Q & A: Facial Care during Pregnancy

Brittney asked:

During pregnancy I’ve been breaking out a lot (on my face and other areas – with little bumps that you can feel but not always see). Wondering what facial care method you use and any you might recommend. I’ve been researching a bit and have heard of oil facial care (hesitant about that) but can’t find any other facial methods that people say are natural and work. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Great question Brittney and it happens to just be one I am dealing with currently but have not started to find any solution to the problem. I seem to only deal with red splotches during pregnancy and it drives me crazy. Currently, it comes and goes and I keep my facial wash routines pretty basic…water and soap! SO we are passing on this question to the readers. Any natural solutions to share to help us poor pregnant ladies?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

33 Responses to Q & A: Facial Care during Pregnancy

  1. McKenna May 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    I love all these suggestions! I’m 15, and I breakout a lot. I’m going to try some of these! I’m looking forward to see how they work! Thanks!

  2. Allena Nicewarner August 24, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Hormonal acne treatment may be very successful when applied within the proper manner

  3. Ashley March 23, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    Just wanted to share something that has worked great for me! I have had mild acne all of my life and am now almost 5 months pregnant. I am 23 years old and still struggle with skin problems. Eating a whole food diet has definitely shown huge improvements but something I discovered has also done wonders for my skin – especially during the crazy hormones of pregnancy! After washing my face (once in the morning and once in the evening) I clean my face with a home-made astringent. It’s 1 part apple cider vinegar (I use the Bragg’s brand) + 4 parts filtered water. I have done a lot of research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar for your skin and have found all it’s positives to be true! It balances the pH of your skin to regulate oil production, without drying the skin, and also reduces the brown/red spots from previous acne scars. It’s been a miracle cure for me : )

  4. Ligy April 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Andrea,
    I am currently using a gel that has tree tea oil as an ingredient, do you think tree tea oil is safe to use during pregnancy?

    • Lindsay April 16, 2010 at 11:19 am #

      There are mixed opinions upon that question around the web. I don’t think having a little bit in your hair would hurt you any. I use it in my shampoo without any problems.

  5. Thea April 3, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    After reading through these comments, I started on a routine combining the oil cleansing method (I admit, I was skeptical) and honey, and holy smokes, I love it! Pregnancy is giving them both a run for their money, but overall, I have been quite pleased with the results of the OCM. Because I couldn’t quite give in to the notion of every-other-daily cleansing, I use the honey on the days that I don’t cleanse with oil.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  6. Vonda Frontera March 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks! Good tips.
    I’m 56 years old and never believed I’d think about wrinkles, well that didn’t seem to work. After trying different things I finally found one that works. Dead Sea mud masks, click my profile name to check it out. I’ve used it for ages and personally recommend it.

  7. Ami December 8, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    I have pretty bad acne that seems to get worse when I’m toward the end of nursing and my periods have started again. I’m looking for a completely natural solution now, but with the last baby I found a book at the library called The Acne Cure. The best advice I found in that was to ice your blemishes for about 10 minutes every night before bed. This is to reduce the swelling and increase blood flow so the blemishes can heal faster. Plus, big zits really hurst, so it feels good to ease the inflammation! This is the type of treatment that takes a lot of time, but can really make a difference by the time you get up in the morning.

  8. Amy January 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm #

    I find that tea tree oil for blemishes and jojoba oil for moisturizing does the trick :)

  9. Lisa November 17, 2008 at 8:19 pm #

    Witch Hazel makes a great cleanser and toner and it’s very cooling and refreshing and it’s natural! I don’t wear make-up but I use it every night using a small cotton pad to apply and it’s surprising how dirty one’s face can actually get just from air-polution and rubbing against kids all day. :) I use Thayers formula with Aloe Vera and I wouldn’t be without it! And I’ve used it for all my pregnacies and I’m sure it’s helped with the hormonal changes my skin goes though.

    Also some other great oils for the skin are mango butter – real mango butter – not the artificial whipped kinds and sunflower oil. I’m using a combination right now that I’ve been using for a year with no break-outs and I have very dry skin.

  10. christa October 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm #

    all these posts are great!! i am 12 weeks with my 7 th and honestly i have found the best thing is wait 9 months;) Although i have been using clinique which is not all natural but has helped me alot, especially living in the hot humid south.

    • Kate October 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

      I LOVE the Clinique skin care line! That’s what I use…but I know most people on here like natural/frugal things. Clinique is neither natural or frugal but is the BEST thing I’ve tried!

  11. Dana October 4, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    I only get bad breakouts when pregnant with my girls. My sister made a goatmilk and coconut oil soap that it the only one that I am not allergic too, which helped, but she no longer does so. I have to admit that I am a fan of a european facial once or twice when pregnant, as it really seems to help. I go to a lady who only uses natural products. While pregnant with my 5 year old daughter, I needed a bag for my head, but it was way better with the 3 yo and 11 month old girls.
    Polly, how wonderful to be an older (not old) mama, I am 46 and expecting number 11.

