Tips for Dealing with Pimples During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. It can be amazingly beautiful and wondrous and it can also be amazingly difficult! As her body goes through a multitude of changes to create a new and sustainable life, a lot of things happen. One of the least loved things is often acne. Not all women get acne during pregnancy but when you do, it’s certainly not something that lends itself to that healthy glow so many people talk about.

Hormonal surges can play a major part in being susceptible to acne on your face, shoulders, neck, chest, and upper arms. It’s not fun and it’s certainly not very attractive and because of your pregnancy, there aren’t a whole lot of over the counter or prescription medications you can go to due to potential risk to your baby. Some acne medications, such as Accutane, for instance, have dangers. Accutane has even been shown to cause severe birth defects! So, what then, can you do about acne during pregnancy?

The following tips include suggestions from other women who have had success with them. We can’t endorse the use of these, particularly since some products could pose a risk to unborn babies in utero so do be careful but here are some things that might help you with pregnancy-related acne. Don’t hesitate to run any of these ideas past your doctor as an extra precaution:

  • Follow a regimented skincare routine to minimise the effect of excess oil, especially before bed and in the morning, too.
  • Choose your cosmetics carefully. Choose light water based or mineral based makeup products to minimise clogged pores.
  • Some women have good success with helpful acne home remedies. A few include: Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and a few others. Home remedies can be quite effective in helping you battle pimples during pregnancy and any other time, too.

Prescription Acne Medications:

Some acne medications, such as Accutane, are definitely not safe. But some milder over the counter medicines might be ok. Many say that using benzoyl peroxide medicines during pregnancy is ok and others prefer to avoid the risk.

As much as it’s not fun, it’s probably just temporary. Most women find that soon after their beautiful bundle of joy appears, the ugly pimples disappear.

hydrogen-peroxide-acne-h202

Using Hydrogen Peroxide for Acne

There are quite a few household ingredients that can help with acne. You’ll find a variety of posts on this blog on home remedies for acne. H202 or hydrogen peroxide is a common treatment for acne. Read on for some information about using peroxide for your face as a way to help you treat and prevent pimples and blackheads.

Hydrogen Peroxide: A Cheap & Effective Acne Fighter

One of the big pluses of hydrogen peroxide is that it’s very inexpensive. You can often buy a large bottle for about $1 and it can be used for a wide variety of things above and beyond fighting acne. (More on the many potential uses of H202 below).

What does H202 do for Your Skin?

Hydrogen peroxide has great antibacterial properties. It also has significant oxidation properties as well. It can help clear up blemishes and can help keep your pores clean, reducing the chance of new pimples and blackheads.

Using It:

Be careful not to ingest or to get it in your eyes. Avoid your hair and eyebrows or you could wind up with peroxide blonde hair! Many people use a fresh cotton ball for each use and simply dab it on the skin either on a regular basis or on an as-needed basis. Many recommend using a good moisturiser afterwards as it can be drying. You may want to use it once on a single area of your face in case your skin doesn’t react well (most people are able to tolerate dabbing of peroxide without any major problems)

Additional Reasons to Keep Hydrogen Peroxide in Your Medicine Cabinet

Beyond being an acne remedy, this product can also be used for:

  • Cleaning wounds
  • Whitening teeth
  • Helping clear out ear wax
  • It Helps houseplants
  • It can help kill nail fungus
  • Use it as a rinse when you have a tooth ache
  • Use it in your laundry as a bleach alternative
  • Cleaning and disinfecting at home
  • And more

(Tip: Do some research to get directions on any of the above options for maximum efficacy)

Important Peroxide Tip:

Be sure to use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. There are people that recommend taking it orally, as well, for a variety of ailments but there are major debates about this topic and many doctors advise against it so exercise caution with any use of this substance. You can feel fairly safe when erms of topical application, there can be a number of benefits of hydrogen peroxide including helping you get rid of acne.

Want more natural acne remedies or to read other helpful acne articles, please browse through this site or sign up for our free acne newsletter.

 

acv and acne

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Does this Folk Remedy Cure Acne?

