I typically go with the motto “when in doubt, go without”. During my pregnancies and now being a mother of young children, if the safety of a product or ingredient is debatable or iffy, I believe it’s best to simply avoid it. I’ve especially found that using organic or “clean” skincare – products that don’t have all the preservatives and dirty ingredients found in the majority of OTC and even some medical grade skincare- is beneficial for certain skincare products during this expecting time. It is realized though, that most women don’t want to stop using their medical grade skincare for nearly a year, so let me guide you on the product types not to skip over that will benefit you most during pregnancy.
Vitamin C Serum
This is one of the most important parts of any skincare routine! When picking out a C serum (and forking over big-bucks for this antioxidant) you want to choose carefully. During pregnancy, I have a clear choice winner: Truth Treatment Systems Transdermal C Serum. Why? Well it is simple and clean, containing only 5 ingredients. And, it is the most concentrated vitamin C on the market with 80% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. Being a fat-soluble form of Vitamin C, means that it is unanimously considers safe for use during pregnancy.
Luckily there are some good pregnancy options now for retinols or retinoids. iS Clincial makes pregnancy-safe products that can be used in place of traditional retinols. These include their Pro Heal Serum Advance+ which has low, safe concentrations of retinol and their Active Serum which is a retinol alternative with multiple exfoliants. Both have been OBGYN approved for pregnancy and have changed the game for pregnancy skincare.
An inevitable part of most pregnancies is the facial darkening caused by hormones that seem to show up out of nowhere. These darker patches appear on some women during pregnancy or directly following childbirth. Either way, it can be disheartening and make an already stressful situation worse. There are some great preventative products that can be used to help keep this pigmentation issue at bay. One of these is Skinbetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum. Another great one is the Revision Skincare’s newest release, the C+ Correcting Serum Complex 30%. Both of these contain ingredients that stop the melanin channels and prevent them from coming to the surface.
A good sunblock may be the most important of all. You don’t want to skimp on making sure you are protected from the sun and slapping on a bunch of chemicals onto your skin is not the route to go, especially if you are using a full-body sunscreen. Pregnancy is one of those times when I actually don’t recommend putting sunscreen all over, unless you are going to be in direct sunlight. I would only apply sunscreen on the face and areas exposed to the sun. Typically, I recommend sticking with a physical sunscreen, so you aren’t exposing yourself to any unnecessary chemicals. I don’t think that using a chemical sunscreen while pregnant is inherently bad, especially if just on the face, but for those that want to take extra precaution, a physical sunscreen is a safe bet.
For a facial sunscreen, I can’t get enough of the Revision Intellishade TruPhysical SPF 45, which is not only a sunscreen, but works double-time as a tinted anti-aging moisturizer. Another great facial option is the SENTÉ Pollution Shield SPF 46. This is a light-weight, tinted, pure physical sunscreen that also protects from environmental dangers like smoke, air pollution, dust, and exhaust. For body sunscreen, I like the EltaMD UV Pure SPF 47 which is a water-resistant, physical mineral option containing vitamin C & E.
To be clear, most medical grade skincare does not have harmful preservatives (especially in the brands we choose to carry). So, it is completely safe to use all medical grade skincare during pregnancy. However, if you are wanting to choose organic skincare while pregnant, I would not omit the product categories listed above.