Admittedly, I have had a pretty smooth pregnancy (so far). Although I’ve had nausea, heartburn and lack of sleep, I know that compared to many women, I’ve had it easy. So that’s why it sounds silly when I tell you that the pregnancy symptom that has plagued me the most, has been acne and bumps… everywhere. While I am doing my best to maintain a clean pregnancy as far as beauty and skincare goes, it definitely took me my entire first trimester to find a new routine that worked for me!
The acne that I had was completely new to me. Sure, I’ve had hormonal acne in the past, but never like this. Never ending cystic acne on my chin, back and chest. Acne in my hairline, which made brushing my hair painful. Bumps and skin tags all over my face and down the back of my arms. Although these were not red or painful, I mistook them as acne and tried to get rid of them with heat, extractions and the like. Those first few months I struggled with my clean beauty routine, which meant no Benzoyl Peroxide Cleansers, no salicylic acid on the spot treatments. But eventually through a lot of trial and error, I found a way to get my skin under control. Now, people tell me I look ‘glowy’ which of course I think is mostly a generous compliment, but on the other hand, they really don’t have to say anything about my skin at all. So I’m taking it as a compliment and sharing my new tricks here with you!
Clean Pregnancy: 5 Important Skin Clearing Tips
Tip #1: 2x/Week Clay Deep Cleansing Mask
If you read nothing beyond tip #1, at least you read this. The frequency of the clay mask is what has made all the difference. I used to use one maybe once a week, maybe once a month. Now I can’t go more than 3 days without my pores filling up with excess oil and sebum, and it being OBVIOUS. I hate enlarged pores, and right after using a deep cleansing clay mask I have noticed smaller pores and tighter skin. Skeptics of clay masks worry that they dry out skin, but I turn right around with tip #2…
Tip #2: Intense hydration every day
As I said, clay masks can dry out and tighten your face, so once you clear those pores, you need to add all of the hydration back in with an intense hydration daily moisturizer. I prefer the Age Defy line from Juice Beauty because it smells great and is of course, non-toxic. I tend to work from home (i.e. never leave the house) so I don’t have SPF in my daily moisturizer. BUT, as your skin is much more susceptible to the sun when you are pregnant, would recommend layering another SPF on top of your moisturizer to avoid age spots.
Tip #3: Exfoliate Face and Body 5x a Week
Basically, every time I shower (which is not everyday, don’t hate) I exfoliate my face and body. It’s like my special little spa moment that I’m sure will get ripped to shreds once baby R is here. I use a Lather foaming body scrub on my body, with extra special focus on the backs of my arms, shoulders, chest, rear and back of thighs, which tend to get lots of added bumps from chafing or dry skin. For my face, I use my Olay Face Brush with my Juice Beauty 2 in 1 Cleanser, which I also use in the mornings when I wake up as well. It’s simple, mild, and clean, and combined with a face brush I am guaranteed to get rid of all the dirt, grime, sweat and makeup that builds up on my face.
Tip #4: Pregnancy Peel
If you loved your pre-pregnancy facials (like me!) but want to choose better products for a clean pregnancy, you DON’T HAVE TO GIVE UP PEELS. I use a pregnancy peel by Juice Beauty once a week or whenever I remember (maybe every 2 weeks?) for a quick, 10 minute acne, wrinkle and skin texture makeover. The peel is mild but still may cause a bit of redness, which is why it is suggested to use at night and/or follow with a hefty SPF if heading outside. The trick with all of these steps is to get ahead of the problem, not chase it. So even if you feel that you don’t need a peel… next week you will and then you’ll be happy you took preventative action!
Tip #5: Don’t Pick!
This one is free and seems easy, but it’s the hardest one. I am a chronic skin picker… and even don’t mind a whitehead or two if I can get the satisfaction of popping it cleanly (does that make me gross? Whatever). Anyway, all of the bumps and cystic acne drive me bonkers because I would constantly be fueling the fire and making my skin worse. I decided that instead of picking or popping my skin… I would use a clay mask, or a peel, or go exfoliate. And hence… this is how the clean pregnancy skin routine was born! Instead of making your skin worse, go buy yourself one of the aforementioned products and treat yourself to a mini facial. Your skin and your baby will thank you. (Too much to use your unborn child as a guilt trip? ahh well… welcome to being a mother! ;) )
1. Stem Cellular Anti Wrinkle Moisturizer // 2. Lather Bamboo Lemongrass body scrub // 3. Green Apple Peel Pregnancy // 4. Stem Cellular 2 in 1 Cleanser // 5. Clear Improvement Mask // 6. Face Brush Cleansing System // 7. Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
I hope you enjoy these tips and try out some of the products on your own. Let me know if you have any other tips and tricks that helped your skin in your clean pregnancy!