Is there a safe way to treat pimples when you’re pregnant? After researching the best acne treatments for pregnancy, we say yes, there is.
After all, more than half of all pregnant women will develop acne. It’s especially common during the first three months as hormones increase oil production in the skin. If you already were prone to breakouts, chances are the problem will continue or worsen.
Of course, you can’t use retinoids during pregnancy. They could cause birth defects in your child.
Salicylic acid facial cleansers, azelaic acid, and benzoyl peroxide are possibilities, but you should discuss them with your doctor. We included a few mild products for the topical treatment of acne with these ingredients.
On the other hand, one completely safe acne treatment for pregnancy is light therapy.
Most importantly, a gentle face wash and a non-comedogenic moisturizer will do a lot to keep acne under control. Change your towels and pillowcases frequently. And try not to touch your face.
Now let’s begin with the top acne treatments during pregnancy. We hope we help you find a solution that works well for you.
Best Acne Treatments for Pregnancy in 2024
Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Treatment Face Mask
You can thank the space program for this technology. Scientists needed a way to grow plants and heal wounds in orbit. They experimented with LED lights and discovered that blue kills bacteria and red speeds up healing. Therefore, it’s the perfect solution for clearing up breakouts.
Neutrogena took the science and turned it into a product that’s easy to use. Furthermore, they tested it to ensure that it works. It won’t irritate your skin or your eyes. And it doesn’t emit UV radiation so it’s safe for your baby, too.
The reusable mask comes with something called an activator that you can replace and recycle after 30 treatments. Just wear the mask for 10 minutes a day after you wash your face. It shuts off automatically when it’s done.
Neutrogena Acne Clearing Red and Blue Light Therapy Acne Spot Treatment
If you’re not a fan of wearing a full face mask, try Neutrogena’s spot treatment. It’s like a special pen light that you apply to a pimple for two minutes at a time up to three times a day. It runs on a AAA battery so it’s inexpensive to operate. The technology is the same: blue to kill acne bacteria and red to get rid of inflammation.
LightStim for Acne
LightStim’s handheld device is FDA-cleared for treating mild to moderate breakouts. Place it directly on the affected skin for three minutes, then move it to a new area if needed. It emits both blue and red lights that won’t tingle or heat up your skin. Try it for 90 days, and get a full refund if it doesn’t work for you.
Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera
Another way to keep your skin clear is to use witch hazel as a toner. It tightens pores, reduces oil production, and even improves the moisture level. This particular formula from Thayers is mildly scented with rose petals. The rose extract provides Vitamin C to strengthen your skin and reduce discoloration (like acne scars). Plus, there are no parabens, just natural ingredients.
Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay
One hundred percent pure Bentonite clay will cleanse your face of excess oil and impurities. It reaches into pores to keep your skin clear. Mix this clay mask with apple cider vinegar and apply it once a week for up to 20 minutes. You can actually feel it working. Then rinse and moisturize. Some users apply it as a spot treatment, too.
Bragg Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Did you know that apple cider vinegar can treat acne? Yes, the odor is strong. But it kills bacteria and moisturizes your skin. Some people use it as a toner while others only put it on spots. You’ll also need the vinegar to mix with Bentonite clay powder to make a mask.
Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey
Honey is another natural treatment for acne. Manuka honey is antimicrobial as it kills both viruses and bacteria. It slows down aging and reduces inflammation. In other words, it’s comforting to the skin. It’s also been studied scientifically for wound healing. Try a little honey on your blemishes when your skin’s too sensitive for anything else.
Dead Sea Mud Mask for Face & Body by New York Biology
Mud masks absorb impurities to unclog pores. They soak up extra oil, stimulate blood circulation, and exfoliate dead skin. The benefits of Dead Sea mud reach a little further. It’s full of nutrients like magnesium to revitalize your face. And it leaves your skin softer than other types of mud.
This particular formula from New York Biology features chamomile, aloe, and plant oils plus a little Vitamin A to keep your skin healthy. Be sure to moisturize after using it, and wear sunscreen the next day. While you’re pregnant, discuss this product with your doctor.
