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Pregnancy Safe Skincare from PCA Skin

Pregnancy Safe Skincare from PCA Skin

Pregnancy safe skincare can be super difficult and confusing. I have an entire guide devoted to what products are safe to use while pregnant including information on what ingredients to avoid while pregnant and a huge list of pregnancy safe skincare products. The list has gotten so large that I’ve decided to start listing brands in their own individual posts.

Here you’ll find pregnancy safe products from PCA Skin as of 8/19/2019. If it is not safe, I’ll tell you why. All of the products meet my pregnancy safe criteria. If they release a new product that is not listed here, please comment below and I will add it. Note I will link to every product directly to avoid confusion. You’ll know exactly which product I mean.

Please note, it can take up to an hour to review the ingredient lists of each product. I review with my own list of pregnancy safe criteria. I obtain my ingredient lists from the brands and major retailers (typically Nordstrom and Sephora), and I review the US versions. Please do not ask me to re-review the same products over and over, I do not have the time to do so, and many people have been rude about this. For more brands, please head over to the list of pregnancy safe products.

Pregnancy Safe Products from PCA Skin

Anti-Redness Serum
Apres Peel Hydrating Balm
C&E Advanced with Hexylresorcinol and Silymarin
Collagen Hydrator
C-Quench Antioxidant Serum
Creamy Cleanser
Daily Cleansing Bar
Daily Exfoliant
Detoxifying Mask
Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
Hyaluronic Acid Lip Booster
Hydrating Mask
Hydrating Toner
Ideal Complex Restorative Eye Cream
Ideal Complex Revitalizing Eye Gel
Nutrient Toner
Peptide Lip Therapy
Pore Minimizer Skin Mattifying Gel
Revitalizing Mask
Silkcoat Balm
Smoothing Toner
Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

Not Safe for Pregnancy, Ok for Nursing

Acne Gel: Licorice Root, Salicylic Acid
Blemish Control Bar: Salicylic Acid
Body Therapy: Gluconolactone
BPO 5 Percent Cleanser: Benzoyl Peroxide, Gluconolactone
Dry Skin Relief Bar: Salicylic
ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum: Gluconolactone, Licorice Root
EyeXcellence: Licorice Root
Facial Wash for Oily-Problem Skin: Gluconolactone
Facial Wash: Willow Bark (Salicylate)
Hydrating Serum: Gluconolactone
Hydrator Plus Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Chemical Sunscreen
Perfecting Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Chemical Sunscreen, Licorice Root
Pore Refining Treatment: Mandelic Acid
Protecting Hydrator Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Chemical Sunscreens
Rejuvenating Serum: Gluconolactone
Sheer Tint Body Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – Universal Tint: Salicylate
Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45: Salicylate
Sheer Tint Eye Triple Complex Broad Spectrum SPF 30: Salicylate
Total Wash Face and Body Cleanser: Licorice Root
Total Strength Serum: Gluconolactone
Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45: Chemical Sunscreen

Not Safe for Pregnancy or Nursing

Note I’m including products with retinoids here, as those are a bit iffy. It depends on how conservative you want to be while nursing (still absolutely contraindicated while pregnant). Refer to my post on ingredients to avoid while nursing for more discussion.

There isn’t info out there on the safety of Cannabis used topically during pregnancy or nursing. We do know smoking marijuana with THC has bad effects and should be avoided, though it hasn’t been fully decided if it is just the THC or something else as well.
Note that in theory Hemp and CBD do not have THC in them, it’s breed out of the plant is the official status. However, depending upon how it was processed many CBD oils will test positive for THC. But there are still the unknowns we haven’t decided about. I would not recommend using Hemp or Cannabis products while nursing or pregnant for that reason.

A&C Synergy Serum: Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Licorice Root, Retinoid
Acne Cream: Retinoid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Gluconolactone
C&E Strength: Retinoid
C&E Strength Max: Retinoid
Clearskin: Retinoid
HydraLuxe: Retinoid
Intensive Age Refining Treatment 0.5% Pure Retinol Night: Retinoid
Intensive Brightening Treatment: 0.5% Pure Retinol Night: Retinoid
Intensive Clarity Treatment 0.5% Pure Retinol Night: Bakuchiol (I’m treating this ingredient like a retinoid), Retinoid, Salicylic Acid, Licorice Root
Perfecting Neck and Decollete: Retinoid, Licorice Root
Pigment Bar: Kojic Acid
Pigment Gel: Kojic Acid, Hydroquinione
Pigment Gel HQ Free: Kojic Acid
Purifying Mask: Retinoid
Retinol Renewal: Retinoid
Retinol Treatment for Sensitive Skin: Retinoid

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 8.27.19
    jennifer d said:

    Curious why you have the Pigment Bar under not safe for pregnancy or nursing. I keep seeing articles from various skincare companies and bloggers that Kojic Acid is very safe to use during pregnancy.

