When I announced my pregnancy my most asked question was about my skincare. What stayed, what has changed, etc. As with all my pregnancy related posts, I’m going to preface this with: I’m not a doctor so please ask your OBGYN before you try anything especially if your’e uncomfortable. The following has been my journey and I have consulted with both my OBGYN and my sister who happens to be a OBGYN PA!
I’m not going to lie, my skin the first trimester was horrific. I’ve always had pretty nice / manageable skin so between the dizziness, fatigue, severe nausea, the last thing I wanted to deal with was crazy hormonal skin. It was really tough and my heart goes out to the girls who struggle with acne regularly because it’s so mentally draining…hopefully this post can help those girls too!
When I spoke to my OBGYN and my sister, they both essentially said that my skincare doesn’t have to change much except: NO RETINOL (ouch, esp if you suffer with acne pre pregnancy), check all SPF’s because these are on the NO-NO list: oxybenzone, avobenzone or octinoxate, and NO strong acids esp. Salicylic aka BHA’s (most over the counter is fine but if a derm gave it to you-it may be too strong). AHA’s for the most part are OKAY. So that was my basics of my pregnancy safe skincare journey and then I did some personal digging.
Don’t forget, pregnant women are still women. We’re all different. We’re all comfortable with different things right? Some preggos get their hair colored (like me), others would rather not. Some get gel manicures, some only go to ten over ten for a non toxic mani (like me). So take this with a grain of salt and do what you’re most comfortable doing. Ok, I blabbed enough, here are the pregnancy safe products I used and am using.
PS my skin has gone totally back to normal in the 2nd trimester. A lot of you sweet ladies have commented I’m glowing (which is most likely due to the extra blood flow cause of the baby but hey I’ll take the compliment!)
PSS going to note if I bought specifically for pregnancy or if I used before as well as during pregnancy
Revive Purifying Cleanser: I’ve used this cleanser for at least a year + now and love it. I was so happy to learn it is pregnancy safe. It’s a great purifying cleanser. Face and skin feels so clean afterwards. Great if you’re breaking out.
Natura Bisse Vitamin C scrub: I love this light exfoliating cleanser- I was so happy to see this was also preggo safe because it was already in my shower caddy! Really gentle but efficient exfoliant only thing is during my 1st trimester, I was SO sensitive to smells the normally amazing citrus scent was a bit hard to handle. 2nd trimester loving it fully though!
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser: This is prob my all-time favorite exfoliator. It feels amazing and Tata taught me a great tip when I met her behind the scenes at NYFW to leave it on for 5 minutes and add her regenerating mask on top for the most amazing glow. I personally wouldn’t use this during my first trimester because it was a bit harsh and it has willow bark which most OBGYN’s say its fine but some research says its harmful (again, do your own research). I use it all the time in my 2nd trimester though!
Tata Harper Oil Cleanser : You all know I love anything Tata Harper makes. This smells amazing. Feels amazing and is great if you’re double cleansing after a day of spf and/or makeup. When I reach out to the brand they said Tata herself has used EVERY single product of hers during all her pregnancies and that reassured me too. I’ve been using this for years.
Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser: Ok, this is not sexy and I’m sorry. Sometimes pregnancy is not sexy and that’s OKAY! You may get VERY sensitive and if you do- there’s no better cleanser than this. Bought specifically for pregnancy as my skin was not this sensitive before.
Caudalie Cleansing Milk: Another gentle cleanser that’s very safe with natural ingredients from a brand I truly trust. Used specifically during pregnancy.
Fresh Umbrian Clay Pore Purifying Mask: yes, yes and umm yes. Hard to find a pore purifying/clay type of mask that’s safe for pregnancy. Was really grateful for this one.
Tata Harper Floral Mask: anti redness, hydration mask that’s super gentle for your sensitive preggo skin. Yes please! I’ve probably used already 4 bottles of this bad boy.
Farmacy Honey Potion: hydrating mask that feels like thick honey. Every time I use this my skin is SUPER bright and glowing. For me it really healed the acne redness/scars. I’ve been using this for years.
