I never suffered from acne has a teen. I have always been blessed with good, clear, soft skin. Although I have been diligently getting monthly facials since I was 16,I have never had to work too hard to have a clear complexion. Well, pregnancy has changed that a bit!
While the skin on my face has remained glow-y, soft and clear my back and shoulders are a different story! Early into my pregnancy I developed a mild case of bacne, a common side effect of the hormone surplus expectant mamas experience. Add onto the hormones the amount I sweat daily from spinning and yoga and well, I guess it is not so surprising that I am having some breakout issues! While my case is not bad at all, it still irks a perfectionist like me. Ever since the first red patch reared it's ugly head I have been on a mission to clear it up naturally, without resorting to anything harsh or toxic. I have not been able to clear it up entirely yet but have made great strides, and would even wear a sleeveless dress in public these days! Not preggers? These bacne fighting tips and finds would certainly work for non-pregnancy face breakouts as well!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Acne is a side effect of inflammation and acidity in your internal system. When your body is acidic and internally inflamed you can experience many unpleasant side effects such as illness, fatigue, weight gain, bloating, and yes... acne. While nothing has changed in my diet or routine to make my system more acidic the principal of fighting acidity with alkalinity still holds. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is highly alkalizing and can be used for a myriad of things. It is great as a salad dressing alternative and can be consumed in a glass of water for a daily alkaline dose. I have been applying diluted Apple Cider Vinegar to my bacne in order to alkalize my inflamed skin and calm it down. Despite the not so pleasant smell it does calm down my break out situation quite a bit!
Probiotics are another great way fight internal inflammation. Taking a quality probiotic daily helps make sure you have plenty of "good bacteria" in your gut which aids in digestions, clear skin, and an overall alkaline ( aka healthy) system. I always, always take a daily probiotic and have been doubling my usual dose during my pregnancy to make sure I am covered. I like the Dr. Ohirra's brand because they are easy to find at most Whole Foods, and do not need to be refrigerated.
I work up a pretty good sweat almost every morning at Soul-Cyle. While my morning workout feels amazing, helps get my blood flowing, and has kept me strong and in shape it certainly does not help my bacne. Now, immediately after I work out I go to the ladies room, change out of my soaked top and wipe my back and shoulders with these Blum wipes. It really has helped!
Most acne washes contain lots of drying, questionable ingredients that I am not comfortable using- especially when pregnant. I was thrilled to discover Belli's facial wash made especially for pregnancy acne. Although originally intended for the face a little on my loofah works great on my back!
Most people's instinct with acne is to try and dry it out completely. However, over drying the inflamed area will only make it worse. Your skin will start to produce more oil to compensate which will lead to more breakouts! I have been trying to keep my back nice and hydrated to calm it down. Vered Therapeutic Balancing Oil not only hydrates my inflamed skin but also calms it down and helps minimize the redness.
Along with my monthly facials I have been having my aesthetician perform bacials, or back facials on me. I lay on my side (belly lying in no longer an option) and she cleans, exfoliates, extracts and generally works her magic on my back. This deep cleaning has certainly helped keep my bacne in check. Plus, my amazing aesthetician Jennifer is a new mom herself so I feel completely safe in her hands. She would never use anything on me that she wouldn't to have used during her own pregnancy.
Patience... It's Temporary
While I have been able to somewhat manage the minor breakouts on my back I have not been able to totally clear them up. Like many things in pregnancy there is no way to completely control what your body will do or how you will feel. When I am my most frustrated I try and remember that this is all only temporary and a VERY small price to pay for the little girl I get to meet in May.