23 Pregnancy Safe Skin Care Essentials & Products

Get the best and safe pregnancy skin care essentials!

You know when you’re pregnant you need to take extra care with what you put into your body. Don’t take aspirin, don’t eat cold cuts or raw shellfish, and so on.

But what about your skin?

Skincare often is not on the top of OBs minds when checking your cervix, so be sure to bring it up if you have concerns.

Your skin is your largest organ in your body and what many people don’t realize is that what you put on your skin matters.

As an organ, your skin absorbs everything you put onto it and then it gets passed into the bloodstream. Thus, being passed onto your baby.

Don’t believe me, try this crazy little trick out for yourself. Take a cut clove of garlic and rub it on the bottom of your foot, after a while, you will actually taste and smell garlic even though you haven’t actually eaten it.

Here is a cool video explaining the science behind it.

So what does garlic have to do with skincare?

What you put onto your skin matters just as much as what you put into your mouth, especially when you are pregnant.

Nasty chemicals like parabens, formaldehyde, synthetic colors and fragrances, and propylene glycol might make the products look and smell nice but they are highly toxic.

Many of these ingredients have been linked to things like allergies, hormone disruption, and deven diseases.

Certainly not something you want to be exposing your unborn child to.

But before we get into the good stuff, let’s take a look at what you should be avoiding…

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Just like with the rest of your body, your skin can change drastically during your pregnancy. This is mostly due to hormonal changes that you go through during pregnancy. Many women experience dry skin, darkening skin, and a flair up in acne during those blissful 9 months.

Oftentimes mamas with pre existing skin conditions experience worsening symptoms.

While you might be experiencing a plethora of pesky skin conditions, you will likely have to change up your skincare routine anyhow.

Here’s a list of skincare ingredients you should be avoiding during pregnancy:

  • Retinoids – This inludes: Retin A, Accutane, and Vitamin A
  • High-dose salicylic acid
  • Hydroquinone
  • Chemical sunscreens
  • Phthalates
  • Parabens
  • Formaldehyde
  • All Hydroxy acids – including Alpha, Beta, and Poly
  • Hemp/CBD
  • Sunless tanners – including Dihydroxyacetone
  • Licorice root
  • Kojic acid
  • Prostaglandin analogues
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Laser therapy
  • Salicylates
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Tetracycline

Pregnancy Safe Skincare Ingredients


While it might seem like there is a ton of stuff you can’t use, what about the stuff you can use on your skin when you’re pregnant?

Here are a few pregnancy safe skincare ingredients and what they are generally used for.

1. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid along with azelaic acid can be safely used during pregnancy to brighten skin, reduce fine lines, and fight enhanced pigmentation.

2. Vitamins C, E, K, B3, and Green Tea

These ingredients are all useful for anti-aging and fighting wrinkles.

These vitamins all help to boost your immune system and fight off those nasty free radicals. Vitamin C is well known for maintaining collagen and protecting the skin’s vitality and brightening properties.

3. Zinc and Titanium Oxide

When searching for a pregnancy safe sunscreen, look for these ingredients. These mineral based sunscreens help to protect against harmful UV rays on both the face and the body.

4. Natural Moisturizing Ingredients

There’s no question that your skin can become drier during pregnancy, especially in the belly area.

Aside from drinking enough water to keep you and your baby hydrated, there are a number of natural moisturizers out there that can help prevent stretch marks and keep that pregnancy glow going.

These include coconut oil, cocoa butter, hyaluronic acid, and peptides.

As you can see, there are certainly more things to avoid during your pregnancy than are safe to use.

However, with a bit of research, you can put together a stellar skincare routine that will have you looking and feeling your best.

Skin-Care Brands Safe for Pregnancy

Thankfully companies realize the need for pregnancy-safe skincare.

With so many brands on the market to choose from, here are a couple that you can trust that everything they use is safe for pregnant mothers.

If you want to check if what you are currently using is safe, without having to haul your entire bathroom into the doctor’s office to ask, then check out this website.

You can type in a brand, product, or ingredient and it will come back with a safety rating and a ton of data.

Here’s a quick example for BeautyCounter’s All Bright Vitamin C Serum (click the link for the full in-depth overview of ingredients). You can even download the app for Apple  or Android for checking products around your house or on the go.

The Top Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products

A general skincare routine includes a few components (unless you have gone all in with the 10-step Korean skincare).

A well-balanced skincare routine includes a cleaner, toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen during the day. Then, of course, there is a whole-body moisturizer for keeping that belly well moisturized. Let’s take a look at our top picks for each of these.

1. Cleaner

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleaner

CeraVe is touted as the #1 dermatologist recommended skincare brand. Aside from water, the main ingredients here are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin. It’s a great product to use daily for normal to dry skin.

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2. Toner

Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner

Toners are great for feeling refreshed and helping to detoxify pores. This toner mist contains hyaluronic acid, aloe, and chamomile to refresh and hydrate the skin.

You can either spray directly onto your face or on a cotton pad and apply.

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3. Serum

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Skincare serums are often the most expensive part of a skincare routine. This Hyaluronic acid serum from The Ordinary is very affordable and does a fantastic job keeping dry skin at bay.

The unique aspect of this product is the three forms of hyaluronic acid at varying molecular weights.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? It’s able to penetrate your skin deeper than other products and visibly plumps the skin without drawing hydration out.

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4. Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream

Neutrogena has a great line of hydro boost products.

Customers say using this is like giving your face a big drink of water. It’s primary ingredient, hyaluronic acid, makes it pregnancy-safe and ultra-hydrating. It’s free from oils, dyes, and non-comedogenic substances.

It leaves your skin feeling hydrated without the greasy feeling that so many other moisturizers can leave behind. 

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5. Sunscreen

EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

This is an ideal daily sunscreen for both the face and the entire body. Water-resistant, it helps protect from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.

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6. Body Wash

Puracy Natural Body Wash

This plant-based body wash is free from toxic chemicals and hypoallergenic.

This body wash is great if you love that thick foam to feel squeaky clean. It is free of all of the nasty things like sulfates, dyes, and phthalates and has a bunch of good ingredients like coconut-based cleaners and plant-based skin softeners.

It comes in four different amazing scents, so you better just get one of each to find your favorite.

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7. Whole Body Moisturizers

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great whole-body moisturizer.

You can use it in your hair, on your face, and slathered all over your body.

One great way to use coconut oil without feeling oily or worrying about getting it all over your clothes, is to use it in the shower.

Put some coconut oil in a squirt bottle, warm it up in a cup of hot water while you are showering.

Then after you’re done, before you dry off, slather the melted coconut oil all over and then pat yourself dry (try not to get any on the shower floor, it’s VERY slippery!).

This will help to keep moisture locked in your skin all day.

Don’t forget to slather up your belly at night before you go to bed too (just make sure you wear an old shirt).

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Daily Skin Therapy Body Lotion

If you are looking for a lotion to use all over, every day, this is it!

Not only will it help to keep your skin moisturized all day long, it smells so good!

It’s 24-hour hydrating formula will help to keep dry skin at bay. It’s made with natural cocoa butter and enhanced with vitamin E to help improve skin imperfections, like stretch marks and scars.

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While it might take you a while to figure out the best skincare routine for you and your changing skin, hopefully our list of pregnancy safe skin care products has given you a good start.

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