Using apple cider vinegar is a popular folk remedy for many ailments as well as for general wellness. In terms of fighting acne, is apple cider vinegar worth the effort?

Acne happens for a number of reasons so it stands to reason that not all acne cures will work for everyone the exact same way. That said, apple cider vinegar is well known as a multifunctional folk remedy so while it could help you fight acne proactively and reactively, even if it doesn’t clear up your acne, you could get some great benefits. Many testimonials and apple cider vinegar reviews do point to success for clearing up pimples and improving the overall look of your skin. Here are some of the facts:

Some Facts About Apple Cider Vinegar and Acne:

  1. You need organic ACV.  Distilled apple cider vinegar that doesn’t have the ‘mother’ (the cloudy substance that sits in the liquid) then it’s not good for much, other than your salad. Organic products are often expensive but organic apple cider vinegar isn’t. (Tip: I often buy Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in the organic section of my grocery store and it’s just a few bucks a bottle)
  2. You can benefit from apple cider vinegar use both topically and orally. Taking it by the spoonful can help you in numerous ways . By applying it to a pimple, this can be helpful too. Many people put a bit in their bath or simply use it with a cotton ball as an astringent on the face, shoulders, chest, and back (wherever they’ve got a pimple).
  3. Most people don’t’ like the smell or taste  of ACV. It has a really intense taste when you take it full strength. Some people mix it with juice, mix it with honey, or add baking soda to it to take it and opt to apply it topically when they don’t have to go out anywhere.
  4. Apple cider vinegar can be bad for tooth enamel. For this reason, don’t keep it on your teeth any longer than you have to. Some people mix it for this reason or take it through a straw. You can also buy apple cider vinegar capsules (or buy empty capsules and fill them yourself)

Here are some of the other uses of apple cider vinegar:

  • Many say it boosts your metabolism and can help you lose weight.
  • Taking ACV can help with heartburn.
  • It’s often taken as a potential preventative for food poisoning. If you feel like you’ve eaten something dodgy you might want a mouthful or two of ACV to kill bacteria.
  • It’s often used as a spray on animals to deter fleas.
  • Despite being an acidic substance it’s actually alkaline and can help you improve your body’s pH balance.
  • It’s full of vitamins and minerals.

There are some great natural remedies for acne. Have you had any success with apple cider vinegar for acne? If so, we’d love to hear about it so feel free to leave a comment!

 

pms and acne

PMS and Acne – Can Anything be Done?

PMS symptoms vary from female to female and can vary from month to month but one of the common complaints many women have is that they often have acne breakouts just before their time of the month.  Is this a coincidence or does PMS cause acne?

PMS Can Cause or Worsen Acne Breakouts

The About.com Acne guide says that up to 78% of adult women report that PMS causes acne for them.

It’s bad enough that PMS makes woman cranky, bloated, crampy, and generally feeling ugly inside and out. But to have a few giant zits turn up adds insult to injury, doesn’t it?  The cause of PMS acne isn’t just because you couldn’t resist the urge and scarfed down a family size chocolate bar. You can blame the hormonal surge, too. That surge can cause excessive oil secretions and this can mean pimples.  Not only can you get new pimples but you’ll often find that they’re the more painful kind and that if you already have a problem with acne, it’ll worsen the few days before your monthly period start.

Can Anything Be Done About PMS Acne?

  • Many women find that keeping an eye on the calendar and taking a bit of extra care in their daily face washing routine can diminish the severity of their breakout.
  • Watching your diet around PMS time can be helpful, too, so do your best to avoid succumbing to the junk food cravings. Do your best to drink more water and stay away from caffeine and alcoholic beverages during this time.
  • Get your 8 hours. Less sleep can equal worse PMS symptoms and worse acne symptoms.
  • Epsom salts can help acne. Using Epsom salts (as described in our Epsom salts and acne blog post) can also help draw big pimples that sit under the skin out faster so that they can heal faster.
  • Consider herbal supplements (with caution and medical advice, of course) that are known to help with PMS. Evening Primrose Oil is one to consider investigating as there are many positive testimonials where women with severe PMS and related symptoms found a dramatic improvement within a few weeks after starting to take Evening Primrose Oil.
  • Some suggest ensuring you take a multivitamin can help, too.
  • Keep a diary about your PMS symptoms and you may notice an emerging pattern. Perhaps you have worse symptoms when certain lifestyle issues are at play, such as stress, diet, lack of sleep, etc. A diary about your symptoms can help you pinpoint specific things that seem to exacerbate the problem.
  • Getting a prescription for birth control pills is a solution that some women seek as well as birth control pills have been known to reduce their acne and PMS symptoms (and some women take birth control pills to avoid their period altogether)

Having a “Good’ Period?

