Skin Care / Acne — The Bump
July 2019 Moms

Skin Care / Acne

Hey everyone! I know many prefer not to start new threads here, but I’ve seen several people post about their hormonal acne struggles throughout the last few weeks. As far as I know, there is not a good place to discuss just that yet. 

I’ve struggled with hormonal acne since I was a teenager. I took accutane once in high school and once as an adult. I’ve been clear for a while, until we started TTC and I had to stop using tretinoin (Retin-A/retinoids). Tretinoin was the only active ingredient product I was using and it worked AMAZING for me to maintain my clear skin. A huge no no for pregnancy though! 

What is everyone using for skincare? I had good luck with Beautycounter’s Resurfacing Peel before I knew I was pregnant, but it has salicylic acid (2%). I’ve been told by different medical professionals that it is okay and not okay. Any thoughts??

I’m currently using a basic cleanser and just started The Ordinary Lactic Acid + HA. I haven’t noticed improvement yet, but I’ve only used a few times. I’m struggling with acne on my forehead and sporadically on my face currently. 

Side note - here is an awesome resource for SUPER conservative skincare products from a blogger that also happens to be a physician!

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on pregnancy safe skin care/acne treatment, in additional recommendations for products that have worked well for you!

Re: Skin Care / Acne

  • Also, my Mayo Clinic Guide to Pregnancy book says that OTC salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide is safe. The PA at my office said that salicylic is not. But the NP said “anything OTC is fine.” I’m so confused about what is safe and what is not. My sister is also a physician/resident, and she okayed salicylic for me. I’m just torn with what is safe! 
  • tsa208tsa208
    500 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2018
    My derm said anything OTC except retinol is fine. I've been using salicylic acid face wash nightly, so hope it is ok!! I used it last pregnancy too.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • @tsa208 that is such a relief! I think I’m going to start using my resurfacing peel again, it’s only 2%. I need SOMETHING though! Ugh! The struggle is real.
  • I never even thought about my skin routine affecting my pregnancy. Guess I need to look through my products and figure out what I’m going to do to suppliment the things that are a no go.
  • I've been using Glytone... it has some azelaic acid and glycolic acid (both of which are safe in pregnancy)...I thought I was going to have to stop using it, but after some research, I feel so much better. I love it, I think it's a miracle product! 
  • I used to use this, and it was amazing! I might start that up again. Thanks for the suggestion!! @Bear14+
  • lorivardlorivard
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Comment
    edited December 2018
    I had to do a major product swap, too - I’m liking The Ordinary niacinamide/zinc and hyalutonic acid in the morning and azelaic acid at night. My doctor gave me a clendamycin Rx for my shoulders (my face has been relatively fine but holy backne!). The one thing I can’t find is a good cleanser that doesn’t cost a zillion dollars (with the back situation, I tend to go through product at a ridiculous speed). I’ve gotten totally conflicting advice about salicylic acid, even from my doctor. She did this “well, it’s probabaly totally fine but I can’t tell you it’s fine so maybe avoid” thing. I’m going to keep trying to do a swap, but if I can’t find anything that helps I’ll probably go back to the OTC stuff.
  • @lorivard yessss I am getting the same thing!! My sister (a resident) said that people (even doctors) are terrified of pregnant people and avoid saying something is “okay” unless it’s been scientifically proven, and then of course they often do not test things on pregnant people because it’s unethical! 

    Glytone has an exfoliating body wash that I used to use for body acne and my Keratosis Pilaris (“chicken skin” on my arms). I’m not 100% on the ingredients though... I think it’s glycolic acid based. You could maybe ask your doctor if that would be okay? I think it’s around $30 but would last you a while.

    I bought the ordinary azaleic acid too but haven’t tried it yet. I might have to since you said it’s working good! I feel like the salicylic is probably fine, but I don’t know if it is worth it to use with this anxiety I have about doing something wrong during pregnancy. 
  • @Bear14+ where can you buy this from???
  • @rgn12 $30 would be great - I’ll look into it for sure! 
  • Oh boy thank you for starting this thread!! I am struggling big time with acne right now. @rgn12 I have KP on my arms as well and finally had it under control for the first time in my life with Cerave body wash and Amlactin lotion. Can't use either now! Going to look into a couple of these products for sure!
  • @meandlittleb have you ever tried Dermadoctor KP Duty? They have a scrub and a lotion. I’m wondering if that’s safe? I’ll probably ask when I go back. It’s fine now since I’m wearing long sleeves, but when spring/summer hits! Eek!
  • thycapanjthycapanj
    10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited December 2018
    @Bear14+ thanks so much for sharing this just ordered it.... with express shipping!   
    @rgn12 thanks for starting this thread!
  • mamanessenmamanessen
    25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited December 2018
    I have never had acne in my entire life until I got pregnant and now I look like a teenager! A coworker of mine, who doesn't know that I am pregnant, actually gave me acne cream because she "noticed I was struggling". Pretty rude. 

