Pregnancy Safe Skincare Guide

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Yourself or maybe your loved one is having a baby! Or you’re just casually doing research on the subject which is also awesome. So, welcome!

There’s a million “Do’s and Don'ts” of pregnancy so with that being said the most important takeaway from this blog post is that you should still be consulting your doctor about your concerns rather than just relying purely on your your own research. This post is mostly to highlight some of the more common questions we receive, the most common ingredients to avoid and alternatives to those ingredients to look into.

Let’s just jump into some of the big ones! 


Aka Vitamin A and it’s many retinol derivatives should be avoided during pregnancy as well as nursing. High doses can be harmful to an unborn child. Especially ingested forms. Topical forms have a low risk but should still be avoided. 

Alternatives: Bakuchiol oil but best to still consult your physician 


Hydroquinone is a skin-brightening agent and should be avoided during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Even though there are no proven links to hydroquinone having effects on a pregnancy, the body can absorb a very high percentage of it when using it topically so it’s best to avoid it. 

Alternative: Vitamin C 

Salicylic acid (BHA) 

Small percentages used in skincare (2% or lower) are considered safe. Effects have mostly been studied in oral ingestion during pregnancy but it is still recommended to be avoided in high doses topically as well. 


    • Low percentage glycolic acid or lactic acid (AHA) as exfoliants. 
    • Willow bark extract also contains a low amount of salicylic acid to help combat acne. 
    • Azelaic Acid has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and also treats rosacea 

Chemical Sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate are best to be avoided because they absorb easily into the bloodstream

Alternatives:  Mineral sunscreens with actives like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide 

Essential Oils

Pure essential oils should not be applied directly to your skin regardless of pregnancy. You should definitely be consulting your doctor for the use of certain essential oils because many essential oils are not safe for pregnancy and can induce contractions. Some essential oils to avoid (just to name a few): aniseed, basil, sage, clary sage, tansy. Using essential oils like lavender and frankincense for aromatherapy can be calming and relaxing but be cautious not to apply directly to skin or use directly in the bath 

Side note: Dropping essential oils directly into your bath can be very irritating to your skin. Essential oils are not water-soluble and when you add them to your bath the oils stay on the surface of the water. So when you get into the bath the essential oils concentrated at the top will attach to your skin and can cause irritation. Even when using a carrier oil it’s always best to be cautious of this.  

Alternative: If you are sensitive to scent or just have a sensitive skin type there are plenty of great unscented products that can be used on your face. Some essential oils in your skincare should be fine as long as it's at a low concentration. You know you skin best so if you're not easily irritated or bothered by fragrance then just pay attention to any changes in your skin over time as you use these products. 

Essential oils are a HUGE topic I would like to discuss sometime soon. There can be a lot of issues around the use of essential oils. It probably sounds like I hate essential oils, I don’t. I just believe they get more credit than they deserve.  

Struggling with pregnancy acne? Hyperpigmentation? 

Unfortunately, not everyone experiences the flawless glow of pregnancy. There can be many skin issues that can be associated with pregnancy. Since using retinol, salicylic acid, and hydroquinone has been ruled out what can be done? 

Here’s some product suggestions to help you start a new routine for your pregnancy: 


Blue Majik Face Foam with Azelaic Acid by Graydon Skincare

Great for inflammation and breakouts. Unscented and great for sensitive skin 

Facial Cleanser by Schaf Skincare

Unscented and great for sensitive skin. 

Aloe Milk Cleanser by Graydon Skincare

Mild scent. No synthetic fragrances. Good for sensitive and dry skin types.


Vitamin B3 + Zinc Face Serum

 Great for breakouts and inflammation. 

Dew Drops Mushroom Hyaluronic Acid Serum by Three Ships

Great for hydration and skin brightening 

Revitalizing Serum by Schaf Skincare 

Great for dark spots, hydration, and has anti-aging properties


Unscented Moisturizer by Schaf Skincare

Unscented and great for sensitive and dry skin

Skin Stuff Face + Eye Cream by Graydon Skincare

Unscented and great for sensitive skin


Here are some mineral sunscreens that are all unscented

Ava Isa Sun-È-Serum Drops SPF 35

Simply Zinc Lite SPF 50

Impeccable Skin Broad Spectrum Tinted SPF 30

Mineral Baby SPF 50 Unscented Moisturizer

Thanks so much for reading!

Comment below and let us know what topics you'd like us to cover! 

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