Your skin may be glowing during pregnancy but it still needs TLC. That “glow” may come from all of the extra fluids in your body and you should keep drinking lots of water to keep your body hydrated especially during pregnancy. Your skin is stretching and going through changes like every other part of your body, and you may notice and want to treat dry skin, acne, or darkening spots. Finding the best pregnancy skincare products can make all the difference. Your skin also absorbs every product you put on it, so it’s just as important to check all of the ingredients in your skincare brands as it is to check the ingredients in the food you eat. When looking for pregnancy-safe skincare brands, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t putting any harmful chemicals on your skin that could enter your bloodstream and reach your developing baby.
According to dermatologist Dr. Orit Markowitz, any beta or alpha hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid), Retin-As, and retinol are unsafe for pregnancy and many serums like vitamin C have not been tested for pregnancy safety. A 2013 study concluded that systemic tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, and isotretinoin should not be used to treat acne during pregnancy. There is a whole list of potentially harmful ingredients that can be inconclusive and confusing, but one resource you can trust is the Environmental Working Group’s database called Skin Deep. Their online guide (also available as a mobile app) will give you easy-to-understand ratings for hundreds of products.
We’ve also rounded up six of the best pregnancy skincare products right here for you.
Minimize oil on your face with this tea tree foaming facial cleanser. This gentle foaming wash uses pharmaceutical-grade tea tree oil with no parabens, benzoyl peroxide, alpha-hydroxy, or salicylic acid. Instead, it uses natural emollients like shea and aloe and organic pomegranate, green tea, and acai berry. It’s recommended for use twice a day.
This moisturizing cream nourishes skin to leave it feeling soft with an orange scent. It uses Vitamin C, grapeseed oil, and chamomile for their anti-wrinkle and anti-aging elements to lock in moisture, increase collagen, and reduce dark spots. The chamomile keeps skin clear by unclogging pores. Tested as safe for pregnancy, this cream contains no synthetic fragrance, parabens, phthalates, or preservatives.
Protecting your skin from UV rays is even more important while pregnant. This SPF 30 pregnancy-safe sunscreen is good for sensitive skin and intended for facial use with its soothing rose extract and antioxidant-rich jojoba oil that won’t clog pores. The broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 oxybenzone-free sunblock protects against UV rays and blue light while providing the benefits of organic ingredients, and it’s also reef-friendly!
This hydrogel cream is not only Environmental Working Group certified but is also vegan, cruelty-free, and comes in tree-free packaging. It helps soften and firm skin and is made without parabens, silicones, petrolatum, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, or dyes. Infused with jojoba and squalane, it feels refreshing and cool when you put it on.
Use this non-greasy lotion all over your body to help your skin’s elasticity during pregnancy as you stretch to accommodate your growing baby. The natural cocoa butter, shea butter, natural oils, collagen, elastin, and lutein help allow the skin to stretch more easily without leaving stretch marks. By leaving your skin soft and hydrated, your skin will feel great whether or not stretch marks are a concern.
Another option for your belly during and after pregnancy is this naturally hydrating lotion made with cocoa shea and jojoba butter. It’s fragrance-free, non-irritating, and safely moisturizes your skin as it stretches. Formulated without phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS, this belly butter is safe for you to pamper yourself with during pregnancy.
It can be hard to tell exactly which ingredients to avoid during pregnancy because testing has not been thoroughly conclusive, but the natural products above can all help keep your skin radiant through pregnancy without the harsh chemicals. Remember to use non-chemical sunscreen and to keep pampering yourself any chance you get before giving birth!
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