Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms

I've never had issues my skin before and I know I'm very lucky for that. I used to go to bed with makeup on all the time (I know, so bad) but it wouldn't affect my skin one bit so I just didn't care. I went through pregnancy with no skin changes, went through postpartum with no skin changes and then as soon as I stopped breastfeeding when Ava was two years old my skin went to poop.

I couldn't get it under control.

Breakout when I stopped breastfeeding -- Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms
Breakout when I stopped breastfeeding -- Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms
Breakout when I stopped breastfeeding -- Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms

I had breakouts on my cheeks and no matter what I did, they never went away. So I have the opportunity to work with Dr. Monika Kaniszewska, an FAAD board certified dermatologist, to put together a skin care routine from skinfo® that was perfect for me and for the specific needs of my skin.

I've now been following this routine morning and night every single day for a couple of months now and my skin is more beautiful than ever. Seriously, I wake up and look in the mirror and just smile and how smooth it looks. Not only do I finally have those breakouts under control, but my skin looks full and beautiful and I've even got multiple DM's on Instagram telling me how great my skin looks lately. From complete strangers -- Thank you to those who have went out of your way to tell me that! After this 4 month skin struggle, it means the world to hear that others are noticing too!

So here's my current routine and the products I'm using:

Breakout when I stopped breastfeeding -- Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms


Step 1: I wash with a gentle cleanser to get everything off from the night before.

Step 2: I wash again with a gentle acne cleanser to get into those pores.

Step 3: skinfo® - C Synergy Serum | contains antioxidants with micro-exfoliation and long-term skin firming, Vitamin C and E, Ferulic Acid and Salicylic Acid, protect your skin from sun damage, stimulates collagen production and provides skin clarifying and brightening results

Step 4: Neocutis MicroDay Rejuvenating Cream Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen | anti-aging day cream with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 sun protection, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, helps nourish your own collagen and elastin + Hyaluronic Acid restores moisture while prote4cting from damage, containes Green Tea extracts and Vitamins C and E.


Step 1: I wash with a gentle cleanser to get everything off from the night before.

Step 2: I wash again with a gentle acne cleanser to get into those pores.

Step 3: epionce® Lytic Tx | cleares pores and improves skin texture, calms redness and irritation associated with acne, rosacea, dermatitis and psoriasis, contains moderate strength 1.95% Salicylic Acid and anti-bacterial blend treatment to diminish skin imperfections from aging, roughness, acne and scaling skin, ideal for normal/combination oily and acne prone skin

Step 4: epionce® Lytic Tx Renewal Facial Cream | rich moisturizing cream that improves skin clarity and radiance while softening fine lines and wrinkles, contains apple fruit extract, avocado extract and date fruit extract, increases skin firmness, hydration and elasticity

So I know 4 steps sound like a lot but I promise, it only takes a couple minutes and makes a world of a difference. And if you'd like to read the Q & A's I had with Dr. Monika Kaniszewska about my skin and skin changes in moms, keep on reading!

1. When I stopped breastfeeding all of the sudden my face started breaking out and that’s never happened to me before? Why is this happening?

Pregnancy and lactation come with large fluctuations in hormone levels. While breastfeeding, a woman’s body releases a hormone called prolactin which stimulates milk production while reducing levels of estrogen and progesterone. When a woman stops breastfeeding, the levels of progesterone increase – this can lead to increased oil production in the skin and cause subsequent acne. It can take several weeks for the body to adjust.

2. Is there anything a mom can proactively do to prevent this from happening when she stops breastfeeding?

There are safe treatment and possible prevention options out there.  Some recommend weaning nursing slowly to avoid large fluctuations in hormones. Avoiding stress (which is difficult with young children) is also important as stress hormones can increase sebum (or oil) production.

There are several topical treatments that are known to be safe during pregnancy and lactation such as topical azelaic acid, glycolic acid and several topical antibiotics namely clindamycin, erythromycin and metronidazole. There are more treatment options available for nursing mothers because concentrations of these drugs in breast milk are very low (typically 5- to 10-fold less than when used in utero). Medications thought to be safe to use during lactation include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and topical dapsone as well as oral antibiotics or prednisone. These can be used to prevent a flare while weaning or stopping breastfeeding.

Once you have completely weaned, medications such as topical retinoids and oral medications such as spironolactone or various antibiotics can be used to clear any residual acne.

Breakout when I stopped breastfeeding -- Hormone Changes + Skin Care for Moms

3. In addition to acne, these tiny little bumps appeared on my both of my cheeks and they’ve been there for a month and a half. What are they and how do I get rid of them? How do I prevent them from coming back?

The same hormones that can lead to acne after stopping lactation can be responsible for a condition known as keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris (KP) presents as small, scaly bumps typically on the upper arms, legs but can also occur on the face, primarily on the cheeks.  Genetics can play a role if family members have similar lesions. While there is no cure for KP, there are several over the counter treatment options. The mainstay of therapy is to keep skin well hydrated by using a daily emollient on the face after bathing/washing. Lotions or creams that contain low concentrations of acids (lactic acid or salicylic acid) can aid in improving the texture and appearance of these lesions. Using these topicals regularly can improve the texture of the skin and prevent flares but KP will often recur with cessation of treatment.

4. I’ve heard mixed reviews using facial scrubs. Should I use a scrub on my face every single day? Are there certain types of scrubs I should look for or ones I should stay away from?

If you have sensitive or acne prone skin, we recommend avoidance of facial scrubs. There are chemical alternatives such as glycolic acid cleansers that will clear dead skin cells without causing excess irritation. For acne-prone skin, a cleanser with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide will also aid in clearing excess oil and killing bacteria without using a physical scrub. Moreover, topical vitamin-A creams, known as retinoids can be applied to the skin as another chemical exfoliant that is also anti-aging.

Dr. Monika Kaniszewska,  FAAD is a board certified dermatologist  and Physician Partner at Advanced Dermatology in the Chicagoland area.  Dr. Kaniszewska has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery.  She is active in volunteerism through participation in skin cancer screenings for the American Academy of dermatology as well as educational outreach programs through the Women’s Dermatologic Society. Dr. Kaniszewska also traveled to Cochabamba, Bolivia on a medical mission trip where she provided dermatologic evaluation and treatment to their underserved residents.  Dr. Kaniszewska’s interests include cutaneous oncology, autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, as well as complex medical dermatologic conditions. Dr. Kaniszewska is also a mom to an active boy toddler who keeps her
super busy outside of her medical hours.