When you’re expecting, it can feel like that “pregnancy glow” is just a myth. Due to hormones, your skin can go through as many changes as your growing belly does. Some women get hormonal acne, while others suffer from melasma or dry skin. Either way, it’s important that you check the ingredients on your skincare treatments before using them!
Last week, I shared my favorite clean makeup picks that are safe for pregnancy. Before we dive into the skincare category, here’s a recap on why it’s so important to detoxify your beauty routine:
Since our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, the products we apply can absorb into our bloodstream. And during pregnancy and breastfeeding, that means toxic ingredients can reach the womb and go into your baby.
A number of studies from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have shown that common chemicals in everyday personal care products, like skincare, are associated with developmental, reproductive and behavioral disorders, hormone disruption, and cancer.
Check your labels and look for the following “no-no” ingredients:
- Retinyl palmitate and Retinol
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- BHA and BHT
- Oxybenzone Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Hydroquinone or glutathione
Here are some of my favorite skincare products that you can safely slather on for the most common skin-related woes during pregnancy. BTW, I am obsessed with each and every one of these brands. I use them myself!
#1: Sun Protection
When you’re pregnant, you’ll be more sensitive to the sun’s powerful rays, so a daily sunscreen on your body and face is a must!
Formulated with 100% mineral filters, this mattifying fluid provides high UBV and UVA protection for all skin types. It’s sheer, spreads evenly, and dries quickly.
This USDA organic power-packed serum blends 20 carefully selected organic oils and botanicals known for their ability to help combat UV induced damage and restore skin’s natural radiance.
A rich, non-greasy, “UV chemical-free” face sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum Protection against damaging UVA & UVB rays. Infused with antioxidants to help promote youthful skin, this 3-in- 1 product functions as a face moisturizer, sunscreen, and make-up primer all in one.
Suntegrity SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen Body offers Broad-Spectrum protection against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. This non-greasy formula contains 20% non-nano, zinc-oxide and organic ingredients like green tea extract, cucumber extract, and pomegranate seed oil.
#2 Melasma + Dull Skin
These products put the “glow” back in pregnancy glow! Due to pigment-stimulating hormones, you may start to notice patches of discoloration on your face called melasma. It’s not permanent and will usually fade post-pregnancy. You may also notice your skin looking a bit dull. In the meantime, exfoliating products with glycolic acid (an ingredient safe for mamas!) and Vitamin C will help retexturize your skin, lighten the spots, and get you glowing!
A powerful antioxidant trio of pure Vitamin C-rich Acerola, Sea Algae, and Cocoa Bean naturally repairs skin while protecting it from environmental and free radical age damage.
Made from the world’s most nutrient-rich and essential oils, this botanical serum is a skincare game changer.
I’ve been getting facials from Dayle Breault for over 25 years and they are life changing! Plus, her products are AMAZING (I always stock up!) The Let the World “C” You Serum combines the active blend of collagen-boosting peptides, that strengthen the skin while protecting from UV damage, with the antioxidant support of Vitamin C. It’s created only on the Full and New Moons while healing Tibetan Mantras are played imbuing the blessings to promote healthy skin and awakening your spirit.
A super-potent vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes, and a chrono peptide.
The night serum to go along with the above product. The two products together are a total powerhouse! This high-tech gel resurfaces dull skin, lifting dead skin cells away by gently dissolving the glue that holds them to the surface. The results are greater clarity and a smoother, more even-looking complexion.
Exfoliates with malic acid from organic green apples and organic raw cane sugar, while it cleanses and hydrates your skin with coconut.
Helps brighten and reduce the appearance of dark spots & discoloration with antioxidant-rich organic fruit acids
The microcrystals and ground amber in this bonafide scrub slough away all the dead skin layers to allow for the most effective absorption of our nutrient rich serums and mist. Made with pure, natural ingredients including peppermint and spearmint essential oils, the experience is simultaneously invigorating, healing and cooling. It can be used over the entire body!
