Skin Care Products for Pregnant Women

Everything changes once you find out that you are pregnant, from physical, mental to our emotions. With all of the hormonal changes in our body, our physical appearances change – not just how big we get, but the same thing goes with our skin. Some are good, while others are, well, not what we’re used to. Sometimes, it can be horrifying looking at the mirror that it is possible not to recognize yourself anymore. Fortunately, there are skin care products for pregnant women which are safe to use.

In this article, we will share our findings after long research for the new moms to stay beautiful throughout their pregnancy journey. We shall choose the skin care products for pregnant women with cautious because whatever that apply onto our skin will be absorbed into our body and could affect our growing baby.

We will help the expecting moms by listing of ingredients in the skin care products that we shall avoid and list of recommended product brands which contain less harmful ingredients and there are safe to use for pregnant women.

The good news is, you can still keep that mom-to-be glow while protecting your baby during pregnancy with the following essentials:

Skin Care Products for Pregnant Women

Skin Changes to Your Skin During Pregnancy

Indeed, some ladies get nine months of skin perfection during pregnancy. The rest of us aren’t so lucky. Some get more pregnancy-related skin changes, and hormones are to blame! This includes having :

  • drier skin
  • darkening skin
  • acne

If you have any pre-existing skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, expect to have some changes in your skin too. It can be for the better or for worse. Other unpleasant body changes are getting stretch marks, hair loss, and spider veins.

This is the time to adjust your expectations because it is easy to get moody after seeing a stranger in the mirror. Be kind to yourself, relax and understand that this will only last for nine months.

Avoid These Skin/Personal Care Ingredients During Pregnancy

Before we get into our recommended list of skin care products for pregnant women, let us talk about what you should be avoiding first. Some over-the-counter products and cosmetics include ingredients (example from animals) that can affect us and our growing baby.

Even if the FDA requires cosmetic products to be safe, it does not need any FDA approval to sell these products in the market. Thus, it will be up to us to examine carefully what we purchase. Here are the ingredients you should avoid during pregnancy:


Vitamin A is essential for us to have better immune, skin, eye, and reproductive systems. However, when we consume vitamin A through our skin, the body converts it to retinol. This is what a lot of anti-aging skincare products use, particularly a type of retinol called retinoids.

Retinoids help reverse acne and reduce fine lines by exfoliating the skin faster and boosting collagen production. There are different topical retinoids available today and they come from gel, liquid and cream form. There are

  • retinols
  • tretinoin
  • adapalene
  • tazarotene
  • alitretinoin
  • bexarotene

Although over-the-counter products usually have lower retinoids, some cases show having higher doses of it can affect birth defects. It should never be used during pregnancy to treat :

  • fine wrinkles
  • hyperpigmentation
  • skin roughness

Always consult your doctor before you use, they will have to evaluate the benefits of using this ingredient to the mother out weights the risks to the fetus.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid

These are common ingredients to treat acne with their inflammatory capabilities. Some products contain combination of these acids to treat acne problem and try to avoid them. Be cautious when you buy over-the-counter acne treatment cream that contains these ingredients during pregnancy. If you still need a good anti acne cream, look for only one of these ingredients (not combination).

According to study, single ingredient with low dosage and their low absorption rate will not pose any risk to developing fetus but It is always a best practice to consult obstetrician or dermatologist before use.


This helps to lighten skin pigmentation that occurs from melasma or chloasma, brown patches developed during the second and third trimester of pregnancy that usually appear on the face and neck. There is limited study that shows hydroquinone can affect our growing baby but since it has high absorption rate into our body than other ingredients, it is best to minimize exposure until we are confident it is safe to use during pregnancy. And again, consult obstetrician or dermatologist before use.


Phthalates can be found in many cosmetic and personal care products. It is a kind of solvent and plasticizers that can be found in nail polishers, hair spray, fragrance, body lotion and body cream. Usually, in the product label, there will be ingredient stated as “Phthalates”,”DEP”,”DBP”,”DEHP”, & “fragrance”. To be safe, try search for products that are fragrance-free.

There were serious studies on exposure to this ingredient that seriously affect human reproductive system and hormone disruption.


