Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products Expecting Moms Should Consider

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Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products Expecting Moms Should Consider

Pregnancy-safe skincare products are all about protecting you and your unborn baby during this delicate time. Your body and skin are undergoing many changes and expecting moms are often advised to follow certain precautions to ensure a healthy pregnancy. It’s why doctors tell you which foods and activities to avoid. Along with these, there may also be certain skincare products you may have to temporarily shelve. This is because some ingredients can affect you or your baby as they absorb into the skin.

On the bright side, most over-the-counter skin care products from trusted stores are safe, but it’s wise to check the ingredients label. Our community members shed light on the best pregnancy-safe skincare products to help keep existing, and new skin woes at bay.

Skin Changes During Pregnancy

Like your body, your skin will change with time. Expecting moms who’ve enjoyed clear and glowy skin can run into acne flare-ups, melasma (skin darkening), spider veins, stretch marks, or even dry skin. But there’s good news: Most of these skin troubles can be controlled or eliminated over time with the right pregnancy-safe skincare products.

Expecting moms with preexisting skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis may experience exacerbated symptoms. It’s good practice to speak to a doctor about the skincare products you’re using or plan to use.

Highly Rated Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Products

1. Palmer’s Skin Therapy OilPalmer’s Skin Therapy Oil

Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil is a soothing, advanced formula that is quickly absorbed into the skin. It helps improve the appearance of scars, eliminate hyperpigmentation, and soothe dry skin. The oil contains a luxurious botanical blend of rosehip, sesame, and canola oils. Cocoa butter and vitamin E are the hero ingredients of this rich skincare product.

Your skin will feel soft, smooth, non-greasy, and nourished all day long, thanks to the oil’s Rapidermal Absorption Système that ensures rapid penetration.

Overall Rating: 4.3/5

“Best Body Oil”
“I love using this and have been constantly using it for a few years now. I apply it on my kneecaps and elbows to prevent dryness and also my stretch marks at the back of my waist. It helps to subside the stretch marks.” – @Jcjas

“Pregnancy Must-Have”
“I started using this at 4 months of my pregnancy now. It helps me from scratching during the night or when it is hot. My belly is now at 6 months with skin soft and no stretch marks so far.” – @Chengyfl

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2. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Lightweight and super hydrating, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is an effective moisturizing formula. It contains a high concentration of snail mucin, a substance that prevents water loss and gives the skin an envious bounce and radiance. This best-selling product aims to soothe and revitalize damaged skin.

As an essence, the COSRX formula delivers a rich dose of nourishing ingredients. It’s perfect for expecting moms as it hydrates, improves skin texture, and fades out dark spots. The brand highlights its products as being pregnancy-safe and formulated with gentle, safe ingredients.

Overall Rating: 4.9/5

“Life Savior”
“Lightweight essence that is absorbed into the skin fast and gives skin a natural glow from inside. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence helps to soothe inflamed sensitive skin, calm acne breakouts, and reduce pigmentation while also improving skin elasticity thanks to the use of 96.3% snail secretion filtrate and panthenol.” – @Qqueex

“Recommended!”
“Buy this if you have acne scars or blemishes. This will change your life. So affordable for the amount you are getting and my acne scars lighten after using this! I even recommended it to my cousin and she is loving it too.” – @Sherry1996

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3. COSRX Oil-free Ultra-moisturizing LotionCOSRX Oil-free Ultra-moisturizing Lotion

The COSRX oil-free ultra-moisturizing lotion contains 70.8% of birch sap. This nature-derived ingredient carries 17 vitamins, proteins, enzymes, antioxidants, and amino acids that aim to purify, hydrate, and calm irritated skin. The lotion can be applied regularly to the skin after it’s cleansed and toned.

It carries a lightweight, non-greasy consistency that is quickly absorbed into the skin. This COSRX lotion is ideal for those with oily, dry, and combination skin.

