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The In’s And Out’s Of Skin Care During Pregnancy

To all our expecting mama’s out there (or those hoping to be), today’s post is for you. While some say you glow during your trimesters, that’s not always the case. Your hormones are in overdrive, and skincare woes still happen! To help navigate your first steps into motherhood we’ve put together a post to cover the in’s and out’s of skincare during pregnancy.

Below, you’ll learn the common skincare issues that arise, and a breakdown of products that are safe to use, as well as the ones to avoid.

What Types of Skin Problems Can Arise?

Just like any other point in your life, your skin can act up during pregnancy.

There are several types of common skin-related problems that women see when they’re expecting.

Here are the top 4:

  • Dry Skin During pregnancy, your skin loses elasticity and moisture, which leads to flaking skin.

  • Stretch Marks These are tiny tears in the tissue of your skin. It happens as you gain weight rapidly and, well, stretch to accommodate your baby growing inside you!

  • Acne Due to an excess in sebum production, your skin’s pores can easily clog producing breakouts.

  • Darkening Skin Also known as melasma, darkening skin happens as estrogen and progesterone levels increase, leading to excess melanin production.

Can I Use Skincare During Pregnancy?

Now that you know the types of issues you can face (or maybe already are facing), you’re probably wondering if you’re able to treat them at all.

The short answer is yes, you can.

After all, when you come to face stretch marks, acne, or other pregnancy-related skin issues you’ll want to treat yourself to some self-care, right? So that you can is some good news, we’re sure.

The downside to this though? Just like you have to swap your wine for water, your skincare choices will have to be changed too.

To help you further navigate the right products to use and the ones to avoid, read on. We lay it all out below.

What Skin Care Is Unsafe During Pregnancy?

So while you can use skincare, there are many ingredients that you’ll want to avoid entirely. Let’s go through those now.


A derivative of Vitamin A, retinoids are commonly used to help smooth fine lines and ward off acne. This substance is known to help exfoliate your skin and boost collagen levels.

While it’s a go-to for many women, when it comes to pregnancy it’s an ingredient you’ll want to part ways with.


If there is ever a time to cut this substance out of your beauty and skincare rituals, it’s during pregnancy.

Phthalates are found in numerous beauty and personal care items (that aren’t organic or natural) and are known to disrupt hormones, among other things.

For instance, one study showed that children who were exposed to phthalates during their mother’s pregnancy had problems with motor skills. These impacted their daily lives from sports to speech.

Altogether, these get a huge “No” from us.


First, we’d like to preface this and say that hydroquinone is an ingredient women should avoid even when they’re not pregnant. It’s a part of the “toxic 10” in skincare and can negatively impact your well-being. Just like phthalates above.

It’s been labeled a category C ingredient by the FDA for pregnant women since, in preliminary studies, it’s been shown to have adverse effects on the fetus.

Now that’s said, hydroquinone is a substance that is used to lighten complexions and treat dark spots. So, while expectant mothers may be tempted to reach for this to treat melasma, it’s advised that you don’t. We cover what to use instead below.

Chemical Sunscreens

Scratching your head because you thought all sunscreens are created equal? Let this be a lesson; they are not!

There are physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens (learn more about the difference here.)

During pregnancy, you should avoid chemical versions at all costs -- stick to natural, physical sunscreens only. The chemical sunscreens include oxybenzone or avobenzone which are two substances that should be avoided during pregnancy.

The simple reason being they can cause cellular changes in the fetus. One study showed that such changes were harmful to the unborn child and can have adverse effects on growth/development.

Which Skin Care Products Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Now that you know a few of the ingredients you should avoid, here are a few that get the green light (although please remember that every woman and every pregnancy are different. You should check with your doctor when selecting products.)


If you’re looking for an alternative to retinoids then papain is for you! This is sourced from the papaya fruit and acts as a gentle yet effective exfoliator. It can slough off dead cells and lead to smooth skin. Found in papaya oil, it can soothe the skin while removing brown spots and acne scars.

It just so happens you can find it in our 02 Cleansing Balm/Overnight Mask, too!

Vitamin C

Nothing beats good ole’ vitamin c! This vitamin is known to help restore the complexion by protecting it from potential environmental stressors while boosting collagen levels. Hello, glow!

Marula Oil

This oil is sourced from the kernels of the Marula Tree. It’s high in fatty acids and naturally occurring vitamins which help to fight against the ravages of aging. So, for any of our mamas-to-be that want to continue an anti-aging regimen, this is a must-have!

You can enjoy the benefits of this oil in our 03 Midnight in Corsica Face Oil.

There you have it -- the in’s and out’s of taking care of your skin while pregnant. If you want to create a full ritual filled with organic options, feel free to browse our selection here, or drop us a line with any specific questions you may have.

As mentioned above, please remember that you and your pregnancy are unique, and you should check with your doctor before using any products.


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