If there is ever a time to be concerned about what products you are using on your body and in your home it’s during pregnancy!! Skincare is not something that is often talked about during prenatal appointments but it is so important to do your research and make the best informed decision for YOU!
You might notice your skin is dryer or more breakout prone….both are normal during pregnancy and even postpartum! My skin (thank you hormones) does change a bit during pregnancy so I’ve found a few simple tweaks be so beneficial!
Keep in mind greenwashing—just because a product is labeled organic or natural doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe during pregnancy or beyond! Most importantly, do your research and have no fear.
Skincare Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy (and really all the time!)
- Fragrances (can include thousands of other non disclosed ingredients)
- Retinol (sometimes labeled retinyl palmitate, Vitamin A)
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
* Clearly there are more but this is a start!
Retinol. To use or not to use? Dangers in pregnancy + beyond
Studies show that retinol containing products (also listed as Vitamin A, salicylic acid or willow bark) can cause birth defects. It can also cause skin sensitivity, sensitivity to sunlight and even cancer. For me personally, it’s an ingredient I avoid all the time because honestly there just isn’t enough research either way so I would rather error on the side of caution.
If you are looking for the benefits of retinol (anti-aging and acne control) there are some great products that truly work but with none of the concern:
Here’s more research
14 Beauty Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid or Limit During Pregnancy
How to figure out the right products for your pregnancy
Enter trial and error…
There is no golden formula for any person’s skin let alone during pregnancy. Some of the products that work the best for me normally made my skin worse especially during my first trimester. The best products for you (as long as they are safe) are what you find works for you!
Your skin is simply a reflection of what is going on INSIDE the body—and hormones can make that a bit of a wild ride. Don’t ever feel guilty or embarrassed if your skin is less than ideal!
Our skin is made up of about 70% water and water keeps our cells (including skin cells) hydrated and nourished as well as helps remove wastes which can cause excess oil, breakouts or blemishes!
This second pregnancy I have dealt with serious dehydration issues (to the point of almost hospitalization) for about 3 months. For many pregnant women, especially first + third trimester, it’s honestly hard to stay hydrated. When I finally was able to get hydrated, with the help of a lot of electrolytes, most of my horrible inflamed skin issues quickly went away! Never underestimate the power of something as simple as proper hydration.
Keep it simple!
There are enough decisions to make on a daily basis pregnant or not! When in doubt, trust the brands you trust, and keep it simple. My skincare routine has really slimmed down this pregnancy because I’m honestly so tired all the time and have also found what works for ME! I don’t fret over skin changes because I know it’s a normal part of the amazing process that is happening inside my body—your imperfections make you beautifully YOU!
Pregnancy Skincare Favorites
Countertime Cleansing Oil // My go to facial cleanser this whole pregnancy. The scent is dreamy and very light (and I’m soooo sensitive to scents when pregnant) and this oil always refreshes me at any time of day. It gives you a deep cleanse while still is very hydrating. It has the anti aging benefits of bakuchiol and retinatural (a safe retinol alternative perfect for pregnancy and beyond)…because we can all use a youthful glow!
All Bright Vitamin C Serum // This is a total game changer especially if you deal with melasma during pregnancy (often a hormonal effect). This Vitamin C serum helps even out skin tone, provide a youthful glow, firm up any wrinkles (hello pregnancy insomnia), reduce scaring and just adds some cheer to your day!
More on the benefits of Vitamin C in skincare >
Antioxidant Soft Cream // My face has thrived on the entire Countertime line during pregnancy. It’s also perked me up given me that youthful glow on days I just don’t feel good. I love this moisturizer because it quickly absorbs, gently tightens your skin and gives the perfect amount of moisture both in the humid summer and dry winter.
Blue Tansy Soothing Cream // My skin has loved this even during the first trimester when it was seriously inflamed and red. Blue tansy is a powerful anti-inflammatory and super calming. This is perfect for days when I need a bit extra moisture. It always feels so luxurious.
Soothing Mask // This literally SAVED my skin first trimester. I would lay in bed with it on for hours because of the honey it doesn’t make your skin feel tight or dry.
