Skincare for Expecting Mommies

Myth: You don’t have to change anything about your skincare routine when you’re pregnant. 

Fact: It’s best to be mindful of what ingredients and what treatments you engage in during your pregnancy (and breastfeeding), as some ingredients can affect your child.

Two lines. That is all it takes to send you into complete shock. 

Two lines. That is all it takes to change your life forever. 

Two lines. You will never be the same. 

Two lines. You’re pregnant.

It’s hard to believe that two lines on a silly stick carry so much weight, and what a precious weight it is… 

After the initial shock wears off, hopefully the happy tears will come…and eventually, you will be wondering, “Wait! What about my face?” Besides certain foods and beverages you will have to steer clear from, there will also be particular skincare products and treatments you will have to avoid. That may be a tough pill to swallow, but hey, it’s only for nine months (or longer if you chose to breastfeed). You can do anything for nine months. Also, what’s healthy for you is healthy for your little nugget, and that little nugget is depending on you to make safe, smart choices. Yes, there is such a thing as safe, smart skincare options for pregnant women! 


Below you will find information I have gathered through my own research and time serving my pregnant mommas, but this information is just the tip of the iceberg. I highly suggest speaking to your OB, Dermatologist and Pediatrician (after pregnancy) for further information pertaining to your individualized pregnancy. 

WHAT INGREDIENTS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY (and breastfeeding): 

Retinoids/ Retinols- Molecules found in these ingredients have shown to affect embryo development during the first trimester. Best to avoid both topical and oral uses of this ingredient. 

Botox and Fillers- There are no studies that provide sufficient information regarding the use of Botox and Fillers during pregnancy, thus I just don’t suggest it to my clients.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) - Which are glycolic acids in large doses are not safe.

Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) -What are salicylic acids are not safe. and Salicylic acid- Most products that have these ingredients in them will advertise as “anti-aging,” so be mindful of that phrase!

Benzoyl Peroxide- Only 5% of this ingredient is absorbed into the skin. Many OB and dermatologists deem it safe to use, but there have been other healthcare professionals that don’t recommend it due to lack of data.

Hydroquinone- The FDA reports that this ingredient should only be used if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Topical erythromycin- This is a topical anti-biotic that is used at times to treat acne. The FDA suggests that this be used only when the benefits outweigh the risk.

The sun- Stay out of it! It’s the only way to prevent hyperpigmentation, dark spots and discoloration. 

WHAT INGREDEINTS ARE SAFE DURING PREGNANCY: 

Azelaic acid- This ingredient can fight acne by killing bacteria found in pores and decreasing the body’s creation of keratin. It also can help decrease hyper-pigmentation.

Vitamin C- This is another ingredient that can be used instead of retinoids. Vitamin C can treat dark spots and general skin-tone issues. It is an antioxidant and boosts collagen.

Over the counter topical sulfur, zinc, niacinamide treatments-Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is said to reduce appearance of blemishes and congestion. 

Hyaluronic acid- Hydrates and plumps your skin. 

Glycolic (In low doses), lactic, malic and mandelic topical acids- Some doctors consider these acids to be low-risk and safe, whereas other doctors don’t recommend them. Thus, this is up to your discretion. 

PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids) - Are gentle exfoliators that resurface skin to enhance absorption while strengthening skin by providing hydration and antioxidant benefits.

Hydrating serums and Moisturizers- Just double check ingredients and make sure those listed in the AVOID list above are not present in the product.

SPF- Make sure your SPF is a mineral sunscreen (versus a chemical sunscreen). Mineral sunscreens have the following ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

WHAT TREATMENTS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY: 

Chemical peels- There are a couple reasons to avoid peels. One, your skin is going to be more sensitive during pregnancy and peels can be harsh. Two, most peels absorb into your blood stream, which is not good for your baby! Avoid peels that have the following ingredients: retinol, salicylic acid and trichloroacetic. 

Hydrafacials - These facials are avoided due to the “peel” that is normally incorporated into the facial. 

Lasers - BBL’s - Laser Hair Removal- No lasers are recommended during pregnancy because they have not been studied.

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE SAFE DURING PREGNANCY: 

Basic Facial - Keeping your skin healthy during pregnancy is important and having a great esthetician that uses safe ingredients for pregnancy can keep your skin healthy with facials during these months.

Dermaplaning - Is a great add-on to any facial to minimize unwanted facial hair and dry, damaged skin.

MY FAVORITE PRODUCTS FOR MY SOON-TO-BE MOMMAS: 

Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser  - Great for acne prone skin

Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser - Great for acne prone skin

Herbivore Bakuchiol  - Retinol Alternative

Herbivore Bakuchiol - Retinol Alternative

Anfisa Lilou Regenerating Balm  - Use code beautynurse10 for 10% of

Anfisa Lilou Regenerating Balm - Use code beautynurse10 for 10% of

As you can see, the AVOID list is longer than the SAFE list. It’s disappointing, I know, but don’t forget about all the other avenues of beauty. You may not be able to do a peel, but you CAN get a manicure or pedicure. You may not be able to laser your hair off, but you CAN get a massage. You may not be able to get a hydrafacial, but you CAN get a wonderful facial done.

I urge you to focus on what you CAN do and relish in the fact that you are making a safe, healthy choice for you and your baby. That’s true beauty. And if I know anything about beauty at all, it’s that it if it doesn’t start inside you—it won’t last. I’d even say it wouldn’t last nine months. 

I also offer online skincare consults for beauties who are unable to travel to see me in-clinic. Email me at info@thebeautynurse.net to find out more information on this.

Shine from within beauties. 

Shine on.