Pregnancy acne is very tricky to treat because 1) hormonal changes cause a lot more acne, but at the same time 2) most acne-fighting ingredients aren’t safe for use during pregnancy. So how are we supposed to fight acne when we can’t use the necessary weapons? Pregnancy Acne Skincare Routine
Well, I’m very grateful that this time ’round I have much less acne (I have none right now which is a MIRACLE!) and I have Dermalogica to thank.
If you’re pregnant and are looking for a skincare routine to combat acne, check out my pregnancy acne skincare routine below!
- This post is NOT sponsored by Dermalogica. Some of the products were generously sent to me by Dermalogica, but I am NOT being endorsed or paid to publish this post and/or mention them in any way.
- I have consulted multiple specialists, including my obstetrician and dermatologist, before using any of these products. I suggest you do so with your own doctors and specialists before purchasing skincare products of any kind during pregnancy.
Just to give you a bit of a background story, this is my third pregnancy (my first ended in miscarriage) and so I’ve experienced having “pregnancy skin” multiple times and have experimented with a lot of pregnancy-safe skincare products to combat acne. This current routine has been proven to be the most effective.
I used to use the Proactiv Step 3 Repairing Lotion which contains Benzoyl Peroxide (check out my previous Pregnancy Skincare post) because my obstetrician said a little bit of it every night shouldn’t harm the baby, but I find that it eventually dries out the skin pretty badly because my skin grew a little more sensitive and dehydrated during pregnancy.
I had face mapping skin analysis done by Dermalogica early on in this pregnancy, and they did find my skin to be mostly congested (C) and dehydrated (DH), with pigmentation on the chin and jawline (P). My skin type is considered normal to dry.
Congestions aren’t cystic acne, but if improperly treated or left untreated, it could lead to it (and it often does). I’m really grateful I started on this skincare routine early on in my pregnancy (about 2 months pregnant) that so far, I haven’t had any pimples!
Pregnancy Acne Skincare Routine
What I love about these products is that they don’t contain harsh ingredients (a.k.a irritants) and ingredients that are proven to be harmful for the baby. Since our skin during pregnancy could be much more sensitive, it’s important to stick with products that are gentle yet effective.
Best thing is, their products always come with a travel size version! The travel sizes will be ideal for traveling (babymoon, anyone?) and hospital bags!
I don’t do all these steps every single time I do my skincare. In fact, 95% of the time I simply only cleanse, tone and moisturize, but here’s my complete 7-step skin care routine if I do have to do all the steps.
1. Remove Makeup
I do this once a day every night, but when I’m not wearing any makeup I head on straight to the next step (Cleanse).
I rarely use makeup wipes when I’m pregnant just because my skin gets easily irritated from all the tugging and wiping, so I now opt for cleansing oils because they’re much more soothing and gentle on the skin.
The Dermalogica Precleanse (US$10.50 – $40) is a makeup-removing cleansing oil that is to be applied on dry skin with dry hands. As with other oil cleansers, I massage this onto the skin and it’ll break down every single trace of makeup. When I rinse it off the oil will turn into a thin, milky substance and effectively remove most, if not all, of my makeup.
If some eye makeup are still left behind, which honestly rarely happens, I’ll just use the Dermalogica Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (US$24), an oil-free, gel-textured eye makeup remover, to remove the residue.
I wash my face twice a day every day.
Lactic acid is an AHA that is popular amongst pregnant women because it’s one of the few chemical exfoliants that are deemed safe for use during pregnancy.
The Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser (US$11.50 – $42) is a lactic acid cleanser that retexturizes the skin by removing dulling surface debris and accelerating cell renewal. This cleanser has a lotion texture that thins out a bit when mixed with water, but it doesn’t foam up too much when being massaged on to the skin, which is actually really nice because that it means it won’t strip the skin off of its natural oils too much.
Since AHAs can be too strong for some people, this cleanser contains Vitamin E and rose flower oil to help soften and calm the skin, so this is a pretty gentle chemical exfoliant.
I only exfoliate once to twice a week at night to avoid irritating my skin since my cleanser is already a chemical exfoliant.
The Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub (US$36) is a skin-polishing scrub exfoliant and I normally mix it with my Dermalogica Skin Resurfacing Cleanser. It works great alone but when mixed together with this cleanser, its effectiveness doubles up (chemical + physical exfoliant)! My skin is always left smooth and squeaky clean as the scrub removes dulling surface debris, and it also improves the absorption of subsequent moisturizing treatments.
However, if my skin is looking a bit more problematic (i.e. more congested or acneic than usual) I’d go with the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque (US$46), an all-in-one treatment mask that instantly detoxifies and exfoliates troubled skin. Read more about it in my February 2016 Skincare Favorites post!
I spray this on twice a day every day after I pat my skin dry with a towel.
The Dermalogica Multi Active Toner (US$10.50 – $36) is a toner that contains moisture-binding humectants and various soothing and antibacterial ingredients. I honestly see a big difference in my skin’s hydration and suppleness whenever I use this.
Read more about it in my My Skincare Heroes post.
5. Treat Acne/Congestion
After toning, I use treatment products to target the specific problem areas I have. The first issue I have is congestion and acne.
I only do this once a week at night as a precaution when I have clear skin, or every day morning and night when I do have a lot of congestions or acne to clear.
The Dermalogica Breakout Control (US$46) is a gel-textured acne spot treatment that does NOT contain strong and irritating acne-fighting ingredients such as Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. It simply contains various natural antibacterial agents to clear breakouts without over-drying the skin, Azelaic Acid to control oil production and improve skin texture, and Collodial Silver to eliminate bacteria and control acne. It also contains tea tree and zinc sulfate to soothe the skin.
This was also feature in my My Skincare Heroes post.
6. Treat Dehydration
My second biggest issue is dehydration, so to tackle this I have to give my skin an extra “boost” of hydration.
I use this every night before I moisturize. Or when I’m lazy I just mix this in with my moisturizer.
The Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster (US$56) is a Hyaluronic Acid treatment that comes in a clear gel-fluid texture. It simply revitalizes dry, parched skin and restores moisture balance.
I find that my skin’s congestion is under control every time I use this because dehydration often causes congestions (over-production of oil because the skin is manipulated to think that it needs to produce more oil), so I always have to make sure my skin is well-hydrated.
This is the only non-Dermalogica product in my routine because my Dermalogica consultant said I could use anything I want as long as it’s hypoallergenic and oil-free. It doesn’t have to be too fancy schmancy with lots of active ingredients.
My current favorite is the Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (US$38) as featured in my My Sephora Favorites: Skincare post. It’s not completely oil free but is free of mineral oil, which is often the culprit behind congested skin. It contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including comfrey leaf, a powerful hydrating agent. It’s very gentle and leaves a silky-smooth feeling on the skin, but effectively moisturizes too!
In the mornings, I top it off with my holy grail sunscreen, the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50 PA+++, featured here in my How To Make Your Makeup Last In Hot & Humid Weather post. It’s a water based sunscreen that basically feels like nothing on your skin and will not irritate or congest the pores.
Have you ever struggled with acne during pregnancy? Let me know what your favorite pregnancy-safe skincare products are!