If you thought zits were reserved for youth, surprise! Acne is a common pregnancy symptom that affects many moms to be. Those unattractive blemishes can appear on your face, neck, breasts and even your butt.
Blame your pregnancy hormones for your breakouts, especially the increase in progesterone, which causes your skin to overproduce sebum (oil). When this extra sebum combines with dead skin cells, it can block your pores and create the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. This leads to inflammation and acne breakouts.
Pregnancy acne can range from mild to severe, and it can strike at any time. For some women, their breakouts come and go, but for others, they have pimples the entire time they’re pregnant.
6 Tips to Fight Acne
You cannot prevent the hormonal changes in your body, but you can find ways to manage your acne. Here are a few tips to fight pregnancy acne naturally:
- Cleanse. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser in lukewarm water twice a day. When drying your face, pat it dry. Don’t rub it against a washcloth, as this can irritate your skin and worsen your acne.
- Resist! Even though your pimples are annoying and fun to squeeze, never pop them. This can aggravate your acne and lead to permanent scarring.
- De-grease. Avoid using oil-based cosmetics. Use water-based products instead.
- Hydrate. Drink plenty of water during the day. Hydration dilutes the oily secretions and might improve acne. (Plus, it keeps your constipation at bay and improves your overall pregnancy health.)
- Vitamin A. Eat more foods with vitamin A—carrots, milk, eggs, spinach and dark leafy green vegetables, sweet potato and butternut squash. Vitamin A is the nutrient that repairs skin tissue, reduces lines and wrinkles and helps control acne. (Stay away from extra vitamin A supplements, because too much vitamin A has been linked to birth defects and other problems.)
- Nourish. Cut back on your intake of sugar, refined grains and unhealthy fats because these aggravate acne. Eat healthier fats, like those found in walnuts, almonds and avocado. Whole grains are better for health and your skin. Eat better, and your skin will be healthier.