It probably is not a surprise that I get a lot of questions about pregnancy safe skincare and makeup. After all, I have a full guide to pregnancy safe skin care, and I am constantly reviewing ingredient lists of products to let my readers know if products are safe to use during pregnancy or not.
Recently there’s been a big increase in questions about pregnancy safe makeup, and what to worry about. Most of the emails and PMs about pregnancy safe makeup are from readers who sound very anxious about the ingredients in these products, much more so than readers asking about skincare, everyone wants to use the safest makeup during pregnancy. I felt that a full post addressing specific concerns was in order.
I’m not going to list pregnancy safe makeup products here, I will start individual posts (linked below and in my pregnancy safe skincare guide) to list some safe products. Please direct questions about specific products to those correct posts, I want to consolidate those questions to those posts so other readers can see what has already been asked about.
I feel as a physician I should mention that if you are feeling a lot of anxiety about your skincare or makeup while pregnant, you need to talk to your physician. I think you should talk about the products you’re worried about, but you really need to address the anxiety itself and consider treatment. Anxiety and depression go hand in hand, both can be debilitating, and having an increase in problems while pregnant can indicate an even higher risk for postpartum depression. Just because you are pregnant does not mean you should suck it up and press forward. In fact, it can (and should) be addressed and treated. I have had real concerns about some of the readers that write to me. If you think you fit into that description at all, please bring it up with your doctor.
Makeup vs Skincare
I want to point out that makeup is very different than skincare. Your skin’s primary job is to act as a barrier to the outside world. This is something that skincare companies need to formulate products to act against, and even then penetrating and getting active ingredients down into your skin can be difficult. Makeup is not formulated to be absorbed, it actually needs to do the exact opposite, it needs to stay on the surface of your skin and last all day being pretty. Keep that in mind when you’re concerned about your makeup.
Which Makeup to Worry About While Pregnant
Next, you need to think about the makeup you’re worrying about. Remember that skincare is made to absorb into your skin, but your mascara will only be on your lashes, which are made up of dead proteins. They’re not absorbing anything.
Don’t worry about:
This is very important, I will not screen these products for you because you don’t need to worry about them.
• Eyeliner: it’s mostly wax, your skin can’t absorb it. This is true of liquid, wax, cream…. all eyeliners. They are film formers, they concentrate their formulation on creating this product that sits there and looks exactly the same for many hours.
• Mascara: Your lashes are dead hair, the mascara is on this only and it can’t absorb anything. This also applies to the “serum” mascaras that promise to help your lashes grow longer. They’re really just a slightly more conditioning mascara, they still do not need to be screened.
• Powder products: they sit on the surface of the skin, this includes powder foundations, face powders, bronzers, highlighters, blushes, and eye shadows.
• Brow Products: Pretty much all formulations are fine. It’s a brow powder, a pencil like an eyeliner, or sometimes a mascara that goes on the brow hairs. The same arguments as above.
Check the label: I worry more about creams/liquids that are more likely to absorb into the skin. I would look at the labels of BB and CC Creams, Foundation Primers, foundation and concealer. I also check lip products, because even though a lipstick is pretty waxy and won’t absorb as much, you’ll be licking and ingesting your lip products.
Why Is It So Hard to List Pregnancy Safe Makeup?
Unlike skincare products, it can be very hard to track down the ingredient list for makeup products online. Not all brands will list the ingredients for a face primer like they would a night cream.
In addition, the ingredient lists can vary depending upon shade of a product. The pigment for a red lipstick is different than that of a nude lipstick and might need different stabilizing ingredients to be included in the formulation for example. When makeup is listed in my lists, I have reviewed every shade of that formulation. There is no need to ask about the matte lipstick in red if the link goes to hot pink. I reviewed red already. I will call out specific shades that have issues or are different.
Remember that makeup formulations are more likely to change than the ingredients in a night cream, and the brand is much less likely to announce a change in formula for a makeup product. They’ll announce a “new update” for a cream, but they usually don’t do this if there’s a change in a makeup product.
Specific Pregnancy Safe Makeup Posts:
Check the pregnancy safe skincare product list, which has a lot of brands on it. I’ve been including relevant makeup products on these posts as well, such as the Pregnancy Safe MAC post, which is mostly makeup.