Basic Pregnancy Skincare: Safe Products Anyone Can Use

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Basic Pregnancy Skincare via @15MinBeauty

Skincare during pregnancy isn't easy to get right. There are a lot of skin care ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy. Chances are that great night cream that you've used for years, the one that gives you glowy skin? Yeah, you probably can't use that. Or the miracle gel that erases your pimples almost overnight. Your new anti-aging serum definitely has ingredients you need to avoid as well.

I've written about skin care routine adjustments for pregnancy in the past. And yes, you'll need to make a lot of them while pregnant!

My general philosophy when it comes to pregnancy safe skincare is that you need to pare down to pregnancy safe basics. A simple routine that can work throughout your pregnancy. Because your hormones are going to be shifting all over the place causing fun issues like pimples, hyperpigmentation and dryness. And sometimes all at once! So, basic products you can use the entire time, then swap in treatments for that month's fun skin issue as you need.

I put together a few routines below, as of the date that I'm writing this (October 9, 2014), the ingredient lists on either the company's website or my own product that I purchased, was pregnancy friendly and met my criteria for pregnancy safe skincare. I've given you a few options when I could in each product category, so you should be able to just pick and chose products that you know work well for you or have features that you like. Don't forget that there are more options over in my list of Pregnancy Friendly Skincare Items.


Pregnancy Safe Drugstore Skincare Products via @15MinBeauty

Drugstore Routine

Cleanser
• Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (get it here)
• CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (get it here or here)
• Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser (get it here or here)

Daily Moisturizer
• CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion (get it here or here)
• Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Moisturizer (get it here or here)

Sunscreen
• Aveeno Active Naturals Natural Protection SPF 50 Lotion (get it here or here)
• La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid, SPF 50 (get it here or here)

Eye Cream
• Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Lifting & Firming Eye Cream (get it here or here)
• Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Eye Cream (get it here or here)
• Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 CC Eye Cream (get it here or here)

Night Cream
• Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Ageless Reconditioning Night Cream (get it here or here)
• Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream (get it here)
• Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Night Recovery Moisturizing Cream (get it here or here)


Basic Pregnancy Safe Skincare

Higher End Skincare Routine

Cleanser
• Eve Lom Cleanser (get it here or here)
• Algenist Purifying & Replenishing Cleanser (get it here)
• Philosophy Purity Made Simple (get it here or here)
• SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser (get it here, here or here)
• Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (get it here or here)

Daily Moisturizer
• Eve Lom TLC Radiance Cream (get it here, here or here)
• SK-II Essential Power Moisturising Cream (get it here or here)

Sunscreen
• Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 17 (get it here or here)
• Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ (get it here, here or here)

Eye Cream
• Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm (get it here or here)
• SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream (get it here or here)
• Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (get it here)

Night Cream
• Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer (get it here or here)
• Philosophy Miracle Worker Overnight Cream (get it here or here)
• Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Cream (get it here)


Pregnancy Safe Organic Skincare

Organic Skincare Routine

Cleanser
• Pangea Organics Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange Facial Cleanser (get it here)
• Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap (get it here)
• Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk (get it here or here)

Daily Moisturizer
• Pangea Organics Italian Red Mandarin With Rose Facial Cream (get it here)
• Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream (get it here)

Sunscreen
• Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer (get it here or here)
• Yes To Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 (get it here or here)

Eye Cream
• Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate (get it here or here)
• Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel (get it here or here)

Night Cream
• Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer (get it here or here)
• Yes to Cucumbers Calming Night Cream (get it here or here)


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44 comments

Morigirl said...

Hello Christine,

Thank you so much for the post on pregnancy safe ingredients and products. These are a life saver!

Just want to check on 2 masks if they are safe:
Queen Helene Mint Julepe - I think I saw somewhere on your post that you are using this during pregnancy? It contains sulfur so I am not so sure?
Other Ingredients
Aqua (water), kaolin, bentonite, glycerin, zinc oxide, propylene glycol, mentha viridis (spearmint) leaf oil, sulfur , methylparaben, phenoxyethanol, limonene, fragrance (parfum), chromium oxide greens (cl 77288)

Body Shop Tea Tree Mask - I am not sure if tea tree oil is a safe ingredients?
FULL INGREDIENTS
Water, Kaolin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Myristyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Alcohol Denat., Caprylyl Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Cyclohexasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Menthol, Limonene, Leptospermum Petersonii (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil, t-Butyl Alcohol, Denatonium Benzoate, Tocopherol, Chromium Hydroxide Green, Iron Oxides.

