Sometimes its hard to love the skin you’re in
I’ve shared my frustrations with my skin during this pregnancy previously and I’m hoping that some changes I’ve made will help improve the appearance and make me feel a tad bit better.
I was breaking out on the sides of my face, my jawline, my forehead. Apparently this is typically where hormonal acne is formed according to Dr Google. Surprisingly enough with my previous pregnancies I had absolutely glowy skin and actually ditched using foundation because it was flawless.
This time around my acne breakouts have been red and angry, deep under my skin and incredibly painful. Being someone who has never had the challenge of temperamental skin and has never battled with breakouts this threw me. BIG TIME.
Immediately I turned to google to find out what treatments I could do to get rid of the problem.
Changes in hormone levels brought on by pregnancy can increase sebum production which can lead to acne. The more oil you produce, the higher the likelihood of aggressive spots and pimples.
What it told me was what I couldn’t do and what I could try – which was a fail.
Things to avoid during pregnancy
- Retin-A, retinol, and retinyl palmitate
- Salicylic acid
- Benzoyl peroxide
- (Some) Essential oils
Treatments I have tried
- Apple cider vinegar
- Baking soda
- Witch hazel
- After shave (Carl’s answer for anything is to put aftershave on it)
- Aloe Vera
- Avoid scrubbing
- Don’t over-wash
- Keep your skin hydrated by drinking purified water
- Don’t pop, pick, scratch, or squeeze acne sores
- Avoid refined sugars and processed foods
None of this helped with clearing up my skin completely and here and there I had days of “better” skin. Alternatively I prayed for acne breakouts in areas which are more easily concealed – desperation.
But I have since started focusing on the whole skincare routine again and not just deal with the problem at hand which seems to be working well and I have seen improvement (however I’m still NOT going to leave the house without some sort of cover of my face. Side note – I could ditch the full coverage foundation for a BB Cream).
TAKING CARE OF THE FACE
I use this as my first step in the cleaning routine. A cleanser dissolves away excess oil, makeup and grime from your face so I generally use this morning and at night. My favourite is the Garnier Micellar water (which I actually need to top up on).
2. Followed by either facewash or soap (don’t judge)
Simply put, toner is a step in the cleansing process that removes all the stuff left behind on your skin after washing, by wiping away all these pore-cloggers, you reduce acne and prevent future breakouts. When you wash your face, your cleanser strips your skin of its natural oils and makes your face alkaline. Once you use a toner and your pH level is balanced, your skin accepts serums, essences, and creams much more effectively. I go between the Clarins and African Extracts (higher end meets budget).
4. Serum + Moisturizer + Eye Cream
I’m so late to the serum game guys, for me skincare was wash face and apply J & J baby cream (the pink one). In my later years I discovered that there’s so much more.
As a moisturizer I prefer 2, either the Clarins or Neutrogena.
My biggest skincare influencer has been my Mother. She legit has amazing skin and has always kept it simple but consistent when it came to her routine. So when I finally became interested about her routine she told me to go and get the Clarins Double Serum which I conveniently forgot about and instead opted for the Bright Plus Tri-Intensive Brightening Serum for that glow life.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Water Gel and Eye-Cream is fragrance free, oil free and dye free. These extremely lightweight gel-creams are non-greasy and infuse skin with intense hydration. It goes on smooth, feels good, soaks in quickly, and doesn’t leave that greasy shiny feel or look.
The last step in ANY good skincare routine, especially during pregnancy, is SPF. For this reason I use La Roche Posay Anthelios Tinted Dry Touch Spf50.
A few things I love:
- Pump dispensing
- Dual use – tinted SPF means no need for foundation BUT I can wear it under foundation without it slipping and sliding
6. Spot treatment for pregnancy acne
After asking for suggestions in treating my pregnancy acne, Megan Kelly (By Megan Kelly) reached out and suggested I try this out. This concentrated treatment for acne prone and problem skin penetrates into the skin and helps to dry out acne and pimples.
I’ve used this for 2 weeks and NOTHING else has done what this product has done. My skin is no longer inflamed and sore, these horrid pimples are / have dried and are starting to disappear. You do not understand how much joy this brings me.
TAKING CARE OF THE BODY
I’ve long since traded my scented body wash to a simple bar of soap. My skin tends to be iffy when it comes to soaps and shower gels. My go to has always been Sanex Dermo Pro Hydrate. However this time around I have been happily enjoying my Dove purely pampering coconut milk bar (and the Clicks deals just keep me going back for more). It combines gentle cleansers with Dove’s traditional 1/4 moisturising cream and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth.
2. Daily body cream
First up I love the smell of the original happy event cream. It sparks memories of pregnancies past and brings a sense of nostalgia which I love. But for those who don’t enjoy it, there is a fragrance free option.
Happy Event is complex combination of ingredients that each play their individual roles in creating the unique benefits this product provides.
Once I apply this to my skin I’m set – no need to reapply and my skin is left feeling smooth and soft and oh so juicy.
Whats new at Happy Event: Firming Cream for post natal care
New to the Happy Event family and launched on 10 July, with Pink Pepperslim assisting mothers with firming and toning on your postnatal journey. I must admit I’ve sniffed this a few times but have included this little bottle in my hospital bag for post baby care.
3. Massage oil
When I’m in need of a pamper session I turn to Kiehl’s Mom & Baby Nurturing Oil. After a long week its great to jump into a shower followed by a massage, this is where your Partner comes in.
A few benefits:
- Nourishes and replenishes skin
- Non-greasy texture with easy application
- Formulated for both Moms and their babies’ sensitive skin
It’s not the most affordable option, and you can very easily use your Happy Event Cream or Lotion to do the job but this was a gift so I’m enjoying using it.
So far so good, my skin is starting to look semi decent and I’m happier about it.
I would love to read what products you used, loved, hated during pregnancy. Any good recommendations are welcomed!
Disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or skin specialist. I would suggest getting a sample first of any product (if available) and finding out if it works out for you. Remember to always ask your doctor about ingredients or products you might not be sure about during your pregnancy. This post contains some items which were gifted to me by a brand but the opinions expressed are 100% my own.