#3: Hormonal Acne
Ugh, it’s like being a teenager again! Rather than using harsh chemicals such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, switch to safer alternatives like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or natural fruit acids and clay to clarify skin.
This entire brand is vegan, organic, and GMO-free! The Vitamin Acne Mask fights hormonal acne with Alpha Lipoic Acid and natural vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s unscented, which helps if you experience sensitivity to smell during pregnancy.
Pai Copaiba Deep Cleanse AHA Mask purifies pores without dryness or tightness, rebalances excess oil to fight blemishes and blackheads, and clarifies and brightens skin tone with natural fruit acids.
Effectively purges surface buildup and impurities, leaving skin feeling cool and refreshed with exfoliating fruit oils.
This intense correcting mask effectively purifies and tightens pores, extinguishes inflammations, fights & heals blemishes with antioxidant-rich raw cacao and healing bamboo charcoal.
A surprisingly powerful blend of essential oils combats bacteria and diminishes blemishes, while evening primrose oil prevents over-drying and heals the skin.
This all-natural blue algae product is a gentle way to clear clogged pores and treat blemishes. The mask has a beautiful blue hue that you will love to use!
During pregnancy, the volume of blood increases in your body which can mean increased redness in the skin. Be prepared with products that include calming ingredients like aloe vera, rose, and lavender. Also, if you tend to get overheated these products can double as a refreshing treat to your skin.
This light and silky cream contains chamomile and rosehip, which diminishes flare-ups of redness and eases visible irritation.
A face oil for rosacea-prone skin that uses soothing ingredients of pomegranate and grapeseed oil. It’s hydrating enough to replace your daily moisturizer.
#5: Increased Dryness
If your skin is drier than normal, your hydration is going to the baby first. Counteract it with a product that breathes moisture back into your skin, on both your face and body, with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and soothing plant oils.
This vegan, organic, and GMO-free product can be used on your entire body including your hands, face, nails, and hair. I love the mixture of coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil! Delicious!
A nutrient-packed cleanser that thoroughly purifies without stripping the skin. Aloe vera and green tea seed oil leave skin hydrated and healthy.
A reparative face mist that’s packed with antioxidants. Algae extract and kombucha hydrate the skin and prevent damage. I use this mist on myself and people literally stop me in the street to ask how my skin is so dewy. I also use on my birthing mamas and they love it!
This serum is literally food for your skin! It includes TGF-B, a potent stimulation of collagen synthesis in the skin, to firm and moisturize the skin. It can also help to repair stretch marks!
Winner of Allure‘s Best of Beauty Award, the Luminous Melting Cleanser sinks luxuriously into skin to remove dirt and makeup, leaving it incredibly moisturized, soft, and glowing. The blend of almond, olive and coconut oils, shea and cocoa seed butters, jojoba and sunflower gently purify and hydrate the skin.
I use this product every single night! This evening moisturizer seals in hydration as the final step in your skincare routine. With powerful anti-aging ingredients and healing organic oils/butters, your skin is encouraged to increased cell turnover and elevate hydration levels. In order to harvest the full energy of the Goddess, the creme is created only on the New and Full Moons, while blessed with the healing mantras of Tibet.
A one-of-a-kind hydrating cream face mask featuring proven, skin-loving ingredients that deliver rich hydration and a radiant complexion in just one application.
A luxurious, lightweight multi-purpose body treatment oil combining powerful organic Noni Extract, Rosehip, and Sunflower Seed Oils, providing the skin with a rich source of antioxidants and essential fatty acids for hydration. You can also use it to pamper your feet and on your stretch marks.
Raw, local, fresh and whipped to creamy perfection. This wildflower honeycomb mask is simple to apply and leaves skin lusciously soft, supple and plumped with nutrient dense, dewy hydration. I was the owner’s doula TWO TIMES!
