Everything changes when you’re pregnant, and between worrying about potential stretch marks, increased skin sensitivity, pregnancy acne and the occasional dark spot, you may feel bewildered by the plethora of skincare products you could be using.
Worry not though – we’ve looked into the products and come up with our Top 5!
In a hurry?
This is our Winner!
Best Skin Care Products When Pregnant – Comparison Table
Buy on Amazon
Best Skin Care Products When Pregnant – Reviews
Our Top Pick
With all the dedicated stretch mark products in this kit, you may not need another stretch mark skin care product for the entire duration of the pregnancy!
You may be of the belief that stretch mark products are simply for treating existing stretch marks – but many such products, such as this one, can be very beneficial to pregnant women’s skin to prevent stretch marks from occuring in the first place.
The items in the kit are made with much the same ingredients, but have different textures, so you’re bound to find one with a texture you like. And you’ll find that products in this range will compliment one another.
The elements of the kit designed to combat stretch marks include:
Massage Lotion: An all-over body lotion that helps visibly improve your skin’s elasticity and reduces the appearance of stretch marks.
Massage Cream: A super targeted cream concentrate that is ideal for stretch mark prone areas such as the tummy, bust, hips and thighs.
Tummy Butter: An intensive treatment butter.
There’s also a bonus item, Skin Therapy Oil, which not only helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks, but also helps with dry, damaged skin, uneven skin tone, aging skin and fine lines and wrinkles.
The Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter work together to form a protective moisture barrier for expanding bellies, and soften, smooth and plump the skin.
The Antioxidants Vitamin E and Lutein are also good for hydration, supporting moisture retention to reduce the appearance of marks and scars, and supporting stretching skin.
Skin Therapy Oil (Bonus): Helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, dry, damaged skin, uneven skin tone, aging skin and fine lines and wrinkles.
This product is absolutely jam-packed with all those vital ingredients, that not only moisturise your skin but do much more besides!
Although primarily aimed at ageing women, this is a fantastic product for pregnant women too.
It’s a lightweight moisturizer, which is easily absorbed by the skin, sinking right in and drenching your skin with moisture – exactly what you want in a moisturizer. It’s designed to leave skin feeling softened, protected, rejuvenated, and balanced. It can leave skin hydrated for up to 3 whole days.
Of its 29 in total beneficial ingredients, perhaps the star of the show is manuka honey. Manuka honey improves your skin’s appearance by balancing your skin’s pH level and helping to slough away dead cell debris to keep your skin clean. It’s both antibacterial and anti inflammatory – so it’s great for pregnancy induced acne.
The other anti inflammatory ingredients are peppermint & rosemary oils, which all known to help relieve dry itchy sensitive skin – great if you have pregnancy induced heightened skin sensitivity.
It has anti aging properties too, diminishing wrinkles, thanks to all its antioxidants – great for older mums-to-be.
It helps to even the skin tone, so if you’ve got redness in your skin or skin darkening, this is the moisturizer for you.
It boosts skin cell renewal, and promotes the skin’s elasticity, improves skin texture, and evens skin tone.
What a product! Did you know it’s a Number 1 selling multi-use skin care oil in over 20 countries and a winner of over 300 skin care awards?
It’s clinically proven and dermatologist recommended for scars and stretch marks, which is possibly down to the inclusion of Vitamin A, which helps increase the skin’s elasticity. The unique formulation increases the moisture content of the skin, which not only treats dry skin, but also makes the skin appear more smooth and supple – just what your stretch marks need.
We absolutely love what it does for skin tone. Whether you’re getting redness from the hormonal changes or skin darkening, the bio-oil helps to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone.
To a lesser extent, the bio-oil may also help with any pregnancy induced acne – its non greasy, so you won’t get it clogging your pores, and it contains calendula oil, which reduces inflammation from breakouts.
It’s hypoallergenic which is great if you’re suffering with heightened skin sensitivity – no itching or nasty rashes. It has lavender and chamomile oil too, to soothe and calm the skin after an allergic reaction.
Many women during pregnancy experience skin darkening, also known as “the mask of pregnancy” or by its official name, Melasma, and it’s mainly characterized by dark spots. If that’s your particular ailment, then this is the product for you.
At 2%, it contains the highest concentration of hydroquinone allowed without a prescription. This is the active ingredient designed to help brighten skin and fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation and melasma. The acids in the formula gently peel dark spots to reveal the brighter skin underneath.
It’s considered to be more effective than other hydroquinone products and melasma treatment creams, due to its super effective ingredients. Besides Hydroquinone, it’s also got Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Lactic Acid & Vitamin C.
When you’re pregnant, you don’t stop needing deodorant, but with all those skincare ingredients you’re supposed to avoid during pregnancy you’re probably wondering what deodorant you can actually use worry free. Fear not we have the answer!
There’s no harsh chemicals here – all ingredients have been carefully vetted to ensure they are safe for you and for the baby. It’s free from aluminum, parabens and phthalates. Instead it’s got those lovely ingredients we all know and love, like probiotics, coconut oil and shea butter.
It also has baking soda and tapioca starch, which neutralise odor causing bacteria and keep you feeling dry.
Best Skin Care Products When Pregnant – Buyers Guide
Pregnancy and Your Skin
When you’re pregnant, you have a significantly increased volume of blood going through your veins to give you that gorgeous pregnant glow. However, it isn’t gorgeous for everybody!
