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Best Skincare Products for Pregnant and Lactating Women

Best Skincare Products for Pregnant and Lactating Women

Pregnancy is such a rollercoaster ride of emotions and experiences for women and their families. For some, it brings a lot of challenges especially for sensitive pregnancies. For others, it is a smooth ride with minimal bumps and roadblocks. While it is indeed a journey to cherish, women still need to care for themselves just as they would when they are not pregnant. But did you know that there are several skincare and beauty products that pregnant women are warned not to use? New York Magazine reports that skincare products which contain acne-fighting ingredients such as retinoids, over-the-counter retinols, hydroquinone, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are deemed unsafe to use during pregnancy. Retinol is often the main ingredient in a lot of anti-aging skincare products, but according to Parents, it must be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding because it has been associated with spinal and/or facial deformities in growing fetuses. So what can you do to practice safe skincare during pregnancy? Here are some tips.


Avoid retinoids or vitamin A derivatives.

If you are suffering from acne, refrain from using products that contain retinoids, vitamin A derivatives, salicylates, salicylic acid, and beta-hydroxy acid, as it may pose as a risk for your unborn child. Instead, go for products that have lactic acid or glycolic acid, as these are safe to use while pregnant. Also avoid facials that use products with ingredients listed above.


Go for organic skincare products or “clean beauty” products.

When you think organic, you often think, safe. But make sure to read the label when transitioning to clean beauty products. Salicylic acid may be listed as willow bark, so avoid products that contain this ingredients. Do your research and consult your dermatologist for the best skincare advise for your case. Remember that every woman and every pregnancy is unique, so it’s best to consult a doctor to get sound advice on how to properly care for your skin during pregnancy.


Avoid self-tanners at all costs.

Parents reports that self-tanners contain the ingredient dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which has not been tested for long term effects. And because it is applied to virtually every part of the body when getting a spray-tan, it may pose as a risk for your unborn child. It is best to avoid self-tanners for a good nine months of pregnancy and get some natural sunlight instead.


Forego cellulite creams while pregnant.

Pregnant women have a lot to deal with, especially when it comes to self-image. Some women may feel insecure about their appearance while pregnant, especially with stretch marks, acne, cellulite, and other common skin problems that occur during pregnancy. Doctors advise against using cellulite creams, because according to Parents, it contains three ingredients that are harmful to pregnant women: retinols, DMAE and caffeine. Keep in mind that coffee is also a no-no for pregnant women, so don’t try applying it to your skin, either.


If you are looking to use safe skincare products during and after pregnancy, you may consider some of these highly recommended products in the market today. These best skincare products for pregnant and lactating women have been tried and tested by dermatologists and women, so you’re sure it’s safe to use while with child. Check out the list below and don’t forget to leave a comment or review if you’re already using any of these top recommended skincare products.


1. Honest Calming Lavender Hypoallergenic Face and Body Lotion

Moisturization is key to keeping skin healthy, especially during pregnancy. This pregnancy-safe product is designed with plant-based ingredients and enriched with botanical extracts, so you know it’s perfectly safe for you and your baby. It is hypoallergenic and physician-tested and designed to be gentle for the entire family. It is also infused with lavender essential oil that’s known for its calming properties. Formulated with olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils to nourish and moisturize even the most delicate skin, this face and body lotion is made without silicones, parabens, synthetic fragrances, dyes, formaldehyde donors, or PEGs. Rated 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Promising review: “Love this for me and my 5 month old baby. Gentle on both of our skin, unscented and leaves us feeling moisturized. I use this every night after her bath.” Sambelina


2. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Moisturizing Body Oil with Vitamin E, Rosehip Fragrance

Palmer’s understands the need for intense skin moisturization especially during pregnancy. This 24-hour moisturizing body oil is made with cocoa butter that moisturizes, argan oil that softens and conditions, and a special blend of ingredients that hydrates and improves skin imperfections. It is formulated vitamin E and coconut oil for supreme moisturization especially during the sensitive time of pregnancy. Vitamin E is a natural and powerful antioxidant that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and other skin imperfections. It also contains sesame oil and canola oil that targets stretch marks, and rosehip oil that promotes healthy skin rejuvenation while providing a delightful scent. Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Promising review: “I used this entire bottle during my pregnancy for prevention of stretch marks – works wonderfully and smells perfectly like rose. Love this product.” Jackie Smith


