May 16, 2014 02:00 PM

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Everyone always talks about how much your skin will glow during pregnancy, but what if your skin doesn’t get that memo?

I was one of those unlucky women and I can tell you, there’s nothing fun about treating acne while you’re expecting because unfortunately, there are a lot of products you can’t use.

My baby boy arrived two years ago so I’m back to being as close to blemish free as possible — thank goodness!

But since I figured there had to be others suffering my same fate, I decided to reach out to an expert to see if there is a safe and effective way to keep those unwanted zits at bay when you’re with child.

Luckily, Dr. Jeannette Graf was more than willing to share her thoughts. Check them out below.

What are some of the causes of pregnancy acne? And what’s the best way to treat it?

It’s primarily hormonal changes that cause it. But there are certain medications that are considered safe to use during pregnancy such as sulfur-based treatments. Also, a good skin care regimen, a good diet and facials can be helpful. At-home glycolic peels are okay to use as well, such as Glytone‘s Mini Peel Gel.

Should you stop using certain products during your pregnancy? If so, which products?

Yes, I would be careful with retinol products and salicylic acid products unless your OB-GYN approves.

Does your skin get more dry or oily during pregnancy? What’s the best way to treat that?

Either or both can occur. If your skin gets dry, use emollient moisturizers and if oily, I recommend using oil-control products.

Does having a boy or girl make a difference to how your skin reacts to pregnancy?

Often it does, but not always. Were I to predict — skin is better with a boy.

Are there special treatments for pregnant women with acne? Or can you pretty much treat it the same way you would if you weren’t pregnant?

There are, including sulfur-based treatments and AHA’s (i.e. glycolic, citric, and lactic) so I would look for products that have those ingredients. One of my favorite cleansers is Glytone’s Exfoliating Gel Wash. It’s gentle, but great at washing away dirt, makeup and excess oil without stripping the skin.

What are some of your top tips for controlling it? Are there foods to avoid? Drink more water? Etc.

See your dermatologist regularly for regular cleanings. Eat a healthy Mediterranean diet and drink lots of water. Avoid alcohol and drink coffee in moderation. And in the end, don’t worry if you have acne during your pregnancy. It is hormonally related and will most likely calm down after delivery.

Shanelle Rein-Olowokere

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