17 March 2022

My Postpartum Struggle with Acne (and how it got better!)

Let me start by saying, I’ve been acne-prone for several years now. It’s hormonal acne, mostly caused by my PCOS. When I got pregnant my skin cleared up, but immediately after giving birth my skin EXPLODED into the worst cystic acne I have ever had in my life. It was MORTIFYING. Imagine being a new mom, you’re already feeling really uncomfortable because your body is NOTHING like it used to be, and now you have the worst skin you’ve ever had in your life. It’s a horrible feeling, but I figured it out with patience (lots!) and trial and error.

The first thing I did was book a doctors appointment for a full blood test which ruled out PCOS and any other hormone imbalances. The only hormone that was spiked was prolactin because I was (and still am) breastfeeding. I have seen the same naturopath since my first pregnancy so she is aware of my history with PCOS and miscarriage, so when I showed her the blood results from my doctor she also ruled out other hormone imbalances and said that if my acne was caused by prolactin there was little I could do to control it. Basically everyone was saying until I was done breastfeeding, I’d be suffering with acne. Cool.

So, I gave up trying to find the magic pill (aka supplement) that would cure my acne. I gave up dairy because my son was having stomach issues every time I ate it, and even a dairy-free diet did nothing. I cut sugar and alcohol … no big change, however I did feel great so if this is something you are thinking of doing, I highly recommend cutting all three!

The next thing I did was change up my skincare routine. My son was born in June of 2021 and by November I had done a complete overhaul of my skincare. I hate wasting products so as I finished my old products I replaced them one by one with new products to try. I was using clean products to begin with, but at this point I looked at my skincare through a new lense. When I was pregnant I found my skin to be really oily and I think because of all the oils it was actually looking really healthy. But following pregnancy my skin got really dry and sad looking. It was likely because I wasn’t able to eat as well, I wasn’t drinking enough water AND my son was sucking the life out of me nursing 24/7.

I switched to a skincare routine FULL of nourishing oils and stopped using products that were drying out my skin, and within two weeks my skin started to look and feel a lot better. Now, my skincare routine is all about HYDRATING and TREATING in the P.M. and NOURISHING and PREPPING in the A.M.

I am LOVING so many products from Three Ships Beauty, a Canadian and female-owned skincare brand. You’ve probably seen me share their products on Instagram because I love sharing clean, eco-friendly products that I’m using. I’ll share my morning and evening routine below and if you have similar skincare woes I urge you to try this routine yourself because I think you’ll be very happy with the results. If your skin is different than mine, there’s a really great skincare quiz on their website that can help you find the products that are best for your skin type. You can access the quiz here!

To not overcomplicate things, I use the same cleanser and toner morning and night. The Refresh cleanser is stacked with papaya, a natural peeling enzyme, and salicylic acid, which targets breakouts, so this cleanser really cleans and brightens your skin. I follow with the Awake Rose Hydrosol Toner mist which balances the skins PH and smells so lovely morning and night. Then here’s how my routine starts to change for morning and night…

My morning routine is nourishing and preps my skin for the day ahead. I love the Three Ships Beauty Radiance Cream, which has grape stem cell and Squalane in it to deliver a huge amount of moisture and lock it in for the day ahead. This cream is amazing under makeup, it’s got such a nice sheen to it and really just makes your skin look and feel amazing all day. Other than sunscreen (I use Supergoop!) that’s it for my morning routine. I try to keep mornings really simple and with so many amazing ingredients in all of their products, Three Ships makes it SO easy to have a quick and easy skincare routine but get maximum results.

My evening routine adds an extra step (sometimes two!) but is still very simple — KEEP IT SIMPLE! After washing and toning I use the most amazing, and I mean AMAZING (I rave about this cream!) Dream Cream which is SO luxuriously hydrating, with a plant-based retinol formula (I would never ever use real retinol!) that softens, hydrates and really just treats your skin like royalty. I don’t joke around when I say this cream should be in every single persons routine!

As a last step I love to add an oil, sometimes I add it to my night cream and other days I layer it on top, it really just depends on my mood. The Glow Oil is my favourite because it’s 49% Jojoba Oil, which is most like our skins natural oil, so it won’t cause break outs, won’t clog pores and doesn’t feel overly heavy like some oils can (if you’re acne prone, I know you hate those heavy oils!).

Once in a blue moon, aka when I remember (hey- I’m a new mom, cut me some slack), I try to fit a face mask into my routine. If I’ve overdone it with makeup, or worn a ton of sunscreen, I love to use a mask at night to really clean out my pores. The Detox mask goes above and beyond. It gently cleans out pores using french green clay and green tea extract, while also eliminating collagen loss — something I am learning all about as a tired new mama! Tip: It’s also a great overnight spot treatment :)

So there you have it, a super simple but INCREDIBLY effective skincare routine to help with postpartum or hormone-related acne woes. Any questions? Leave them in the comments below!

And as a VERY BIG thank you for sticking around to the END of this long-winded blog (I am very passionate about skincare), I invite you to use my code SIMPLYSERA20 to save 20% off your entire purchase at Three Ships Beauty.

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