#6 Dark Circles & Under Eye Puffiness
With a newborn on the way, there will be many sleepless nights ahead of you. Give your under eye area a rest with plant-based ingredients and hyaluronic acid that soothe and counteract dark circles or puffiness.
Protects the eyes’ delicate skin from dehydration and helps visually reduce the appearance of under-eye bags and the look of dark shadows for a revitalized look.
A rich eye-area treatment formulated to combat puffiness and diminish fine lines with nourishing all-natural ingredients of carrot, cucumber, and blackberry seed oils.
Gentle, moisture, rich cream combines powerful azulene of blue tansy, with hydrating plumping wonders of hyaluronic acid, healing calendula, anti-aging evening primrose, soothing aloe for puffiness.
Who doesn’t love Goop? Formulated with olive butter, sandalwood, and peptides, this eye cream increases elasticity and plumps skin for a more youthful appearance.
Personally, this is my go-to eye cream. The cooling mint and rosemary energize my under eye to combat puffiness and dark circles. I’m obsessed!
An organic eye treatment formulated to smooth, tone, and brighten the eye area for a youthful and radiant appearance—featuring a unique rose quartz roller ball applicator to provide a soothing experience, while also passing along the vibration of love to you (and your baby!)
#7: Swollen Legs & Feet
One of the common side effects of pregnancy is swollen feet and legs, which is due to your body retaining fluid. To ease your weary legs and puffy feet, use cooling and anti-inflammatory products to make you feel comfortable. Pair them with a foot massage, and elevate your feet for 10-20 min and it works wonders!
A cooling, anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that helps reduce swelling and invigorate tired feet and legs with aloe vera, chamomile, and ginger.
Packed with energizing oils and zingy spearmint to revive your tired legs and “de-puff” tight and swollen feet. It helps with water retention and increases microcirculation too.
Made with essential oils, this foot balm soothes, cools, and relieves tired, aching feet and heels. Plus, the added moisture is perfect for an at-home pedicure!
#8: Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are pretty unavoidable in pregnancy. As your belly grows, you may also experience inflammation or irritation in the area. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut and almond oil, and Vitamin E help to nourish and maintain skin elasticity.
This fast-absorbing dry oil elixir includes a blend of sweet almond and calendula oil that support skin as it expands by calming inflammation and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
This all-natural hydrating sheet mask was made for pregnant bellies to help minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and help soften inflamed scar tissue postpartum with aloe vera and propolis.
This whole brand is super pure and delicious! Apply the coconut body oil in the bath or shower while your skin is still damp to seal in the moisture and help prevent stretch marks.
This ultra-concentrated, yet lightweight Organic Seaweed and botanical-based body oil is loaded with luscious Acai, Babassu, Passion Fruit, and Ayurvedic Sesame oils to deeply hydrate skin and visibly firms and minimizes the appearance of stretch marks. It can also be used on the face!
For a natural DIY, try out my easy and nourishing belly butter recipe, right at home:
1 jar of organic coconut oil
1 container of organic cocoa butter
1 container of organic Shea butter
1 small bottle of 400 IU of Vitamin E
Place all ingredients except for the Vitamin E in a pot of boiling water in their separate containers, letting them melt (the cocoa butter will take the longest). After everything is melted, pour into a large bowl and mix together with the Vitamin E. Put the mixture in a glass container and store in the refrigerator or another cool place.
Pregnancy is such a miraculous time, but many women don’t take the time to connect with their bodies and babies these days, and before they know it they missed out on this whole special time. You can use the time you take to rub your belly butter on yourself to stop and connect with your growing baby. When applying, simply close your eyes, place your hands on your belly and begin to rub the belly butter all around while feeling your belly and your baby inside. You can talk to your baby or just simply send them loving feelings. It has been proven that babies in the womb sense and feel everything; your voice carries energy as well as your thoughts. Use the butter sparingly on belly, breasts, hips and buttocks.