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  • Writer's pictureAnjana Rajbhandary

Best pregnancy-safe skincare

Pregnancy-safe skincare

There are many changes that occur in the appearance of your skin during pregnancy. You may have heard of the pregnancy glow, which is a result of changes in hormone levels that cause the glands on your face to secrete more oil, making you look more glowy. The quick increase in estrogen and progesterone can also cause dry patches, dark spots and itchy skin. But don't worry, because most of these new skin conditions will go away naturally after the baby is born.

It is important to take care of your skin during pregnancy, but ingredients like retinoids, hydroquinone, salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide should be avoided; they have possible links to birth defects.

You will have to make some lifestyle changes during pregnancy, such as avoiding certain foods and strenuous physical activity. Similarly, it is also recommended you change your skincare products, so they are safe for you and your baby.

Pregnancy-safe skincare FAQ

Do all pregnancy skincare products need to be organic?

A. No, they do not. During pregnancy, you should choose products that are known to be "pregnancy-safe," because some organic brands still use ingredients you should avoid.

During the pregnancy, when should I change my products?

A. You should switch over to products safe for pregnancy if you are trying to get pregnant or as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

Is it safe to use skincare products during pregnancy?

A. Yes, all products that are labeled "pregnancy-safe" can be used. Always consult a doctor before adding products to your skincare routine.

Pregnancy-safe skincare products

Best cleanser to use during pregnancy

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: available at Amazon and Ulta Beauty

A non-alkaline cleanser like this can gently soften and soothe your skin. It is fragrance- and soap-free and will give you a healthy glow.

Best exfoliant to use during pregnancy

Biossance Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Mask: available at Amazon and Sephora

This glycolic acid peel can help with skin discoloration, which is common during pregnancy. It also helps make your skin brighter, maximizing your pregnancy glow.

Best toner to use during pregnancy

Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner: available at Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Made with rose-petal water and aloe vera, this natural toner can remove excess oil and soothe irritation but won’t dry out your skin like other toners. Also, since this toner has witch hazel, as an added bonus, you can put it on pads and freeze to help ease stitches’ pain post-birth.

Best acne-fighting product to use during pregnancy

Osea blemish balm: available at Amazon, Credo Beauty and Ulta Beauty

Most acne treatments have tetracycline, which can affect the development of baby's teeth and bones. Instead, use this balm made of three varieties of seaweed, as well as tea tree, juniper and thyme, to calm blemishes and prevent future breakouts, tetracycline-free.

Best vitamin C serum to use during pregnancy

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum: available at Amazon, SpaceNK and Sephora

"Mask of pregnancy" is a common term that refers to dark patches that develop on your skin due to increased pigmentation. This potent yet gentle serum has 15% L-ascorbic acid and ferulic acid to brighten your skin while lightening dark spots.

Best hyaluronic acid serum to use during pregnancy

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: available at Amazon, SkinStore, Sephora and Ulta Beauty

Your skin might feel drier during pregnancy, so adding hyaluronic acid to your routine will resolve that issue. This vegan serum can provide deep hydration, and it does not contain alcohol, parabens and sulfates.

Best retinol alternative to use during pregnancy

Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum: available at Credo Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK

Retinol is unsafe to use during pregnancy, so instead use this bakuchiol serum, which has the same benefits as retinol without the risk of birth abnormalities. Bakuchiol can diminish fine lines and it also has tremella mushroom, great for keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized.

Best moisturizer to use during pregnancy

Kinship Supermello Hydrating Gel-Cream Moisturizer: available at Amazon, Credo Beauty and Ulta Beauty

This moisturizer has marshmallow root, which has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, hyaluronic acid keeps your skin hydrated all day.

Best eye cream to use during pregnancy

Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm: available at Amazon and Credo Beauty

Made with antioxidants, Centella Asiatica and vitamin C, this balm protects you against environmental stressors. It also has bearberry and licorice root to help brighten and depuff the area around your eyes.

Best body wash to use during pregnancy

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Gentle Foaming Body and Face Moisturizing Wash: available at Amazon, Lovely Skin, SkinStore and Ulta Beauty

This fragrance-free body wash has glycerin and niacinamide to moisturize and soothe the skin. You can also use it on your face, and it is safe to use on babies and children.

Best bath soak to use during pregnancy

goop Beauty G.Tox Detox 5 Salt Bath Soak: available at Credo Beauty

Bath soaks can help relieve stress and sore muscles, which are common during pregnancy. This soak has Epsom salt, Himalayan pink salt and peppermint to relieve any aches or pains from pregnancy or otherwise.

Best body moisturizer to use during pregnancy

Mama Mio Megamama Body Lotion: available at Amazon and SkinStore

This moisturizing lotion has coconut, sweet almond oil and shea butter to keep your skin hydrated, and omega fatty acids to improve skin’s elasticity. It does not have parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances.

Best anti-itch lotion to use during pregnancy

CeraVe Itch-Relief Moisturizing Lotion: available at Amazon and Ulta Beauty

It is possible to develop itchy skin during pregnancy, so using this lotion with Pramoxine hydrochloride, proven to relieve itchy skin, should help. It also has ceramides to help restore your skin barrier.

Best for stretch marks to use during pregnancy

Bio-Oil Skincare Body Oil: available at Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Stretch marks are common during pregnancy, so prevent them and keep your skin smooth by using this light oil. It has a blend of calendula, chamomile and lavender oils to keep your skin hydrated.

Best sunscreen to use during pregnancy

SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense 50: available at Amazon, LovelySkin and SkinStore

Chemical sunscreens have oxybenzone and avobenzone that may cause birth defects. Switch to this sunscreen, which provides 100% protection from UVA and UVB rays and gives you an oil-free, matte finish to last all day.


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