It’s a good time to be pregnant right now. Both Beyoncé and Amal Clooney are carrying twins, so if you’re currently expecting, you’re in great company. But as magical as this time in your life is, you may also be feeling a little confused as to what skin care products you should continue to use and what you should avoid during pregnancy. We break it down for you here.
I’m not a mom, but as an outsider looking in, the mommy world is fascinating. Recently I was served an ad for nipple balms after searching for a baby shower gift, and I’ve become familiar with lingo such as “pump and dump” and “push gifts” as my own friends start to have their own.
And while I can’t wait to have my own kids one day, I’m not looking forward to excess androgens running through my body that may produce a fresh crop of stretch marks, acne and pigmentation. Small price to pay for the gift of life, but hey, it doesn’t mean I have to be excited about it.
With all these changes happening to your skin during and after pregnancy, it really isn’t a surprise that many mommies reach out to us to ask what ingredients they should avoid when they look for their next beauty product. The frustrating part about this is that there isn’t a comprehensive list that clearly defines what ingredients to avoid. It’s the safest to always, always consult with your doctor for the final say because they really do know you best!
Amid all the controversies and mixed messages out there, I did my own deep-diving into studies, and had frank discussions with other estheticians and dermatologists to learn more about this topic. The general concensus is that Skin care products that are not prescribed by a doctor are generally safe to use during pregnancy or when nursing.
What are some ingredients that I should avoid?
Hydroquinone (a bleaching agent) and retinoids are two ingredients to avoid during pregnancy. There aren’t any conclusive studies that show it harms the fetus, but it’s safer to avoid because they are ingredients that absorb quickly and easily into the bloodstream.
What ingredients have a bad rap but are actually OK to use?
There have been multiple studies done on salicylic acid, glycolic acid, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide (commonly found in sun screens), and self-tanners, but there aren’t any that conclude that topical use of these ingredients result in harmful effects to a fetus or baby. In fact, only a minimal amount of these ingredients are able to be absorbed by skin—most of it is metabolized within the skin and excreted through urine.
In fact, regardless if you’re pregnant or not, you should always use sunscreen. If you’re nervous that SPF is going to be too strong on your skin, we suggest opting for a soothing and mild formula. The Goodal Mild Protect Watery Sun Cream is super lightweight and is chockfull of vitamins and antioxidants. And the COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream ‘s main ingredient is aloe, which is totally non-irritating and great for every kind of skin type.