When pregnant, women have to take extra care about everything they put in their bodies and apply to their skin. The developing fetus is very susceptible to chemicals in the environment and extra care must be taken by the pregnant woman to avoid these compounds. The cells of the developing fetus respond to hormonal signals and divide very fast; chemicals that may resemble hormones chemically may alter or inhibit growth patterns.
Unfortunately, pregnancy involves major and frequent hormonal shifts that can cause breakouts. Many women who have never had a problem with acne suddenly develop bad facial, back, and body acne during pregnancy. So what is a pregnant woman to do?
First and foremost, always consult a doctor before adding any sort of treatment, even it if is natural. Even “natural” remedies can cause problems. Additionally, things that are perfectly safe for adults to use may not be safe for a pregnant woman. Also, just because a remedy is not ingested does not mean that it cannot affect the fetus. Chemicals can be absorbed by the body through the skin so talk to a doctor before applying anything to your skin when pregnant.
Instead, pregnant women should focus on action and lifestyle changes to help reduce acne rather than focusing on particularly remedies for acne, as even natural products may not be safe for the fetus.
Cleanse the Skin Daily
Using soap to cleanse the skin daily is the first step in preventing acne. Natural soaps without chemicals added may not be ideal, but they are the safest bet for pregnant women.
One safe and effective way you can reduce acne and level off hormones is by exercising daily. While the intensity of exercise has to be scaled down significantly in the third trimester, exercise of modest to moderate intensity is perfectly healthy during the first two trimesters.
Exercise can help ensure optimal hormone levels and reduce stress which may help reduce the appearance of acne.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another culprit of acne during pregnancy is poor diet. Many women throw their normal eating habits out the window during pregnancy and take to devouring junk food. Many of the cravings for junk food stem from the fact that the pregnant woman needs to eat a lot more calories than they are used to eating in order to support the baby’s growth. Consider eating nutrient-dense foods to help stem cravings for junk. Large quantities of sugar may cause inflammation and contribute to acne.
Additionally, a healthy diet may help limit excessive weight gain. Gaining well beyond the “recommended range” can cause acne as well. This does not mean you should starve yourself though – not gaining enough weight can cause problems much worse than acne. Ask your doctor for specific advice on how much weight you should be gaining during your pregnancy for your particular body type.