Gua Sha // The perfect self care tool even on the craziest of days. Whether you are chasing littles or pregnant with your first this will freshen up your mood and face instantly. Get my full tutorial HERE >
Deodorant // Hormones in pregnancy can often change your body odor as well as change what scents you can tolerate. I’m personally super sensitive to scents during pregnancy. I have used Primally Pure’s deodorant for years and it works amazing for me even during pregnancy + postpartum. But don’t be shocked if you need to change up your deodorant or scent during pregnancy! Blue Tansy is my favorite scent!
^^ As deodorant is a daily use item, it’s one of my top suggestions to immediately switch to safer and make sure it’s free of aluminum. Keep in mind we apply deodorant close to our breast tissue too!
Stretch Mark Oil // I learned about The Organic Pharmacy while we were living in Spain and just love this brand. I really don’t like feeling greasy and their stretch mark oil absorbs quickly! I apply it nightly on my tummy and hip area.
Citrus Rosemary Body Oil // This smells delightful (coming from the pregnant lady who can’t tolerate any smells during pregnancy! Rosemary is a great healing oil for stretch marks + prevention and this oil moisturizes deeply but also soaks in so you aren’t greasy!
Vanilla Almond Body Butter // I used this on my tummy often when I was pregnant with Remington and have recently fell in love with it during this third trimester and a cold/dry winter. It’s very effective at helping stretch marks but a bit on the thicker side, so really depends on how much patience I have and what PJs I’m wearing! You’ll want to eat it too!
Clear Pore Cleanser // I LOVE this one as a facial cleanser but I do get a bit of acne on my chest and back during pregnancy so I’ve been using it as a body scrub and it’s been effective!!
Dry Brush // Like I said before, I struggle with a bit of body acne during pregnancy (not normally the case). Dry brushing is a great way to safely encourage lymphatic flow and detox during pregnancy and encourage cell turn over by removing dead skin cells.
Flower Bath // Baths are my saving grace for sore backs and the best night of sleep! I love this rose bath with a generous heaping of added magnesium flakes. Magnesium is best absorbed topically and will help with anxiety, nausea and sleep!
Palo Santo Aromatherapy Oil // Palo Santo is a sacred wood oil that greatly relaxes the nervous system. I put this oil on my pressure points (wrists) every night and any other time I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed or nauseous. I’ve truly been amazed at how it’s quickly calmed me down.
I like to keep my makeup super simple, pregnant or not, but especially with pregnancy! I rarely wear mascara these days cause I know I’m too tired at the end of the day. This routine will make you feel glamorous even when you don’t!
Biodegradable Makeup Wipes // I’m totally exhausted at the end of the day during pregnancy and these are literally a lifesaver. It’s so important to remove your makeup first so that your cleansing routine can be effective!! If I’m too tired sometimes I’ll just use these to quickly cleanse my face and hop into bed, just keeping it real. Pregnant or not these are a staple in my bathroom!
Skin Twin Foundation // I LOVE this foundation because it is full coverage but doesn’t feel heavy, even at the end of the day. This is my top suggestion for your beauty bag. If you need more coverage one day (hello hormones) apply a second coat…it’s beautifully buildable! (I wear shade 310 as a color reference.)
Skin Twin Creamy Concealer // It’s so creamy without being greasy and a must for blemishes or under eye circles (hello insomnia). This is a full coverage concealer and just dreamy!
Brilliant Brow Gel // Pregnant or not this is one of my top makeup items. It beautifully frames your face and totally enhances your natural look with little effort. I don’t wear much eye makeup when I’m pregnant because honestly I’m so tired at the end of the day so this really is the perfect addition.
Blush // The perfect pop of color and free of heavy metals (a neurotoxin to baby and mama) which often are in blushes and makeup with pigments. Nectar and Date are my go to colors.
Here’s a few other helpful baby + motherhood posts:
- Organic Baby Registry
- How to Create a Non-Toxic Baby Room
- Organic Baby Bath Time
- 5 Ways to Support Your Adrenals After Baby
Do you have a favorite safe pregnancy skincare product?!
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