What beauty products can you use when pregnant?

by

From the moment you first see those two double lines on a pregnancy test, your natural instinct kicks in to protect your growing baby. 

During your pregnancy, you’re acutely aware of everything you’re putting in and on your body — from food to beauty products, you probably find yourself studying the labels with intense vigour and you’re more than happy to make beauty product swaps for more natural options with no nasties. Protecting your baby and their health is non-negotiable. 

You may also find that your skin becomes more sensitive during pregnancy and you suffer from breakouts, hyperpigmentation, dehydration, and redness. 

When it comes to picking pregnancy-safe skincare and pregnancy-safe beauty products, it can be really overwhelming knowing where to start, so we’ve broken it all down for you! 

Pregnancy-safe makeup

Burt’s Bees: Mother and baby will be safe thanks to Burt’s Bees pregnancy-safe products. Made with ingredients like responsibly sourced Meadowfoam Seed Oil and green tea extract, they have everything from foundations to eyeshadow and concealers.   

Shop Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Full Coverage Liquid Makeup

Cocokind: Cocokind is all about looking after mamas-to-be with their natural makeup products, which cover everything from highlighters to brow balms and tinted sticks. 

bareMinerals: Every bareMinerals product is 100% free of parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, chemical sunscreens, triclosan, triclocarban, propylene glycol, mineral oil, coal tar, and microbeads.

Shop bareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Concealer 

100% Pure: Swapping out synthetic dyes and colours, 100% Pure uses fruit-pigmented makeup instead. Every product in their range is non-toxic, natural, and long-lasting. 

Shop 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Pretty Naked Palette

Holme Beauty:  Holme Beauty’s primer was created especially for pregnant mamas with sensitive skin! It’s vegan, fragrant, and nasties-free, while packed with nourishing ingredients that work on strengthening the skin barrier function to reduce inflammation and reactions.

Shop Holme Base Primer in ‘Bang’

Pregnancy-safe skincare brands:

We love Sukin, Dermeze, QV, and Moo Goo. 

Pregnancy-safe moisturiser: 

If you’re pregnant and you’re finding your skin suddenly itchy and sensitive, don’t fret. This is a normal (albeit one of the weirder) side effects of growing a human for nine months. The Sukin Hydrating Body Lotion in Lime & Coconut will sort your flakey limbs right out and leave you smelling delicious! 

Shop Sukin Hydrating Body Lotion in Lime Coconut

We’re also a huge fan of Moo Goo’s Full Cream Moisturiser — this is an ideal option for dry, sensitive pregnancy skin as it’s nourishing and gentle.

Shop Moo Goo’s Natural Full Cream Moisturiser 

Pregnancy-safe fake tan:

Unfortunately, many self-tanners contain the chemical dihydroxyacetone, which can be dangerous to your baby if it’s inhaled during application. 

Thankfully, there’s an amazing natural self-tanner on the market that can still give you your bronzed glow without harming bub. Loving Tan is made from naturally-derived ingredients, has no nasties, and is super gentle on your skin. 

Shop Loving Tan’s Deluxe Bronzing Mousse

Skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy:

We spoke to Dr Christine Catling, Director of Midwifery Studies at UTS, who explains all the ingredients you need to avoid in your makeup and skincare products during pregnancy. 

Retinoids 

These are most commonly used in the treatment of acne and anti-ageing. Oral retinoids are known to cause birth defects and must be avoided, while topical versions are generally considered safer. Doctors still recommend avoiding them due to the lack of research on their effects.

Vitamin A 

Studies have also shown that taking high doses of Vitamin A can have harmful effects on the baby and are also best avoided. They also recommend avoiding topical versions to be safe.

Tetracycline

This is commonly used in acne treatments or medications.

Benzoyl Peroxide

This is commonly used in acne treatments and may be found in face wash, lotions, and serums.

Hydroquinone

This is often found in over-the-counter skin lightening treatments used to fix melasma (also known as the mask of pregnancy), but it should be avoided. 

Phthalates

These are commonly found in perfumes and nail polish (and also some plastics).

Formaldehyde

This is commonly found in personal care products made for adults as well as hair straightening treatments, nail polish, eyelash glue, and even some mascaras.

Salicylic Acid

Again, this is generally considered less risky when applied topically during pregnancy (than taking orally which is unsafe), however, it is best avoided where possible. It is commonly used in treating acne and is found in face cleansers, treatments, and serums.

Toluene

This is often found in nail polish. Also avoid any with methylbenzene, toluol, or antisal on the ingredient label.

Ammonia

This is found in many hair dye formulas. Always let your hairdresser know you are pregnant in case they need to change any of the products they are using on you.

Parabens

These are found in shampoo and conditioners as well as body wash.

Dihydroxyacetone

This is an ingredient found in many spray self-tanners. When applied topically, this is generally considered safe, however, it should not be ingested, which is why doctors recommend avoiding spray tans in favour of lotions or creams. This is often listed on ingredient labels as DHA.

Thioglycolic acid

This is used in hair removal creams and is also listed on ingredient labels as acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid, and thiovanic acid.

Botulinim toxin

Yep, good old Botox is a definite no-no.

Oxybenzone

This is found in chemical sunscreens (also look out for Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate, and oxtocrylene). Instead, opt for a physical sunscreen that uses zinc or titanium oxide as the active ingredient and acts as a physical barrier rather than getting absorbed into the skin.

Your skin will thank you for looking after it during your pregnancy! When in doubt, remember to look for gentle, skin-loving products that will make you glow from the inside out.

Related Articles
How to cope when you don’t love being pregnant…
The 15 essentials every mum needs in their hospital bag
The newborn wardrobe guide: What’s essential & what’s not?

Sign up image heart

Don't miss a thing!

Stay in the loop on all things parenthood as we share tips, hacks, products, inspo & everything in between. We promise not to clutter your inbox.