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Prévention acné de grossesse.

Pregnancy Acne: How To Prevent It?

Just like puberty, pregnancy is a particularly prone time for acne due to hormonal fluctuations. Pregnancy acne can be a source of psychological distress for pregnant women. Is there any way to prevent its occurrence?

Published March 4, 2024, by Sandrine, Scientific Editor — 8 min read

Acne, a Hormonal Influence

Acne is a skin condition characterized by the appearance of pimples and small lesions on the skin. These symptoms are caused by excessive secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands in the area of the hair follicles, which clog the pores of the skin. This oily environment favors the proliferation of a bacterium, Cutibacterium acnes, which secretes pro-inflammatory substances that cause the inflammation.

Acne appears very frequently under hormonal influence. Hormones stimulate the activity of the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. This is the case in times of hormonal upheaval such as puberty or adulthood, with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause.

Almost 30% of women have acne during pregnancy. It usually occurs in the third trimester. All women can be affected, but women who had acne as teenagers and/or during a previous pregnancy are more at risk. Pregnancy acne typically disappears after delivery.

Pregnancy acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations during this time. Namely, during pregnancy, the level of the sex hormone progesterone increases by leaps and bounds. These hormones can act on the receptors in the sebaceous glands and stimulate the production of sebum. This hypersecretion of sebum results in acne.

Progesterone is a hormone that is of great importance during pregnancy. It promotes implantation of the egg, enables the maintenance of pregnancy, and prepares the breast for lactation. A study in rats has shown that progesterone induces increased sebum production in females. However, the relationship between progesterone and acne has not been clearly established. It is believed that progesterone binds to a receptor in the sebaceous glands that is capable of activatingprotein kinase C. This receptor stimulates sebum production. This stimulates sebum production by increasing the activity of phospholipase A2, an enzyme that breaks down membrane phospholipids into free fatty acids and lysophospholipids.

What Can Be Done To Prevent Pregnancy Acne?

During pregnancy, it is generally recommended to keep your skin care routine as minimalistic as possible and to carefully check if the products used are suitable for pregnant women. Even though pregnancy acne is under the influence of hormonal fluctuations, there are some things you can do to prevent the formation of pimples and blackheads.

  • Clean your skin in the morning and in the evening. To prevent impurities from accumulating on the surface of your skin, cleanse your face with a mild skin care product in the morning and at night. This also helps to combat excess sebum and removes particles that could add to the clogging of pores. The skin will be cleansed as a result.

  • Use topical care products

    If you suffer from acne, your dermatologist will likely prescribe care products for topical application. These should only be applied to the comedones and not evenly applied to the entire face. This is because topical care products are highly concentrated with active ingredients, often salicylic acid. Local care products are effective on blemishes, but can be irritating on healthy skin.

  • Moisturize your skin morning and night

    Even if you suffer from acne, you should not neglect moisturizing your skin twice a day. It ensures that the skin barrier functions and the hydrolipid film on the skin surface is maintained. When the hydrolipid film is weakened, the sebaceous glands respond by producing more sebum to replenish the film, which in turn can lead to acne breakouts. Instead, choose a liquid, non-comedogenic moisturizer that has a light texture and does not leave a greasy finish on the skin's surface.

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily

    It's important to protect yourself from UV rays, even if you suffer from acne. This is because the sun promotes thickening of the skin, which can clog pores. In addition, UV light has a drying effect on the skin, which reacts by increasing sebum production, which contributes to the development of blackheads.

  • Do not neglect the influence of your diet

    Certain foods can cause the development of acne. Make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet with foods that have a low glycemic index and are anti-inflammatory.

  • Manage your stress

    Stress is common during pregnancy. However, stress can not only lead to acne breakouts, but it can also put the fetus at risk. Therefore, we recommend that you engage in gentle physical activities (such as yoga) or other relaxing activities.

  • Avoid touching your face

    One of the reflexes you should definitely keep in mind when you have blackheads is not to touch your face. This is because our hands carry around numerous bacteria that could spread or aggravate acne. So, you should avoid touching your face as much as possible and wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.


  • SHUSTER S. & al. Effect of progesterone on sebaceous glands. Postgraduate Medical Journal (1978).

  • ZOUBOULIS C. C. Acne and sebaceous gland function. Clinics in Dermatology (2004).


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