The joyous arrival of a new baby can come with side effects other than a lack of sleep and a lot less “me” time. Like, as actor Jodie Turner-Smith acknowledged on Sunday evening, post-partum acne. Using her Instagram Stories to discuss her skin after giving birth to her first child with fellow actor Joshua Jackson last month, Turner-Smith got frank about some of the lesser-known realities of life as a brand new mum, like sudden breakouts.

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Post-Partum Acne

Turner-Smith’s post also revealed she’s been using a surprising ingredient to tackle the issue. “Any new mothers get breakouts postpartum? I’ve been getting so many spots lately (hormones?), but I put breast milk on them last night and today my skin looks much better,” she typed over a picture of her looking luminous while lying in bed. Post-partum acne is caused by fluctuating hormones, which can take up to eight weeks to settle down after giving birth. Stress, lack of sleep and a poor diet can also exacerbate problem skin during this period.

Since some active skincare ingredients typically used to help tackle acne, like retinoids, aren’t recommended for use while pregnant or breastfeeding, there are fewer skincare products available to those suffering post-partum breakouts. Breast milk contains an ingredient called lauric acid, which is antibacterial and has been shown by some studies to help treat acne.

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If the somewhat unconventional approach isn’t for you, fear not: incorporating an acid like salicylic, glycolic or azelaic (all safe for breastfeeding mothers), can help to unclog pores, and gently exfoliate and even out the skin, taking down blemishes and maintaining balance.

This Post First Appeared on VOGUE.COM

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