Acne and Pregnancy - Beach Beauty Bar and Acne Clinic
pregnant woman holding her belly, with text acne and pregnancy

Acne and Pregnancy

Everyone talks about the glow that comes with pregnancy but nobody talks about the acne that comes with pregnancy. For many, the increase in oil secretion can cause breakouts, even in women who haven’t had acne for years. If you’re someone who already suffers from acne, you may notice it getting worse throughout pregnancy. (Although some women experience fewer breakouts). Even if you’ve never had acne before, don’t be surprised if pimples start appearing.

If you experience acne during pregnancy, it’s difficult to predict how long it will last. You may get pimples throughout your entire journey, it may come and go, or you may have a few bad breakouts and never see a pimple again. However, you may have to adopt the clear skin lifestyle for a while so you can maintain your pregnancy glow. This is an area of expertise that we are confident in. We treat lots of pregnant women for acne during pregnancy.

Do you want clear skin?

Why Women Get Acne During Pregnancy

You can blame it on the pregnancy hormones.

When you’re expecting, your body is producing higher levels of the hormone androgen. These hormones cause the glands in your skin to expand and produce more oily matter, called sebum. This oily substance blocks your pores and creates bacteria, causing inflammation and acne.

The severity of pregnancy acne will vary from person to person. It is, however, more common among women who had acne before becoming pregnant. Having a previous history of acne is the strongest risk factor for pregnancy acne.

Stress of Pregnancy Triggers Acne

When you’re stressed, your body creates more cortisol than usual, which is thought to stimulate your sebaceous glands and trigger oil release. Excessive oil production clogs your pores and leads to an acne breakout.

The stress your body experiences during pregnancy can be difficult to deal with, so finding ways to manage both mental and physical stress will help keep your potential for acne down.

There are other risk factors besides the increase in androgens & stress that can make you a likely target for pregnancy acne. The immune system plays a part in fighting off acne and during pregnancy, a woman’s immune system is constantly changing and somewhat suppressed. Additionally, the stress that often accompanies pregnancy can increase levels of stress hormones and trigger breakouts or worsen existing acne.

Our Acne Safe Products to Use While Pregnant

Your skin is one giant organ; everything it comes to contact with gets passed through your bloodstream and therefore down to your baby through the placenta. Babies are very sensitive and studies show that using some anti-aging skin products such as retinol and vitamin A during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, so it’s best to avoid these ingredients. But, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through pregnancy with acne. We can safely treat acne during pregnancy. 

Ingredients to avoid: salicylic serum

Although salicylic acid traditionally offers a long list of benefits, the risks of using it during pregnancy outweighs them. You can get some absorption of salicylic acid, and there is a toxicity called salicylism. If it is absorbed, it can potentially cross the placenta and cause salicylism in the fetus.

Safe ingredients: mandelic serum (found in our clarifying lotions), lactic acid, oxygen cream, and low dose benzoyl peroxide.

What Is Mandelic Acid?

Mandelic acid is a natural, non-toxic alpha-hydroxy acid derived from almonds.

It’s unique among AHAs because of its larger molecular structure, which slows its absorption rate, making it the most gentle of all the acids.

The slow absorption rate means it won’t trigger an inflammatory pigment response even in darker skin tones prone to hyperpigmentation. That’s super important during pregnancy when hormones are already acting as a trigger for pigment issues like melasma.

The Bottom Line

The right pregnancy acne treatment for you will be unique to your own body, and working with both your doctor and our direction will help you manage your skin so you can look and feel your best throughout your pregnancy.

If acne does happen, just remember: It will very likely clear up after you have your baby and your hormone levels readjust.

Schedule your initial consultation today so we can get you started on your clear skin journey. Let’s talk about how to get rid of acne during your pregnancy.

Cheers to clear!


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