Christine Mikesell said...

Both of those are fine! Tea Tree oil is one of the few things you can use to fight acne in pregnancy. And yes, that Queen Helene mask is one I used a lot with my first pregnancy, unfortunately my skin was too sensitive with this one to use it, but the sulfur is fine unless you're allergic.

Morigril said...

Ah! Thank you for replying. Good to know that I can continue with my tea tree oil. Face have been breaking out!

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine,
Thanks so much for the informative site on skincare for pregnancy!!!
I just had a miscarriage and am looking for pregnancy safe skincare so that I can start off the next pregnancy in the right footing. Through the salesgirl's recommendations, I bought Kiehl's (1) Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, (2) Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner, and (3) Ultra Facial Cream. To my horror, some websites advise against using Calendula during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Can I seek your advice if I should use these 3 products that I bought?
Thanks so much!
Mandy

Christine Mikesell said...

I've never checked up on Calendula as I've never seen concerns about it, and I have to admit that I used that same face wash for the last half of my pregnancy. I did find this:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/235.html

Which is from the NIH. They caution against oral use because it is likely unsafe and say to avoid topical use because of that, though it seems to be mostly due to lack of evidence of anything? Hard to say. I do think it is a stretch to say that you should avoid high amounts of something and therefore the small amount that is much less likely to absorb (topically), especially when it is in something like a cleanser that you'll be rinsing off.... I don't know. I think it depends upon your level of anxiety about it. There isn't enough there for me to add it to my list of things to definitely avoid, but if you're worried about it, it is easy enough to pick a different cleanser and toner and sleep better at night if that makes sense. Otherwise I know the cleanser and the cream are pregnancy safe, though I haven't seen the ingredient list of the toner to be sure about it. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Christine, at least the cream is cleared for safe use!

veronica said...

Hi,I would like to know if the Italian Red Mandarin With Rose Facial by Pangea Organics its safe to use during pregnancy, because it has Citric Acid in the ingredients.
Also the Bearberry Brightener Moisturizing skin cream by novena maternity.
Thanks for your help, have an excellent day.

Christine Mikesell said...

I ignore Citric Acid now simply because it is usually used in such small amounts (just to adjust pH) that you could use any product for years and still absorb less Citric Acid than you would get by drinking 1 small glass of orange juice.

Jennie F. said...

Hi Christine, I was wondering if you have any recommendations for a nice BB cream with SPF while pregnant? I have normal/combination skin and I live in the midwest so our Winters are pretty dry. I'm looking for something that will moisturize and maybe hide some fine lines but not make me super greasy. Bare Minerals just came out with a new one called Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream but I wasn't sure about the ingredients since I'm pregnant. Here they are:

Active Ingredients: Titanium dioxide 6.2%
Inactive Ingredients: water, coconut alkanes, propanediol, squalane, trehalose, isostearic acid, glycerin, silica, agar, caprylic/capric triglyceride, globularia cordifolia callus culture extract, salicornia herbacea extract, melilotus officinalis extract, coco-caprylate/caprate, butylene glycol, lauroyl lysine, sodium hyaluronate, succinoglycan, polysorbate 60, cellulose gum, polyglyceryl-4 laurate/succinate, sorbitan sesquiisostearate, magnesium stearate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol. may contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides.

Any other recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks for your input :)

Christine Mikesell said...

This one looks fine to me!
I was using the NARS Tinted Moisturizer, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or Pond's Luminous BB Cream while pregnant. :D

Nlai said...

My apologies I don't think my post had sent. I wanted to ask your feedback on neutrogenas alcohol free toner. I'm 5 months pregnant and have been using this for the last 3 weeks. I had severe breakout during pregnancy and this seemed to help. Hoping you may advise if these ingredients are harmful. I have stopped using it now. Ingredients: Purified Water, PEG-4, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Ceteth-24, Choleth-24, Panthenol, Glycereth-26, Sodium PCA, Benzalkonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Chloride, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance

Christine Mikesell said...

