Pregnancy comes with some changes in the skin, such as dryness, pigmentation, and acne due to changing hormones. And it may also cause hypersensitivity in some. But, regardless of eating a healthy diet, your skin may experience significant changes and concerns. You will need to resort to pregnancy-safe products for your regular skincare, about which, this article will talk.
We have handpicked the top 10 best pregnancy-safe skincare products for various skin concerns. Our absolute favorite is the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% anti-blemish formula from The Ordinary. Vitamin B3 and zinc salts make this product an excellent choice to combat acne, blemishes, and dark spots without causing harm to the growing fetus. Read our comprehensive buying guide to find how we can help you choose the best and safest products during pregnancy.
Your pregnancy skincare begins with understanding what skin problems you face and then finding products that are safe to use during pregnancy.
This means that you’ll have to give up some of your regular skincare products that may contain potentially unsafe ingredients for the growing fetus. Certain ingredients used in skincare products, such as retinol in anti-acne products, can be dangerous to a growing baby. Although not scientifically proven, it's best to stay away from ingredients like alcohols, parabens, and phthalates, just to be safe.
To maintain healthy skin during this period, it's important to find pregnancy-safe products that are equally effective in combating the skin concerns you may have. Most of these products are dermatologist-recommended and contain safer alternatives that won’t affect you and the baby growing inside you.
If you're stressed about what skincare products to choose while you're expecting, relax. You choose the necessary ones from the following top 10 best pregnancy-safe skincare products we recommend.
|Formulated with||Niacinamide, zinc|
|Effective for||Reducing blemishes, brightening skin tone|
|Formulated with||Hyaluronic acid|
|Effective for||Hydrating and moisturizing facial skin|
|Formulated with||Shea butter, vitamin E, coconut oil|
|Effective for||Stretch marks|
|Formulated with||Triple oat complex, shea butter|
|Effective for||Soothing itchy skin, moisturizing|
|Formulated with||Azelaic acid|
|Effective for||Hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne, inflammation|
|Formulated with||Vitamin E, almond oil, lemon oil|
|Effective for||Skin hydration|
|Formulated with||Lactic acid, olive oil, cucumber, green tea|
|Formulated with||Zinc oxide, titanium oxide|
|Effective for||UVA and UVB protection|
|Formulated with||Lavender oil, vitamin E, calendula, rosemary oil|
|Effective for||Scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone|
|Formulated with||Lactic acid, green tea, olive oil, peppermint, ginseng|
Belli Skin Care
Belli Skin Care
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Hydro Boost Gel-Cream
Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion
Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
Anti-Blemish Facial Wash
UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47
Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub
Niacinamide Serum for Treating Acne and Hyperpigmentation
Hyaluronic Acid for Extra Dry Skin
Moisture-Rich Belly Butter for Stretch Marks
Fragrance-Free Moisturizer for Extra-Dry Skin
A Skin Brightening and Anti-Acne Formula With Azelaic Acid
Nourishing and Conditioning Almond Oil for the Whole Body
Obstetrician-Recommended Facial Wash to Treat Acne
Broad-Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen
Dermatologist-Recommended Skincare Oil for Pregnant Women
Exfoliating Scrub With Lactic Acid and Green Tea
|Type||Serum||Face moisturizer||Belly butter||Moisturizing lotion||Suspension||Body oil||Facial wash||Sunscreen||Body oil||Scrub|
|Amount||4 oz.||1.7 oz.||6.5 oz.||18.8 oz.||1 oz.||4 oz.||6.5 oz.||4 oz.||4.2 oz.||6.5 oz.|
|Formulated with||Niacinamide, zinc||Hyaluronic acid||Shea butter, vitamin E, coconut oil||Triple oat complex, shea butter||Azelaic acid||Vitamin E, almond oil, lemon oil||Lactic acid, olive oil, cucumber, green tea||Zinc oxide, titanium oxide||Lavender oil, vitamin E, calendula, rosemary oil||Lactic acid, green tea, olive oil, peppermint, ginseng|
|Effective for||Reducing blemishes, brightening skin tone||Hydrating and moisturizing facial skin||Stretch marks||Soothing itchy skin, moisturizing||Hyperpigmentation, dark spots, acne, inflammation||Skin hydration||Acne||UVA and UVB protection||Scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone||Exfoliation|
We know it can be hard to give up your daily skincare routine when you're pregnant. But knowing that there are safer alternatives to the ones you have been using earlier is a relief. The pregnancy-safe skincare products will not only keep your skin healthy and glowing but also keep your little one away from potentially harmful ingredients.
If you're pregnant and are looking for information on what skincare products are safe, you're in the right place. Our guide below can help you find what works best in combating the most common skin-related concerns.
Certain ingredients common to many skincare products aren’t safe for pregnant women. One such ingredient is retinoid, which is a vitamin-A derivative. Higher doses of retinoids have been linked to congenital disabilities or birth defects. Retinol, tretinoin, retinaldehyde, and retinyl palmitate are a few of the retinoid types used in skincare products.
Even if the amount of a retinoid in skincare products is low, it’s best to stay away from retinoid-based products throughout the pregnancy. A few other examples of unsafe ingredients are parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and hydroquinone.
Although there’s no scientific proof linking parabens and phthalates to birth defects, some sources recommend steering clear of them. While the FDA has not issued any concerns about those ingredients, many choose to look for paraben-free products to be on the safe side.
Phenoxyethanol is a safer alternative to parabens, but the ingredient also raises concerns amongst expecting mothers. As long as phenoxyethanol isn’t ingested, it hasn’t been proven to harm the growing baby.
