As we all know, pregnancy is often one of life’s greatest blessings, and with it comes a whole host of other considerations.  As most mothers experience a rush of hormones, some will have the most glowing complexion throughout the duration of their pregnancies, and others will experience “pregnancy mask” or melasma, where the hormones create darker pigment in the skin, and still others will experience acne.  Whatever, the concern or consideration for your skin, it is important to discuss any reservations about your products or treatments with your OB/GYN and your skin specialist.  Too often, expectant mothers aren’t sure what is safe and what isn’t, so it is always best to err on the side of caution. Generally, there are no studies being done of pregnant women, but there are products we know are not safe.


Retinoids, Salicylic Acid in higher doses, hydroquinone, phthalates, formaldehyde, and chemical sunscreens are the main ingredients to avoid during pregnancy because these are known to be harmful to the baby.  Retinoids or Vitamin A products such as tretinoin or isotretinoin (Accutane) are known to increase risks 20-35% for congenital birth defects. Lower doses of salicylic acid is deemed ok by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Hydroquinone has not been shown to harm infants, but 25-30% of hydroquinone is known to be absorbed into the body, which is far greater than most other skincare ingredients. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system, and in animals has been linked to serious hormone/reproductive dysfunction. More studies are being done to further investigate the impact of phthalates on humans. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and has been linked to increased risk for miscarriages and infertility. Oxybenzone found in chemical sunscreens has been increasingly concerning due to the endocrine disruption it can also cause.  Again, when considering any product during pregnancy, please take a minute to evaluate the ingredients.


The best recommendation is to use gentle products.  When in doubt, don’t use it or certainly defer to your physicians.  For sun protection, a mineral sunscreen is safest.  HyaLuronic Acid is generally safe to use, but nothing is absolute.  Due to the concern about ingredients in skincare, another concern are treatments that are safe to receive during pregnancy. Essentially, European or traditional facials are safe depending on the skincare products being used, but only until 6 weeks before delivery.  We don’t recommend anyone getting a facial that close to delivery for risk of massage inducing labor.  Hydrafacials are contraindicated during pregnancy due to the ingredients in the serums.  Laser treatments, microneedling, radio frequency treatments are all disadvised. Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are probably both safe to do but use your discretion.  The best advice is to always be conservative.

safe skin care during pregnancy

When you are unclear of what products to use, please schedule a consultation to discuss with your trusted skin professional and always get clearance from your physician if you’re in doubt.