Beauty · Pregnancy

How to Treat Hormonal/Cystic/Pregnancy Acne

I tried several “highly recommended” products – expensive, luxury, over the counter, drug store – so you don’t have to. What worked for me may not work for you but I want to list the products that didn’t work along with what did work and share my current skin routine.

As I entered the 2nd Trimester, morning sickness diminished but along came cystic acne. A lot of these pimples did not come to a head but remained as large, painful bumps under the skin. My face hurt when I smiled or leaned forward and I gladly accepted it because my little babe was forming; however, I wanted to figure out something to relieve the pain and avoid scarring from the temptation to pop.

I tried Niacinamide ointments and Azelaic Acid creams, benzyl peroxide and salicylic acid, and several face washes. All to no avail.

I realized I would have to treat my acne from the inside out.

Week 1


  • Removed added sugars, chips, cheese, and yogurt from diet. (I was eating cheese cubes and chips to help curb the nausea but found almonds and mandarin oranges did the trick.) I continued to eat fresh fruit, applesauce, and bread.
  • Drink LOTS of water. Flush your system. I carry around a pint of water wherever I go.
  • Only washed my face ONCE A DAY + began the following skincare routine.
    • Only washed in the PM and would use this rose water to cleanse with a cotton pad in the AM. No need for an expensive rose water toner or wipes.

*Nightly* Face Routine

  1. Gently remove makeup with rose water using cotton pad. (If you need eye makeupCapture remover, use it PRIOR to cleaning the rest of face with rose water.)
  2. Wash once with this oil-free cleaner. You can totally use the store brand.
  3. THIS IS KEY: Wash with PTR Glycolic Solutions Cleanser. Leave on face for a minute or two prior to rinsing. Pro Tip: I use on my bikini line to prevent bumps.
  4. Optional: Wipe Face with cotton pad & rose water after washing face. (I usually do this since I forget to remove makeup prior.)
  5. Spray face with this Probiotic while face is still damp.
  6. Use a pea size amount of this moisturizer all over face.
  7. If you have any breakouts, feel free to treat with your choice of breakout solution on top of moisturizer.
  8. Coat eyelids and under eyes with this moisturizer.

*Morning* Face Routine

  1. Do not wash your face in the morning. Use cotton pad and rose water to cleanse.
  2. Spray face with this Probiotic while face is still damp.
  3. Use a pea size amount of this moisturizer all over face.
  4. Proceed with makeup routine.

Week 2

  • Continue to “eat clean.”
  • Add probiotic to daily routine. This one changed the skin game for me. Here’s a Capturetrial size.”
    • I believe this had the biggest impact on my skin. Treating your gut will treat your skin.
    • Here’s how I see it, as soon as you introduce the “good bacteria” from a probiotic to your gut, it begins to replace the “bad bacteria.” Simply put, lack of “good” gut bacteria can lead to an excessive growth of bad bacteria. When this happens, the gut walls start to become irritated by this bad bacteria and cause a “leaky-gut.” When this happens, bad bacteria and food molecules will leak into bloodstream. The fastest way for the body to rid itself of the leaky molecules is through the skin.

Week 3

If you don’t notice an improvement in your skin, you can add the following products to your skincare routine or just wait to see if your skin continues to improve with the “internal treatment.” By week 3, I slowly brought back a couple sweet treats and now I eat sweets but limit the cheese.

Breakout Treatments

  1. Cortizone 10 – I used this to treat large under the skin bumps. It helped lessen the swelling and redness. I would apply under and on top of the nightly moisturizer, under makeup, etc.
  2. Acropass Trouble Cure – these are a bit pricey but worked well to treat those large, under the skin bumps. Leave on over night for at least 8 hours.
  3. Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots – these dots also work well to treat under the skin bumps and white heads.
  4. Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot & Area Treatment – worked great for white heads but a bit drying so I would always apply moisturizer on top.
  5. Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer – I tossed ALL OTHER MASKS that claimed to treat acne. This is truly the only mask that has helped treat my acne. I used once a week and now I use as needed. MUST BUY.
  6. Ask your doctor about prescribing Finacea cream. It’s a bit pricey but insurance should absorb the majority of the cost. I used this after my acne began to lessen and now use for occasional breakouts. It does not dry my skin.

Other Tips

  • Keep your hair relatively clean.
  • If able, loosely tie up your hair before settling into bed.
  • Wash your pillow case every other day but every day flip to other side. Pro tip: Keep a basket of clean pillow cases on hand.
  • Avoid using washes that are super drying because your skin will overcompensate for lack of moisture and produce more oil.
  • Avoid using washes with beads.
  • Ask your doctor about the prescription, Finacea.

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I know this is a lot of information but I spent a ton of $$$ testing products so you didn’t have to. If you’re struggling with hormonal or pregnancy acne, I hope this post helps you. As always, ask your doctor before trying.

Whimsically Yours,













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