I almost forgot how annoying it was for me when I was pregnant and giant zits appeared on my face. Prior to that pregnancy, I did suffer acne during the awkward puberty stage, but I soon outgrew that and went on to have smooth clear skin. But then, I got pregnant, and it was like my face and back were a war zone..the breakouts were bad. I only remember it now as I prepare for another pregnancy journey, and all my symptoms come to mind. I am however aware that each pregnancy differs from the other, but I am also prepared ahead..just incase the zits decide to show up again. The most common areas where pregnant women suffer acne breakouts are around the mouth, the chin, the back and the chest.
When I was pregnant, one of the myths I heard was never to use any spot treatment for my acne. I heard my skin was going to absorb the chemicals from the treatment and the chemicals were going to affect my baby negatively. Well, I sure didn’t want to do anything that was going to affect the baby, but I also didn’t like the acne I was battling with, so instead of using all the tempting fast-acne treatment tubes I saw, I decided to exfoliate regularly. I used an apricot scrub that was gentle and very delicate on my skin, and it helped massively. Exfoliating helps to remove the dead cells and unclog the pores of our skin, so it wasn’t long before the acne started drying up, and I even had clearer skin to boot. A facial cleanser can also provide the same result that a scrub would, but scrubs are better because they do not contain alcohol like most cleansers do, and they not only unclog your pores, they also moisturize your skin.
If you do choose to use an acne-treatment, alongside the scrub, stick to oil-free products. The main cause of pregnancy acne is the overdrive of some of our hormones which causes an over secretion of sebum (skin oil), so look out for water-based cosmetics, or those that have noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic on them. Be gentle when washing your skin, and avoid the temptation to take out any frustration on your skin; you do not want to cause further irritation, or create sores.
Wash your face gently with lukewarm water…especially after leaving the scrub on for a few minutes or after using the cleanser. No matter how tempted you are, please don’t pick or squeeze the acne sores; you would only end up scarring your face the more, having more breakouts and blackheads to deal with. The trick is to get rid of the acne, and leave no tell tale signs of what went down.
Pregnancy hormones causes discoloration in a lot of women, and lead to dark patches and splotches, which is why most pregnant women go at least two shades darker than their pre-pregnancy complexion. This discoloration also increases the incidence of acne, and going out in direct sunlight doesn’t help…but sometimes, you just have to run an errand or two between 10am and 2pm when the sun is out in all its glory. Wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 helps to protect your skin from sun damage and reduces the effect of the UV rays. I remember always having my snapbacks on whenever I was to go out in the sun, and that was because my face was the worse hit of the acne attack, and I needed to keep it protected at all times. So, in addition to wearing sunscreen, be sure to wear a fancy hat or face cap.
When we are pregnant, our hormones are in overdrive and cause oily skin, discoloration and acne. There is a lot of heat generated within the body, which is why most pregnant women crave cold drinks or ice cubes. Keep your external environment as cool as possible, because excessive heat causes rash which could turn into tiny pimples. Wear light clothes, keep the air conditioning or fans on, and be sure to stay cool!
In my fifth month of pregnancy, I got my hair styled in a full-fringe, or bangs, that had the weave covering my entire forehead and stopping right below my brows. In my vain attempt to cover up my fat cheeks, and appear uber cool with my bump, I ended up having a crazy breakout on my forehead. Like, the zits camped there! In the months that followed, I learned to keep my hair as faraway from my face as possible. The heat caused by the weave, plus the excess sebum I was secreting, along with the dirt that must have clogged up underneath my bangs all resulted in a serious break out. So try as much as you can to keep your hair away from your face.
When pregnant, there is the tendency to want to apply make up, even more frequently than when you were not pregnant. With skin discoloration, acne break outs, swelling nose and stuff; there is that tendency to use foundation and concealer to cover up the blotches and look good. That’s all fine and good, but remember to wash off every ounce of make up before going to bed. Using baby wipes or washing your face with mild soap/cleanser and lukewarm water can help keep your skin clear and clean all night. Remember that acnes get worse when the skin is clogged, so take off all make up before bed.
In the end, pregnancy acne is just like normal acne; only difference is that pregnancy hormones make women more susceptible to acne when they are pregnant, than when they are not. So the tips above would work whenever you do have a break out…even if you are not pregnant.
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