    • 8.27.19
      15mins said:

      I have more information about specific ingredients in my ingredients to avoid during pregnancy, but as Kojic Acid works very similarly to hydroquinone, all the dermatologists and OBs I have spoken with feel that it should be treated like hydroquinone and avoided during both pregnancy and nursing.

      Note, companies have a different take on ingredients during pregnancy. Some will view everything as a liability and say to avoid everything, but others just want to sell you thinks and will state that everything is safe, when clearly not everything is. As a physician, I discuss with other physicians, read the literature, etc. There isn’t much out there specifically on Kojic Acid, but that doesn’t mean that it is safe. We know that it has a similar mechanism of action to Hydroquinone and we know it is absorbed. There’s a theoretical risk there that we can never really study, as the needed studies would be unethical to perform. Instead it is easier to tell people to avoid use during this time. If you really need to treat hyperpigmentation, you can do so with vitamin C, which is pregnancy safe.

      • 8.27.19
        Jennifer D said:

        Got it! And what about Niacinamide?

        • 8.27.19
          15mins said:

          That’s also fine for pregnancy and nursing

  2. 9.21.19
    Stephanie Thomas said:

    Is the Daily Cleansing Oil safe?


    Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Isopropyl Isostearate, Tocopherol, Fragrance, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Glycerin, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Triethyl Citrate, Cornus Ofcinalis Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis Fruit Extract, Dipteryx Odorata Seed Extract, Gardenia Jasminoides Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Communis (Pear) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract.

    • 9.21.19
      15mins said:

      Sorry, this has a retinoid. Avoid it during pregnancy for sure and while nursing if you are conservative.

  3. 11.20.19
    Nika said:

    Just wanted to double check the Collagen Hydrator because it has Alkyl Benzoate and I wanted to make sure that had nothing to do with Benzoyl Peroxide! Here is the full list of ingredients:

    Shea butter – softens the skin and maintains moisture without greasiness.
    Sweet almond fruit extract – adds a smoothing film to the skin that firms while infusing nutritive benefits.
    Olive fruit oil – a rich source of powerful antioxidants to protect the skin.

    Water/Aqua/Eau, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Butryrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycol Distearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Tocopherol, Xanathan Gum, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium EDTA

    • 11.20.19
      15mins said:

      Nope, it’s fine 🙂

  4. 3.24.20
    Nika said:

    What’s the issue with gluconolactone? I can’t find much about it, but have read that it’s safer than bother salicylic and glycolic acid?

    • 3.25.20
      15mins said:

      It’s a polyhydroxy acid, so similar to an AHA/BHA but it penetrates further into the skin and likely is more absorbed systemically. It’s thought to be less irritating so likely the source of the “safer” online, but there’s no info regarding pregnancy safety.

  5. 4.3.20
    Christina said:

    Hi! I didn’t see anything about Dual Action Redness Relief serum. Is it safe? Thank you for your time!

    Water/Aqua/Eau, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Glycerin, PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Tapioca Starch Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethyl Sulfone, Pentylene Glycol, Polysilicone-11, Panthenol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, PEG-23 Glyceryl Distearate, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Ceramide NP, Xanthan Gum, Chlorphenesin, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Sodium Citrate, Trideceth-6, Disodium EDTA, Decyl Glucoside, Aminomethyl Propanol.

    • 4.3.20
      15mins said:

      Looks ok!

  6. 4.16.20
    Steph said:

    How about their Resveratrol Restorative Complex?

    Water, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polysilicone-11, Dimethyl Sulfone, Silica, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hexylresorcinol, Resveratrol, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Tocopherol, Terminalia Chebula Fruit Extract, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Citrate, Chlorphenesin, Propyl Gallate, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Coenochloris Signiensis Extract, Lecithin

    • 4.16.20
      15mins said:

      Looks ok

      • 8.6.20
        Stephanie said:

        Thank you for creating this.. I was trying to search by ingredients and got super confused lol. I have oily acne prone skin and have been using the PCA facial wash and clear skin moisturizer. Do you have any advice on what PCA products would work best and are safe for me? Thanks so much!

        • 8.6.20
          Christine said:

          I would likely use something gentle like the Daily Cleansing Bar, add in the Skin Revitalizing Mask a few times a week, and Pore Minimizer Skin Mattifying Gel if you’re really shiny. ReBalance is great for night, but I’m not sure if it would be too hydrating during the day? The problem with oily skin is that sometimes it is actually dried out skin, and the skin is ramping up oil production in an effort to improve hydration.