What Skincare Products Are Safe To Use During Pregnancy?

Disclaimer: As always, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before starting the use of any new product, as they know your history best. 

Unfortunately, certain skincare products and even beauty products aren’t entirely safe for use during pregnancy. Just because you may need to make some changes to your routine doesn’t mean you need to give up your glow altogether! 

Let’s talk about skincare products for your pregnancy and also note skin care products that are better left until after your baby is born.

What Makes a Product Safe for Use During Pregnancy?

Not only can certain foods pose a risk, but certain skincare products can be harmful, too. While you’re not directly ingesting skincare products,some ingredients may be absorbed into your bloodstream

Once in your bloodstream, theseingredients can affect your baby’s development. This means that products and ingredients that are normally totally safe for you to use on your skin may have to go on the back burner until the baby is born. 

You can’t keep products from being absorbed into your bloodstream, so it’s important to ensure that whatever products you’re using don’t contain harmful chemicals or compounds that might endanger your pregnancy. We recommend opting for fragrance-free and pregnancy-safe skincare products to be on the safe side.

Another important factor pregnant women need to consider is that skin sensitivity and needs can change as a result of your pregnancy. So even products you’ve always used that may still be technically safe may no longer suit your skin and may even lead to skin issues like the occasional blemish, pimples, or dry skin. 

How Does Your Skin Change During Pregnancy?

A common skin-related side effect of pregnancy is melasma, otherwise known as the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma is a discoloration of the skin that can cause the skin of your face to overproduce melanin, making the skin around your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin appear darker than normal. 

Melasma is harmless, but if you were expecting that coveted pregnancy glow only to end up with melasma instead, it could be a bit of a downer.

Pregnancy hormones can also change your skin’s sebum production. Your skin may become more oily, which can lead to breakouts. It’s also not uncommon for existing moles to grow or become darker. Stretch marks, tiny tears that occur between layers of skin, are also likely to develop where your body is growing to accommodate your baby-to-be.

Although these things can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that all these changes are completely natural. Many, many women experience them throughout their pregnancies.

Although you may have to shift your skincare regimen to accommodate your changing skin and ensure everything you use is pregnancy safe, you don’t have to give up on skincare altogether. 

Which Products Aren’t Safe?

Perhaps more important than knowing which products are safe for use is knowing which products are not safe for you to use while pregnant. There are a lot of ingredients on this list that may already be in your skincare routine. Look over the ingredients lists of your face wash, eye cream, body oil, and toners, and set aside products that contain these ingredients. 

If you’ve been using them, don’t panic. A small amount of these ingredients is not likely to cause birth defects or severe consequences. What’s important is to discontinue use as soon as you can!

Some common ingredients that aren’t safe for use during pregnancy include:

  • Synthetic Retinol, Retin-A, Retinoids, and Retinyl Palmitate
  • Hydroquinone
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Chemical Sunscreens with Oxybenzone or Avobenzone
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Tazorac
  • Parabens
  • Accutane
  • Aluminum Chloride
  • Formaldehyde

In some cases, you may be unsure whether you can continue using a product. If unsure, speak to your doctor or a dermatologist, and stop using the product until you have a trustworthy answer. 

What Are Some Good Pregnancy-Safe Alternatives?

The easiest way to find products that will be safe for use is to stick to products formulated with natural ingredients. Natural ingredients can be just as effective as synthetic ones,and they’re both less likely to irritate sensitive skin and more likely to be safe for your pregnancy.

If you’re wondering what to swap out for your current skincare regimen, we’ll walk you through some easy swaps to make to keep your skincare game strong, even if it has to change.

In Place of Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide

While traditional breakout products, including prescriptions for products like Differin and Accutane, may have to wait until after pregnancy, many options are still available to you when it comes to addressing breakouts. 

If pregnancy is making your skin particularly sensitive, BHAs and AHAs may irritate your skin. However, it’s worth noting that some Alpha Hydroxy Acids are still safe to use during pregnancy— which is good news because a good chemical exfoliant works wonders for breakouts.

Our Pacific Glacial Clay Detoxifying Mask is pregnancy-safe and uses Citric Acid, an AHA and a known staple in pregnancy-safe skincare. Our clay mask draws toxins and impurities out of pores without drying or disrupting your skin’s ecosystem. 

This mask is formulated with ingredients like Pacific Glacial Clay, which is superior to other types of clay due to being made up of more than 60 different minerals and packing some powerful antioxidant properties. This unique ultra-fine oceanic glacial clay will leave skin looking and feeling instantly clearer, softer, and glowy. Plus, it’s Hypoallergenic.

Paired with the chemical exfoliation provided by Citric Acid, our Pacific Glacial Clay Detoxifying Mask is perfect for busting breakouts and leaving your skin clean, nourished, and hydrated.

