Which skincare products are safe to use in pregnancy?

This is important. Not much gets absorbed from the skin; skin really is a good barrier.  Minor birth defects are common. If we have a child with any kind of birth defect, we never want to look back and think maybe I shouldn’t have done “X.”   That’s why is so important to do everything we can, even small things, to ensure the health of our babies and children.

Since science is spotty in this area, here’s my opinion based on a lot of experience and care of pregnant women.  We have 3 OB offices in our building.  🙂

Which skin care products are safe in pregnancy:

  • Vitamin C products.  Antioxidant and in use for decades.
  • Zinc based sunscreens.  These contain few or no chemicals, and because zinc is a natural mineral in our bodies.
  • Moisturizers – face – most are fine, but consider organic while pregnant.
  • Moisturizers  – body – here’s where my vote would be toward organic because you are using more of it over a larger surface area.
  • Resveratrol – is the antioxidant found in grapes, and it should be fine.  But…it’s a newer product, so not much of a track record.
  • Glycolics – derived from sugarcane and have been used for 30 years.
  • Microdermabrasion, which doesn’t involve any needles, is fine.

Which skincare products to avoid in pregnancy:

  • Vitamin A.  This includes Retin A, retinols, tretinoin, and all other forms of it.  You can google the list.  Oral Vitamin A is more the concern, but OBs generally recommend avoiding the skincare versions, just to be extra cautious.
  • Any injectables that aren’t approved in pregnancy which is all of them to my knowledge.
  • Microneedling. Due to the possible introduction of infections or causing allergic reactions. This also includes anything that involves a product introduced into the skin with microneedling.
  • New, “miraculous,” unusual, odd or just plain snake oil new skincare ingredients.
Hope this helps,
Dr. I
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!

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