People want to be healthy inside and out, especially during pregnancy. However, it’s important to understand the way skincare can impact the body during pregnancy and adjust the products used during daily skincare routines to ensure the unborn child and mother are both safe and healthy. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best products for pregnancy-safe skincare to ensure skin stays healthy and beautiful.

Navigating Skincare During Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, there are numerous changes to her body, and many women don’t even consider the way their skin will change. They’ve heard about the pregnant glow, but suddenly, they see dark spots, acne, redness, and other skin issues, leaving their skin far from glowing. When it comes time to address these concerns, many women are disheartened to hear they can’t use many skincare products that could help. While it may be overwhelming or discouraging to consider all the changes related to pregnancy, it’s important to take the necessary steps to adjust your skincare routine, diet, exercise, and other aspects of daily life while pregnant. Don’t let all the changes overwhelm you. Instead, take a few deep breaths and start small by learning about adjusting your skincare routine during pregnancy by continuing to read this blog.

Why Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Matters

Skin changes in numerous ways during pregnancy, but most of these changes are caused by changes in hormone production as well as in the way the body processes nutrients. The most common changes in skin health during pregnancy include:

  • Dark spots – Called melasma or the mask of pregnancy, these hyperpigmented areas develop due to hormone changes causing hyperreactivity to sun exposure.
  • Moles and freckles – New moles and freckles may develop, or existing spots may grow, change color, or change shape.
  • Acne – Hormonal shifts cause an increase in oil production that can lead to an increased risk for clogged pores and acne breakouts.
  • Dry skin – Skin dryness and itching can occur across the body during pregnancy. It’s especially common over the abdomen which stretches around the growing baby. Apply moisturizer more often to keep skin hydrated.
  • Stretch marks – Rapid weight gain during pregnancy can cause stretch marks to appear.
  • Veins and blood vessels – Hemangiomas, extra red blood vessels, may develop during pregnancy, and they can appear on infants at birth. Additionally, spider veins may develop on the arms, neck, and face due to an increase in blood volume.

While more skin concerns can occur during pregnancy, it may be more difficult to find products to address these concerns safely. It’s important to talk to a dermatologist about what products are safe and effective for treatment during pregnancy.

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

In general, expectant mothers should look for skincare products that are gentle and have fewer ingredients. While choosing skincare products with safe ingredients is important, it’s just as important to avoid skincare products that are potentially concerning, including:

  • Retinols – Derived from vitamin A, these ingredients can cause numerous concerns during pregnancy. While topical retinols aren’t necessarily an extreme risk, it’s best to avoid using these products as they’ve been linked to a condition called fetal retinoid syndrome.
  • Hydroquinone – When applied topically, this ingredient can be absorbed into the skin, which can be harmful to the unborn baby.
  • Chemical sunscreen – The long-term effects of chemicals in these sunscreens are often not well understood, but the adverse impact of these ingredients on expecting mothers, infants, and children is well documented. Mineral sunscreens are safest during pregnancy.
  • Salicylic acid – May be used in a concentration of 2% or less during pregnancy at the discretion of a dermatologist. However, it’s best to avoid salicylic acid when possible, as too much of this ingredient can be harmful.
  • Benzoyl peroxide – May be used in a concentration of 5% or less during pregnancy as a face wash or leave-on treatment.

Safe and Beneficial Skincare Ingredients for Pregnancy

Most skincare products are safe and effective during pregnancy when used properly and under the direction of a dermatologist. However, there are some that you should include in your skincare routine to treat specific concerns that can arise during pregnancy. Specifically:

  • Vitamin C and other antioxidants should be used to protect against sun and pollutant damage.
  • Hyaluronic acid can be used to prevent skin dryness and increase hydration.
  • Mineral sunscreens should be used in place of chemical sunscreens.

