A Momma’s Guide to Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products!

Most of us want that radiant, pregnancy glow. And why not? Why should you suffer dry, blotchy skin, cracked lips, and stretch marks just because you’re pregnant?

Momma’s to be, take some time for a little pamper by checking out our list of the must-have skincare products safe during pregnancy.

The 7 most unpleasant effects of pregnancy

Pregnancy can come as one big surprise as you face all those bodily changes, from the most well-known like morning sickness to the downright bizarre.

But did you know that pregnancy can even give you nose bleeds?

Some of the unpleasant side effects include;

  1. Stretch marks
  2. Spider veins
  3. Hair growth and loss
  4. Dry skin
  5. Acne/breakouts
  6. Increased skin sensitivity
  7. Skin darkening (called Melasma or Chloasma)

If you already suffer from rosacea, eczema, hyperpigmentation, discoloration or psoriasis, you might see your symptoms improve or worsen.

But there are plenty of pregnancy-safe beauty products that can help with these symptoms.

5 types of beauty products to avoid during pregnancy

When you’re used to raiding the skincare aisle of your local drug or beauty store, it can feel easy to pick up whatever products you think will solve your skincare problem. But dermatologists only recommend using skincare products that are safe during pregnancy.

So, to protect your skin from absorbing any harmful skincare ingredients that could harm or interrupt your baby’s development, always avoid the below during pregnancy;

1. Retinoids

Consuming Vitamin A, which the body processes into Retinol, is crucial for healthy, young-looking skin. So if you’re a fan of lathering your face before bed with the ever-popular anti-aging skincare products that often use retinoids (a form of Retinol), pregnancy is the time to stop.

Although helpful at reversing fine lines and acne in higher doses (often found in prescription medicine), these products have been linked to congenital disabilities.

2. Arbutin

Brightening agents like Arbutin are popular for revitalized skin. However, they cause a breakdown of hydroquinone on the skin.

Pregnant women are better off using brightening products that contain Vitamin C or 5% or greater concentrations of Niacinamide.

3. Formaldehyde

Because it’s a known carcinogen, Formaldehyde is not commonly used in beauty products as it can increase the risks of miscarriage and infertility. However, you may find formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in many cosmetics.

Always check and avoid Formaldehyde to guard against the similarly dangerous effect.

4. Spironolactone

In contrast to beauty product ingredients, Spironolactone is sometimes prescribed as an acne treatment. However, it is not safe during pregnancy as some doctors believe it has links to birth defects.

Instead, try using azelaic acid as a spot-fighting cream.

5. Parabens

I’m pretty convinced most of you will already know to avoid parabens. But if you don’t, know that some studies suggest that using parabens, often used to preserve things like shampoo, can raise estrogen levels in the body.

These elevated estrogen levels have had potential links to cancer, with many women preferring to avoid them in pregnancy.

What products are safe during pregnancy?

When you’re looking for pregnancy-safe skincare, the below are the top options for all those mommas to be.

  • Gentle fragrance-free cleansers and moisturizers that won’t irritate the skin.
  • You can use pregnancy-safe antioxidants that help with wrinkles and aging, such as vitamin C, K, E, B3, and green tea. 
  •  Low doses of salicylic acid. You can usually find this in over-the-counter face washes. But avoid oral versions or face masks.
  • Look for moisturizers with pregnancy-safe anti-aging properties like Hyaluronic acid.
  • Limited amounts of Benzoyl Peroxide; check with your doctor or dermatologist first.

Can I use Vitamin C serum while pregnant?

You might be bummed that Retinoids are off the table for proper wrinkle treatments. Still, you can use antioxidants such as Vitamin C to keep free radicals away.

Vitamin C is one of those handy yet natural pregnancy-safe beauty products that will protect your skin from damage, maintain collagen, and enhance your skin’s vitality.

Use your Vitamin C serum in the morning before your sunscreen for its anti-aging, brightening, and revitalizing skin properties.

Is Hyaluronic acid safe for pregnancy?

Pregnancy brings drastic hormonal changes that lead to dry skin and stretch marks. So, you’ll be glad to know that hyaluronic acid is a pregnancy-safe beauty product and anti-aging moisturizer.

Using moisturizing products containing hyaluronic acid (HA) can increase hydration. For the best chance of tackling stretch marks, try moisturizing the stretch mark prone zones frequently before and as your skin begins to stretch.

Can I use serums in general while pregnant?

Yes, serums can be one of those skincare products safe during pregnancy as long as they don’t contain the off-limits ingredients mentioned above. Anti-aging serums are excellent to use as long as they don’t have any form of Retinol.

Check the ingredient list to ensure your serum is Retinol-free, then feel free to add it to your bedtime skincare ritual or as part of your sun protection.

Search online for firming serums or melasma treatment if you’re unsure what to buy

Can you use salicylic or glycolic acid when pregnant?

Salicylic acid (BHA) and glycolic acid (AHA) are amazingly effective skin exfoliants and acne treatments for looking fresher and younger. So, you’ll be glad to know they are both pregnancy-safe acne products and pregnancy-safe beauty products.

In small doses, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) advises that these topical products are safe during pregnancy. But you should avoid the high amounts of salicylic and glycolic acid found in BHA face and body peels and oral medications.

If you’re insistent on adding a peel to your skincare routine, especially if you’re looking for a peel to freshen a large part of the body, stick to an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) peel.

Hopefully, you now know what skincare products are safe during pregnancy to let you feel like the glorious mamma to be that you are.