Radiant & Safe: Mastering Your Pregnancy Safe Skincare Routine

Pregnancy is a time of joy, anticipation, and significant changes—not just to your lifestyle, but to your body and skin as well. During these nine transformative months, it’s crucial to adapt your skincare routine to meet the unique needs of your changing body, ensuring the safety and health of both you and your baby. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential do’s and don’ts of pregnancy skincare, backed by expert advice and the latest research, to help you maintain that pregnancy glow safely and effectively.

The Importance of Pregnancy-Safe Skincare

As your body nurtures and grows a new life, your skin can undergo various changes, from increased sensitivity and dryness to the emergence of stretch marks and acne. However, not all skincare products are safe for use during pregnancy, with certain ingredients posing potential risks to your developing baby. Understanding which products to embrace and which to avoid is key to navigating this delicate time.

The Do’s of Pregnancy Skincare

Moisturize Regularly

During pregnancy, your body undergoes a myriad of changes, and your skin is no exception. It stretches and adapts to accommodate your growing baby, which can often lead to dryness and itchiness. To combat these issues, it’s essential to keep your skin well-hydrated. Moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides are particularly beneficial as they are known for their ability to deeply hydrate and strengthen the skin’s barrier without irritating it. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the skin, can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent ingredient for maintaining moisture. Glycerin, another humectant, draws water into the skin, providing hydration and a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss. Ceramides, lipid molecules found in the skin, play a crucial role in reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier and retaining moisture. Together, these ingredients ensure your skin remains supple, hydrated, and comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

Use Sunscreen Daily

Pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of pigmentation issues such as melasma, also known as the “mask of pregnancy.” To protect your skin, applying a mineral-based sunscreen every day is crucial. Look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These mineral filters sit on the skin’s surface, reflecting UV rays away from the skin, providing broad-spectrum protection without the risk of absorption of harmful chemicals. Unlike chemical sunscreens, which can absorb into the skin and potentially disrupt hormones, mineral sunscreens are safer for use during pregnancy. Applying sunscreen as part of your daily routine helps prevent sunburn, reduces the risk of pregnancy-related pigmentation, and contributes to long-term skin health.

Adopt a Gentle Skincare Routine

Pregnancy is a time to embrace gentleness in all aspects of care, especially when it comes to skincare. Simplifying your routine to include mild, fragrance-free cleansers and moisturizers can significantly benefit your skin. Fragrances and harsh ingredients can irritate increasingly sensitive skin, leading to discomfort and even allergic reactions. By choosing gentle formulations, you support your skin’s natural barrier function, helping to keep irritants out and moisture in. A gentle skincare routine not only helps manage sensitivity but also ensures that your skincare practices are safe for your baby.

Safe Anti-Aging & Acne Treatments

While pregnancy necessitates caution with skincare ingredients, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on addressing skin concerns such as aging and acne. For anti-aging, peptides and vitamin C are standout choices. Peptides, short chains of amino acids, help signal your skin to produce collagen, improving its elasticity and reducing the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, aids in brightening the skin and evening out skin tone, in addition to promoting collagen production. For managing acne, azelaic acid is a safe and effective option. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties help combat acne-causing bacteria, while its ability to reduce pigmentation makes it ideal for treating pregnancy-related acne without harming the baby. Low concentrations of glycolic acid can also be safe for gentle exfoliation, helping to keep the skin clear and prevent acne breakouts. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating these treatments into your routine to ensure they are safe for your specific pregnancy.

By focusing on these safe and effective skincare practices, you can maintain a healthy, glowing complexion throughout your pregnancy, ensuring the well-being of both you and your developing baby.

The Don’ts of Pregnancy Skincare

Avoid Retinoids

Retinoids are a class of compounds derived from vitamin A, widely acclaimed for their ability to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and treat acne. However, all forms of retinoids—including over-the-counter retinol and prescription versions like tretinoin, adapalene, and isotretinoin—are linked to an increased risk of birth defects. This risk is due to the way retinoids regulate cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, processes that are critical during embryonic development. As such, exposure to retinoids during pregnancy can potentially interfere with the normal development of the fetus, leading to significant congenital abnormalities. The consensus among dermatologists and healthcare providers is to avoid these substances entirely during pregnancy and, in some cases, for a period before conception.

