, consuming anti-acne supplements during pregnancy is also safe—provided you know what you’re looking for. Growing a baby inside your body is an arduous task, and requires a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals as a means of support. Consuming multi-nutrients is a good way of assuring the latter, but looking for those containing specific ingredients may be helpful for managing hormonal acne during pregnancy. For instance, a beta-carotene is a safe form of vitamin A for pregnancy, by promoting and maintaining skin health as well as battling acne.
The omega-3 fats in fish oil are also believed to have the ability to calm inflammation in the skin, thus decreasing the chance of acne developing. Pregnant women are generally recommended not to consume too much oily fish due to the risk of pollutants. Hence, consuming supplements rich in omega-3 fats could be a suitable substitute.
Acne supplements which contain a large amount of zinc are also a helpful pregnancy-safe ingredient for maintaining skin health. Advanced Nutrition Programme’s Skin Clear Biome is a great example, as they contain a considerable amount of zinc. Furthermore, the latter also contains a variety of helpful bacteria which are proven to be helpful against acne: Bifidobacterium bifidum; lactobacillus paracesei; saccharomyces boulardii. This anti-acne supplement is perfect for those with stressed and problematic skin, also assisting with maintaining gut health. The bacteria listed above helps with cleaning the gut and preventing it from causing imperfections in the skin; zinc is known for clarifying the skin.
The best acne facial treatments during pregnancy, approved by scientists!
Although there are some treatments which are not suitable for pregnant women, such as microdermabrasion, which may lead to further irritation and breakouts due to the skin’s higher sensitivity during pregnancy. Chemical peels are normally used to exfoliate dead skin cells and thus treat acne, but its safety for pregnant women is still in doubt, for there is also a chance of irritation. In spite of this, it is still possible to get facials which are not harmful to the baby. Getting a basic, deep cleansing facial to cleanse clogged pores and moisturise the skin is safe for expecting mothers and beneficial in preventing further acne flares.
As mentioned previously, Osmosis’ line of vitamin A serums does not pose a risk to pregnant or breastfeeding women, as they do not exceed the limit to cause harm. This also applies to their Vitamin A Infusion Facial, which does not surpass 1,500 IU of vitamin A, making it safe for pregnant women to receive. This facial treatment is one of the best facial treatments for acne, as it helps unclog the pores and promote cell turnover, reducing the appearance of post-acne scarring and decreasing the frequency of acne breakouts. This treatment is ideal for those suffering from the most severe acne cases (i.e. cystic) and could assist in the lessening of bumps on the skin, as well as reveal new, healthy skin cells.
Most importantly, it is best to consult with your physician before getting any treatments done during your pregnancy, or whilst breastfeeding.
Author: Charlene M Teressa