Paraben is widely used as a preservative as it has antibacterial and anti fungicidal properties, can prolong the shelve life of the products. These 4 are the common paraben used:

  • Ethyl-paraben (EP)
  • Butyl-paraben (BP)
  • Methyl-paraben (MP)
  • Propyl-paraben (PP)

It can be found in cosmetic, moisturizers, body cream, and hair care products. Studies have shown, the use of paraben may cause genital organ abnormalities if male fetus, recurrent miscarriage & low birth weight babies.


Formaldehyde is sometimes used as a preservative in nail polishers, nail glue, shampoo, soap, lotion, colour cosmetic & hair product. Some countries have banned formaldehyde as preservatives like Japan, and some countries like Malaysia has put on a safe limit of dosage in personal care products.

Formaldehyde has been linked to human known carcinogen. It is a type of gas that is released and absorb into our body while using the product contain such ingredient. Therefore, it can affect our growing baby during our pregnancy if we are exposed.

Avoid using the products that contain this ingredient. Look for the product label that stated formaldehyde or other formaldehyde releasing preservatives (FRP) such as :

  • quaternium-15
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • imidazolidinyl urea
  • diazolidinyl urea
  • polyoxymethylene urea
  • sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)
  • glyoxal

It is best not to use expired cosmetic products, or they have exposed to sun, as formaldehyde can be released more due to this reason.

Chemical Sunscreens

Hitting the beach? You may want to check your sunscreen. Yes, it is proven effective for skin protection, but the endocrine-disrupting chemicals known as homosalate, avobenzone, oxybenzone can disrupt hormones and may have effect on baby birth weight.

Choose mineral sunscreen over chemical sunscreen which contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide are safe and effective too.

Skin Care Products for Pregnant Women

There are other alternatives to taking care of our skin. You may want to try other pregnancy-safe antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B3, and green tea.

For dry skin, drink plenty of water and apply moisturizing products with cocoa butter and coconut oil. While you want to avoid stretch marks, make sure to use moisturizing products to help your skin stretch naturally.

Here are our recommended skincare products safe for pregnant women:

Belli Skincare

The brand source high-quality plant-based ingredients that allow the body to process organically. Belli Skincare products are free from harmful effects and artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, gluten, and other preservatives.

Check out their website on Amazon

Earth Mama Organics

Founded in 2002 by a nurse and herbalist, Earth mama Organics has grown into a brand trusted by mamas and their families all around the world. Their products are formulated with effective organic ingredients that safely support pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Check out their website on Amazon

Erbaviva Organic Skincare

The brand is committed to crafting organic products from herbs and botanicals free from harsh detergents and fragrances since its debut in 1996. Their products range from belly butter, stretch mark oil to foot balm.

Check out their website on Amazon

The Spoiled Mama

The collection addresses the everyday needs of the pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding phase. The Spoiled Mama avoids sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petroleum, nanoparticles, and many other ingredients unsafe for our little ones.


The brand has set the highest bar for safety when it comes to the beauty industry. BeautyCounter assesses every ingredient that goes to their products, and it says a lot about their prices.

Check them out from their website:

The ordinary

They have anti acne products that are safe for pregnant women that are free from retinoids. You may use their product with azelaic acid, topical sulfur, zinc & niacinamide to treat acne problem. They also have a good and affordable product for brightening black spots which has vitamin C serum that has retinoid effect and protect our skin from UV damage.

Before pregnancy, some of us may already have an existing skincare regiment, but this time, we have to apply certain changes. We have to compromise and change our ways to protect our little ones.

Many of us do not know the skin care products must be selected carefully during our pregnancy and they will be using the existing ones. I hope i give you enough insight about the ingredients that you need to watch out for and the list of product brands which are safe for pregnancy.

Related post “Stretch mark in pregnancy“, “Pregnancy survival kit

5 thoughts on “Skin Care Products for Pregnant Women”

  1. A very good text for pregnant women, future mothers, but also for the maternity partner.
    The author informs us nicely that pregnancy is a state of transformation of a woman when many changes occur, including the skin. Such skin requires increased attention and careful selection of preparations.
    In that spirit, the author warns against avoiding certain ingredients that are not good to use in that period and condition. Very instructive.
    Then he presents us with skincare products that a pregnant woman can use.
    Very important information indicates that the skin during pregnancy should be given special attention. Grateful for the text.


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