In Place of Hydroquinone

If you’re struggling with melasma during pregnancy, it’s known that one of the more popular skin-lightening agents like hydroquinone is off-limits. 

However, there’s some evidence that Hydroquinone isn’t safe for use whether you’re pregnant or not, so it’s probably best to leave that one out of your skincare routine. It’s one of the skincare ingredients you just don’t need, and there are better natural alternatives anyway.

Instead, consider our Vitamin C Booster to help brighten your complexion and minimize the appearance of dark spots caused by pregnancy hormones. Mixing our oxidation-proof Vitamin C powder with your favorite moisturizer can give your skin a dramatically brighter and more even look. 

This Booster combines Vitamin C with Ferulic Acid, helps support surface skin cell turnover, and protects your skin’s integrity overall to help reveal smoother, brighter, more even-looking skin.Ferulic Acid also boosts the benefits of Vitamin C and helps reduce the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.

You could also use natural anti-aging powerhouse Chebula by using our Chebula Active Serum. This serum is formulated with Chebula, a special cascading antioxidant. This means once it’s done fighting a free radical, it reacts by taking on a new form that can fight the next free radical, and the next, and the next — all without losing the ability to defend and protect against stressors.

Not only is Chebula valuable when it comes to anti-aging measures, but it’s also helpful if you’re trying to combat skin dullness or find your skin developing dark spots or becoming uneven throughout your pregnancy. 

This hydrating serum provides moisture without clogging your pores, which is perfect for your sensitive pregnancy skin.

In Place of a Harsh Cleanser

Many cleansers are formulated with ingredients that are better avoided during pregnancy. 

Luckily, our Ginger Turmeric Cleansing Balm isn’t one of them. The wrong cleanser can do

more harm than good, and that’s why we replaced harsh surfactants like sulfates with natural-biocompatible,makeup-melting Yucca Extract and potential irritants and synthetic ingredients, like fragrance and silicones, with skin-soothing Turmeric and Ginger Root Oil.

No fillers means this product is packed to the brim with hard-working, natural-biocompatible ingredients that defend the skin barrier and leave skin looking and feeling clean, calmed, nourished, and gently exfoliated. This cleansing balm smells like a dream in a jar and is certified safe for pregnancy.

In Place of Chemical Sunscreens

You might be hesitant if it’s been a while since you’ve tried mineral sunscreen. Some mineral sunscreens can leave you with a less-than-appealing white cast. Luckily, mineral sunscreens have come a long way!

Whereas chemical sunscreens use chemicals that soak into your bloodstream, mineral sunscreens use simple minerals that sit on top of your skin to provide sun protection. They provide comparable protection against UVA and UVB rays to chemical sunscreens, disappear into your skin just as easily, and, more importantly, are safe to use while pregnant. 

Look for high SPF lotion formulas with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to ensure better sun protection. 

What About After Giving Birth?

It’s possible — in fact, we think it’s likely — that you’ll become so fond of your natural skincare routine that you won’t even feel the need to return to using other products after your pregnancy.And some ingredients, like Hydroquinone, are probably best left in the past.

If you’re thinking about working skincare products you used to use back into your routine after pregnancy, you can resume using any safe product for your skin. Although it will take some time for your body to recover fully, your hormones should broadly return to normal, and any additional skincare issues you encounter while pregnant will hopefully subside.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby, it’s best to keep up with your pregnancy-safe routine until you have weaned them.

Out of an abundance of caution, it’s probably best to keep things clean and non-toxic until you and your baby are slightly less attached.

In Conclusion

Navigating pregnancy-safe skincare can feel overwhelming. However, with a little bit of research and some professional guidance, it’s easier than you’d think to have an effective and safe skincare routine. Just because you may have to sacrifice some long-term favorite products to keep your pregnancy safe doesn’t mean sacrificing your best pregnancy glow!

Plus, we make it easy here at True Botanicals with the MADE SAFE® certified formulas that are free of 6,500 toxins you’ll find in other brands. With vegan, cruelty-free, GMO-free ingredients, you can fine-tune that pregnancy glow with peace of mind. 

Explore True Botanicals’ Pregnancy-Safe Natural Skincare & Body Products here!

Disclaimer: As always, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your doctor before starting the use of any new product, as they know your history best. 


Melasma: A Clinical and Epidemiological Review | Official Publication of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology | National Library of Medicine

Pregnancy and Skin | Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care

Safety Information | National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

Toxicological Aspects and Health Risks Associated with Hydroquinone in Skin Bleaching Formula | National Library of Medicine

Skin deep | Sustainability at Harvard

Safety of skin care products during pregnancy | PMC

Skin Changes and Safety Profile of Topical Products During Pregnancy | PMC