Pregnancy Skincare: What To Use & What To Avoid?

Sounds like you’re expecting - congrats! There are a lot of adjustments to be made: temporarily giving up your favourite tipple, avoiding soft cheeses, and no more sushi, to name a few. But one unexpected change you might have to make involves your skincare routine - the list of skincare to avoid in pregnancy includes anti-ageing favourites and acne-busting ingredients. 

However, giving these up doesn’t mean you’ll have to make do with a skincare routine without these fantastic active ingredients! Here’s our guide to the best pregnancy skincare products to use instead.

Woman wearing white holding pregnant belly

How Does Pregnancy Change Skin?

How does pregnancy affect the skin in the first place? The truth is, being pregnant can kick start changes in ways that you might not expect! Many find that their skin type changes, their skin clears, or in some cases, pregnancy actually causes breakouts. Boiled down, the three most common pregnancy-related skin concerns are:

  • Extremely Dry Skin
  • Melasma
  • Hormonal Acne

The underlying cause of these three changes is how different your hormones are while pregnant! After all, your body is busy creating another being - so there are bound to be some compromises. The tricky thing is that some of the ingredients that we’d normally reach for to help with these concerns are off the table while pregnant.

They can affect your baby’s development and shouldn’t be used if you’re pregnant or even trying to get pregnant. Here’s our list of skincare to avoid in pregnancy (and what to use instead)

SK-II R.N.A. Radical New Age CreamSK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream
This anti-ageing face cream from SK-II uses the power of peptides and Pitera to ward off the signs of ageing. 

Skincare to Avoid in Pregnancy

When it comes to what you shouldn’t use while pregnant, there are three major categories to avoid - no exceptions! 

  • Retinol (and all Vitamin A derivatives)
  • High concentrations of AHAs and BHAs
  • Hydroquinone

Pregnancy Skincare Products for Anti-Ageing

Instead of retinol, opt for skincare that’s formulated with peptides, antioxidants, or bakuchiol. Peptides work hard to reverse the signs of ageing on the skin, signalling skin to produce more collagen. They’re surprisingly effective at softening wrinkles and boosting collagen production for a more youthful glow - and bonus, they’re actually less irritating for your skin compared to retinol. 

Elizabeth Arden Anti-Ageing Daily SerumElizabeth Arden Anti-Ageing Daily Serum
Get all the benefits of one of the strongest anti-ageing antioxidants in the world with this serum from Elizabeth Arden. 

Antioxidants protect skin from external causes of ageing and include ingredients such as Resveratrol, Vitamin C, Bakuchiol, and Vitamin E. Pregnancy skincare with these baby-safe ingredients are ideal for anti-ageing, whether that’s just using something to tide you over while retinol is off the table or even in the long run alongside your usual skincare products. 

Bakuchiol, often referred to as the natural retinol, is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient that stimulates skin in a similar way to over the counter retinol; boosting collagen levels and supporting cellular regeneration to keep wrinkles at bay and firm skin.

Omorovicza Miracle Facial OilOmorovicza Miracle Facial Oil
Fortified with Bakuchiol, this facial oil from Omorovicza deeply nourishes skin and softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Best Skincare for Pregnancy: Acne Edition

It can seem really hard to deal with pregnancy-related acne since two of the best long-term ingredients for managing breakouts are off the table: salicylic acid and retinoids. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options! The best skincare for pregnancy acne includes regularly exfoliating skin and using a clay mask. 

These two may decrease the severity of breakouts by ensuring pores are left clear of any dead skin cells that could kickstart breakouts, as well as naturally work to help skin bounce back from any current acne. 

Eve Lom Rescue MaskEve Lom Rescue Mask
This two-in-one clay mask from Eve Lom works as a gentle exfoliant and purifying mask to keep breakouts at bay. 

Pregnancy Skincare for Hyperpigmentation

The pesky thing about melasma is that it’s often kick-started by pregnancy in the first place - hence the nickname pregnancy mask. One of the most effective prescription treatments for hyperpigmentation, hydroquinone isn’t safe for use during pregnancy. Luckily, there are alternatives that you can reach for! 

One of the best things to use is Vitamin C skincare. Safe for pregnancy and effective at fighting off the signs of ageing, Vitamin C is a superstar that’s pregnancy safe and helps to tackle melasma for radiant, brighter skin - with the added bonus of firming skin and fighting off wrinkles in the long run. 

Dermalogica Biolumin-c SerumDermalogica Biolumin-C Serum
Fade imperfections with this potent Vitamin C serum from Dermalogica. 

At the end of the day, always refer to your obstetrician’s advice when it comes to pregnancy-safe skincare - your best bet might be to bring your routine to your next appointment and get the all-clear for your skincare routine!

Or, if you’re still trying to put together a skincare routine in the first place, try our skin analysis. You’ll get best recommendations for your skin concern to help you get your beauty affairs in order for radiant, glowing skin.

Beauty Affairs Skin Analysis

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Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne

Alexis Adrienne is a passionate beauty writer with over 10 years of experience. She’s incredibly keen on all things skincare, makeup and cosmetics, with a fingertip on the pulse of the latest global beauty trends at all times.

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