Hey, babes! This post has been a LONG time coming. I thought about writing a pregnancy skincare guide 3 years ago when I was expecting my second child. But, of course life got in the way. Then last year, when I was expecting baby #3, I finally sat down and started writing it. However, I tragically lost that pregnancy a few weeks later, and so this post just sat in my drafts unfinished. While my heart is still broken from that loss, and from my 3 other losses, I really wanted to get this up. I have so many dear friends who are expecting, and this topic tends to get confusing. So, for anyone who is not sure what skincare is safe to use while pregnant (or nursing), I’ve got you covered!
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know the list of do’s and don’t are a mile long. Don’t eat sushi, don’t take Advil, take your vitamins, get plenty of rest. But what about skin care? Often our usual lineup conflicts with pregnancy safety, but many of us are completely unaware. In fact, during my first pregnancy I used a salicylic acid cleanser for the first 4 months, never knowing it was a no-no. So, to make things easy, I rounded up all the info I learned during my six pregnancies, in hopes that it can help all you mama’s, and mama’s to be!
Please note: I am not a medial professional. This is not medical advice, just simply suggestions based on what worked for me. Please seek the advice of your doctor before starting a new skincare routine while pregnant or nursing.
STAY AWAY FROM ACNE PRODUCTS
During a time when hormones are raging, pimples are an annoying side effect. Even more annoying, is the fact that you can’t treat them like you used to. As I mentioned above, Salicylic Acid is a no-go, same goes for Benzoyl Peroxide. Instead, opt for a gentle cleanser without harsh ingredients. For my two pregnancies, I swore by the First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser, as well as Origins Checks and Balances. However, the First Aid Beauty cleanser is no longer considered safe since it contains Licorice Root, but the Fresh Soy Cleanser is a great alternative!
CHOOSE NATURAL SUNSCREENS
In my recent post all about sunscreens, I went into my favorite physical formulas and why I prefer them over chemical. That preference actually started during my first pregnancy 7 years ago, and to this day I use the same one daily. So, if you’re a fan of chemical formulas you’ll have to find a new one while expecting. There are a ton of amazing options (see my post for four I love), but the winner in my book is always First Aid Beauty Pure Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40. It contains Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, and it doesn’t clog pores.
PUT DOWN THE RETINOL
For me, retinol was the first product in my routine that had to go, and I actually haven’t gone back since I put it down in 2012. I went from pregnancy, to nursing, to trying to conceive, back to pregnant, and then nursing again. So, there hasn’t been much time to go back to it, and while it does wonders for the skin it’s a no-no for pregnancy. It can sneak into products, and it has many forms, so always read labels! For example, the Fresh Lotus Eye Gel contains Retinyl Palmitate, but it’s not advertised a retinol product. In fact, it’s not even listed as one of the benefits aside from “wrinkle prevention” so it’s good to go through what you have a really scan the ingredients.
SAY YES TO GLYCOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN C
I often see a lot of confusion about Glycolic Acid, and while it sounds scary, it’s perfectly safe to use while pregnant (or nursing). I think the “acid” in the name trips people up, since Salicylic Acid is bad. But, have no fear you can still use this chemical exfoliant for glowing radiant skin – in case you’re like me and aren’t lucky to have a natural “pregnancy glow” lol 😉 My top choice is the Pixi Glow Tonic. It’s gentle, affordable, and available at Target. As for other topicals, you can also reach for Lactic Acid, Azelaic Acid, and Vitamin C. Just be sure to get a Vitamin C in dark opaque bottle, as sunlight breaks down its efficacy!
HELLO FACIAL OILS!
An effective, and safe, way to hydrate skin while pregnant is with a facial oil. I’ve used a ton over the years that I love, and many I don’t actually own anymore (like the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light). But, a few that I do currently have and highly suggest are the Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Facial Oil, and the Drunk Elephant Marula Oil. Both are amazing for hydration, and can be used daily with your skincare regimen. For the body, I love Grapeseed oil, as well as Jojoba oil, and they are even better when mixed. Your belly and boobs will stretch and itch, and oils are great to combat that.
First and foremost, it’s perfectly safe to wear makeup while pregnant. I did try to go more natural with products from Tarte and 100% Pure, but if you’re on a budget your Revlon products won’t hurt you. When it comes time to remove that makeup, I absolutely adore oils and balms. Green Clean from Farmacy and Derma E’s Rose Cleansing oil are great options that are gentle, and more on the natural side. For extra cleansing, Bioderma is a safe and amazing product, and the Acure wipes are always great for those sleepy nights when you just can’t get out of bed – and trust me you’ll have tons of those nights while pregnant!
While we’re on the topic of “natural” skincare and facial oils, always use caution when using essential oils while pregnant. A lot of them are not considered safe, as they are in their most potent and least diluted form. The oils I’m recommending are not the same as essential oils in the small glass bottles (the ones you can diffuse). While I’m a huge fan of keeping things natural, even things from nature can be dangerous and cause effects like pre-term labor and contractions. So, always do your research!
MOISTURE & MASK
When it comes to face moisturizers, I apply the same conditions that I do for face cleansers. I opt for formulas that are basic, gentle, and free of harsh ingredients. Once again, I used to rely on First Aid Beauty for their Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer, but it’s got that pesky Licorice Root. So, instead I highly suggest the Belif Creamy Moisturizer Deep Moist. It’s lightweight, hydrating, and great for normal, dry, and combo skin types. My other favorite Belif product, the Hungarian Water Essence is also pregnancy safe!
PREGNANCY SKINCARE GUIDE CHEAT SHEET
If you’re pregnant, trying to conceive, or nursing I hope this post helped you figure out your skincare routine! If you’ve got favs you used during your pregnancy, and you don’t see them here, be sure to post them down below!
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