Regardless, many cosmetic and skincare brands consider its potential side effects and have been manufacturing paraben-free products. Some studies have found phthalates causing adverse effects on the reproductive system and hormonal dysfunction.
Formaldehyde is a preservative that’s been linked to an increased risk of infertility and miscarriage. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest that those who are frequently exposed to this ingredient are at risk. In case of any doubt about the ingredients used in a pregnancy-safe product, consult with a dermatologist and your gynecologist.
Some women experience sudden acne breakouts during pregnancy. If this is you, you should avoid some of the common ingredients used to treat acne, like salicylic acne and retinoids. Both retinoids and salicylic acid in high doses can be unsafe for the growing fetus. A safer alternative would be glycolic acid, but only in small quantities.
Azelaic acid is also a safe choice. It can help with mild to moderate acne and comedones like blackheads and whiteheads. It treats acne by killing acne-causing bacteria that infect the skin’s pores. The acid also decreases the production of keratin, the excess of which can lead to acne, and treats acne-induced redness and inflammation.
Niacinamide is another safe ingredient that doesn’t interfere with the growing baby’s development. However, if you have severe acne, your doctor might prescribe topical creams containing benzoyl peroxide. You should try to avoid benzoyl peroxide, though, especially if you're breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, your body needs more water to make amniotic fluid that surrounds the growing fetus, produce additional blood, build new tissues, and flush out toxins from the body. Plus, it needs more water to carry oxygen and essential nutrients to the tissues and cells of the growing fetus, so your skin may become parched.
Additionally, hormonal changes can cause skin dryness during pregnancy. Coconut oil and hyaluronic acid are ingredients to look for in moisturizing products. While coconut oil is an emollient that softens the skin, hyaluronic acid is a naturally found humectant that draws moisture to the skin and keeps it hydrated and plump.
These ingredients are safer alternatives to glycerin and propylene glycol. However, some doctors recommend glycerin-based products for those with extra dry skin. It's a humectant that works well by attracting more moisture to the skin and prevents it from drying out. Glycerin is considered highly risky during pregnancy if ingested.
Cream-based products work best if you have extra dry skin, and lotions will suffice if you have normal to combination skin. Other safe emollients include cocoa butter, shea butter, and petroleum jelly.
A tummy butter containing ingredients like cocoa butter works best in reducing and preventing stretch marks. You can apply tummy butter on areas prone to stretching. Certain creams and tummy butter come with plant oils that are safe. However, they can irritate your skin if you have sensitive or oily skin.
Ceramides are lipids that form naturally on the epidermis and prevent loss of moisture from the skin. Ceramide deficiency can lead to dry skin. Products formulated with ceramides are safe as long as they don’t contain other harmful chemicals. The safest products, combined with a mild cleanser and shower gel, can control pregnancy-related skin dryness.
Exfoliating products may contain several chemicals and unhealthy ingredients. Unwanted chemicals absorbed by the skin can cause birth defects, and hence, are best for mothers-to-be to stay away from. Still, some exfoliants contain safe ingredients for pregnant women, so you may not have to give up your routine!
Go for physical exfoliating scrubs containing ingredients like salt or sugar. Gentle chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid and lactic acid are also safe and may prevent irritation. Avoid alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), though.
Most AHAs and BHAs are not safe for pregnant women. These chemical exfoliators disrupt the skin’s barrier and open up the skin further. That leaves your skin vulnerable to further damage.
The previously mentioned lactic acid is sometimes found in brightening products. It can improve your skin's tone by treating hyperpigmentation and reducing age spots, without causing irritation. But the number one anti-aging ingredient to look for when you're pregnant is vitamin C.
Dermatologists worldwide consider this antioxidant vitamin safe to use while expecting. It can fight free radicals, promote collagen production, and protect the skin from sun damage. It's safe as long as you don’t have sensitive skin. Other safe anti-aging antioxidants include vitamins E and K.
Hydroquinone is commonly used in skin lightening products and is best avoided. Likewise, you might want to stay away from retinoids and parabens, which are often used in anti-aging products.
Chemical ingredients absorb UV rays and convert them into energy. Some such ingredients include octocrylene, octisalate, oxybenzone, and ensulizole. While the effect of these ingredients in sunscreens hasn't been studied widely, many find them best to avoid, as they are absorbed by the skin and can end up in the bloodstream.
Mineral-based (or physical) sunscreen lotions and creams contain ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which deflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them. They are also hypoallergenic and offer broad-spectrum sun protection, meaning they offer protection against UVA and UVB rays. When pregnant, it's best to choose a mineral sunscreen!
If you have sensitive skin, you should only choose gentle products. It's best to ask for recommendations from a dermatologist or obstetrician, but keep in mind that everyone's skin is different and can react differently. A common ingredient you might see is hyaluronic acid, which is non-comedogenic and won't clog your pores.
If you struggle with skin allergies, beware of fragrances, sodium sulfates, alcohols, and other similar ingredients. Even plant-based ingredients such as essential oils can cause allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.
Combat negative reactions with soothing ingredients like aloe vera. Ask your dermatologist for the best hypoallergenic products or ingredients to look for.
Pregnancy comes with special needs and attention. So, here are some products that can make your experience better while expecting.
Now you know that maintaining healthy skin isn't impossible during pregnancy. All you need to do is to look for safer alternatives to tackle common skin problems like acne, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, and more.
Nevertheless, it's best to talk to your doctor if you're in doubt about the safety of any product that we have recommended here and that you may come across elsewhere.
Author: Biji Ravindran
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