Pregnancy Skincare: My first, second & third trimester skincare routines

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Happy Friday, everyone! Today I want to chat about pregnancy skincare because it has been a MAJOR pain in my tush this pregnancy and I wish I had found some answers earlier. After a lot of trial and error, a lot of research about pregnancy safe ingredients, chats with my OBGYN, and lots of pimples later and I have finally tested out and found a handful of products that really do what they say they’ll do without being harmful to you or your growing babe.

The start of this pregnancy was really rough. I got pregnant with this babe just a few days (literally a few days) after I miscarried my last pregnancy. Because of this my hormones were way out of whack and my skin (and emotions) were majorly paying the price. I actually had my HCG levels being checked weekly, so it’s pretty nuts to see them go up with pregnancy #2, drop way down with the miscarriage, and then shoot way back up again in pregnancy #3 in the lab reports.) I was breaking out all along my jawline, which is typically where hormonal acne is formed. The acne was red, angry, and cystic. These pregnancy pimples were deep under my skin and incredibly painful, even smiling hurt. I tried to just let my skin “breath” by not wearing makeup, but honestly it was really embarrassing. Even Amit who always sweetly lies and says I look perfect was saying “wow that looks painful.” I started to do some research and was not loving what I found…

Pregnancy Safe Skincare Ingredients & Pregnancy Skincare Myths

My first stop was google to research what to avoid in my skincare, the most common list I found looked like this:

  • Retin-A, retinol, and retinyl palmitate
  • Salicylic acid
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • (Some) Essential oils
  • Hydroquinone
  • Formaldehyde
  • Chemical sunscreens

See those italicized skincare ingredients up there? Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide? Yeah…those are in just about every acne medication ever. Over the counter acne treatments and prescription acne treatments alike almost ALL have these two as top active ingredients. Initially, my research said some Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide is ok, some said none was ok, some said make sure it’s only X strength, so naturally I felt confused. I consulted with my OB who said I should steer clear of any Salicylic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide at all…back to the drawing board I went.

This is where the myths come in. Every time I went to a store…Ulta, Sephora, Blue Mercury, the sales girls were well intentioned, but kept pushing “organic” beauty lines on me. When I’d check the ingredient lists they still almost ALL had Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide. Ladies, organic and pregnancy safe are NOT the same. I love me some natural beauty and some organic lines, but don’t be fooled into thinking organic or natural means safe!

My AHA moment – Black African Soap
That’s when I found Black African Soap…what a game changer!


The mommy groups on Facebook had a lot of advice, some good and some bad. The one piece I sussed out and was thrilled to discover was Shea Moisture Black African Soap. This stuff is HEAVEN. Not all brands of Black African Soap skip the Salicylic acid, but Shea Moisture does and this stuff WORKS. After just a few days I felt my big cystic acne clearing up.

Thayers Witch Hazel
Next for toner I picked up an old fav, Thayers Witch Hazel. I’d just soak up a cotton ball and use as any other toner.

These two together were working super well on my pregnancy acne, but I still had a few issues: 1) I was starting to look dull and needed a safe exfoliant 2) I needed some moisture infused back into my life and 3) I needed major help with my acne scarring. I decided to try out Willing Beauty’s HY+5 Regimen and I was NOT disappointed by what I discovered…

Willing Beauty’s HY+5 Regimen

Within days my skin was showing a major difference. The biggest thing was just how moist and dewey it felt all the time, like it was being hydrated from the inside out! Then slowly over the next few weeks I noticed my scars fading and my skin just overall looking more “glowey”…

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The photo above shows my skin’s progress. (which sorry, they aren’t HQ because I was just tracking progress on my iPhone with no intention of sharing ever, ha!) Photo one is right after my pregnancy loss, photo two is right after getting pregnant again…you can even see spots on my chest, and photo three is after a few weeks of the Black African Soap + Willing Beauty’s HY+5 Regimen. The photo above of me applying the product is also makeup free and filter free (although the photo has been brightened).

I have never ever had “good” skin in my life. I have never been the girl to leave the house without makeup because my skin has always been a sore point for me. But between my Black African Soap discovery and Willing Beauty’s HY+5 Regimen, I have been going makeup free probably 3-5 days a week, just depending on what I have going on. In fact I just ran out of my HY+5 Regimen and will be ordering more today as I head into my third trimester (28 weeks as of yesterday!)

Other Products I Love For Pregnancy

A few other products that are very worth mentioning…
Pacifica’s Kale Brighten Mask is natural and pregnancy safe and works wonders on stubborn acne scars. My skin is still flawed, but I use this once a week and always feel so much brighter and prettier after.

Acure has an incredible line in general, but I especially love their facial scrub. Totally pregnancy safe and sloughs off dead skin. I use this every other day and always feel like I have more of a glow in the day that follows.

Lastly, if you’re pregnant and not on the Bio Oil train… girrrrrrrl get. on. it. Both pregnancies I put this on morning and night all over my belly and chest and (fingers crossed) no stretch marks so far! Love this stuff!!!

I really hope this helps someone. I was so bummed about my skin until playing around with stuff so I hope someone can skip some of the trial and error I went through. Here’s a list of everything I am using…

Willing Beauty’s HY+5 Regimen plus the below…

2 responses to “Pregnancy Skincare: My first, second & third trimester skincare routines”

  1. Jenny says:

    Hi! So I’m 15weeks pregnant and my acne is awful! It’s embarrassing. I’m going to try your regime and hope it works for me as well. Did you buy the whole willing beauty hy + 5 regime? Or were there just certain products you used with the other items you listed above?

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