Pregnancy Acne and Other Skin Problems



It’s been one of those things that people keep telling me I would outgrow, but you know – i’m well into my 30s now and guess what. I haven’t. So like my dad always says – some problems can’t be solved, you just have to manage them.

So, I’ve been managing it all my adult life with trips to the dermatologist but now that I’m pregnant, there are so many things that are off limits when it comes to treating acne. I remember when I was pregnant with Olive my acne was the absolute worst. Between the new pregnancy hormones and already being predisposed to acne, I had severe back and chest acne, and my face was covered with cystic ones. So when I found out that I was pregnant this time, I was determined to prevent these problems from the beginning. And so far, regimen has been working, and I totally wanted to share it with you.


When I’m not pregnant I usually use a sulfur based face wash for my acne – but that isn’t allowed right now, and neither is salicylic acid (which is what you’re going to find in most drug store brands.) What I really needed was to find a cleanser which provided gentle cleansing but also exfoliation to prevent my pores from being clogged. Regular Benzoyl Peroxide cleansers were too drying for me (which in turn, causes more acne).

My dermatologist recommended a gentle glycolic acid cleanser which aids in the sloughing of dead skin cells, which in turn helps your skin breathe. I’ve been using this on my face as well as my chest and back since the day I found out I was pregnant, and i’m happy to report that my chest and back are so far free from acne, which is something to freakin’ celebrate. I alternate this with a super gentle Cetaphil cleanser when my skin feels a little drier, and it’s worked well for me.


My skin has been incredibly dry this pregnancy – from my head to my toes I feel like I want to swim in a vat of lotion. I love using BioOil especially on my belly and boobs – it helped me prevent stretch marks with my pregnancy with Olive. I also use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream all over – especially on my lips and extra dry spots like my elbows and knees. A little goes a long way; and it lasts forever.


I love masks n’ things. I especially love this Rose Mask from Fresh – with my skin being crazy dry, this wonderful smelling mask delivers a powerful punch of moisture to just cleansed skin. The smell is also to die for, but i’m partial to the scent of roses; I always have been! When I do get spots on my face, I use Aesop Camomile Anti-Blemish Mask to calm my skin. This clay blend mask doesn’t seem to over dry or over aggravate my troubled skin like so many other clay based masks do.  Sometimes when i’m feeling especially lazy, I smooth these two masks on together, at the same time. Seems to work for me! And a time saver. Score.

This last treatment is something that I had to get prescribed from my dermatologist – but I think it’s been really worth it. It’s a combination of an safe-for-pregnancy antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide, which i use sparingly when I have breakouts. It’s able to safely reduce swelling for my smaller zits, something that over-the-counter remedies just aren’t able to do. However, once in a while I get really deep, really painful cysts that won’t go away for months – the only solution here is to get a cortisone shot in these spots at the doctors. Don’t worry, these are also totally safe after the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Do you have any tried-and-true acne or skin solutions during pregnancy? I’d love to hear if you’re willing to share!

2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Acne and Other Skin Problems

  1. Sarah Koo

    I also suffer from adult acne and my husband and I look forward to having children together. However I really cringe at the thought of becoming a hideous monster during pregnancy. It’s nice to see you were able to find some safe options for your skin. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Jody Post author

      Hi Sarah! I totally had that fear before I had my 1st baby, and unfortunately I became a huge zit monster! I was better prepared this time around, thankfully! I hope they work for you!


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