There’s a certain feminine hygiene product company that suggests that you can have a happy period. That’s probably never going to be true (at least not after the first few months in adolescence when you become a ‘woman’ and there’s a honeymoon period with your period that quickly ends!)  Listening to cues in your body can help you take action to minimize the affect PMS has on your skin and your mood (or you can just warn everyone to leave you alone for a few days!).

Please feel free to chime in below in our comments section if you’ve got anything to add here about fighting PMS and hormonal acne

 Photo credit Mike Licht, Flickr.

 

acne-and-birth-control-pills

Can the Birth Control Pill Help Fight Acne?

Some birth control pill brands state that they can help fight acne.  Are you considering taking the pill for this reason? Make sure you’re aware of the facts first.

Some women find that acne and hormones are very connected. Some women and young girls are exhausted from their seemingly never-ending fight against acne and want to just be rid of it for good without taking on a hard core multifaceted skin regimen several times a day, every day.  Oral contraceptives could be something worth considering, especially due to the fact that many people share positive reviews of birth control pills for acne problems.

The Birth Control Pill isn’t for Everyone

Not all women find the pill to be agreeable. Some women find that the hormonal changes make them moody and cause weight gain.  There are also some significant risks associated with birth control pills, particularly if you smoke or are over the age of 35.  While the pill isn’t right for every woman, the fact that it could help with acne does make some women interested in giving it an honest try. Be sure to be 100 % up front with your physician so that you can decide, together, if oral contraceptives are right for you.

How Oral Contraceptives Can Help with Acne

Oral contraceptives alter a woman’s hormones so that she won’t ovulate. That same process can suppress the hormones that cause excessive sebum in many acne sufferers. That sebum can clog the pores and cause breakouts and the diminished amount of it can make a positive difference.  Many people find that their acne quickly clears up and that they have much fewer breakouts when on certain birth control pills.  The anti-androgenic effects of the birth control can help improve mild acne and in some cases has helped make a difference with more severe acne as well.

Weighing Your Options

Talk to your doctor if you’d like to weigh your options. Some women find that the pill does have a period of adjustment for them but that it can serve several purposes, such as regulating their period (or in the case of some birth control pills, stopping their period altogether) , improving difficult  PMS symptoms, clearing up their skin, and…of course… preventing pregnancy all at the same time.

If you do decide to try the pill, do watch for and be prepared for potentially unpleasant side effects while your body shifts and gets accustomed to the pill. And remember, too, that it can take up to a full cycle for the pill to properly prevent pregnancy.

The pill, alone, might not be enough for severe acne but could, in conjunction with a good acne-fighting skin care regimen and good acne fighting products make a difference.

epsom-salts-for-acne

Do Epsom Salts Help with Acne?

There are some great natural acne remedies. If you’re someone who wants help with acne, Epsom salts are a readily available, are quite cheap, are natural, and are often an effective solution that can have a multitude of health benefits including helping with your complexion and body acne. Read on for more information about Epsom salts and how they can help you.

About Epsom Salts

Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate are completely natural. They are used for a variety of ailments including infusing your body with magnesium. They have great detoxification qualities as well, helping to cleanse the pores.   You can find them in pharmacies, discount stores, and in department stores, too.

Epsom Salts and Acne

Whether you apply it to your skin or soak in it, Epsom salts can be helpful for clearing up acne. Many people say that they use them at the first sign of a big pimple trying to get through and that it dries them out to a head quickly without causing irritation and that it’s particularly helpful with cystic acne. Epsom salts used as a scrub can also help with blackheads, too. (Be careful, scrubbing acne, particularly inflamed acne, could cause irritation. It’s often best to apply as a paste and then rinse, rather than scrub later on. Exfoliating can cause irritation for some acne sufferers).

