Ask the Beauty Expert: Acne in Pregnancy

Is it safe to continue to use my acne medication now that I'm pregnant?


Is it safe to continue to use my acne medication now that I'm pregnant?

That depends on the kind of acne medication or treatment youre using. Its absolutely not OK to take the vitamin A-based prescription drug Accutane. In fact, its downright dangerous for the developing fetus. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services, an organization that researches and provides information on birth defect risks related to exposures during pregnancy and nursing, 35 percent of babies exposed to Accutane in utero had defects of the central nervous system, heart, thymus gland or face.

Because of the known risk Accutane poses for developing babies, you must be on two forms of birth control in order to be prescribed this drug, says Kathryn Rutenberg, M.D., an OB-GYN in New York. In addition, women who are trying to get pregnant must stop using it at least six months before conceiving. There also is concern that the vitamin A-based creams Retina-A, Renova and Differin may pose risks, including discoloration of your babys developing teeth. Similar uncertainties surround salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, so its best to stick with natural acne solutions if you're pregnant, considering becoming pregnant or breastfeeding.

We like: Bior Shine Control Clay Mask, $6, with lemon balm and peppermint to cool and disinfect skin while soaking up oil. Good Skin Clean Skin Oil-free Lotion, $15, helps reduce shine and prevent breakouts.