Pregnancy is a time when women often reassess their skincare routine due to increased safety concerns. Some ingredients in beauty products can be absorbed into the bloodstream and may pose potential risks to your developing baby.

This blog post will guide you through the common skincare ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy and suggest some safe, effective alternatives. Ready to explore safer skincare choices for your pregnancy?.

Key Takeaways

  • Some skincare things can be harmful to pregnant women and their babies. These include hydroquinone, retinoids, high doses of salicylic acid, some essential oils, and Benzoyl Peroxide.
  • During pregnancy, your skin might change a lot. You may have more acne or dark spots (melasma). You could get new veins or stretch marks too.
  • There are safe skincare ingredients for pregnant women to use. These include Vitamin C for bright skin, azelaic and glycolic acids for acne problems, hyaluronic acid and coconut oil for dry skin issues.
  • Always check the label before you buy any face care items during pregnancy. Choose brands that don’t have harmful ingredients in them.

Why Avoid Certain Skincare Ingredients During Pregnancy?

Your skin soaks up what you put on it. Some skincare ingredients can get into your blood. These might harm the baby growing inside you. Retinoids like retinol are bad for babies. They can cause birth problems.

Stay away from benzoyl peroxide too. It is often used to treat pimples but is not safe in pregnancy.

Be careful with salicylic acid as well, an acne-fighting ingredient that’s used a lot in skincare products. High doses of this substance aren’t good for pregnant women and their babies.

Hydroquinone, which helps lighten dark spots on the skin, has a high absorption rate and should be used with caution when you’re expecting.

And then there’s oxybenzone found in sunscreens—it could change hormones both in mommies and their babies if used a lot during pregnancy! Lastly, steer clear of certain essential oils like jasmine and clary sage while pregnant as they may cause contractions.

Skincare Ingredients to Stay Away from During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, certain skincare ingredients can pose potential risks to the developing baby and must be avoided; these include Hydroquinone, Isotretinoin, Retinol, Salicylic Acid at high concentrations and several others.


Hydroquinone finds use in many skin-lightening products. Pregnant women need to avoid it. This is because it can go through the skin and may harm the baby growing inside you. A study talks about its safety during pregnancy.

Yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry when you are pregnant.

Isotretinoin, Retinol, and other Retinoids

Stop using isotretinoin, retinol, and other retinoids if you’re pregnant. These are not good for your baby. They can lead to serious birth defects. So it’s best to avoid skincare products with these ingredients during pregnancy.

Please stay safe for you and your baby’s health!

High Doses of Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is often found in skin care products. But during pregnancy, you should not have high doses of this ingredient. It can cause harm to your baby. Still, a small amount in over-the-counter products is usually safe for use.

Be sure to read product labels carefully!

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is an acne-fighting skin care ingredient. It’s safe for pregnant women to use in small amounts. Many people use it to help with pimple problems. There are no known risks or dangers from using this while you’re pregnant.

Your doctor can tell you more about how much to use and when it’s best to use it during your pregnancy.

Botox and Fillers

Botox and fillers are often used to reduce wrinkles. They may make your skin look smooth and young. But pregnant women should not use them. Experts say it is safe to wait until after the baby is born.

Botox and fillers fall in a group called category C ingredients. We don’t have enough proof that they are safe for soon-to-be moms or babies.

It’s best to keep your skin care routine simple when you’re expecting a baby. Using Botox and Fillers can be risky because we do not know much about how they affect the baby inside the womb.

So, if you need to spruce up your looks, there are other ways that won’t risk harm to your unborn child!

Parabens and Phthalates

Parabens and phthalates are types of chemicals. They can mess with your hormones. You will often find them in makeup items. These substances may harm the growth of your baby in the womb.

So, it is smart to look for products that do not have them.

Essential Oils

Important oils like jasmine and clary sage should not be used during pregnancy. These may cause the belly to tighten too much. Sage and rosemary oils can lead to more bleeding than is safe.

So, it’s best not to use any essential oils while you are pregnant. This keeps both the mom and baby safe.