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(4/4) 🧪 For inexperienced users of direct acids, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is an excellent choice. Azelaic Acid is naturally produced by the skin’s microbiome and can also be found in grains. It is a multi-functional support ingredient for all skin types (including sensitive skin) that acts as an effective antioxidant while visibly targeting uneven tone, textural irregularities and the look of blemishes. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 🧪 For experienced users of Direct Acids, AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution might just be the one for you. As a 10-minute exfoliating facial, it offers efficient chemical exfoliation of the skin to target dullness and textural irregularities, with the aim of improving visible skin radiance with continued use. This formula also incorporates a Tasmanian pepperberry derivative to help reduce signs of irritation associated with acid use. Due to the high concentration of free acids, we would not recommend using this formula on sensitive, compromised or peeling skin. ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ Unfortunately, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% and AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution are not available in Canada or Australia due to regulatory restrictions (we combined the products that we can’t sell in Australia and Canada in one post so that our Aussie and Canadian friends can be sad alongside us about how unfair it all is). ☹️⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ If you made it this far, read all of the captions and it’s all still a bit fuzzy, we’re here to help – send along your questions in the comments or our DMs and we’ll do our best to answer them all. ⁣⁣ P.S. We did mention a short while ago that we are working on an alternative to our Peeling Solution which will be available to all (Aussies and Canadians alike). We’re inching closer to it with every passing day. We’re getting really good at keeping track of our promises. 😏🌡👀⁣

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3. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

If you’re pregnant and would like a skincare product that’s safe, go for The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, which effectively brightens the complexion while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture. It features a multifunctional formula that’s an effective antioxidant, offering a 10% concentration of high-purity azelaic acid, all in a lightweight cream-gel base. It’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, with an 84% recommendation rating at Sephora.

Promising review: “I started using this about three weeks ago for my rosacea. My redness has calmed down a little, but the huge difference is my skin texture. The small bumps associated with my rosacea are almost entirely gone! Just keep in mind that azelaic acid is an exfoliant, so I’d avoid any types of scrubs, etc. It can also make your skin a little dry, so moisturizing is key. ” Lechapeau

4. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Vitamin C is best known for warding off the common cold but did you know that it’s an antioxidant that’s also found in a lot of brightening skincare products? The same vitamin C is found in SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, a synergistic antioxidant combination of ferulic acid and pure vitamin C and E that effectively protects the skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals. It has a unique formula that improves signs of aging as well as photodamage, thereby reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, while firming and brightening the skin. It contains 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) that provides visible anti-aging benefits, 1% vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) that neutralizes free radicals and replenishes skin lipids, and 0.5% ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant that enhances the antioxidant benefits of vitamins C and E. This product is paraben-free. Rated 5 out of 5 stars at Dermstore and also available at Amazon.

Promising review: “After trying several Vitamin C serums without noticeable difference, I can say that this one is truly unique. The texture of this serum is thin yet easily spreadable. It absorbs very quickly and immediately brightens my complexion. I’m hooked!” Verified purchaser

5. Cerave Moisturizing Cream for Normal to Dry Skin

Cerave has long been the go to for intense hydration that’s super affordable and won’t break the bank. It’s been a staple in most women’s households for years thanks to its unique formula that provides up to 24-hour hydration and helps restore the skin’s protective barrier. Its secret? A unique formula made up of three essential ceramides (1,3,6-II) and hyaluronic acid that helps restore skin’s natural moisture. This product is developed with dermatologists and features a one-of-a-kind patented MultiVesicular Emulsion (MVE) that ensures moisturizing ingredients are effectively delivered to the skin slowly over time. It is best for those experiencing extremely dry skin. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Promising review: “My wife purchased this specifically for her skin changes when she got pregnant. Her skin went into full middle school breakout mode and she couldn’t use her normal nightly moisturizer due to some of the ingredients. This mild and gentle lotion was recommended and she absolutely loves it. Very light scent so you can use a lot without smelling it a mile away. Great moisturizer but not heavy or greasy at the same time.” B. Slack

1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Face Moisturizer Gel-Cream for Extra-Dry Skin

If Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Gel Cream is already in your skincare staple, you might want to know that the brand has come up with a gel-cream that’s specifically for extra-dry skin. It contains the same hyaluronic acid that you love in the regular version, a powerful hydrator that works to maintain the skin’s moisture. It effectively quenches extra dry skin with a gel formula that delivers rapid hydration to skin to restore skin’s natural barrier against moisture loss. Its non-comedogenic formula is free of oil, dye, and fragrance, making it safe on skin. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Promising review: “I’m 5 months pregnant with extremely dry skin on my face. I’ve used pretty much everything imaginable! I bought this as a last hope and oh my God I haven’t looked this good in the last 5 months! Very pleased!” Megan


2. Cosmedica Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum

If you are looking to increase your skin’s hyaluronic acid levels, go for this natural and organic hyaluronic acid serum that effectively improves not only skin texture, but also moisture and brightness. Cosmedica offers a hydrating facial serum that contains 100% pure hyaluronic acid. This is a vegan, paraben-free, oil-free, dye-free and fragrance- and filler-free product, so you know it’s safe to use on your skin. Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin’s softness, plumpness, and smoothness with this unique serum. Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars with over 8,400 reviews on Amazon

Promising review: “I’ve been using hyaluronic serums on and off and went to this when I became pregnant with my last child and had to stop using retinols. It’s made my skin fantastic, within four weeks it was plumped up and the fine lines around my eyes were disappearing. I also use it on my neck, cleavage and hands, in the morning and evening before moisturizer. It dries quickly and has never once broke me out. I highly recommend and will continue buying!” Verified purchaser

3. Drunk Elephant C-Firma™ Day Serum

Packed with a potent antioxidant complex of 15% L-ascorbic acid, 0.5% ferulic acid, and 1% vitamin E, this day serum from Drunk Elephant features a formula that replenishes lipids and visible reduces the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, all while helping neutralizing the effects of pollution and environmental stressors. Its formula contains essential nutrients, fruit enzymes, and a chronopeptide that mimics the antioxidant benefits of vitamin D, as well as a pumpkin ferment extract and pomegranate enzyme that dissolves dead surface skin cells. Its sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer is quick absorbing to instantly deliver hydration to skin. Its non-irritating formula has a pH level of 3.3 and is designed without sulfates, parabens, phthalates and other harmful ingredients. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars at Sephora

Promising review: “I’m loving this product. It’s light and feels very good in my skin. I have hyper-pigmentation issues and occasional acne during my time of the month, I know it takes a while for my dark spots to disappear after acne heals. I see them getting lighter and lighter since I started this one. Worthy the price.” J. Hagh

4. Shea Moisture 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil Head to Toe Nourishing Hydration, 15 oz

Sometimes, you only need the most basic ingredients to get the most nourishing and moisturizing benefits. Shea Moisture’s 100% extra virgin coconut oil is a natural ingredient that is packed with antioxidant Vitamin E and proteins that instantly deliver hydration and nourishment to protect skin and hair from damage. It contains fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and natural triglycerides to retain moisture and keep skin smooth and hair silky. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon

Promising review: “I’m currently 7 months pregnant and I’ve used this for my belly for any irritation from stretch marks; with this pregnancy I find that my skin is extremely dry and I’ve been using it as a body cream. I’ve used this for my hair as well, leaving it shiny and smooth. I’ve used this to remove my makeup, works great, and removes waterproof mascara as well. It doesn’t irritate or make my skin break out which is great and I love how it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry after each use.” Amazon Customer

5. Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Hyaluronic Acid Eye Lifting Balm

Pregnancy can cause sleepless nights, which are evident in one’s eyes. Care for the skin around your eyes with highly effective firming and de-puffing eye balm that’s powered by resveratrol, a natural ingredient derived from the grapevine. It effectively diminishes wrinkles, supports elastin and collagen production, and enhances skin’s natural ability to produce hyaluronic acid. It also contains peptides that visibly lifts and silk tree plant complex that de-puffs skin and diminishes dark circles. Rated 4.0 out of 5 stars at Sephora

Promising review: “I have sensitive eyes and this eye balm not only treated the sensitivity around my eyes but also relaxing the fine lines and wrinkles as well. I’m very excited that I finally found an eye cream that I can put on my upper eyelids without any side effects. It also helps with my under eye bags and puffiness.” Sephora customer


More pregnancy stories await in the links from our archive below, so don’t forget to check it out!

Weekend Pampering Guide for New Moms

10 Pre-Natal Must-Haves You Need to Buy Your Pregnant Wife Right Now

Gifts for New Moms and Their Babies

Top 10 Skincare Products that Every Pregnant Mom Needs

Safe & Organic Skin Care Products for Pregnant Women

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