22 Pregnancy-Safe Beauty Products to Heal Hormonal Skin
Beyond swollen ankles and crazy cravings, pregnancy hormones can do a number on even the most luminous of complexions, resulting in breakouts, dullness, darkened hyper-pigmentation, and melasma. But when it comes to correcting skincare products, the pickings can be slim.
“Because there are no formal studies using a wide variety of products in pregnant women, it’s better to be safe than sorry,” says dermatologist Michelle Hure of OC Skin Lab. The exceptions? “Hydroquinone and retinoids, which are systemically absorbed and can increase the risk of birth defects, most skincare products only act locally,” she explains. Translation: Bid adieu to some of beauty’s most potent skin-correcting ingredients, like wrinkle-fighting retinol and medications like Tretinoin by re-vamping your pregnancy beauty routine. For moms who like to err on the side of caution, Hure notes that blemish-fighting salicylic acid has the potential to be absorbed systemically, while soy products, which can worsen melasma, are best avoided.
We scouted the industry’s best — and safest — problem-solving beauty products for both mommas-to-be and new moms. Remember to always consult with your OB before use.
Wake up to brighter skin with this gentle overnight exfoliating mask that works to reduce discoloration and dullness. ($20)
This brightening serum was made especially for mothers by an M.D. and mother herself. It reduces dark spots thanks to its unique blend of melanin-inhibitors, and smoothes fine lines to boot. ($65)
The line’s cult-favorite glow tonic comes in these conveniently pre-soaked pads. Since they exfoliate using glycolic acid — not salicylic acid — this vegan drugstore buy is pregnancy-friendly. ($18)
Green beauty’s darling skincare line launched this luminizing vitamin C-powered eye cream. It repairs, brightens, and smooths while promoting skin elasticity FTW. ($79)
Ladies looking for serious results can expect even-toned complexions in as little as eight weeks. Amala’s plant-powered concentrate reverses melanin synthesis and speeds up cellular turnover for supple, hydrated skin. ($188)
Nature’s best buffing ingredients — including lava powder, marine micro-algae, and Moor mud — make the magic happen in this mask. Exfoliation is key for reducing unwanted discoloration, and this polish will get the job done. ($100)
Save time and effort with this 3-in-1 spray that acts as your toner, serum, and moisturizer. The probiotic-based solution helps soothe, hydrate, and reduce red skin -- you can even dab some in your hair for a bit of shine! ($64)
Even the clearest of complexions doesn’t stand a chance against the hormonal acne roller coaster that is pregnancy. Oak root extract, tea tree oil, green tea, and chamomile help to nip emerging blemishes in the bud. ($29)
Calm breakouts and reduce dark spots with this multi-tasking serum for a healthier-looking dewy complexion. ($80)
This potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich gel calms and soothes signs of hormonal imbalances, such as oily skin and blemishes, featuring natural ingredients like willow bark and pomegranate extract. ($55)
Turn to this exfoliating treatment to reduce pore size and quell acne as an expectant momma. ($45)
If you’ve got a spot, pop on one of these invisible hydrocolloid patches. Six hours later, remove the little anti-inflammatory corrector. ($13)
If you’re stressing about fine lines and wrinkles thanks to uncomfortable nights tossing and turning (or getting zero shut eye altogether), here’s your answer. Pai’s cult-favorite facial oil is green beauty world’s best alternative to retinol. ($29)
SLEEPLESS NIGHT SAVIORS
Rest better by soothing achy muscles and swollen feet with this hydrating + cooling spray, designed with a 360 spray to reach toes even when you can't. ($13)
Plum is the newest skin superfood to pop up in a range of products thanks to its mega-nourishing effects. Adding the luxurious oil into your routine will score you noticeably firmer skin. ($46)
After falling in love with Skyn’s nourishing hydro-gel eye patches, trust us — you’ll want to experience the benefits on your entire face. Each patch is infused with all-natural ingredients to firm and treat, including Icelandic glacier water. ($26)
Skip the whole post-shower rub down with this in-shower moisturizing belly conditioner to give dry, stretched skin a refreshed glow. ($13)
Itchy belly? Dry, stinging skin? Fear of stretch marks? This belly oil is both your prevention and your solution. Gloss your bumps generously! ($64)
If your breasts are simply out of control due to raging hormones and, well, lactation, this bust-firming serum is the extra-potent cousin to your average boob cream. ($37)
Give your boobs, belly and perineum skin (between your thighs) a boost of hydration with natural oils to soften stretch marks and tearing. ($13)
Occasionally, pregnancy swelling can create a “calf-straight-into-ankle” situation. This leg cream de-puffs, de-swells, and cools your exhausted and hard-working gams like pure pregnancy magic. ($28)
Protect skin from chafing and rubbing with this mess-free stick for on-the-go relief. ($13)
This post has been updated from a previous post published in 2018.
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