When I got pregnant with my first baby, one of the worst symptoms I had was hormonal acne along my jaw and cheeks. I’ve had relatively smooth skin for the past few years and so I’m quite vain when it comes to blemishes. I was managing my skin with a routine that included benzoyl peroxide for my pesky forehead bumps and a salicylic acid-based body wash, but I knew that I needed to give all those products up, and other products with ingredients that include Vitamin A and some other anti-aging components.
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I was desperate to find a way to manage the new acne, but I also wanted treatments that would be safe for me to use when the baby was finally born. I knew he would be snuggling up to me, and I didn’t want anything on my skin to be toxic to him!
I have an amazing dermatologist who I started seeing about a decade ago and I went to her while pregnant and told her my dilemma: that I wanted to address my new pimples but I did not want to use any products that are unsafe for the baby. My skin is oily, but blemish-free. My problem areas are my forehead and also my jawline and cheeks, where I will get pimples around my menstrual cycle. She looked at what products contain ingredients I could use while pregnant and breastfeeding and that I could continue to use well after my pregnancies.
Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser. Glycolic Acid is safe to use if it’s in concentrations of 10% or under. This cleanser fits the bill and it is now a staple for my skincare routine. It’s so good, that I don’t even use it every day, but probably once every two days or so. It contains 4.7% Glycolic Acid and it leaves my skin looking fresh and clean.
Artnaturals Tea Tree Body Wash. I used a Neutrogena Body Clear knock-off for years. It contained salicylic acid, a no-no for pregnancy. But I was afraid if I gave it up, my chest acne and back acne would return. But it didn’t! In fact, this bodywash works better for me than that cleanser I used for years and incredibly refreshing to boot. Try it if you have issues with body acne.
The Ordinary Facial Moisturizer. I used an Oil of Olay SPF facial moisturizer for many many years and gave it up after becoming worried about the ingredient list. I switched to this moisturizer and while it’s not as lightweight as what I’d like, it does its job. I use a very small amount, rub between my palms and then apply to my face. Perfect!
Finacea Foam. This is prescription-only, but I list this if you (like I was) are interested in using an acid that evens out your skin tone. I love love love this stuff. It contains a relatively benign acid known as azelaic acid that unlike many others, does not make your skin sensitive to the sun.
Let me know if you decide to use any of these products! I continue to use them well after my pregnancy and postpartum period.