Being pregnant is an amazing condition, but it comes with a lot of changes! While the hormonal fluctuations may give some lucky moms that effortless pregnancy glow, they can also deliver skin issues such as breakouts, melasma and sensitivity.
Given my commitment to healthy looking skin, I started researching suitable products for pregnancy months before we were even ready to start trying. I was very aware that there are certain ingredients that are harmful to the baby, and I wanted to phase them out and find replacements as soon as possible. This would also involve trialling new products to ensure they were compatible with my skin.
What to Avoid
Using research sourced from Healthline and other reputable sources, here is my guide to the top skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding:
Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acids
Hydroquinone & Alpha Arbutin
Parabens & Phthalates
(Some) Essential Oils
It's a fairly long list, and demoralising if you have to strip out half (or most!) of your perfectly curated skincare routine. But never fear, it is possible to find a balance between maintaining your glow and keeping your baby safe!
What's Safe to Use
The following ingredients are deemed by multiple sources as safe to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding:
Vitamin C (great for brightening)
Hyaluronic Acid (absolutely for hydration!)
Azelaic Acid and Mandelic Acid (mild exfoliation and fights acne)
Niacinamide (good for pigmentation)
Physical Sunscreen (keeps those aging rays away)
Adjust your Skin Routine
Taking these guidelines into account, I carried out a deep-cleanse on my skincare products a few months before we started trying for a baby, just to ensure my body was free of any residual effects. Unsuitable products were put in storage or given away to friends.
This is the end result of what my regime looked like while pregnant and breastfeeding. Please note that this list includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases:
1st Cleanse: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I've found using an oil cleanser on oily skin extremely gentle and effective at clearing out dissolved dirt and excess sebum from your pores.
2nd Cleanse: BIODERMA Sebium H20 Micellar Water Apply to a cotton or reusable pad and swipe to remove any remaining residue.
Exfoliation: Vivant Skincare 3% 3-in-1 Toner. Also helps with pigmentation and acne!
Hydration: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (both AM & PM)
Serum: Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster (AM) or Vivant Skincare 8% 3-in-1 Serum (PM)
SPF: Heliocare 360 Gel Oil-Free Dry Touch SPF50 A physical sunscreen suitable for oily and hyperactive skin. I've trialled a number of sunscreens that range from $ to $$$ and this is the only only that didn't make me break out.
Get that Glow!
Using this regime, I managed to maintain healthy glowing skin throughout all three trimesters and into breastfeeding. I hope these tips prove similarly helpful in keeping your skin looking great and your baby safe through this exciting new phase!
Disclosure: This article is not intended to replace medical advice given to you by your physician. Your doctor knows your medical history and should make all final decisions regarding skincare products and ingredients during pregnancy.