  12. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home October 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    I second the Oil Cleansing Method- it works really great for me, and I have quite oily skin with lots of breakouts!

  13. Kristina October 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    The facial “mask” of red splotches can also be attributed to a lack of B vitamins in pregnancy. That is what I learned in my Bradley Natural birthing classes. Something to think about

  14. Kate October 2, 2008 at 4:55 pm #

    I just heard today on tv that smearing egg whites on your face and letting it dry helps w/breakouts. Once dry wash off w/soap and water.

    I also heard lemon is a great exfoliant.

  15. Jenny October 2, 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    I stopped using Aveeno and a daily zit cream with benzyl in it – and i stopped over 4 months ago. My skin unfortunatley still has not gotten “normal” I have been plagued with breakouts not just on my forhead and chin – but now on my cheeks and neck – which I never had before! Using coco oil soap, no soap, tea tree, no tea tree, only coco oil, you get the idea. Its frustrating – but all I can assume is that my body is still in detox, it just seems like its been way too long. I am encouraged to try this honey recipe and also the sugar scrubs.

    One friend who had bad acne said Kombucha really helped her detox and thus her skin. I am continuing Kombucha since we do a continuous home brew (started 4 weeks ago) so maybe this will help? Its tempting to go back to my old products : )

    Thanks for this post lindsay!

  16. Brittney October 2, 2008 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks so much Linsday :) I asked this question on my own little blog (I’m a new-blogger-allows fam. and friends to keep up with me while I’m pregnant and then when my little girl gets here) but I definetly didn’t get such wonderful detailed responses as these :) Thanks for your help as we figure out the pregnant hormone breakouts!

  17. M.I.A in Minnesota October 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    These suggestions are all so wonderful! It seems so simple doesn’t it? I can’t wait to try some. My nieces have always struggled with tiny little bumps behind their arms. My mom’s Natural doctor told her it was because it was a lack of essential oils in their diets. He had a name for the condition, but I can’t think of it right now. Anyway, Perhaps when you’re pregnant, the wee one is taking a lot of essential oils out of your system, leaving you with a deficiency. He recommended adding a lot of olive oil and fish oils to their diet.

    • Jenny October 2, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

      I still have those bumps and I am in my 20s! They are bad in the winter but much better in the summer. My dermatologist long ago said it was an inability for the skin to exfoliate itself. Using a scrub and coco oil helps – but they still get bad in the winter.

  18. angel October 2, 2008 at 12:05 pm #

    Raw honey worked wonders to stop pregnancy break outs, (just apply a thin layer to dry skin then rinse in shower) then I used Apricot oil as a moisturizer.

  19. Andrea in Alaska October 2, 2008 at 9:58 am #

    Before I got married, I did a nightly face-cleaning ritual involving Clearasil or Noxema or some such. Even in my twenties, my face broke out on a regular hormonal schedule. After I got married, I abandoned any sort of face cleaning ritual (it took too long), and I was surprised that I noticed no difference at all in my skin (except that maybe it wasn’t as dry)! I wear very light make up which usually is gone by the end of the day. Also, at about the same time, I replaced my nightly moisturizer (I always moisturize my face, hands, and feet before bed) with pure organic coconut oil. The coconut oil actually helped my routine breakouts to heal faster and made my skin much more soft and healthy. I also now use a little bit of tea tree oil on especially bad breakouts.

    In pregnancy, oddly enough, I go from beautifully clear skin to angry red breakouts every couple of weeks. I keep using the tea tree oil and coconut oil and things have been going fine. There are some days when I hope people are paying more attention to my growing bump though than my chin!

    I hope that helps some!

  20. Gina @ The Christian Mom's Outlet October 2, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    I have read that the break out on the face can be a cause a couple of issues: 1) hormonal changes and imbalances – for me applying the essential oil Ylang Ylang has helped, with others, other natural hormonal balancers have worked, 2) the liver is overworked processing for 2 people and the toxins start manifesting coming out through the skin. – In this case, it’s best to eat as organically and naturally as possible; it is not safe to do a liver cleanse while pregnant, but there are also essential oils that help strengthen the liver during pregnancy that are safe – I have found young living’s essential oils to be of the best quality.

    I am sure that facial cleanses are helpful, but that seems to be the surface issue, and not the underlying…


    • Jenny October 2, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

      Gina – can you send me your email address? I would like to know more about safe essential oils during pregnancy. I use young living but my distributor gal said she doesn’t really have specifics on EOs during pregnancy and what is safe.

    • Mandy October 4, 2008 at 9:52 pm #

      During my second pregnancy I had itchy skin and my midwife suggested herbs to help my liver. The itchy skin cleared up very quickly! I might talk to you midwife about taking some? I don’t remember which ones they were, but I think burdock root was one of them. Also, general vitamins and supplements are very helpful! Codliver oil, A, acidophilus, garlic. . .