AcneFree Sulfur Mask
Sulfur also eliminates acne. You may have heard of sulfa drugs, the forerunners of antibiotics. AcneFree’s sulfur mask blends Bentonite clay, Vitamin C, meadowsweet, copper, zinc, and 3.5% sulfur. They recommend using it two to three times a week to clear up breakouts and blackheads.
One neat feature of the mask is that it turns blue once it’s fully absorbed oil and impurities. That takes about 10 minutes. It also tingles while it’s working.
Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
Have you ever tried cleansing with pore strips? While these aren’t the best solution for red or white pimples, they work wonders on blackheads. It takes 10 to 15 minutes for them to lift out dirt and debris from your pores. Plan on using them one to two times a week for best results. But avoid placing them on skin that’s prone to spider veins.
TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum for Face
The TruSkin Vitamin C Serum may be just what you need to keep your skin clear. Apply it after you wash and before you moisturize. Then the ingredients like Vitamin C, aloe, and hyaluronic acid keep your face hydrated and radiant. They also reduce discoloration and prevent breakouts.
A closer look at the label reveals other helpful components like witch hazel, Vitamin E, and organic plant extracts. There are no artificial fragrances, dyes, or parabens. Also, it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.
Nexcare Acne Absorbing Cover
What you do when you have a pimple? Most of us are tempted to pop it even though we know this will just create a sore that could lead to a scar. Before you pick your blemishes next time, cover them with this acne absorbing cover. It’s like a little transparent Band-Aid that soaks up excess oil and pus. You can even apply makeup over the top.
Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Medicine Treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide
Now let’s dive into acne medicine that you should discuss with your doctor before you use it. None of the following require a prescription, but they have ingredients that might cause problems during pregnancy.
Neutrogena’s spot treatment with 2.5% benzoyl peroxide dries up blemishes. It reduces pain and swelling within the first few hours after you apply it. Just be careful to not get it on your clothes as it can fade the dye.
TreeActiv Cystic Acne Spot Treatment
TreeActiv’s cystic acne spot treatment tackles a problem with natural ingredients. It contains Bentonite clay, mint water, and pink grapefruit, lemon, and tea tree oils. All you need to do is cover a pimple with it for 30 minutes, then rinse. On the other hand, you can also put it on and leave it overnight.
While the clay soaks up toxins, the essential oils kill acne bacteria and tighten pores. Meanwhile, the peppermint and spearmint water helps moisturize and reduce oiliness.
CeraVe Hydrating Body Wash
When your skin is too sensitive to use acne medication, just the act of washing can help keep blemishes at bay. Keep your skin clean with CeraVe’s body wash. It’s mild enough for pregnant women and children alike. It’s also recommended by the National Eczema Association for very sensitive skin.
CeraVe’s shower soap contains three essential ceramides. They are lipids that are naturally part of your skin. They protect your skin against dehydration and environmental damage. At the same time, hyaluronic acid attracts moisture so that your skin stays soft and comfortable.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Tea Tree
Melaleuca, or tea tree oil, has been studied as a treatment for acne. While it’s not as effective as benzoyl peroxide, it has fewer side effects. You may find that the Dr. Bronner tea tree soap is just what you need to clear up your skin. It’s made of pure organic ingredients like water, glycerin, and plant oils. There are no sulfates, parabens, or preservatives.
Puracy Natural Body Wash
For gentle exfoliation, use Puracy’s Natural Body Wash. It has pink grapefruit oil and Himalayan Sea salt to lather away oil and dirt. The soap is mild enough for sensitive skin as it avoids harsh chemicals.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Cleanser
If your doctor clears you to use salicylic acid to treat acne, the Effaclar medicated cleanser is one of the best to use. It has 2% salicylic acid but doesn’t contain either artificial fragrances or parabens.
This face wash not only makes your skin less greasy throughout the day, but it also clears up whiteheads and blackheads alike.
What acne treatments will you be using while you’re pregnant? We’d love to know, so please share. We’re always on the lookout for the best products on the market. And we wish the best of health for you and your baby. You can also read more about other options for acne.
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