Treating Spots During Pregnancy

pregnancy safe acne skincare products

As I’m on a bit of a skincare-posting roll, here’s the last of my pregnancy posts that has been lingering in my drafts folder. Mainly because a few of these products have been featured elsewhere, and I didn’t want to repeat myself…

But it’s good to have all of my pregnancy spot-busters all on one page – this is for the people who find themselves plagued with hormonal breakouts in the first (or any) part of pregnancy and don’t know what an earth they can use to sort it all out.

During my first trimester, when my skin felt horrible, I cleansed with First Aid Beauty’s Deep Cleanser (£18  here*) which seemed to help with clogged pores but didn’t leave it dry and tight on rinsing. It’s a gel-like formula but contains red clay for balancing and deep cleansing the skin – easy to rinse off, if you want a quick cleanse on a time-poor morning.

I also relied quite heavily on the 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic from brilliant MV Organic Skincare (£57.50 here*) – this one featured in my Cleansers with Added Benefits video and post – it’s more treatment oil than cleanser, as you press it into your skin with a warm compress rather than “washing” with it. It’s gorgeous, and seems to work wonders on temperamental, hormonal skin.

The main thing, I think, is NOT to strip the absolute life out of your face with harsh, stripping cleansers. Be gentle, and even if your skin feels oily, resist the temptation to “dry it out”. The FAB red clay cleanser above is about as gel-like washy-wash as I’ll go…

Then the treatment Blemish Serum from Pai, £42 here*, is soothing and gorgeous on aggravated skin and doesn’t contain anything controversial in terms of pregnancy-safe ingredients. Same with the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst – this one is not specifically aimed at breakouts or hormonal skin, but it was magical on mine, brightening and clarifying overnight. You can read about both of these products in this post on powerful pregnancy skincare.

The Pai serum is incredibly hydrating – which is unusual for spot stuff – but if you want to continue the theme, with a lightweight-but-potent moisturiser, then I can highly recommend the Toleriane Fluid from La Roche-Posay. A firm favourite of mine for years. It’s currently a tenner on Escentual here*, as they have their French Pharmacy promotion running and lots of brands have a third off. Bit of a bargain!

Lastly, the Freederm spot gel (here*), as suggested by dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting when we did our Q&A on pregnancy skincare. This does work, and it’s free from salicylic acid, so if you’re pregnant you can zap those blemishes without worrying about ingredients.

And a final reminder to wear a good SPF (loads of posts here) and, as you’re wearing an SPF, make sure you cleanse thoroughly at the end of the day. I find SPF a total b*stard to get off, and it won’t help your spot situation if you end up clogging your skin with it due to inefficient face-washing!

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. April 12, 2017 / 4:48 am

    Nice post. Do you notice if the red clay in the First Aid Beauty Red Clay cleanser stains a flannel/washcloth??? I tried a somewhat similar (new-ish) cleanser from Bareminerals, and I found, personally, that it stained my washcloths (and even occasionally my sink) rather badly, and I found that annoying. Thanks, Ruth.

    • April 12, 2017 / 11:59 pm

      Hasn’t done for me, not so far? Mind you, I have brown leopard print flannels, so I’d be pressed to see any sort of stains! x

  2. April 12, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Where has this post been during my pregnancies? I had so many breakouts, I literally looked like my 14 year old self again. And not in a good way. For me, clay masks kind of helped, but mostly I just had to go with it and now try ro deal with the scarting mainly in the cheek area.

  3. April 12, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    great advice!

  4. Eka
    April 13, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    oh, i looove the 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic ! it really works wonders (an does it literally overnight!!!) when my skin is being hormonal.

  5. Nancy
    April 15, 2017 / 3:57 pm

    Hello Ruth – I’m very definitely not pregnant but have a horrible skin flare up which I think is hormonal, spots around my mouth, sore flaky grim patch by my nose, feels sore and sensitised all over my face. Do you think these products might help? Or is there something that you wouldn’t use whilst pregnant that might help make my skin calm tf down? Bit unsure re whipping out the acids like glow tonic.

    Thank you x

  6. Mansi
    April 16, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    Toleriane and Pai serum- definitely among my favourite skincare products! Need to try MV Organics, their whole line seems excellent

  7. May 13, 2017 / 4:01 pm

    It is likely that most people who are on a budget will buy high street acne products which invariably contain a hydroxy acid (glycolic or salicylic) as the active ingredient. However, these products tend to be very drying for the skin and your skin will be more prone to sun damage. This issue is compounded by pregnancy and it is crucial to use sunscreen when using high street acne products. It is ideal to use a non-greasy sunscreen which does not clog the pores, so that it does not aggravate your spots.

  8. Jenna
    January 24, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    I know that like me, you’re a fan of Alpha H Liquid Gold. I’m getting second trimester spots around my chin (I never get them!). I’m just wondering if you used this product during pregnancy and if you did, did it help at all?

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