Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Ingredients

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Pregnancy already brings up so many things that you “shouldn’t” do and that includes adjusting your daily skincare routine. As a licensed esthetician who is trained on the skin, I’m here to share pregnancy-safe skincare ingredients that are also safe for postpartum nursing.

There are a few common skin concerns that arise with the hormonal changes involved in pregnancy. The most common include acne, melasma and dryness. Since you should be careful which active ingredients you use, it can be trickier to treat these conditions while pregnant.

What Are Safe Skincare Ingredients to Use During Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Nursing?

Exfoliating Acids: Focus on using products with nourishing ingredients like antioxidants and safe actives like lower concentrations of AHA’s.

You may not be able to use your tried-and-true products during pregnancy, even when you feel you need them most like dealing with hyperpigmentation, acne or working to treat signs of aging. This doesn’t mean you can’t find alternative products that are safe for pregnancy and will help with your concerns. Exfoliating acids like glycolic, azelaic and lactic acids are safe in lower concentrations (i.e.. less than 10% glycolic acid) found in over the counter and most professional grade skincare products. These exfoliating acids will not only help to treat and prevent breakouts but can help to lighten hyperpigmentation and resurface the skin to prevent signs of aging from forming. 

Antioxidants: Use ingredients that promote youth within the skin.

Although you can’t use all ingredients that are great for preventing aging in the skin while pregnant, you can still use antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants provide protection from the number one cause of skin damage, which is sun exposure. They also treat current signs of aging and strengthen the skins defense against damaging free radicals. Vitamin C can be a powerful tool to include in your pregnancy skincare routine, especially if you are dealing with hyperpigmentation or melasma. It inhibits the production of pigment known as melanogenesis. 

Hydrate and Moisturize: Be sure that your moisturizer balances your skin.

It is common to experience oil production changes in the skin while pregnant. You may need to revamp your moisturizing products to rebalance your skin during this time. Oil production can either increase or decrease during this time and the moisturizer you used previously may no longer do the trick. If you are experiencing dryness during your pregnancy you may need to find a heavier moisturizer; look for ingredients like glycerin and ceramides. On the other hand, if you begin to feel oilier you can swap out your moisturizer for a hyaluronic acid serum instead. Be mindful of your skincare ingredients if you are struggling with acne. It is best to avoid moisturizers with oils. Read more about acne here Skincare Tips for Acne-Prone Skin.

Protect Your Skin With SPF: Be extra diligent with protecting your skin from the sun during these times.

Hormones during pregnancy and postpartum are of course fluctuating and this can lead to hyper-pigmentation issues being more likely, like melasma; a common darkening of the skin in certain areas of the face; thought to be caused by hormone fluctuations.  And learn more about alternatives to hydroquinone to treat melasma. Sun exposure darkens hyperpigmentation further, so being diligent with your sun protection is crucial. Also keep in mind that SPF is the best defense you have against signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. It is best to use a mineral sunblock with the active ingredients, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide while pregnant or nursing. 

Review what skincare ingredients you should avoid while either pregnant or nursing. As an esthetician it is only fair that I share with you the ingredients that can be beneficial during these times as well. 

Consult with a Pomp Esthetician like myself, to be sure your products are both safe and effective for your skin during your pregnancy and always! 

Nicole Hatfield
NBC HWC & Certified Esthetician, Founder of Radiant Beings Wellness & Beauty Coaching