About Proactiv Acne Treatment & Pregnancy

Acne can develop or worsen during pregnancy, causing you to search for a treatment that will help quickly. Some acne medications, such as oral prescriptions, can cause birth defects. Since topical acne medications can be absorbed into the skin, it is important to evaluate the safety of any medication before using it during pregnancy. Check with your doctor before using Proactiv products during pregnancy.

Acne in Pregnancy

Hormones called androgens increase during pregnancy, which results in more oil production. This oil clogs pores and if there is an increase in bacteria, causes inflammation and embarrassing red bumps. According to Babycenter, acne can occur at any time during pregnancy.

Proactiv Products

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Sulfur Acne Treatment & Pregnancy

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The basic Proactiv products include a cleanser, toner and repairing lotion, which are to be used every morning and evening. The main ingredient in the cleanser and lotion is benzoyl peroxide, according to the Proactiv website. Other Proactiv products contain different active ingredients. For example, the exfoliating peel has 0.5 percent salicylic acid, while the deep cleansing wash has 2 percent salicylic acid. The purifying mask contains 6 percent sulfur as the active ingredient.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide, which is used in some of Proactiv’s main products, is considered safe for use during pregnancy according to the American Pregnancy Association. Benzoyl peroxide is used to treat mild to moderate acne, and sometimes dryness or peeling might occur with use.

Salicylic Acid

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Babycenter states that salicylic acid, found in some Proactiv products, helps to reduce inflammation and clean out pores. Although high doses of salicylic acid are not recommended during pregnancy, a small amount used once or twice a day may be safe. According to Drugs.com, there are no studies that indicate that sulfur is safe to be used as a topical medication in pregnancy. It should only be used when the benefit of the medication outweighs the potential risk.


According to Proactiv’s website, none of the ingredients in acne products are unsafe for use in pregnancy. However, it is still recommended that you consult your doctor before use. Your doctor can determine if it is best for you to use Proactiv during your pregnancy.