pregnancy acne breakouts pimples treatment food medicine

You are pregnant, congratulations! And now, just when you are supposed to be looking your best “glowing” as they like to say, you start discovering these horrible little dots on your face! Is it chicken pox, small pox, HFMD!?! Nope, just acne. Now don’t fret there are things you can do to help. Trust me I had it too and was able to fix the problem even when I was pregnant.

Let’s first go over what NOT to do if you start getting pimples and acne.

Do NOT do the following if you have Pregnancy Acne

Super Note: If you are not sure if the acne treatment is ok for pregnancy, then DONT DO IT!! It’s not worth the potential risk to your baby. It’s only 9 months, you have the rest of your life to look like a super model. 😉

  • Do not take any oral tetracyclines: tetracycline, doxycycline, monocycline
  • Do not use Topical Retinoids – this included things like Differin, Retin-A, Tazorac, Accutane, etc.
  • Don’t over-wash your face
  • Do not pick at your face
  • Avoid hairspray along your facial hairline
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Don’t over-scrub your face
  • Do not use lasers
  • Do not do hormone therapy
  • Avoid excessive sun

DO the following if you have Pregnancy Acne –

Don’t Stress! Yes you have ugly pimples (yes they are ugly), but don’t stress & obsess over it. Stress just makes it worse. Focus on the positive – you are pregnant!

Speak To Your Dermatologist. A dermatologist will be able to tell you exactly what oral & topical medicines are safe for pregnancy (if any) and they will also be able to guide you as to what treatments are appropriate for your condition. It will also make you feel good to talk to someone and get some professional guidance besides what you read online.

  • Super Note: I had very bad pregnancy acne and went to my dermatologist (Dr. Joyce Lim at Paragon (Orchard Road) in Singapore – just in case you don’t have your own dermatologist and want to find a good one – I totally love her). She gave me a variety of different products (pregnancy safe) and was able to do a few treatments that really helped me keep the acne under control. And truth be told, not only did the products & treatments get my acne under control during my pregnancy, but has also kept it at bay ever since. 

Wash Your Face. Do wash your face 2 times a day (morning and night) and after working out or sweating excessively.

Change Pillowcases. Try to change your pillowcases often and use an antibacterial laundry detergent.

Get A Facial. Go out and get a facial that uses natural products designed for acne prone skin. Make sure you tell them that you are pregnant and check that the facial is pregnancy safe.

Moisturize. Make sure to use a oil free moisturizer daily to help repair and rejuvenate your skin.

Eat Healthy. It’s a well known fact that what you eat does effect the condition of your skin. With your hormones all over the place, you may want to eat tons of greasy food and pickles. Just make sure to eat it with a side of vegetables. You are pregnant and it is a time to enjoy those weird cravings, but don’t forget the fresh fruit and veggies as well.

Keep Skin Hydrated. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Water helps remove the toxins from your body (including helping with acne). Try to avoid drinking excess caffeine, sodas and sugar laden drinks. If you get tired of drinking water, try a healthy fresh juice or a green shake instead.

Be Sun Safe. Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat if you are out in the sun. Too much sun may aggravate acne and may result in hyperpigmentation (dark spots) if you are not careful. Click here for some more sun protection tips.

Exercise! Exercise is great for the entire body, as well as your skin. Now you are pregnant and this is not the right time to start a new strenuous work-out routine that your body is not accustomed to. Swimming, walking, light cardio and yoga are all great ways to stay fit and help those hormones during pregnancy.

  • Super Tip: Don’t forget to wash your face after you workout, excess sweat may cause clogged pores.

Use Makeup. If you can’t fix the problem, then cover it up (at least for big events where you need to look your best)! Your current makeup may not be suitable for your new acne prone skin and might actually be aggravating the problem. Go to the department store and get yourself a good ”noncomedogenic” foundation/cover-up and make sure the sales associate behind the counter can recommend a good product for your skin condition. Be sure to wash off all the makeup at night.

  • Super Tip: A green cover-up stick will help cover up the red acne spots.

Get Adequate Rest. Get some rest. Take a nap during the day if you have time. Pregnancy does cause excess fatigue, especially in the 3rd Trimester when sleep becomes very erratic. Make sure you take every opportunity to get as much sleep as possible. The amount of sleep does effect the condition of your skin.

Clean Makeup Brushes. You should clean your makeup brushes regularly, but if you have regular breakouts, you should clean brushes daily.

  • Super Tip: An easy way to wash brushes is to soak your brush in make-up remover or in your current face wash. 

Sanitize Your Phone. We use our phones daily and often times forget to clean it. Make sure to sanitize your phone to avoid bacteria and oil coming into contact with your face, or alternatively try to use an earpiece to avoid contact.


I know everyone will tell you, “Oh, it’s not that bad”, ”you look great” “stop obsessing” etc etc. – trust me I have been there and heard it all. But honestly, even if the acne doesn’t go away when you are pregnant you can just deal with it after you give birth. Just be happy and enjoy your pregnancy – it will be ok, I promise.

Happy Pregnancy!