Aluminum Chloride

Aluminum Chloride is often found in anti-sweat products. You may see it in your day-to-day items like deodorants. Yet, this is one item you should stop using while pregnant. Your body can soak it up through the skin.

It can affect not just you, but also your baby’s health. So, try to use safe brands that do not have Aluminum Chloride in their list of ingredients.


Tetracycline is a thing often found in skincare items. But it can be bad for moms-to-be and their babies. It’s best to avoid this during pregnancy. This stuff can cause harm to the baby’s teeth and slow down bone growth.

So, keeping clear of Tetracycline is smart for healthy skin and a safe pregnancy!


Dihydroxyacetone is found in self-tanners. It’s best to avoid this during pregnancy. This is because breathing it in can harm your baby. There isn’t much research on how safe it is for pregnant women.

So, it’s best to stay away from it for now.

Thioglycolic Acid

Thioglycolic acid is an ingredient you need to watch out for. You can find it in various hair removal creams. Its safety during pregnancy has not been fully tested yet. It’s smart to stay away from this acid when you’re expecting a baby.


Toluene is a bad thing to use when you are pregnant. It’s in nail polish and hair dyes. This toxic chemical can make you feel dizzy or give you a headache. It can also hurt your skin, making it dry and cracked.

But there is a bigger risk too. Toluene can cause big health problems like hard breathing and harm to the unborn baby such as slow growth and early birth. So, while you are pregnant, be careful not to use products with Toluene for the sake of your health and your baby’s health as well.

Skincare Changes During Pregnancy

Your skin can change a lot when you are pregnant. Your body makes more hormones. This might make your skin dry or oily. You may get more acne than before. Some women also see dark spots on their faces or bellies, called melasma.

New veins appear too because blood flow increases in the body while carrying the baby. Stretch marks might show up on your belly, hips, and thighs as they grow larger with time. These changes are normal.

It’s all part of having a baby!

Safe Skincare Ingredient Alternatives

During pregnancy, replace harmful skincare ingredients with safe alternatives such as Vitamin C for anti-aging, azelaic and glycolic acids to fight acne, hyaluronic acid and coconut oil for moisturizing, and broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect the skin.

Anti-Aging Ingredients

Taking care of your skin while expecting a baby can be tricky. Here are safe anti-aging ingredients to use during pregnancy:

  1. Vitamin C: It helps to keep your skin bright.
  2. Green Tea: It is great for lessening redness.
  3. Resveratrol: This one comes from grapes and berries. It fights aging.
  4. Peptides: They help in making the skin look fresh and young.
  5. Broad-spectrum sunscreens: These good guys block harmful sun rays.

Acne-Fighting Ingredients

Your skin may act up during pregnancy. It can lead to breakouts you never dealt with before. Don’t worry! Here are some acne-fighting ingredients safe for use when pregnant:

  1. Azelaic Acid: It fights bacteria that lead to breakouts. Your skin also clears up faster with this ingredient.
  2. Glycolic Acid: This keeps pores clean and reduces acne.
  3. Topical Erythromycin or Clindamycin with Benzoyl Peroxide: These are great for treating spots on your face.
  4. Oral Erythromycin or Cephalexin: If your doctor says it’s okay, these can help fight pimples.

Moisturizing Ingredients

Taking care of your skin while pregnant is important. Here are some safe moisturizing ingredients to use:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: Known for its water-holding powers, this keeps your skin moist and plump.
  • Coconut Oil: This natural oil helps soothe dry skin and can be used all over the body.
  • Cocoa Butter: A popular choice to help with stretch marks, it deeply hydrates the skin.
  • Peptides: These boost collagen production which leads to smoother and hydrated skin.

Sunscreen Ingredients

Picking the right sunscreen during pregnancy is key. Here are some ingredients to look for and avoid:

  1. Zinc oxide: This is a safe choice for pregnant women. It protects against harmful sun rays.
  2. Titanium dioxide: Like zinc oxide, this keeps your skin safe from the sun.
  3. Oxybenzone: Avoid this ingredient because it may have risks during pregnancy.
  4. Octocrylene: It’s best to stay away from this as well.
  5. Octinoxate: Don’t use products with octinoxate, as its safety during pregnancy isn’t clear.

Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Brands

It’s crucial to opt for pregnancy-safe skincare brands while expecting to eliminate the risk of potential toxins affecting your unborn child. Here is a list of skincare brands that are known to be safe for use during pregnancy:

BrandProduct Line
Belli SkincarePregnancy and motherhood skincare products, free of parabens and phthalates.
The Spoiled MamaA range of toxin-free, vegan, and cruelty-free products specifically designed for expecting mothers.
Mama MioOffers a wide variety of pregnancy-safe skincare products, including stretch mark creams and oils.
Earth Mama Angel BabyKnown for its organic, natural, and non-toxic products catered to expecting and nursing mothers.
Pai SkincarePai offers a line of certified organic, vegan skincare products that are safe for use during pregnancy.
Basq SkincareProvides a range of skincare products, free from harmful ingredients including parabens and phthalates.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Remember to avoid harmful ingredients such as hydroquinone, retinoids, and high doses of salicylic acid. Always check the labels before purchasing any skincare product to ensure they are pregnancy-safe.

How to Check if Your Skincare Products are Safe

Checking if your skincare products are safe during pregnancy is simple. Here’s a step by step guide:

  1. Read all the labels on your skincare items.
  2. Make sure you understand all the words on the list of ingredients.
  3. Keep a list of harmful ingredients to avoid during pregnancy with you.
  4. Match this list with the ingredients on your skincare products.
  5. Do not buy any product that has Hydroquinone, Isotretinoin, Retinol or other Retinoids in it.
  6. Stay away from products with high doses of Salicylic acid.
  7. Only use Benzoyl peroxide in small amounts, if at all.
  8. Skip Botox and fillers while you’re pregnant.
  9. Avoid buying products that contain Parabens and phthalates, as they may be risky to your baby.
  10. Use online resources like Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep® database to see how safe a product is for pregnant women.

Tips for a Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine

Taking care of your skin while pregnant is a must. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose products without parabens and phthalates.
  2. Stay away from hydroquinone, a skin – lightener.
  3. Do not use isotretinoin, retinol, or other retinoids.
  4. Avoid high doses of salicylic acid in your skincare routine.
  5. Say no to Botox and fillers for beauty purposes.
  6. Read the labels carefully before buying any product.
  7. Do not use products if you do not understand what the ingredients are.
  8. Always pick safer options like coconut oil and hyaluronic acid for moisture.
  9. Use sunscreens with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or broad – spectrum protection.
  10. Test a small amount of new product on your skin first before using it fully.
  11. If you have any doubts about a product’s safety, talk to your doctor about it right away.

Final Thoughts

In the end, being pregnant means taking extra care. You need to watch what skin products you use. Some have bad stuff that can hurt your baby, like hydroquinone and retinoids. So take time to know what’s in your skincare items and keep both yourself and your baby safe!


1. What skin care should I avoid while pregnant?

During pregnancy, you should avoid skincare ingredients that can get into your bloodstream and possibly hurt the baby. Examples are Retin-A and Accutane.

2. Which skin problems might happen when I am pregnant?

Many women notice changes such as dark skin known as melasma or chloasma, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, spider veins and unwanted hair growth during pregnancy.

3. Are there safe choices for sunscreen during my pregnancy?

Yes! Pregnancy-friendly sunscreens include physical sunscreens that sit on top of the skin to block rays rather than being absorbed.

4. Can I use anti-aging or acne products while pregnant?

You need to be careful with anti-aging and acne products in pregnancy due to risks from certain ingredients like vitamin A and formaldehyde. Always check safety with a health expert like an OB-GYN or dermatologist first.

5. Are there brands of skincare safe for me to use in pregnancy?

Yes! Brands like Earth Mama Organics, Erbavia Organic Skincare, BeautyCounter and Bio-Oil offer many pregnancy-safe options including lotions, creams, cleansers,

6. Where can I find more information about safe skincare during my pregnancy?

For more details about safety of skin care products in your situation you could study work by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), American Academy of Pediatrics the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).