On Post-Pregnancy Acne w/ Super-mom Alice Hiraga
Welcome to FaceTime, a segment in which we interrogate the beauty whims, zit-melting strategies and self-care views of cool girls around the world. Welcome to the stage Alice Hiraga, supermom and veritable Instagram angel✨. Like many of us, Alice has fluctuating, ever-changing skin—though you'd never guess it. We chatted to her about breakout triggers, post-pregnancy acne and an extremely satisfying sounding 'peeling facial'.
Pregnancy is different for everyone! Was was it like for you?
Pregnancy for me was truly amazing and I miss being pregnant! I mean, besides the first three months... I was sooo sick and the days felt long. I was surviving off soda crackers and lukewarm un-caffeinated Japanese tea.
But I really think the experience of being pregnant was really amazing and beautiful because I was forced to become the best version of myself—like, immediately. I stopped smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, and I started taking prenatals, vitamins and drinking A LOT of water. All of this would’ve never happened if I didn’t get pregnant. I also had to force myself to stop getting upset at the small things and try my best to be 'calm' and 'happy' so my baby would also be those things.
Favorite and least favorite parts?
My favorite part of being pregnant besides loving how good and delicious food was tasting (food really tasted 10x better) was feeling connected with my baby and loving him even if we hadn't met yet! I was so in love (still am) with him! Every time I would laugh and sing, he would turn or kick! It was special.
My least favorite part of the pregnancy was the pelvic pain that came with the growing belly, the swelling of the feet and feeling like a round whale [laughs].
How was your skin growing up, and before you got pregnant?
My skin growing up was not the greatest. I first got acne when I was 12—I was in the 7th grade. Since then, my skin was never clear... until I was 24! It was then that I started going to an aesthetician every three weeks and I got facials, peels, oxygen facials and such. My skin improved dramatically and I was SO happy with it for once!
And what is it like now? How has pregnancy changed your skin?
And then I was 25 and pregnant. My perfect skin was short-lived because once I got pregnant, my skin erupted with acne. All by my hairline, my forehead, my nose, my cheeks and under the lip and chin! It also extended to my nape and neck cystic acne and it was so painful.
So currently, 11 months postpartum and my skin seems to be doing a lot better. Also I’ve been using a Foreo Luna and it’s been helping my blackheads a lot! It’s the least I can do because at the end of the day, after the baby goes to sleep—I can’t wait to sleep either, and I miss my skincare routine 4 out of 7 days [laughs].
What kinds of lifestyle behaviors seem to cause you breakouts?
I notice my skin doesn’t do well when I don’t stay hydrated. But before that happens, I get headaches because my body is trying to produce breast milk and I’m over here getting dehydrated! So before it gets to that point, I quench my thirst for my body and skin. I also noticed if I eat a lot of dairy, my skin gets worse. When I’m breaking out, I steer clear of dairy/ oily food like pizza. But it’s hard not to eat pizza when you live in New York. Ugh.
What kind of zits do you get? Do you squeeze your zits?
I get three kinds of zits: blackheads on my T-zone area, deeper cystic acne and whiteheads. I’m VERY naughty when it comes to pimple popping—yep, it scars, and it leaves dark spots. I’ve never left a pimple alone long enough to know what happens to “untouched zits” [laughs]. I can’t help it; I’m impatient!
Any tips for dealing with residual pigmentation?
I’ve been using derma-roller as a treatment to help with visible dark spots. Also when I started “peeling facials”, it really reduced the appearance of acne scars and dark spots! I believe it’s called “Papaya Enzyme Peel” and it’s the best facial I’ve ever gotten! It might be a little tingly for some but I love that feeling [laughs]. It feels like it’s REALLY working!