    That being said, I always prefer to take an all natural route with any skin care routine and have been relying heavily on Lush products. The following in particular have been very helpful for me: 
    - Herbalism

    My acne isn't completely gone but I do have better control over it. Good luck!
  • @mamanessen thanks for the suggestions! 
  • I just saw a dermatologist for my pregnancy acne. It's the awful under the skin (cystic) kind that hurts and swells. She told me to indeed avoid salicylic acid but benzoyl peroxide is ok. She recommended a pan oxyl wash that's 4% twice a day. I had the same issue in my first pregnancy, thankfully it cleared up some after the first trimester last time so I'm hoping it will be over soon!
  • Thanks for sharing! Can you get the face wash OTC?
  • Yup! I got it at Walgreens 
  • My skin changed last time - during second tri is when the acne got bad. I had to switch up the type of product I was using for awhile. One recommendation I have is hit up a store like Sephora or Ulta and ask for samples of different kinds of face creams - take them home and see what works. You don't have to buy the pricey stuff - see what works and look to find an equivalent at like Target. (Like, Origins Brightener is expensive, but Aveeno's Positively Radiant hits the pocket book less.)
    BFP ♡ Jan 2016 - M born Oct 2016
    PPD for 1yr+ post-pregnancy
    BFP ♡ Sept 2018 - CP @ 5 weeks
    BFP ♡ Nov 2018 - Baby R due Jul 2019

  • Good idea @foodislove. Last pregnancy, my skin was AMAZING! I usually have combination skin, but it became beautifully dewy and glowing and even and I didn't have the slightest breakout for 9 months. As someone who suffered from bad skin my whole life, it was glorious lol.

    I can already tell we're going to have some problems this time around, I'm getting those hard knot pimples along my chin and jawline, the kind that sit deep under the skin and never form a head. Ugh! I wanted my pregnancy glow!!
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Ugh that stinks. My forehead acne has been the worst. It’s crazy. That’s the one place I never get acne usually! I hope mine gets better, I’m having like acne PTSD from my years of struggling acne, finally getting clear, and now breaking out again during pregnancy. 

    I’ve been trying Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Sleeping Mask the last two nights. It has glycolic and lactic acid. Not sure if it’s done anything yet 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • I have struggled witbreakout and off foforever used to have really oily skin that changes to combination. Since I started using oils to Cleanse my face daily, I've seen a huge imimprovement in my skin.

    I cleanse my face with jojoba oil followed by Alaffia coconut & neem face wash every day. I then use rose hip oil before bed every other day. My breakouts have been minother since I started this routine a year ago.

    I use full strength tea tree at the first sign of a breakout.
  • I use the drunk elephant line and love it. My skin thankfully has been so clear so far. The clearest it's been in a long time! I hope it stays this way.
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • @babyginjuly I’ve heard great things about those products! 
  • @rgn12 my favorite right now is the Marula oil because my skin is soooo dry and then I use the Framboos glycolic night serum at night. My skin looks radiant and hydrated which is definitely not the norm. I usually have small acne bumps and scars.
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • @Bear14+ Thank you so much for reminding me of Glytone products! I ordered the mild
    gel wash to start, and I’ve already noticed an improvement in my skin. I’m going for the combined Glycolic/Azaleaic that you suggested next! 😊
  • @key33, I have super oily skin too, but when I get pregnant it changes to this flaky combination skin with lots of breakouts. I also use different oils, which seems contradictory, but it's made such a huge difference. I use argan oil after washing my face and within 2 weeks my skin completely clears up. It shrinks my pores and makes my skin so soft. I highly recommend to anyone with oily or combination skin. It helps cut back on the amount of sebum your skin produces, which is the cause of a lot of breakouts. 
    Momma to Amelia Marie (7/14) and Austin Samuel (11/17). Adding baby (girl) #3 on 7/21  <3
  • My skins been super dry. I’m practically drowning myself in face creams and lotions. This week I switched it up and started combining my ponds moisturizer with a pumpkin seed serum from dermadeli and my skin is finally getting some relief and healing. It’s night and day from what it was.
  • rgn12rgn12
    100 Comments Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited January 20
    Hello friends! I just wanted to share something that SEEMS to be helping me lately. “The Ordinary” Azelaic Acid. I’ve been using it for two weeks now and it seems to be helping to prevent some of the hormonal acne I’ve been experiencing. My face feels super soft in the morning when I wake up. It hasn’t helped with these two stubborn spots on my jawline, but it seems to be helping smaller pimples including my forehead ones I mentioned before. It’s also super cheap <$10 at sephora! 
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