Pregnancy Acne: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Expecting a baby soon? Dealing with acne that seems to arise out of nowhere? If you answered ‘yes’ to both of these, you’re not alone. Pregnancy acne, although skimmed over in casual conversation, is something that soon-to-be-mothers struggle with on a daily basis in every trimester. From the random outbreak before a work appointment to the rosy-red pimple that ruins your date night look, skin-related issues can wreak havoc on your confidence and during pregnancy your , making that you’ve heard so much about seem like a non-existent concept.

With that said, acne does not have to control your skin’s appearance during your pregnancy. If you’re hoping to obtain radiant, glowing skin while preparing to bring life into the world, here’s a little insight to help you on your way.

Creating A Foundation for Glowing Skin

1. Minimizing Stress to Minimize Outbreaks

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Like so many other side effects during pregnancy, the leading cause of pregnancy acne is, without a doubt, your . If you can think back to your experience during puberty, you may remember the overflowing acne issues that arose on account of your chaotic hormonal profile.

During pregnancy, however, it’s somewhat difficult to tell your body, “Hey, you! Stop messing with my hormones!” so alternative ways to alleviate acne at its source must be found. First and foremost, try to enter a stress-free environment throughout pregnancy. While this is often easier said than done, here are some to consider:

  • Prenatal

  • and relaxing music

  • Getting a

  • , or other pregnancy-safe alternative therapies

All of these methods, when implemented properly and regularly, can help calm the nerves and keep side effects from hormonal fluctuations in check. Keep in mind, however, that these techniques are not 100% guaranteed to alleviate your pregnancy acne, but they can make a significant impact on your skin’s overall appearance.

2. Avoiding Poor Dietary Choices, to Help Your Skin

If there’s anything that all mothers can agree with, it’s that pregnancy can causes some serious , many times for random foods and drinks that aren’t on the healthy side. Waking up in the middle of the night and binge-eating pickles, ice cream and chips, or struggling to choose a veggie-rich option over a greasy burger is not unheard of for soon-to-be mothers.

With that said, finding can be a vital component to reducing your pregnancy acne. The nutritional ingredients within these unhealthy cravings; grease, sugar, salt, etc., can for clogging pores and contributing to inflammation throughout the body and can even cause skin’s oil production to increase.

After a few weeks of snacking on everything in sight, combined with pregnancy’s fluctuating hormones, many women can notice how their skin is suddenly red, inflamed, sensitive and riddled with pimples and blackheads. To avoid these extra risk factors to compromising a beautiful complexion, look to cut back on the excessively fatty, greasy or sugary foods and opt in for more nutrient-dense items that can help combat skin breakouts and support a healthy pregnancy.

If you find yourself absolutely in need of a craving-satisfying snack, make sure it’s low in sodium, contains healthy omega-3s and complex carbohydrates instead of sugar. Can’t think of a good option? Don’t worry, we have some at-home solutions that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your skin feeling fresh, vibrant and acne-free!

Pregnancy Acne: Causes, Prevention and Treatment 1Potent with antioxidants and vitamin C, blueberries are a superfood when it comes to pregnancy health.


  • 1 C walnut milk

  • 1 C frozen blueberries

  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 1 Tbsp molasses

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Ice cubes

To create this healthy smoothie, blend all ingredients, adding as much ice as needed to create the desired consistency.

Potent with antioxidants and vitamin C, blueberries are a superfood when it comes to pregnancy health.


  • 1 ½ C cooked oatmeal

  • ½ all-natural peanut butter

  • ½ C pumpkin puree

  • ¼ C chia seeds

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir well to combine. The mixture should be soft but not too sticky. Add additional oats if necessary to reach proper consistency. Create round bites to desired size with a spoonful of mixture and roll into ball shapes. Store these in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to one month.

A healthy and nutrient-packed side dish or snack, this helps maintain collagen strength and promotes skin renewal while providing antioxidant benefits to keep your taste buds dancing and your skin thriving throughout your pregnancy and can be served warm or cold depending on what you desire.


  • 3 C peeled, cored and diced butternut squash

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 C quinoa

  • 2 C water

  • 1/2 C dried cranberries

  • 1/2 C toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds

For the Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp water

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • pinch salt and pepper

To create this dish, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the butternut squash on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with nutmeg. Toss until squash is well coated. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, stirring once, until tender.

While the butternut squash roasts cook the quinoa. In a medium pot, bring quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered until all the water has been absorbed; about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and toasted pepitas.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, water, and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle a small amount over the quinoa salad. Toss until ingredients are well dressed.

3. Caring for Acne-Prone Skin

To stave off the breakouts during pregnancy, some extra TLC when it comes to daily skin routines can help keep the acne at bay, or at least help reduce the number of breakouts. To care for acne-prone skin during pregnancy create a routine of using a gentle soap with warm water, twice a day, and avoiding harsh facial scrubs, astringents and masks, that may irritate the skin and worsen acne. Avoid picking or squeezing breakouts which can cause infection or scarring; avoid using oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hairstyling products or concealers; and avoid hands or hair from resting on the face to avoid oil and sweat buildup.

For some all-natural solutions to help combat pregnancy acne, these concoctions not only help nourish the skin and leave it looking amazing, but they’re also pregnancy-friendly and accessible on any budget.

Pregnancy Acne: Causes, Prevention and Treatment 2This powerful mask requires minimal ingredients and can be used to calm active zits, blemishes and even reduce redness and stretch marks during pregnancy.


  • 1/2 C of potato juice

  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 C of water

  • Sealable container

Whisk all ingredients into a single container and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before applying it to the skin on the face. After applying the mask, allow it to dry on the skin, followed by using cool water to rinse off. Pat the skin dry, and try not to be too excited when your skin’s complexion begins to glow!

If you love everything avocado, you’ve got to try this mask!


  • 1 avocado (mashed)

  • 1/2 C milk

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Large mixing container

Whisk the egg, as the egg begins to liquify, add milk and avocado. Blend this mixture until the consistency is like that of a typical over-the-counter facial-cleansing product.

After you’ve mixed the ingredients, gently scrub your face and remove all the dirt, grime and oil that you’ve accumulated throughout the day. And if you have any leftover product, store it in a cool area for later usage.

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One of the variables that acne loves is overly-moisturized skin. While it may seem counterproductive to add a moisturizing product into your routine, it can be an effective tactic to eliminate acne and blemishes.

When your body senses your skin is too dry, it over-produces . Sebum is helpful in small amounts, but too much causes severe acne and leads to clogged pores. Here’s one approach to help get rid of this problem once and for all.


  • 1 C organic coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil

  • 1/4 tsp tea tree oil

  • Mixing container

If your coconut oil is in a hardened state, place your product inside a small pan and let it sit on the stove until it turns to liquid. Once liquified, place your coconut oil into your mixing container and add your vitamin E and tea tree oil.

After you’ve thoroughly whisked your product, add it into an easy-to-reuse container, such as a mason jar or Tupperware. The key to any productive facial-moisturizing routine is to use it before and after a long day. Once you head out the front door to tackle your day, apply your coconut-infused moisturizer, and when you clean your face at the end of the night, apply an additional application to keep your skin smooth, soft and acne-free.

Skin changes and acne are another part of the pregnancy journey and while this symptom can be vexing, taking key steps to combat outbreaks and keep your skin healthy from the inside out can be essential in managing and preventing acne during each stage of your pregnancy.

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