      • Kellie March 4, 2009 at 12:18 am #

        Hi Mandy, Will you please tell me more about the itchiness and your liver? I got obstetric cholestasis during my last pregnancy and was induced a month early. I had never heard of anything like actually healing your liver and am VERY intruiged. PLEASE let me know what you know about this? I am so excited to get pregnant again but still afraid of having liver issues. Was it all of your skin? Just on your feet? Did they run any blood tests? Thanks! Kellie

  21. Lauren October 2, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    I have really sensitive and dry skin. I like using the Burts Bees or Avalon Organics products. They are somewhat expensive but Walgreens and Longs Drugs carry them. I wait until they go on sale or have coupons and then I can get them a lot cheaper.

  22. Carmen October 2, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    I have always struggled with breakouts – especially the ones induced by hormone changes. During pregnancy, I did not want to use any of the harsh chemicals like benzoil peroxide, salicylic acid, or triclosan.

    A solution that worked amazingly well for me was to use Noxzema and mix it with baking soda. The baking soda provided a nice, mild exfoliant and the Noxzema was vey gentle on the skin and kept it from getting greasy or irritated. If you don’t like Noxzema, I think you could suspend the baking soda in other cleansers or even something like tea tree oil.

  23. Sweetpeas October 2, 2008 at 6:18 am #

    On a day to day basis I use only water on my face (I also don’t wear make-up on a day to day basis, so don’t need a “cleanser” to remove it). I’ve found soap to be too harsh & drying (even lovely homemade ones). If I start to notice break-outs OR dry skin I have 2 “go-to” products for skincare. One is honey. When I first heard of washing your face w/ honey I have to admit, I shuddered. It sounds like such a sticky mess!!! But warm water beautifully dissolves honey. I just take a plastic squeeze bottle of honey to the shower, wet my face, squeeze some honey onto my fingertips & massage it into my face. It moisturizes, heals, it’s amazing stuff!!! (BUT while this is anecdotal, I’ll warn anyway, one time I used the honey on my pierced ears as well, when I got out of the shower & went to put earrings in, there was a thin “skin” that I had to puncture to get my earrings in, my assumption is that the honey began to “heal” my ears, since then I’ve been careful to not use the honey on my ears LOL). My other go-to product is a homemade sugar scrub. I use grapeseed oil (where we used to live, the health food store carried it in both the food section & the toiletries section, interestingly it was significantly cheaper in the food section), and organic sugar, you can also add EOs, and other skin nourishing things (aloe vera, vit E, etc) if you want. I generally combine any liquids I’m using and then just add the sugar a little at a time until I get the consistency I want. Again, keep in a container by the shower, wet face, massage into skin, rinse off. The sugar is abrasive but gentle and the oils cleanse while moisturizing.

    With both of these make sure you rinse them off THOROUGHLY, more than once I’ve gotten out of the shower only to notice an eyebrow or the hair along my forehead is “hard” becuase I didn’t get the sugar or honey rinsed out LOL.

    • Lindsay October 2, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

      I like the idea of using honey since I have it on hand. Thanks for sharing everyone!

  24. Polly October 2, 2008 at 4:57 am #

    I’m 15 weeks pregnant with baby #5. I’m no expert but I’ll share what works for me.

    My skin is somewhat dry ( I’m 42) but I have large pores and regular breakouts ( the under the skin type) on my chin.

    I have tried gentle things, waterless cleansing, etc. but what I”ve learned is that I have to exfoliate – the Buf Puff type sponge is the best. I use it with a mild olive oil soap, once a day. Just a gentle cleansing with the same soap in the morning.

    I moisturize on dry areas morning and night, and at bedtime, I use Clean and Clear Advantage gel on my chin or other problem areas – It’s a wonder product.

    I stopped using powder (acne feeds on cornstarch)and now I do bare minerals in the summer, and Bobbi Brown face balm in the winter.

    I really like Aveeno products – cleansers and moisturizers – they’re very gentle.

  25. Christine October 2, 2008 at 4:26 am #


    I found your blog last week and find it very interesting. Keep up the good work!

    I use extra virgin coconut oil (unrefined) on my skin. It will help with all sorts of conditions. Remember – your skin sucks in whatever you put on it. If you cannot eat it, it doesn’t belong on your skin.


  26. Donielle @ Naturally Knocked Up October 2, 2008 at 3:47 am #

    I’ve been using the oil cleansing method(OCM) to wash my face since this past spring and love it. It’s a great natural way to clean your face and you don’t have to worry about any chemicals.

    (I wrote about it here: http://tinyurl.com/5ukvbh)

    Plus I love the fact that I get to slow down a bit and relax for a few minutes with a nice hot washcloth. It really becomes rather relaxing!

    I did start breaking out a bit when I found out I was pregnant (currently 11 weeks, yay!), so all I had to do was change up the ratio of oils and also added in a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar once a week for a scrub. I had also been pretty lazy about it, since my complexion had been so clear since switching to OCM, so I made sure each morning and night I cleansed with just a steamy hot wash cloth, when I didn’t use OCM. I normally only use the oils 4 times a week or so.

    If you’re switching from a conventional face wash, it may take your face a couple of weeks to get used to something so natural and you may have breakouts during this period. It’s because we overproduce our own oil to compensate for the face wash stripping them off each time.