While many pregnant women complain of morning sickness, nausea and fatigue during the first trimester, a few unlucky ones feel as if they’re experiencing puberty all over again.
Acne during pregnancy is a common problem and “most pregnant women have serious breakouts that often hurt and turn chronic, if not treated in time,” says Dr Alisha Porter, director of dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center,
The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, causes excessive production of natural skin oils, which leads to acne. These breakouts, though painful, usually calm down by the second trimester.
Home Remedies For Pregnancy Acne
While we understand that it’s important for you to look beautiful during pregnancy, you need to be extra careful about what you slather on your skin.
“Topical creams containing retinol, alpha hydroxy acids and salicylic acid must be avoided. Though your skin absorbs little of these ingredients, they can still get into your bloodstream and be harmful for the baby,” says Porter.
Retinol is a staple ingredient in common night creams and anti-aging serums, while alpha hydroxy acids are mostly present in skin-lightening creams, acne products and moisturizers. Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in popular face cleansers. However, there are various natural home remedies that are safe to use during pregnancy such as:
1. Lemon juice: Rich in vitamin C and known for its acidic pH, lemon juice has natural pimple-fighting properties, which makes it a popular ingredient in home skin care regimes. Squeeze half of a freshly cut lime and apply the juice on your pimples every night using a small cotton swab. If your skin is extra-sensitive, dilute the juice with a little water to reduce the burning sensation.
2. Honey: Loaded with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, honey is the safest home remedy to curtail your pregnancy-related acne. Not only does it fights germs and prevents the acne from spreading, it also soothes the skin. Make a honey face pack by mixing a teaspoon each of honey, turmeric and lime juice and apply all over the face. Rinse after 20 minutes with lukewarm water.
3. Aloe Vera: A skin elixir known for its cooling properties, aloe vera helps in reducing inflammation and prevents scars and blemishes. Take 1 tsp aloe vera gel and apply it evenly on your entire face. Wash off after 15 minutes with lukewarm water.
Dr Porter also shares a few tips that you can follow for healthy and glowing skin.
Use a mild, oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-abrasive cleanser, such as Neutrogena or Cetaphil twice daily.
Avoid high glycemic foods (which have high sugar content) and dairy products as they are known acne triggers.
Avoid pricking or popping your zits.
If your zits are extremely itchy and painful, consult your doctor.