Fight Acne Safely When You’re Breastfeeding Or Pregnant: Speedy Advice With Makeover Momma

Getting clear skin (like Nicole Richie and Angelina Jolie) is possible…even pregnant!

Q. “Do you know of any acne products that are safe to use while pregnant?  My skin has been a mess for the last…19 weeks! There are so many sites that tell you what not to use…but none that tell you great products to use when you are in my boat” – Elizabeth (Soon-to-be mother of three)

A. I feel your pain! Before my second baby I was happily using Proactiv with great results, but had to stop once I became pregnant (because certain acne skincare chemicals aren’t safe during pregnancy). I went into panic mode: how would I find the right type of products, before I look like I’m back in middle school?

Personally, I ended up researching products with very similar qualities to what was already working, and made the switch. For example, in order to replace the pore-scrubbing cleanser, I began using Alba Botanicals Sea Algae Scrub from my local grocery store. In order to keep using a toner, I switched from harsh astringents, to basic witch hazel pads for my T-zone (essentially, I bought the affordable version of Tuck’s pads, and used those bad boys!)

However, the most important thing to me was finding something to worked as the “zit cream” or treatment lotion (replacing the usual salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide ointments). Almost everything I researched (even the “natural” brands) still had harmful ingredients in it. I ended up discovering a brand at Sephora called Boscia, and even though it was way above my usual price point, I ended up splurging for this crucial product replacement. The Willow Bark Treatment (slightly cheaper than the Clear Complexion Treatment, though both are equally great) did the trick (without drying out my skin). I used it after cleansing and toning (both day and night) and it takes awhile to work (like most acne treatments), but really does it’s job.

Finally, I needed a natural, non-pore-clogging day moisturizer (and since I’m obsessed with sunscreen, it had to have high SPF too). I alternated between Aveeno Positively Radiant with SPF 30 (it comes in tinted formula if you want it to double as cover up), and the Aveeno Ultra-Calming SPF 30 (since my face often gets red and irritated).

Of course, any variety of product could work, but in general, try finding products that serve the same purpose (without the harmful ingredients). A gentle cleansing scrub usually helps remove dead skin cells, a toner can help treat trouble areas, and a “zit cream” (even if it’s just Burt Bee’s Blemish Herbal Blemish stick) will keep zits at bay.

* What do you do about harmful ingredients in products, when you’re pregnant or nursing?

Have a question of your own? Just leave it in the comments below, and I’ll do my best to answer!

Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She talks about Mealtime Makeovers on Monday, “Speedy Advice With Makeover Momma” On Wednesday, and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email

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Makeover Mommaâ„¢ occasionally receives cosmetic products for review, with no obligation to positively promote or cover said brand. Receiving products has absolutely no influence over our recommendation of any particular product.

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2 comments on “Fight Acne Safely When You’re Breastfeeding Or Pregnant: Speedy Advice With Makeover Momma
  1. Tammara says:

    I genuinely treasure your work. Excellent post.

  2. Some cosmetics and skin-care products are pore clogging (“comedogenic”). Of the many available brands of skin-care products, it is important to read the list of ingredients and choose those which have water listed first or second if you are concerned about acne. These “water-based” products are usually best for those with acne.^;”‘

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