Eve Lom Rescue Mask: Perfect if you’re breaking out. My all time favorite face mask is their radiance mask but unfortunately it has glycolic acid which is OK depending on the strength… I opted out in my first trimester and use is sparingly in my second. But this one is all safe and can get rid of acne that your new hormones are causing!
Caudalie Detox Mask: pronounced like “totally”. Mind blowing right? haha. This is a great, well priced, clean mask. Can’t go wrong esp when you’re in the middle of a hormonal breakout!
Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative: People rave about this product and at $54 swear it’s worth it. For those who were using retinol before getting pregnant this seems to be a no brainer. I actually was never on retinol but a few of my friends told me to get this and so it’s on my wishlist. Adding it here even though I haven’t tried because it’s such a unique product.
Beauty RX Tetrafoliant: 8% glycolic acid / exfoliating serum for nighttime only. I wouldn’t personally use this in the first trimester because it’s better safe than sorry but my OB and dermatologic Dr. Neal Shultz who created Beauty RX said this is totally fine in the second trimester. I got really bad bumps on my forehead (like the flesh colored ones than never go away) and after two nights of using this ALL GONE. Magic.
Beauty Rx Vitamin C: Okay. I thought I’d only use the vit c below for the rest of my life but here’s what happened. My skin was really horrific so I went to Dr. Neal Shultz (my hero). He did a glycolic peel (preggo approved) and recommended a few products including this. This is less of a serum type so I hate to compare it to the skinceuticals because it’s almost like a richer oil type that you use as a last step. I’ve never had my skin react better or quicker to any one product. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
Skinceuticals Vitamin C E Ferulic: Didn’t think I can talk about this product any more but here I am again! It’s pricey, yes but this sh*t WORKS. I mean, it’s my ride or die for YEARS. When I saw it was pregnancy safe, pretty sure I cried. So take that how you will.
SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Intensifier: So proud of myself for spelling these right. Promise, didn’t use spellcheck. Same as above ladies. This is prob my 6th or 7th bottle. It’s also my fav and THE best hyaluronic out there, hands down. I won’t even try another one because why fix something if it’s not broke? amiright.
Cocokind Organic Rosewater toner: Let’s start with the super clean, organic, sensitive skin friendly stuff. $15 never looked so good. Love this stuff and sometimes I randomly spray my face with it like a face mist because it’s so gentle and refreshing. If you want something a bit stronger try their Rasberry Vinegar Toner. I love both.
Indie Lee CoQ10 Toner: When I first found out I was pregnant I was panicking because toner is my favorite skincare product but is usually the harshest and the only one I had was Biologique Recherge P50 (which officially is fine besides 1970) but I didn’t feel comfortable using it because my skin was so sensitive so I found this one by Indie Lee which is an all natural brand. It’s good, gentle and gets the job done. Bit more of a real toner than the cocokind ones.
Caudalie Moisturizing Toner: gets rid of makeup and does the job well re getting your skin PH balances while moisturizing. Smell is gentle enough for first trimester too.
Beauty RX Clarifying Toner: used starting 2nd trimester. LOVE this toner. It’s the only one in the list that deals with acne/blemishes etc. super hard to find a preggo friendly clarifying toner.
Malin & Goetz Acne treatment: Used this with a qtip on the big pimples that needed to dry up and disappear asap. Wasn’t as messy as I imagined. It’s good, prob won’t use post pregnancy. This is sulfur.
Mario Badescu Drying Cream: put a dot on the pimples that need drying. Similar to above product. Again, prob wouldn’t use it after pregnancy but mostly because I don’t get pimples like that normally. Works decently well for a preggo safe acne product! This is pure zinc oxide.