Skip High-Strength Chemical Exfoliants

Chemical exfoliants, including alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid, are favored for their ability to renew skin by removing dead cells from the surface. However, during pregnancy, the skin becomes more permeable, raising concerns about the potential systemic absorption of these acids and their effects on fetal development. While low concentrations of some AHAs may be considered safe under medical supervision, high concentrations pose a greater risk of absorption and should be avoided as a precaution. Instead, pregnant women are advised to use physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants in very low concentrations if needed, always under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

Steer Clear of Certain Essential Oils

Essential oils, concentrated extracts from plants, are often touted for their therapeutic properties, including stress relief and skin improvement. However, some essential oils, such as rosemary, clary sage, and peppermint, can be too potent during pregnancy, particularly in the first trimester when fetal development is most critical. These oils can stimulate contractions or adversely affect the fetus in other ways. The concern lies not just with topical application but also with inhalation and ingestion. Pregnant women should exercise caution and consult healthcare professionals before using any essential oils, favoring those known to be safe in pregnancy, like lavender, in moderated and diluted use.

Products With Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent used to treat hyperpigmentation, such as melasma and age spots. However, it’s known for its high systemic absorption rate—up to 45% of the applied hydroquinone can enter the bloodstream. Given the lack of research on its effects on fetal development, the potential risks it poses during pregnancy are significant. Therefore, to err on the side of safety, products containing hydroquinone should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Alternatives for managing hyperpigmentation during pregnancy include vitamin C and azelaic acid, which are considered safer options that can be discussed with a dermatologist.

Our Pregnancy Safe Skincare Favorites

During pregnancy, choosing the right skincare products is crucial for both safety and efficacy. We’ve carefully selected our favorites, not only for their compatibility with pregnancy but also for their exceptional benefits. Here’s a closer look at each recommendation:

iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF

Protection and Repair: Extreme Protect SPF 30 stands out for its unparalleled broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, integrating microfine Zinc Oxide and microencapsulated organic active sunscreens. This advanced formula not only shields your skin from the sun’s harmful rays but also employs Extremozyme technology to protect against environmental damage.

Skin Health Benefits: Beyond its protective capabilities, this sunscreen goes further to reduce the appearance of erythema (sunburn), hydrate, smooth, and soften the skin. It also works to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, providing an antioxidant-rich barrier that supports the skin’s overall health and appearance during pregnancy.

iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+

Advanced Healing Formulation: Pro-Heal Serum Advance+ is a testament to the power of scientifically advanced L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), enhanced with superior Olive Leaf Extract and pure Vitamins E and A. This formulation is designed to offer significant antioxidant protection, making it an ideal choice for improving the appearance of compromised, blemish-prone, and aging skin during pregnancy.

Comprehensive Skin Care: It not only provides potent antioxidant protection but also soothes and calms the skin. This serum helps to improve the appearance of blemish-prone skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and revitalize aging and sensitive skin, making it a versatile addition to your pregnancy skincare routine.

Eminence Arctic Berry Cream

Nature’s Best for Your Skin: Eminence Arctic Berry Cream is a celebration of natural ingredients, featuring a unique blend of antioxidant-rich Arctic plants and berries, including cloudberry, arctic roseroot, meadowsweet, and juniper. These ingredients work together to combat the signs of aging.

Deep Hydration and Revitalization: With Lingonberry Seed Oil rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, this cream replenishes skin moisture. The Peptide Illuminating Complex, comprising hibiscus seed botanical peptides, gardenia stem cells, and yellow plum extract, enhances skin elasticity, reduces inflammation, and improves tone and elasticity. Gotu-Kola Stem Cells and Biophytex™ further support hydration and reduce redness, making this cream a powerhouse for nurturing your skin during pregnancy.

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

Gentle Yet Effective Cleansing: This lightweight cleansing gel offers a powerful cleanse without compromising the skin’s natural oils, making it perfect for all skin types, including sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Its balanced formula of bionutrients, antioxidants, and mild resurfacing ingredients thoroughly cleanses the skin and pores, leaving the skin soft and smooth.

Versatile Skincare Solution: Beyond its cleansing capabilities, the Cleansing Complex is praised for its effectiveness in professional facials and makeup removal. It not only deep-cleanses and minimizes the appearance of pores but also smooths, softens, and prepares the skin for further treatment or care, including shaving. Its universal appeal and benefits make it an indispensable part of a pregnancy-safe skincare regimen.

Consultation and Personalized Skincare Regimens

If you’re feeling unsure about your skincare routine during pregnancy or if you’re looking for products tailored specifically to your skin’s needs, we’re here to help. Take advantage of our FREE skin consultations and personalized regimen services. Our experts are ready to guide you to a safe, effective skincare routine that supports both your beauty and well-being during this special time.


Navigating the world of pregnancy skincare can be challenging, but with the right knowledge and resources, it’s possible to maintain beautiful, healthy skin throughout your pregnancy. Remember, the key is to prioritize safety and simplicity, opting for products that support your skin without compromising the health of your baby. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a radiant, glowing complexion that mirrors the joy of your pregnancy journey.

We’d love to hear from you! Share your own pregnancy-safe skincare tips in the comments, ask us any questions you might have, or book a consultation today to receive personalized advice and recommendations. Let us help you achieve the glowing pregnancy skin you deserve.