pregnancy skincare & products to avoid

**DISCLAIMER: I am by no means an expert in skincare or pregnancy-related matters. As always, if you have questions or concerns about a skincare product speak with your doctor or medical provider.

There’s already so many things we can’t do when we’re pregnant and a lot of others we need to be careful about. I honestly didn’t think too much about my skincare products and how they might affect a growing/developing baby but there are some products and ingredients we need to be mindful about. We all know that our skin is our largest organ and what we put on our skin we absorb, so it should really be no surprise that certain products should be avoided when pregnant.

I found it a bit confusing when googling certain products/ingredients to see if they were considered safe or not to use when pregnant. One blog I found had A TON if information (, but I would caution you when going through the brands on the site and the safe vs. unsafe list. I found myself spiralling and it really heightened my anxiety about my pregnancy in general. As always, speak with an actual professional and/or your medical provider if you have any concerns or questions.

Three main products to avoid when pregnant


This is a big one and should be totally avoided during pregnancy. If you’ve been using retinol before pregnancy, like me, you were already probably aware that it should be avoided when pregnant. I feel like every bottle or tube of retinol comes with that disclaimer. Retinol should also not be used when nursing.


This is found in chemical sunscreens and should also be avoided during pregnancy. If you stick with mineral sunscreens, you should have no issues avoiding oxybenzone, but always read the ingredient list.

AHAs and BHAs

OK, this is a bit of a tricky one. Certain blogs I read stated pregnant women should avoid AHAs and BHAs completely. Others said that really only BHAs need to be avoided and another one said anything under 2% is generally considered safe. I decided to err on the side of caution and stop all use of my AHAs and BHAs. To me, it wasn’t worth the possible risk and I figured it was only until the end of the year so not a huge sacrifice to make.

What I’m using instead

I decided to keep my pregnancy skincare routine as simple as possible. My skin was already breaking out and I didn’t want to irritate it any further. Plus, I figured less was more when it came to pregnancy skincare.

Because I dealt with hormonal acne for about the first 17 weeks I knew I wanted something to help combat the excess sebum my skin was producing thanks to the increased levels of androgens and progesterone. Because I couldn’t any products containing high levels of salicylic acid, I switched to a niacinamide, which is great for oily-prone skin and has a ton of other benefits. I never really used niacinamide before pregnancy, but I might make it a permanent step in my skincare routine.

The Ordinary has become a best friend of mine. I use their Mineral Suncreen, Niacinaminde + Zinc and their daily moisturizer.

From the Inkey List I use their Oatmeal Cleanser and Vitamin C

As my deep cleanser I switched to CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser

xoxo Kells

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