Odacite Grapeseed&Grapefruit Concentrate: this is for oily/acne prone skin by a brand that I love. They’re clean and toxic free etc. This serum you add a few drops to your hand or your cream and voila. Helps prevent new breakouts and gets rid of current breakouts. Works pretty well.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch: $6 for 24 and it’s my fav acne treatment. You’re not supposed to pick your pimples-but every single person does. So once you pick it (don’t do it!) put this on over night and it’s basically healed in the morning. Will def. continue using this post pregnancy.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid: What if I told you the best spot treatment to prevent blemishes / help with texture was $8? Well…. that’s what I’m sayin! Really works, v impressed. And if it doesn’t work for you cause hey we all have diff. skin, it’s only $8 so not a terrible waste.
Tata Harper Creme Riche: On my 5th bottle maybe and will never stop using. LOVE everything about it and my husband uses it too. Def. not great for oily skin bc it’s very rich but I love it in the winter and at night. I have combo skin by the way. If you’re being super strict, this has willow bark which for me I’ve accepted as OK based on my own research and my OBGYN but do your own research.
Eve Lom Moisture Cream: Another pre pregnancy favorite! Been using this for years and love it. It’s moisturizing but not heavy.
Augustinus Bader Rich Cream: DO NOT USE “THE CREAM” WHEN PREGNANT. IT HAS RETINOID. The rich cream is fine though. COS BAR was generous enough to send this to me and I just started this last week because I’ve been hesitant: the main ingredient is soy protein and I’m allergic to soy. Most people don’t react the same way to topical creams as when the ingest so..so far so good and I like it and get the hype. Nice touch that they have a preggo safe one.
Natura Bisse Tolerance Recovery: This cream smells the most amazing ever. hands down. When my skin was super sensitive I used this for those few months- it’s really good if you’re sensitive.
Natura Bisse C +C : I’ve been using this eye cream for years. I love the smell, how it absorbs, and of course, how bright it makes my eyes look. Was incredibly happy when I found out it’s safe for mommas too 🙂 It’s very light weight and I prefer to use it in the morning to wake up my eyes.
Skinceuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex : My night-time go to eye cream also for years. It is thick but absorbs incredibly well that’s why I prefer it at night. It’s pricey but works.
Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Eye Cream : I know, it says retinol in the name but its safe- I double checked. If you’re worried just skip it but I’ve reached out to the brand and it’s all good. Priciest of the 3, thickest of the 3 and smells the best of the 3. I just love the brand so much and that it’s natural. I always gravitate towards TH.
Really wanted to wait until the end of my pregnancy to write this one. I am so grateful for the brands who gifted me so many stretch mark creams that I legit would’ve bought anyway. As you know, I’m tall, and growing up, I had many growth spurts that led to stretch marks on my hips, sides and legs. It was such an area of embarrassment for me….until I grew up and thought hey, this is natural and most people have it. BUT that doesn’t mean I wanted more ha! So although I’m fine with my current ones, I really did not want more. Unfortunately, after much research it does seem that stretch marks are genetic and there’s not much you can do….so I figured, great, I’m definitely going to get it. So far…no stretch marks. I’m writing this at 33 weeks pregnant so who knows, maybe I will get them. I wanted to share the creams that absorbed well and made my skin feel “elastic” so if I were to suddenly get bigger in my belly/breasts, no stretch mark had a chance. Here are my favorites.
Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream: Okay, I’m not going to add all the ones I got and liked. Only these two because they’re MY FAVORITE. They absorb SO well. The smell is subtle but magical (even when every smell made me nauseous). My skin feels hydrated immediately. These may seem like no brainers for every cream but that’s just not true. A lot of the stretch mark creams left a greasy residue that made me itchy (pregnancy gave me super sensitive skin). This is my holy grail stretch mark cream. Highly recommend. Also am now in love with this brand I’ve never tried before. Oh also, it’s hypoallergenic.
Mustella Stretch Mark Prevention Oil: If I had to choose cream or oil, I’d go with cream BUT I love adding the oil once the cream absorbed into my skin for extra hydration on the days I feel the belly is going to grow overnight (if you know, you know).
THE END! This was months of research, asking questions to my OB’s, trial and error and purchases as well as gifting. I really wish I had a guide like this to look for (I’m sure it exists but I couldn’t find one). Hope it helps someone out there. XOXO