As you’d imagine, this can lead to increased redness for some women. Pregnancy related hormones can also increase oil production in your skin, which in some people can lead to breakouts.
Another common problem is that your skin could become more sensitive to environmental irritants and sun exposure, and your skin could become itchy or inflamed.
To a lesser extent, there can be skin darkening, whereby you get increased pigmentation, usually on the forehead and cheeks.
What Skincare Ingredients to Avoid
The evidence for any skincare product harming your baby is scarce due to the low concentration of active ingredients, but we can totally relate to wanting to be safe rather than sorry.
Here’s a list of product ingredients to avoid: retinoids, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, formaldehyde, soy, parabens, and oxybenzone. It’s a formidable list we know, but you’ll feel better for checking.
What Skincare Labels to Look For
In addition to looking at what to avoid, we can happily inform you that there are some good things to look out for in your skincare. First of all, look for products that are hypoallergenic, as these will be a lot less likely to bring out allergic reactions in your skin, while it’s that bit more sensitive.
Skincare labelled as paraben-free is another type to look for. Parabens are a type of preservative commonly used in skincare and beauty products.
But parabens can be absorbed through your skin and into the bloodstream, and there is some research which has shown that exposure to parabens may increase a baby’s weight gain.
You should also seek out products labelled as non-comedogenic. What this means is that the product won’t clog up your skin’s pores – particularly important if you’re concerned about breakouts.
The Problem: (Potential/Existing) Stretch Marks
Your first worry might well be the stretch marks you’ll be left with when the pregnancy – and this is understandable given how much your skin will have to grow in a relatively short space of time.
The good thing here is that the products often designed to prevent stretch marks are also the same products designed to heal them – money saver.!
The Problem: Increased Redness
The increased blood flow in your veins can really affect the tiny blood vessels in your face, leaving a very red look and you may even get hot flushes. A facial spritz is a great way to cool down a hot face, and you should also seek out cooling skincare ingredients such as aloe vera.
The Problem: Hormonal Acne
If hormonal acne is a problem for you, you will need to invest in a good cleanser to remove the makeup and debris from your pores, to prevent a breakout in the first instance. What you’ll need to be watchful for in particular, is that many of the traditional acne remedies feature some of the products that you need to avoid whilst pregnant, specifically retinoids and salicylic acid.
The Problem: Heightened Sensitivity
The increased skin sensitivity experienced by many women while pregnant is thought to be your body’s way of protecting itself and the baby from infection and disease. You may find that conditions such as eczema may worsen.
The main thing to do here would be to ensure that your skincare products are irritant free of hypoallergenic.
The Problem: Skin Darkening (AKA Melasma or Dark Spots)
The most important action you can take in this circumstance is to always keep your skin safe in direct sunlight – look for sunscreen (and other skincare products where applicable) with high factor UVB and UVA protection, such as SPF40 of SPF50.
Some studies have shown that alpha hydroxy acids can be beneficial in treating hyper-pigmentation, and they are generally safe to use in pregnancy.
Frequently Asked Questions
What skin care routine to use when pregnant?
Just like any other time, you should continue to cleanse, tone and moisturize your face on a daily basis. (If you’re looking for really good moisturizer during pregnancy, we can’t recommend our Number 2 strongly enough.)
In addition to that though, you should also use any targeted treatments where applicable like our Number 1 for stretch marks on your tummy or bust, or like our Number 4 for skin darkening.
Just follow the instructions on the products or look for online videos on how to use them. It’s also nice to look at videos detailing improvements in skin from use of the products.
Can you use essential oils when pregnant?
Not all essential oils are safe for moms-to-be, but some can offer much needed relief. We would advise all readers to avoid all essential oils until your 2nd trimester.
Lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang are good to use during pregnancy because of the calming, down regulating and relaxing effects. Lavender oil is good for both stretch marks and swollen ankles.
Sweet orange and mandarin oil can be inhaled to ease the nausea associated with “morning” sickness.
The essential oils you should really avoid, any trimester, are cinnamon, clove, rosemary, clary sage, and jasmine. There’s some evidence to suggest that these essential oils can cause uterine contractions which can result in miscarriage or premature labor.
What chemicals should I avoid during pregnancy?
We looked at this in our buying guide, but here’s a quick recap for you on what chemicals to avoid:
Is it true that you should avoid certain vitamins while pregnant?
Some vitamins are unsafe to consume in high doses while pregnant, such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E.
If you are interested in taking a vitamin supplement whilst pregnant, we strongly advise that you use a multivitamin that has been designed specifically for consumption during pregnancy.
The same warning does not necessarily apply to skin care products however. Vitamin C-based products, unlike vitamin A-derived retinols, are deemed to be safe to use during pregnancy. If in any doubt, simply check the label.
Is it safe to use hyaluronic acid while pregnant?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are many acids that are perfectly safe to put on your skin during pregnancy. Hyaluronic acid is one such acid, and it’s also a very good chemical for moisturizing the skin.
Why are so many anti-ageing skincare products promoted to pregnant women?
Some of the skin problems that befall pregnant women are actually some of the same ones that are suffered by more senior ladies. In fact skin darkening, medically referred to as Melasma, is often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy”.