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Pregnancy Skin Care Routine Changes: How to Glow

I’ve written a lot about pregnancy skin care changes due to hormonal fluctuations, changing skin care needs and the skin care ingredients to avoid during pregnancy, but how do you actually put that information to use? What pregnancy skin care routine changes do you need to make?

Pregnancy Skin Care Routine Changes

Today I’m sharing what my skin care routine looked like while I was pregnant. Keep in mind that I have been pregnant twice, both times in my mid to late 30s. So, this meant that I wanted to continue fighting aging. I also developed Melasma during my third trimester of my first pregnancy, so I wanted to try and prevent it from getting worse while treating it (if possible). When reading this post, remember that you can also check out my big list of pregnancy safe skincare products if you have questions about specific products.

What Should a Basic Skin Care Routine Look Like?

First, a quick little review of what I think should be included in everyone’s skin care routine and any modifications for pregnancy.

1. Gentle Cleansing: Pick a cleanser that removes all of your makeup (especially in the eye area, it’s amazing how much eye liner and mascara can be left behind and look horrible), rinses off easily and leaves your skin non-irritated with no redness or after wash tightness.

2. Exfoliation: Usually done either physically (with a scrub or wash cloth or even a BuffPuf) or chemically. In my usual life I prefer chemical since it is more predictable and my skin can tolerate it well. However since the hydroxy acids are a no-go during pregnancy I’ve opted for physical exfoliation.

3. Moisturization: The mythical glowy complexion of pregnancy can be achieved (I think I had it for a few weeks somewhere around week 24), and one of the keys is moisture!

Keeping your skin nice and plump helps with minimizing any signs of aging as well, even if the effects are temporary. My favorite ingredient in a moisturizer is Hyaluronic Acid (aka- Sodium Hyaluronate) since as a humectant it attracts and keeps moisture in the skin rather than sealing it in (and looking greasy) like an emollient. I love emollients on my body though. Just not on my t-zone.

4. Sun Protection: This is always important. At a bare minimum I think everyone needs a SPF 15 with broad spectrum UVA and UVB coverage, SPF 30 is even better if you can get it. I do not think that you should be looking to your makeup for SPF (chances are you’re not going to use the huge amount of foundation or powder to obtain that rating, if your product has SPF in it just consider this a little added bonus).

I think you need to have your sunscreen in your daily moisturizer or a separate sunscreen product. Note that during pregnancy with your hormones run amok you are at risk of developing the dreaded “mask of pregnancy”, Melasma. I’ll be featuring a full post about this (along with the recs of a few dermatologists on how to deal with it) in a few weeks, but your main defense against it is sunscreen. So slather up!

Anti-Aging Skin Care while Pregnant

Anti-Aging Skin Care while Pregnant

This is how I think of anti-aging skin care. I want to try and cover all of those bases, but when pregnant, a few of those ingredient categories are ones to avoid while pregnant.

Pregnancy Skin Care Routine Changes

So, what pregnancy safe skin care products have I found? The first products in each category were part of my pregnancy skin care routine, then I have listed a few that are also safe to be in your pregnancy skin care routine.

I have reviewed the ingredients lists of these products as of 12/24/2017. Note, products may have adjustments in their ingredients lists at any time.

Gentle Cleanser
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser
Also Works:
Cetaphil Cleanser
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash

Nightly/Treatment Moisturizer
StriVectin SD, which has been updated to StriVectin SD Advanced, buy it at Amazon
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream at Sephora

Eye Cream
The eye cream I used has been reformulated and I no longer recommend it. These would all be safe.
Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Eye-Brightening Concentrate
First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy Overnight Balm

Day Moisturizer with SPF
Again, the product I used while pregnant has been reformulated. After searching, I’ve found these pregnancy safe facial sunscreens and BB Creams.

You can check out a much longer list of pregnancy safe skin care products.

Guide to Skin Care while Pregnant or Nursing

Don’t forget to check out the other articles in my Pregnancy and Nursing Skin Care Guide!

Is my skincare safe to use during pregnancy?
Read this post before commenting to ask about your product

how to know which beauty products are safe in pregnancy
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  1. Kseniya
    February 6, 2019 / 4:28 pm

    Good evening. Thank you so much for your informative posts!

    I have a question regarding a cleanser with the following ingredients: Aqua (Water), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, TEA-Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Gluconolactone, Polyquaternium-10, Benzophenone-4, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Parfum (Fragrance), CI 42090 (Blue 1), CI 19140 (Yellow 5).

    Would you say it’s safe to use during pregnancy?

    Thank you!

    • 15mins
      February 6, 2019 / 4:59 pm

      I wouldn’t use this due to the glycolic acid

  2. Marina
    February 21, 2019 / 1:49 am

    Hello doctor!

    I’m on my way to buy some pregnancy safe products, and I see you recommend Khiel’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, and I’m a big fan of Khiel’s, but ingredients say it has parabens. We should not be worried about parabens in general?

    Thank you for your huge effort on this page! <3

  3. Mary Kallmann
    March 8, 2019 / 10:21 pm

    Hi! I was wondering if this lipstick is safe by Kevyn Aucoin:

    Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Octyldodecanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Polyethylene, Mica, Diisostearyl Malate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Polybutene, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcrystallina, Synthetic Beeswax, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla/Cire De Candelilla) Wax, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Flavor, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Citronellol. May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).

    • 15mins
      March 9, 2019 / 6:30 pm

      I would avoid this due to the salicylate

  4. Queen
    March 19, 2019 / 3:43 am

    Hi doc!
    Are this products safe?
    Facial foam wash
    *water, ethyl alcohol,cocanidopropyl betaine,potassium cocoate,sodium lauryl ether sulfate,methyl propanidaiol,glycerin,alpha arbutin,DMDM Hyantoin fragrance.

    *water,ethyl alcohol,methyl propanediol,glycerin,hamamelis virginia[withch hazel]extract,alpha arbutin DMDM Hydantoin

    Thank you so much

    • 15mins
      March 19, 2019 / 2:05 pm

      I wouldn’t use either while pregnant or nursing due to the arbutin

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