Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it's inevitable for pregnant women to sometimes feel conscious about the changes that their body goes through during this ultra-sensitive time. After all, it takes a lot of energy to grow and nourish a human being inside of you. Your hormones get thrown off and it could affect your appearance, including your skin. But before you start your pregnancy skincare routine to address these concerns, a fair warning: You should rethink the products that you’re planning on using.
ICYDK, some skincare products might not be safe when you’re pregnant. So before you slather on your usual faves, make sure they don't have these four ingredients in them—oh, and scroll ‘till the end for a list of pregnancy-safe beauty products you need to add to cart!
4 Beauty Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid
At the top of the list are retinoids. Retinoids, such as retinol, Retin-A (a.k.a. Tretinoin or retinoic acid), and isotretinoin, have been all the rage because of their powerful anti-aging abilities. That said, pregnant women are often advised to avoid retinoids given the possible congenital irregularities that high doses of retinoids can cause to fetuses. While gentle retinol products are fine to use, Retin-A and isotretinoin (which are more intense) have both been labeled by the American Academy of Dermatology Association as unsafe for pregnant women.
2. Chemical Sunscreens
Oxybenzone and octinoxate are some of the ingredients commonly found in chemical sunscreens, and they’re also the ingredients pregnant women should avoid. These ingredients get absorbed into the bloodstream and have shown the potential to affect hormones in animal studies. Further studies are still being conducted about the other ingredients commonly found in chemical sunscreens, but as a general rule of thumb, it’s best to just avoid them if you’re pregnant.
3. Salicylic Acid
Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can lead to acne. Salicylic acid is one of the best-known anti-acne products. It’s great for exfoliating and smoothening, so most people with oily and acne-prone skin usually find themselves reaching for products containing salicylic acid. However, pregnant women should steer clear of any products containing more than 2% salicylic acid.
Hyperpigmentation is common during pregnancies and it often goes away a month after giving birth. But if you feel the need to treat it while you’re pregnant, avoid whitening products that contain hydroquinone. There are no known adverse effects of hydroquinone on fetuses as further studies are still being conducted, but its high absorption rate is enough reason to avoid using it while pregnant.
Now that you know what ingredients to avoid. We've listed down some pregnancy-safe skincare alternatives you should try:
SHOP: Pregnancy-Safe Beauty Products to Shop
1. For anti-aging: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Glycolic acid has the same anti-aging effects as retinol without being as intense, and it’s pregnancy-safe!
Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, P690, THE ORDINARY, Sephora
2. For sunscreen: Supergoop Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 50 PA++++
Unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb into your skin, physical sunscreens such as this one from Supergoop sit atop the skin's surface and act as a shield. It also helps that it's "clean," which means it doesn't contain any synthetic ingredients.
Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 50 PA++++ 45ml, P2500, SUPERGOOP!, Sephora
3. For anti-acne: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle enough to avoid irritations while still getting rid of oils, dirt, and bacteria on the face.
Gentle Skin Cleanser 473ml, P912, CETAPHIL, Watsons
4. For hyperpigmentation: Nivea Extra White Smooth and Firm Body Lotion
To whiten any hyperpigmentation, the Nivea Extra White Smooth and Firm Body Lotion is a pregnancy-safe whitening treatment that doesn’t contain hydroquinone.
Extra White Smooth and Firm Body Lotion 400ml, P397, NIVEA, Watsons