When pregnant, there are precautions mothers need to take when it comes to which ingredients they should put on their skin and it can become rather mind boggling. This is due to the fact that your skin is your largest organ and is very porous, so it absorbs whatever you put on it, some of which is drawn into your bloodstream.
This is important because the necessary nutrition, oxygen, and life support from the mother’s blood goes through the placenta and to the baby through blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Therefore making sure you are using safe products is crucial when you are pregnant, as there are many ingredients in products which are not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women to put on their skin.
The list of ingredients to avoid include neurotoxins like Botox (which can cause paralysis in babies), any form of retinol or vitamin A (which can cause fetal deformities in high doses), and hydroquinone (a skin lightener used for hyperpigmentation).
Therefore, after extensive research and testing (by yours truly), I thought it would be beneficial to share my top picks of safe and effective products to use during your pregnancy. I’ll also share a little on why I put it on my skin during my pregnancies and why it works.
This gentle yet effective Mellow Balm Cleanser by SKINCITY Skincare melts away make-up and impurities while keeping skin supple with its key ingredients of shea butter, mango seed oil and squalene. The balm turns into an oil on the skin then a light milk when mixed with water, making it the perfect pre-cleanser in the evenings. I use this every evening to cleanse and clean my skin, followed by the SKINCITY Skincare Soft Foaming Cleanser and my skin still feels quite soft and subtle after use and not tight or taut, which I really like as I find my skin tends to be a little drier in areas when pregnant. It is worthwhile noting that all SKINCITY Skincare products are safe to use during pregnancy.
Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it prevents and reduces damage to skin cells by neutralising the production of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. More importantly, it wards off pregnancy hyperpigmentation without using hydroquinone. I prefer this Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum formulation as it does not oxidize as quickly compared to other brands I have used in the past and hence the longevity of this product is better. I apply this serum prior to applying a hydrating lotion.
After applying Vitamin C Serum, I always follow this with a super hydrating serum. A hyaluronic acid serum for hydration and plumpness is fantastic and I love this Skinmedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator which balances moisture levels to smooth and soften rough texture, lines and wrinkle for up to 8 hours. Recommended by dermatologists, the technical terminology of how it works is that the humectants draw moisture from the air and deliver it straight to the areas of your skin that need it the most. It’s so potent that it almost immediately begins to smooth the appearance of furrows. While it is on the pricer side, this is the holy grail when it comes to fine line minimisation and prevention of deeper lines from forming during pregnancy.
I love a super hydrating face sheet mask during pregnancy and found the one that is safe to use from my favourite mask brand is the 111SKIN Anti Blemish Bio Cellulose Facial Mask, which is ideal as many pregnant women are prone to pregnancy breakouts. This facial mask set has two separate halves that work deep to alleviate breakouts, uneven skin tone, dehydrated skin and oiliness. The 111SKIN formulas replicate in-clinic treatments and are devised by a cosmetic surgeon. I tend to do a face mask at least once a week to restore the balance of my skin and help with lost hydration.
Dermatologists recommend a mineral sunscreen as physical blockers (like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) which are so much more effective than chemical sunscreens. That is why I use organically derived Bioregena’s SPF 50+ Sun Balm for high levels of protection with a formula designed for sensitive areas of the body, like the face and neck.
It’s natural mineral filter, bisabolol and sesame oil protect and nourish the face; blocking out harmful UVA and UVB rays, protecting skin cells from ageing and damage caused by exposure to the sun. This lightweight, velvety formula absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any greasy-residue. Bear in mind it is very thick and hence you only need to apply a little of the product to your face and neck. It’s also waterproof and dermatologically tested. There is also the larger Bioregena Organic Sun Spray 90ml, which is ideal for the rest of the body.
I prefer body bars over gel shower cleansers and the all natural Herbivore Blue Clay Cleansing Bar Soap entirely consists of minerals and good-for-skin nutrients, This cleansing bar is made from Cambrian blue clay (one of the rarest clays on earth and is predominantly imported from salt lakes in the Altai Range in Siberia) to draw out dirt and impurities and help unclog pores, leaving my skin clean, smooth and soft. It can be used for both face and body.
The bar does not contain any synthetics, fillers or nasty chemicals – instead it contains natural botanicals including soothing lavender and litsea oils to balance oil levels with a gentle soothing fragrance. Cruelty-free, vegan and with minimal packaging, this bar is an eco-warrior’s dream without skimping on high quality ingredients.
Stretch marks are beautiful and are a souvenir of what our amazing bodies can do. They may also be also genetically predispositioned, however studies do show that pretentative measures can be taken to help. I have used Bio-Oil Skincare Oil religiously in both my pregnancies for my body and have so far not seen any stretch marks. I apply it liberally over my belly and thighs each night daily before bed. I do not use it in the mornings due to the stickiness of the formula and possibility of staining clothes. Whilst the oil is time consuming to slather all over my body, it is a product that does help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone and also assist in preventing stretch marks if used early on in pregnancy.
There are plenty of controversional ingredients in most deodorants which you should avoid, for example aluminum which block the sweat ducts and penetrates the skin, parabens which are preservatives, an phthalates which is a hormone disrupter and can cross the placental membrane.
Whilst there hasn’t been extensive research in this area and the harmful effects of these ingredients in deodrant, I have chosen to go all natural for my second pregnancy with fantastic results. I am currently using the Lush Aromaco Solid Deodorant which has gentle and natural ingredients and using the power of absorbent sodium bicarbonate and witch hazel to stay dry, while antibacterial chamomile vinegar and cooling, fragrant patchouli for fragrance. This is also a minimal packing product which makes it a great eco alternative. If you prefer a roll-on, I have also used Dr Organic Lavender Deodorant 50ml which contains organic and bio-active natural ingredients and is aluminum, SLS, paraben & alcohol free.
Shea butter is very hydrating and I use this Little Butterfly London Cocoon of Bliss Stretch Mark Butter primarily as a moisturiser particularly on drier areas as it has a combination of creamy whipped butters including cupuaçu, kokum, mango, illipe, cacao and shea to nourish, deliver long-lasting moisture and optimize skin elasticity. The cream also helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, whilst comforting rooibos and arnica flower sooth and calm itchy skin. This is fabulous everyday lotion and I use this in the evenings.
There are many changes to woman’s body during this time and I find that swollen feet and legs are an issue for me. I started using the all natural Little Butterfly London’s Fresh Meadows Cooling Leg Gel in my last pregnancy and found it worked a treat as an anti inflammatory as it is a really refreshing micro-circulation booster for instant comfort and relief. Particularly great for long days on your feet and even travelling on long haul flights also.
For instant comfort and relief, our energising yet soothing gel rapidly lifts and nurtures swollen, heavy-feeling legs and feet. This fast-absorbing rescue treatment works to alleviate everyday pregnancy strains with its powerful bio-blend of anti-inflammatory ginger, arnica and horse chestnut that stimulates the circulation, eases muscle discomfort and reduces puffiness. These two Little Butterfly London products mentioned above also come as part of a Pamper Gift Box, which includes the Scent of Seas Toning Body Serum. Lastly, all Little Butterfly London products are pregnancy and breastfeeding safe and marked with this logo which is fantastic for mothers.
If you have any questions for me or any other pregnancy safe products which you would like to recommend, do pop them down below!
Kerstin // Lux Mumma
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