//Momesty Corner / Dealing with Wacky Pregnancy Skin Issues

Two things you should know about me as it relates to my current...situation (i.e., being a vessel for precious human life): 1. I am really enjoying being pregnant. Overall, I've had a pretty good pregnancy so far and I'm just so flippin' excited to actually BE pregnant (after years of doctors telling me this probably wouldn't happen for me), that it's hard to feel too down about the negatives. 2. My skin has absolutely FREAKED OUT on me because of all the super fun pregnancy hormones coursing through my body.

Pre-pregnancy, my skin was oily/combination. I avoided heavy moisturizers and adding too much face oils to my skin, and I used a clay-based cleanser to help my skin be nice and matte and get that oily mess under control. I also avoided any dewy-looking foundation because trust me, I had no problem getting that "dewy look" naturally.

Now, my skin is very, very dry on my cheeks and around my mouth, and a little oily on my T-zone. I've also started breaking out a lot--well, a lot for me because before, I didn't really have any acne. Now, however, I have this acne that is more under my skin and there are virtually no products I can use safely during this time. Hooray! Oh, and my cheeks have taken on this redness that is a total pain.

So how can I deal with this given that I'm virtually limited to natural remedies for acne and I've NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH DRY SKIN BEFORE EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE?! There a few things I've begun to incorporate into my skincare regimen.

USE A HYDRATING MOISTURIZER DAY AND NIGHT
I used to use a very light moisturizer or a face oil twice a day to keep my skin soft and moisturized without keeping it too dry (that would result in my face producing MORE oil to compensate...doesn't that sound like a contradiction?). I can't get away with that so much now because it's just not enough for my skin. I have an awesomely hydrating overnight mask (it's basically a super-thick cream) but when it came to a daily moisturizer, I was S.O.L.

After doing some research, I found this moisturizer and I fell in love. It claims to contain "a full bouquet of a dozen roses," which is a nice thought whether it's total crap or not. A little goes a LONG way with this, making the value that much better to me, and the salesperson told me it should help with the redness in my skin and that's a bonus! I can honestly say that after the first couple of days of using this moisturizer, I have not had any of that patchy, flaky dryness on my cheeks and around my mouth that I was previously dealing with. WOOHOO!

SWAP OUT THE CLEANSER TO SOMETHING MORE MOISTURIZING



Are you beginning to sense a theme here? My previous cleanser, as I mentioned, was clay-based. It was meant to suck out excess oil and balance out my skin. That's awesome--when my skin was oilier. Now that it's drier than the Sahara, I was basically pulling ANY oil there was and leaving my skin EVEN drier. Booooo!

I swapped for a cleanser containing goat milk and it essentially comes out in a consistency similar to Aquaphor and it doesn't lather. The salesperson told me she applies it to her dry face and uses a damp washcloth to wipe it off. I go the route of wet face, massage product onto face, and rinse off. Do whatever works for you! One thing I don't particularly care for about this specific product is the scent because it's a little odd to me, though I can't quite place it. BUT that's about the only downside. Another good thing about this product is that it's pretty darn good at getting stubborn makeup like mascara and gel liner off.

USE A PRODUCT CONTAINING SULFUR FOR ACNE



It is recommended that pregnant women avoid almost all over-the-counter acne products...which means that any product that actually works, you can't put on your face. Awesome. That leaves you with fun stuff like tea tree oil and I don't know about you guys, but that doesn't cut it for my blemishes. Like I said, pre-pregnancy I didn't really have to deal with acne all that often. I'd get the occasional breakout, I'd slather it with Clearasil or something, and it would go away within a week. Now, I have this deeply-embedded acne cluster on each cheek that just. won't. go. AWAY.

Enter Mario Badescu.

I've heard of this Drying Lotion from several beauty sources and they all touted the magic of this pink, weirdly-scented stuff. I bought from Anthropologie and kept it in a drawer, essentially forgetting about it, until it was time to call it to the front lines. The way you use this product is A) DO NOT SHAKE IT! See how in the photo above the liquid is pink throughout? Yeah, that's because some moron shook the bottle to make for a better photo. When you get it in the store, there will be a thick layer of pink sediment on the bottom of the bottle. B) You insert a Q-tip into it, touching the pink sediment. C) Apply the sediment to your blemishes. Yes, you will look like you have chicken pox because the Drying Lotion looks an awful lot like calamine lotion (it's actually one of the ingredients). Yes, the product smells because it contains sulfur. Yes, it DOES contain salicylic acid and while you should check with your doctor before using, it's generally not considered dangerous when used topically in small amounts and only infrequently (and you really don't need to use this more than once a day). Again, CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR before using any product containing salicylic acid. Some doctors say it's okay and some don't, so just check before using.

If you don't feel comfortable using salicylic acid at all, or would prefer not to, then the Mario Badescu Drying Cream is another good choice for dealing with pregnancy acne. I've recently changed over to this product because it says on the website that it's good for acne under the skin and I'm all about that right now.

WASH YOUR FACE TWICE A DAY
You may be doing this already. You may only wash your face at night before bed. If you're dealing with pregnancy acne, your best bet is to wash your face with an appropriate cleanser once in the morning and once at night. This should help with any clogged pores, which might be contributing to the joy that is acne. It's recommended that you not OVER-wash your skin because that could lead to overproduction of oils and, consequently, more acne. YAY! While not conclusive of how to deal with pregnancy acne, I found this article to be helpful (along with others scattered around online).

PLAY UP YOUR SKIN WITH "DEWY" PRODUCTS



Normally, I couldn't really use a lot of shimmer on my face because it would look like my skin was drenched in oil. No joke. NOW, since my skin is so dry, I can get away with using a shimmer product to give my face a dewy look or a glow. I really like the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in its gel form because I can mix it in with my foundation for an all-over glow, and then going over certain areas--my cheekbones, my brow bones, etc--after I apply my foundation. I set everything with a translucent powder, using as light a touch as I can get away with, to avoid having a cakey look. Alternatively, you use a powder shimmer to highlight certain areas of your face after applying the foundation and/or powder.



Now,  let me super clear: this is a regimen that I have found works for me. Consult your OB and/or dermatologist before using any skincare products during pregnancy because I'm not a medical professional. On another note, if you are NOT pregnant, these are some good things to do and use if you just generally have dry skin!

If you have any tips for dealing with dry skin and/or breakouts--especially while pregnant!--please leave a comment below. I'm curious to hear what others have to say!

PS. "Momesty Corner" is a feature where I will be pretty darn blunt about the whole pregnancy process...and later, mom life. It's a place where I encourage others to share their honest experiences with me, free from judgment, so that we can freely express ourselves <3

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