Unfortunately, as many of us are aware there are numerous side effects caused by fertility treatments. We may be able to hide the bloating and weight gain under baggy clothes, try to hide the tears and mood swings behind closed doors and attempt to put on a brave face to hide the anxiety and depression, the hot flushes & headaches, the list goes on.  However, the one thing that we can’t hide is the affect fertility treatment has on our skin by causing acne / breakouts.

So why does fertility treatments have such a negative effect on our skin?

During fertility treatment you may suffer from a combination of two types of acne, namely hormonal acne and stress related acne.

Hormone related acne

Whilst undergoing fertility treatment we are pumping our bodies with excess hormones.  An additional influx of hormones such as androgen, progesterone and oestrogen can have an adverse affect on our oil glands, resulting in them not functioning correctly, increased sebum levels, which can then cause bacteria to stick and thrive in the hair follicles spreading infection.

This occurs when:

  • Dysfunction of sex hormone secretion
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Hormonal fluctuation

To prevent hormonal acne breakouts during fertility treatment, we recommend introducing skincare products containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzyl peroxide, niacinamide a week prior to commencing and throughout treatment, to prepare your skin to fight the symptoms, causes and bacteria.


Another main factor causing acne during fertility treatment is stress, which unfortunately comes part and parcel with fertility treatment.

The amount of sebum (oil in your skin) is influenced by stress, the more stress you feel the higher the cortisol levels in the body and the more active the sebaceous glands become. Anything you can do to decrease stress levels will aid in lowering levels of cortisol, lower stress and reduce stress related acne.

Try some of these methods to relieve stress during fertility treatment:

  • Regular gentle exercise
  • Meditation/yoga/tai-chi
  • Have some ‘me time’

Other factors including your skincare, can have a huge affect on managing your acne/breakouts

Below you can find a list of skincare habits that can worsen acne:

Do you try new products every week or so?

This approach can irritate your skin which can cause breakouts. You should give a product 6-8 weeks, it takes that long to see some improvement, if you still don’t see any improvements, then it is advised to try another product range. Complete clearing usually takes 3-4months.

Do you apply acne products only to your blemishes?

It may make sense to treat only what you can see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts. To prevent new blemishes, apply the treatment to all areas of the face.

Do you use makeup, skincare & haircare products that can cause acne?

Some makeup along with many skin and hair care products contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. Use only makeup, skincare & haircare product that are labelled ‘non-comedogenic’ & paraben free.

Do you share/reuse makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators?

Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes.

Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.

Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators and makeup brushes and applicators are cleaned after every use.

Do you wash your face throughout the day?

Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.

Wash your face twice a day am & pm. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.

Do you use products that contain a drying agent?

Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t! Dry skin is irritated skin, the skin then produces more oil to deal with the dryness.
Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturiser made for acne-prone skin. You’ll want to apply the moisturiser twice a day, after washing your face. You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, or anything else that can dry out your skin.

Do you scrub your skin clean?

To get rid of acne, you may be tempted to scrub your skin clean. Don’t! Scrubbing can irritate your skin, causing acne to flare.

Be gentle when washing your face and other skin with acne. You want to use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser. Apply the cleanser lightly with your fingertips, using a circular motion. Gently rinse off with warm water, using only your fingers or cotton pads. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Skincare recommendations

Salicylic acid – This ingredient exfoliates inside hair follicles to unclog pores, reduce redness and inflammation. In simple terms, it prevents pores from becoming clogged.

Benzoyl peroxide – Products that contain this ingredient assist in removing excess oil and dead skin cells which are responsible for clogging pores.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) – These are simply artificial types of acids made from fruits-containing sugar. The most common ones used in non-prescription acne products include glycolic- and lactic acid. Products containing this ingredient helps to remove dead cells, reduce inflammation, stimulate skin regeneration and typically, improve the appearance of acne scars.

Glycolic acid – This acid is derived from sugar cane and is usually combined with benzoyl peroxide to treat acne. The acid penetrates deep into the skin due to its small molecules thus making a very effective product to treat inflammatory acne.

Niacinamide– Also known as vitamin B3 is an anti-inflammatory and great treatment for acne.

Ranges we recommend:

  1. Clinicare Pure range
  2. La Roche Posay Effaclar
  3. Vichy Normaderm
  4. The Ordinary


Chemical Peel

Chemical peel is a skin rejuvenation treatment. CliniCare superficial peels contain a mixture of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to remove the upper layer of the epidermis encouraging regeneration and rejuvenation of new skin cells. The result is the improved clinical appearance of the skin, brighter complexion, improved skin tone and treats acne blemished prone skin.

LED Light Therapy

LED light therapy is a revolutionary, non-invasive and effective method for providing popular and results-driven skin treatments. It can be integrated into a number of treatments or used on its own and has no known side effects.

The LED penetrates the skin at different levels, providing effective acne treatment and combating hyperpigmentation. The LED can also be used for increasing oxygen levels. This helps to improve blood circulation, preventing skin breakouts.

LED Light Therapy is a gentle, heat-free treatment that does not contain harmful ultraviolet wavelengths so it cannot damage skin tissue. It is clinically proven to be safe for all skin types, colours and conditions, with no downtime or risk of unwanted side effects.