That seems fine!

Nlai said...

The ingredient "fragrance" is concerning me.. As its not defined in neutrogenas alcohol free toner- do you have any input on this? I'm worried that I may have done something harmful and cannot rest my mind..

Christine Mikesell said...

There are a lot of fragrances, none of them known to be an issue. If it bothers you I would switch to a different product.

Anonymous said...

After i read your great selection of creams Inwas going to buy the Eve Lom TLC cream but it does have Vitamin A which is supposed to be avoided right? What do you think? Also i've been using skii toner and the new eye cream because the one you posted is not available anymore do you think they are safe to use?

Christine Mikesell said...

The Vitamin A in that Eve Lom product is in the form of Beta Carotene, which is considered safe during pregnancy. It's the retinoid versions of Vitamin A that are not safe.
There are so many different versions of the SKII products world wide that I can't comment without seeing an ingredient list.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been using Belli brand facial hydrator as my daily moisturizer and I'm concerned it contains chamomile. I know this brand is specifically made for pregnancy but I've read some concerning things about chamomile and wanted your opinion.

Christine Mikesell said...

I don't know of any issues with Chamomile. The amount that you'd be exposed to through a moisturizer (and then able to absorb) is quite a bit lower than from, say, tea. And my OB was totally fine with it in tea, it was even on some of our handouts as being recommended. I was unable to find anything concerning about it in my searching.

Cc said...

What about the skii face masks? Are they safe during breast feeding? Thanks

Christine Mikesell said...

Only 2 of their masks are ok, the 3D Redefining and Brightening Source Derm Revival

Stephanie said...

Dear Christine,

Thank you tremendously for all the information and work you have put into this site :) A quick question about the Kiehl's creamy avocado eye treatment that appears above as pregnancy friendly. I've been using this product for years, and I love it. I continued using it since becoming pregnant (I'm 16 weeks now), and was surprised to see Isodecyl Salicylate as 4th on the ingredient list. I am now a bit concerned about having used it into my pregnancy -- what are your thoughts? Thank you, Stephanie.

Christine Mikesell said...

That may have been a reformulation? I have 2 jars of it in my bathroom and neither of them have it, one I bought just about 2 months ago.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for your quick reply Christine. That is indeed strange but I double checked and that is indeed the ingredient. It also appears here: http://www.paulaschoice.com/beautypedia-skin-care-reviews/by-brand/kiehls/_/Creamy-Eye-Treatment-with-Avocado. Anyhow, I have now stopped using it but continue to feel concerned as I used it up until now. Can I take any comfort in the fact that I used such tiny amounts (albeit on a daily basis)? Thanks again.

Christine Mikesell said...

It makes me wonder if I have an older version or something! I don't think you have anything to worry about. The reason we say not to use it is because they can go through a series of transformations and close the DA. Which isn't even present yet at this stage. :D And yes, it is very small amounts, if it even manages to get absorbed. I wouldn't worry about it at all!

Stephanie said...

Thanks again Christine. Excuse my ignorance, but what do you mean by 'closing the DA'? :)

Christine Mikesell said...

Sorry, it closes the ductus arteriosus, a vessel that needs to be open while a baby is in utero, but that closes after birth. At this point your baby doesn't have one yet, so I wouldn't worry about it! And it won't stick around to do that. Really, the over all amount is so small (and it isn't quite the right chemical to have that action anyways) that I wouldn't worry about it!

Stephanie said...

Ok, I see. Thanks for the explanation and thank you very much for taking the time to help complete strangers like me!

Angel San said...

Hi, I would love your thoughts on the safety of the following two products, when you have time. I am currently going through IVF. I really appreciate your time and help!

SK II Facial Essence Treatment:
Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate**, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Aqua (Water/ Eau), Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid.


SK II Essential Power Essence:
Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate***, Niacinamide, Butylene Gycol, Dimenthicone, Pentylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Propylene Glycol, Tropaeolum Majus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero) Root Extract/Acanthopanax Senticosus Root Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract/Cynara Scolymus Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyacrylamide, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethiconol, Laureth-4, Laureth-7, Disoium EDTA, PEG-4 Dilaurate, PEG-4, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Iodopropynl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance (Parfum), Limonene, Linalool. ***Pitera®

Christine Mikesell said...