Epsom Salts Soak – Pour 2 cups of Epsom salts into your bath and soak for 15-20 minutes. An Epsom salt soak will help with body acne on your chest, back, and shoulders, and it’s also a great way to relax muscles, fight stress, and help induce sleep.

A Paste – Mix a 2:1 ratio (2 parts water and  1 part Epsom salts) and apply. You can also buy Epsom salt pastes that are already mixed (although they may have additives, depending on where you buy them). You can also mix Epsom salts with your favourite cleanser or face cream.

A Scrub – Simply apply with fingers or a sponge for a body or facial scrub and exfoliation. If you like you can mix with olive oil or coconut oil for this purpose.

A Mask – Blend with homemade mask ingredients, such as honey and put on a detoxifying and purifying face mask.

Tip: Keep Epsom salts out of your eyes!

Epsom salts aren’t just used for people, either. They’re also used in gardening, for animals, and around the house. Keeping them on hand and researching the many uses of Epsom salts can be a great natural and frugal remedy.

 

 

loofah and sponge for exfoliating

Exfoliation – A Key to Healthy Looking Skin?

Exfoliation is often recommended for bright and healthy skin. But should acne sufferers exfoliate?

It’s important to follow a good skincare routine. Many people make exfoliation a part of their regular routine. There are some great benefits of exfoliating the face. By exfoliating your skin, you’ll slough away dull-looking skin and reveal more vibrant and healthy looking skin. You’ll find that some people say that acne sufferers shouldn’t exfoliate and you’ll find proponents of exfoliation as an important part of an acne fighting regimen.

What should you do about exfoliation and acne? Here’s some food for thought:

  • There are several kinds of exfoliants on the market.  Some are better for acne sufferers than others. Physical exfoliants, like commercial scrubs or tools that have a sandpaper quality can buff away dead skin but this can aggravate acne, especially the inflamed and swollen type. But there are chemical exfoliants as well, in acne skincare products, which help you shed dead skin without having to rub at it. Some of these chemical exfoliation products include chemical peels or alpha hydroxy acid or glycolic acid creams. Some of them can provide quite dramatic results in clearing up the skin and even in lessening the look of acne scars. The products vary greatly in cost. Because some are strong you may not be able to use them too often. Some other daily chemical exfoliants are gentle enough that they can be used regularly.
  • Acne sufferers may have fewer breakouts with exfoliation.  Many people who have problems with acne benefit from help removing dead skin and the result could be that your pores don’t get as clogged. You could see fewer whiteheads and blackheads as well as fewer pimples.
  • Caution! Some prescription medications (topical and oral) advise against exfoliating products. If you are taking any prescription medications, particularly ones for acne, be sure to investigate whether or not it’s inadvisable to exfoliate.  Accutane is one example of an acne drug that has this caution.
  • Tip: If you do exfoliate, be sure to moisturise your skin after the fact. Many chemical products leave your skin quite dry.
  • Note: After exfoliation, be sure that you also remember to stay out of direct sunlight and / or wear sunscreen because your skin can be extra sensitive to the sun’s rays now that you’ve removed several layers of it.
  • Be careful not to exfoliate too often. Some products recommend specific schedules so ensure you don’t over-exfoliate or you could end up with raw and highly irritated skin.
  • It’s wise to try a new product for the first time when you don’t have any pressing engagements planned. There was once an episode of Sex and the City where the character Samantha Jones had a chemical peel gone wrong before a big PR event. Her skin was angry looking and sore and had to be hidden behind a veil. Of course this is television but it’s not too far from the truth for some women. Consider trying a product that promises to be gentle for your very first time so you can see how your skin reacts and consider doing it on a Friday night before a weekend where you can stay home and recover if necessary.
  • Consider looking up acne exfoliation product reviews to get some recommendations if you want to give this a try.

photo credit: Steve A. Johnson, Flickr