Overall Rating: 5/5

“Reliable Brand”
“COSRX oil-free ultra moisturizing lotion is suitable for my combination skin as it does not leave any greasy feeling even after I’ve been outside and with my mask on for nearly the whole day. It has also helped to prevent pimples.” – @Sickromantic

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4. Bio-Oil

Bio-Oil

Bio-Oil is touted as one of the best pregnancy-safe skincare products on the market. It contains a natural concoction of chamomile, sunflower, lavender, and sunflower oils, which soothe, protect, and heal. The oil is enriched with vitamin E and A (retinyl palmitate is present in a small dose that the brand says is safe for expecting moms). Experience the goodness of vitamin A without its side effects, with Bio-oil.

The formula targets scars, stretch marks, dehydrated skin, and uneven skin tone. PurCellin Oil™ gives the blend its silky, lightweight consistency that the skin soaks up in seconds. Bio-Oil doubles as an effective skincare product for chapped lips and dry hands.

Overall Rating: 4.7 / 5

“Best Value for Money!”
“Amongst all the recommended creams/oils for pregnancy mummies, bio-oil stands out as the most value for money. For both my pregnancies, I had used bio-oil, religiously applying 3x a day from trimester two onwards. Not a single stretch mark. Amazing, considering how big both my tummies were. I think I’ve used up at the very least, close to 5 big bottles. Does not feel too oily for me, scent-wise, is subtle and acceptable. Cost-wise, definitely easier on the pocket as compared to other anti-stretch products.” – @Sweeet

“Worth Trying!”
“I use this product after showering every night. It believes it will recover my skin from dryness as most of the time I’m in the air-cond room.” – @Angellee

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5. L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip Balm

L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip BalmFormulated with Ecocert Greenlife certified ingredients, the L’Occitane shea butter ultra rich lip balm is a must-have skincare product. It helps nourish, heal, and protect the lips. The lip balm contains a rich blend of ingredients that work together to leave lips smooth, soft, and plump.

Organic beeswax and sunflower oil contain fatty acids that nourish and soften dry, dehydrated skin. Vitamin E amplifies the lip balm’s nourishing benefits by retaining moisture and keeping external aggressors at bay.

Overall Rating: 5/5

“Lip Balm”
I use it daily. It really nourishes my dry /cracked lips. It has a good neutral scent and no artificial colors. I recommend it.” – @Nikkilettsz

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Top Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Avoiding certain skincare ingredients will safeguard your body and growing baby from harm. Remember that it’s always best to speak to your doctor about what skincare products you can safely use during pregnancy. 

Isotretinoin, Retinol, and Retinoids

Topical and oral retinoids such as adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin target acne. A high dose of vitamin A can lead to birth defects and is safer to use after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Most anti-aging products contain retinol, so it’s best to avoid buying OTC products that contain it or opt for those with lower concentrations. 

Look for skincare products with bakuchiol or Korean ginseng that are gentler and nature-derived alternatives to retinol.

Hydroquinone

This ingredient is used in several bleaching products to lighten the skin from conditions such as melasma, freckles, and solar lentigines (skin darkening from prolonged UV exposure). Hydroquinone is not recommended during pregnancy since it absorbs more readily into the skin than other ingredients.

While there aren’t enough studies to support if hydroquinone causes malformations in the womb, doctors recommend that women steer clear of the ingredient. If you’re already a user of such products, speak to your doctor about attempting to use hydroquinone during your pregnancy, 

Salicylic Acid

Pregnant women should avoid peels or oral medication with high doses of salicylic acid. This beta-hydroxy acid can harm a growing baby if continuously supplied to the body. Lotions, face cleansers, serums, and prescription-only products often feature this as a star ingredient in treating acne. Low doses of salicylic acid are considered safe but check with your doctor first.

Other skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Phthalates (present in beauty and certain skincare products)
  • Parabens (present in body lotion, shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers)
  • Oxybenzone and avobenzone (usually present in chemical sunscreens)
  • Benzoyl peroxide (present in acne-fighting products)
  • Aluminum chloride (present in antiperspirants)
  • Undiluted essential oils such as clary sage and jasmine

Our list carries pregnancy-safe skincare products that our community members swear by for their efficacy and quality. If you feel unsure about any of the products you’re using, we suggest speaking to a doctor and making the switch.

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