Both of those lists look ok to me!

Kyla Delong said...

Hi, I was wondering your thoughts on Elizabeth Arden Ceramide while breastfeeding, ingredients are dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, squalene, cyclohexasiloxane, isotearic acid, ceramide 1, ceramide 6 II, borago officinalis seed oil, retinyl linoeate, retinyl palmitate, tocopherol, hexadecanolactone. Thank you so much!

Christine Mikesell said...

The retinyl palmitate makes it a product to avoid.

Anonymous said...

Hello Christine,
I am also expecting (first trimester), and i am using the New SK-II RNA (Radical new Age) which is set to replace its predecessor "essential power". I dont have the ingredient list, but i was able to locate the ones on COSDNA (http://www.cosdna.com/eng/product.php?q=SK-II+RNA). Would you kindly let m eknow if there are any Big No-nos on this list?

Best,
Amy

Pitera, Butylene Glycol, Glycerine, Niacinamide,Pentylene Glycol,Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Isopropyl Isostearate,Dimethicone,Xylitol,Squalane,VINYL DIMETHICONE/METHICONE SILSESQUIOXANE CROSSPOLYMER, Boron nitride, Panthenol, PEG-20 SORBITAN COCOATE,Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone/
Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer,Dipentaerythrityl Tri-Polyhydroxystearate,PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Aminomethyl propanol, Carob Fruit Extract, Laureth-7, Methylparaben, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate,
Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Acanthopanax Senticosus Root Extract'
Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrolyzed soy protein,Cynara Scolymus Leaf Extract,Polyquaternium-7,Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein,Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4,Methylsilanol tri-peg-8 glyceryl cocoate,Methicone,Titanium Dioxide,CI 77492,Water,Polymethylsilsequloxane,

Christine Mikesell said...

I don't see anything on that list that's an issue, though is it complete? It ends in a comma.

Anonymous said...

Hi christine,I am planning to get pregnant again,and I just want to ask Abt that ALGENIST WITH ALGORONIC ACID,is that acid safe to use while pregnant,bcos I heard that acid is not good in pregnancy...anyway thank you for this post bcos it's a big help...Happy new year _Dani

Christine said...

Not all acids are alpha or beta hydroxy acids, and this one isn't. It's actually a bunch of sugars that are made by algae, Algenist has given them that name. Should be safe!

eatingnposting said...

Hi, Christine
I was searching for safe skincare products to use during pregnancy and found your blog. Thanks for your sharing. I have two questions and hope you will help me.
1/ I am considering in buying the Ren Evercalm Cleansing Milk and Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser. I do not know if these products are safe to use while pregnant or not. Could you please help me?
2/ I do not know whats unscreen is safe to use. Could you please give any suggestion of a product or brand?
Many thanks.

Christine said...

So, the Ren is fine for pregnancy, the Tata Harper has Willow Bark Extract, which has low levels of salicylates and should be avoided.
I'll have to work on a pregnancy safe sunscreen post. Most formulas change yearly, and I don't think I've looked at that for a while!

katherine kelleher said...

Is the hylaronic acid in the juice beauty nutrient moisturizer safe during pregnancy? I have seen mixed reviews

Christine said...

Hyaluronic Acid isn't really an "acid" like it sounds. It's a slight variation of sodium hyaluronate, something found in large amounts already in our bodies. It's also a very, very large molecule and your body can't absorb it, it sits on the surface of the skin and holds moisture there. It's definitely safe in pregnancy and nursing!

Mitzi said...

Hi, I'm breastfeeding my 8 month old daughter, is it safe to use Olay total effects 7 in 1 day cream? My daughter's pedia told me not to use any skin care product that has retinol. Hoping for your response :-) thanks :-)

Christine said...

It's fine while you're nursing, not while pregnant.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that someone copied and pasted your post into their own blog and did not credit you: http://www.daintyfemme.com/safe-skin-care-pregnancy/. Some of the products they listed are different from what you listed.

Christine said...

Thank you!

Christine said...

FYI, I'm closing the comments to this post because I've gotten a lot of partial ingredient list questions from readers about safety. You can email me directly (with full ingredient list please, I simply don't have time to hunt down the list for the exact product you're asking me about, remember, I'm doing you a favor!)

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