7 Effective Treatments for Acne During Pregnancy

If you thought you left acne behind along with your high school crush, pregnancy may prove you wrong.

treatments-acne-pinIncreased hormone levels during pregnancy cause acne flare-ups in many pregnant women. These flare-ups can be severe and potentially lead to permanent scarring.

Although pregnancy acne is likely to fade away shortly after the birth of your child, this doesn’t make it any less aggravating while it is occurring. Attempting to prevent and treat pregnancy acne is important for preventing scarring and reducing pain caused by cystic acne.

Treatments to Avoid

Many of the treatments you would normally use to treat acne are off-limits during pregnancy. Some treatments have been proven to cause birth defects. Others have simply not been studied enough to know they’re safe.

If you have an acne flare-up during pregnancy, you’ll want to avoid most prescription treatments. If you’re currently using a prescription acne medication and are pregnant or trying to conceive, discuss with your doctor the risks of continuing the medication.

Over-the-counter products containing salicylic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids are also to be avoided during pregnancy. This eliminates many over-the-counter options for acne treatment. However, you can look for acne treatments containing benzoyl peroxide as they are generally considered safe during pregnancy

Safe Treatments During Pregnancy

1. Gentle over-the-counter cleansers

Washing your face daily is an important part of preventing acne flare-ups. During pregnancy, choose a gentle over-the-counter cleanser to wash your face. The cleanser you choose should be gentle on your skin, oil-free, and alcohol-free.

Cetaphil, Aveeno, Neutrogena, and many other brands make gentle, moisturizing cleansers that are free of any unsafe ingredients and reasonably priced.

Choosing oil-free, non-pore clogging makeup is also important for preventing acne. It’s helpful to look for products described as non-comedogenic as they should be oil-free but not drying to your skin.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda can be used as an exfoliating scrub when you mix it with a gentle cleanser. It can also be mixed with water to form a paste for spot treating pimples.

3. Lemon juice

Lemon juice can be used to replace astringent and helps remove acne causing oil from your skin

4. Oatmeal mask

Oatmeal absorbs oil from the surface of the skin. It can be mixed with water and applied as a mask to help treat and prevent acne flare-ups.

5. Toothpaste

Toothpaste helps dry out existing pimples. It can reduce healing time and get skin clear faster.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has healing, anti-inflammatory properties to heal pimples faster and remove inflammation. It can also be used to treat acne scars if and when they occur.

7. Natural Face Cloths

There are many natural products out there that also make natural face and body cloths. These can help prevent acne flares. These types of body cloths contain no chemicals or cleansers. They are a soft microfiber cloth which removes acne causing bacteria from your skin.

Prevention and treatment measures for pregnancy acne can decrease symptoms and reduce the risk of scarring. Some treatments may work better for one person than another. Try out a few until you find something that works for you.
Consult with your doctor if you have concerns about your pregnancy acne or other symptoms.

Have you had success treating pregnancy acne with these or other products? Did you find a combination of treatments that worked for you?

Elizabeth Voyles
Elizabeth Voyles is a freelance writer and blogger for hire specializing in blog posts, ghostwriting and website content. As a work-at-home mom, Elizabeth loves writing about pregnancy, parenting and work-at-home life. In between writing gigs, Elizabeth wrangles her two young daughters, binge watches shows on Netflix and reads trashy romance novels. You can connect with Elizabeth on Twitter.


  1. Laura
    August 30, 2016

    I like mixing baking soda with cetaphil cleanser for a gentle exfoliating scrub that’s non irritating. I didn’t know toothpaste can dry out pimples, I’ll have to give that a try!
    I always prefer gentle approaches to my skincare since my skin is very sensitive.

    1. Elizabeth Voyles
      Elizabeth Voyles
      August 30, 2016

      Good idea about the Cetaphil and baking soda. I prefer gentle approaches too! I started using a lot of these gentle and natural options when I was pregnant, but I’ve continued using them long after my daughter was born. They work well on the acne and are gentler on my skin.

  2. Apryl Holley
    November 27, 2017

    black heads anyone does the backing soda work on black heads?


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