Oily Skin During Pregnancy

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on April 25, 2012

There are many changes that take place in a woman's body during pregnancy and one of the positive changes that most women look forward to is the "Mother's Glow".  This phenomenon is not a myth or an old wives' tale; when you get pregnant, the hormones in your body do increase the production of oil on your skin thereby causing your face to look like it is shining or glowing. Though it makes you look positively radiant, this glow is just a byproduct of oily skin during pregnancy. Unfortunately, not all women are lucky enough to experience the "mother's glow". Sometimes, oily skin during pregnancy can also cause an acne outbreak.

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Why does the skin get oily during pregnancy?

When you are pregnant, most of the changes that take place within your body are a result of pregnancy hormones or the growth and development of your baby. During pregnancy, your body starts producing a higher amount of blood.


There is around 50% more blood circulating through your body. The oil glands in your face start working more efficiently because of the increased blood flow, causing your skin to get oily.

The surge in hormones could cause other skin changes too, such as:

  • Appearance of freckles and moles
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Dryness and itching
  • Linea Nigra
  • Mask of pregnancy
  • Skin tags
  • Stretch marks
  • Varicose and spider veins

Preventing skin changes during pregnancy

Unfortunately, there is no way in which you can keep the production of oil on the face from increasing when you are pregnant. This does not mean that you have to live with oily skin. If your skin becomes too oily for comfort, just make sure that you wash your face with a mild and oil-free cleanser twice a day.

There is no specific treatment for oily skin in pregnancy. In fact, you have to be very careful about all the creams, lotions, soaps or other topical skin products that you use when you are pregnant. If you do visit a dermatologist for the treatment of oily skin, do not forget to mention that you are pregnant. If your skin is producing an excess amount of oil, the dermatologist may ask you to control the acne with topical skin products containing alpha hydroxyl, witch hazel or glycolic acid. Skin products that contain retinoids or salicylic acid should be strictly avoided.

What are home remedies for oily skin in pregnancy?

The good news is that you can take care of oily skin at home, using simple home remedies. Most of these home remedies are quite safe if used correctly and should not have an adverse effect on your baby:

  • Apply the whites of two eggs on your face and leave it on for around 15 minutes or so. Wash your face with a mild and oil-free cleanser or soap before patting it dry gently
  • Prepare a mixture of lemon juice and honey and apply it on to your face, for about 15 minutes, before rinsing it off with warm water and then cool water.
  • Extract some cucumber juice and refrigerate it for about half an hour. Apply the juice on your face just before you go in for a shower.
  • Mix half a cup of mashed apple with half a cup of cooked oatmeal and 1 slightly beaten egg white. Add a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix all the ingredients well, till you have a smooth paste. This paste needs to be applied on to the face for about 15 minutes or so. Rinse it off with some cool water.

It is important for you to speak to your physician before using any home remedies, including the ones, mentioned above. In fact, before following any recommendations for skin care during pregnancy, it is a good idea to consult your physician.

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