Top Pregnancy-Safe Products to Include in Your Routine

Everyone needs a unique skincare plan, but some of the most recommended skincare products for expecting mothers include:

Gentle Cleanser: Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser

A gentle facewash to dissolve dirt, oil, cosmetics, and other foreign matter on the skin is essential. Harsh ingredients in some face washes can be irritating to the skin and may be harmful to the baby if absorbed into the bloodstream. Elta MD Foaming Facial Cleanser is one of the most effective options. It helps to balance the skin and reduce oiliness without causing irritation.

Vitamin C Serum: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Serums offer numerous ways to improve skin health. Vitamin C serums are recommended for most skincare routines to protect against the damaging effects of sun exposure. One of the best solutions is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. Vitamins C and E work together to protect against sun damage. Ferulic acid offers anti-inflammatory benefits to keep skin looking healthier and reduce the risk of flare-ups in chronic skin conditions.

Hydrating Serum: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

For skin dryness during pregnancy, consider adding a moisturizing serum to your routine. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel is one of our most recommended options. It offers an immediate boost of hydration to increase the benefits of daily moisturizer application.

Sunscreen: Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Shield SPF 50 & ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50 Tinted

Sunscreen is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important for expecting mothers whose skin is often more sensitive to sun damage, leading to the development of dark spots. Two of our favorite mineral sunscreens that are safe and effective for daily use are the Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-On Shield SPF 50 and ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50 Tinted. For the face, our dermatologists recommend Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-On Shield SPF 50. This easy-to-apply brush-on product can be used before or after cosmetics, and it’s quick and easy to reapply throughout the day. For other areas of exposed skin, try the ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50 Tinted. This lightweight sunscreen absorbs quickly, so it won’t clog pores or look cakey on the skin.

Moisturizer: Cicalfate Plus Restorative Protective Cream

If you’re dealing with dry skin related to pregnancy, Cicalfate Plus Restorative Protective Cream offers advanced hydration by deeply nourishing and hydrating the skin. It also heals the protective outer barrier of the skin and boosts the skin’s natural healing and repair processes.

Restorative Body Care: ALASTIN Skincare Restorative Body Collection

ALASTIN Skincare products were developed to help boost the results of dermatologic treatments and jumpstart the body’s natural healing processes. The ALASTIN Skincare Restorative Body Collection includes three of their flagship skincare products to heal and hydrate skin.

Hair Growth Activator: Nutrafol Growth Activator

For pregnancy-related hair thinning, it’s important to choose a safe product to encourage growth. Nutrafol Growth Activator is a unique blend of natural ingredients that alleviates environmental and internal factors that cause irritation, inflammation, hair loss, and thinning.

Niacinamide – A Safe Alternative to Retinoids

Retinoids or their over-the-counter alternative retinols are important skincare products that aid in maintaining even skin tone and texture, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and keeping skin healthy. However, retinoids and even retinols may not be safe for use during pregnancy. For this reason, your dermatologist may recommend niacinamide products as an alternative. While niacinamide delivers many of the same results possible with retinols, this ingredient is much gentler on the skin. Additionally, retinols are derived from vitamin A, which can harm the unborn baby. Niacinamide is derived from vitamin B, and it does not have the same associated risk.

Embrace Safe Skincare for a Radiant Pregnancy Glow

When it comes right down to it, a dermatologist will always recommend patients err on the side of caution when it comes to skincare products during pregnancy. Keeping skin healthy is important, but many skincare products contain ingredients that may not be safe during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Additionally, changes in hormone production make skin more sensitive throughout pregnancy. Explore the dermatologist-recommended products in this blog to create an effective skincare routine that will keep your skin glowing throughout pregnancy.

Learn More About Pregnancy-Safe Skincare

It’s always important to consult with a dermatologist before making changes to your skincare routine, but during pregnancy, it’s even more essential. Before adding any new skincare products, talk to your dermatologist. You may also want to consult with your OB/GYN who may have even greater insight into your overall health needs during the pregnancy. If you’re looking for more skincare tips and product recommendations, explore the Derm Skincare site and come back regularly to read our blog.