Pregnancy & Newborn

The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy Skincare Routine

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey marked by numerous physical and emotional changes. Alongside these changes, your pregnancy skincare routine may require adjustments to ensure the well-being of both you and your growing baby. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the best skincare practices to maintain a radiant and healthy complexion throughout your pregnancy.

pregnancy skincare routine

Understanding Pregnancy Skin:

Pregnancy hormones can trigger various skin changes, such as increased oil production, pigmentation, and sensitivity. It’s crucial to adapt your pregnancy skincare routine to address these changes effectively and safely.

Cleansing and Hydration:

Begin your pregnancy skincare routine with a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser to remove impurities without stripping your skin’s natural oils. Opt for hydrating ingredients like glycerin and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized and supple.

During pregnancy, opting for sulfate-free cleansers is a wise choice to ensure gentle and safe skincare. Here are some of the best sulfate-free cleansers suitable for pregnant women:

  1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser: A dermatologist-recommended option that effectively cleanses without stripping the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
  2. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser: Formulated for sensitive skin, this cleanser is free from harsh ingredients and fragrance, making it suitable for pregnant women.
  3. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser: This cleanser is gentle and hydrating, designed to soothe and cleanse without disrupting the skin’s pH balance.
  4. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water: A micellar water option that effectively removes makeup and impurities while being gentle on the skin.
  5. Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser: Made with organic oils, this cleanser effectively cleanses while providing hydration and nourishment.
  6. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Cleanser: Infused with calming ingredients like chamomile and feverfew, this cleanser helps soothe and cleanse sensitive skin.
  7. Earth Mama Morning Wellness Body Wash: A versatile option that can be used as a body wash and facial cleanser, containing natural ingredients safe for pregnancy.
  8. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover: This cleanser, enriched with naturally derived ingredients, effectively removes makeup and dirt without harsh chemicals.
  9. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Cleanser: With botanical extracts, this cleanser provides a refreshing cleanse while being free from sulfates and other harmful additives.
  10. Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body and Face Cleanser: A pH-balanced cleanser suitable for both body and face, designed to cleanse and moisturize without irritation.

Remember, every individual’s skin is unique, so it’s important to patch-test any new product and observe how your skin reacts. Always consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before making significant changes to your skincare routine during pregnancy.

pregnancy skincare routine

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Sun Protection:

Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential, especially during pregnancy when your skin is more prone to pigmentation changes. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply throughout the day.

Here are some of the best broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least SPF 30 that are considered safe for use during pregnancy:

  1. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46: A dermatologist-recommended sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and contains niacinamide to help manage skin discoloration.
  2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen SPF 60: Provides high sun protection and is formulated with antioxidants for added skin benefits.
  3. Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30: A gentle and non-irritating option, suitable for sensitive skin and safe for use during pregnancy.
  4. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 50: Formulated with zinc oxide, this sunscreen provides physical sun protection and is suitable for sensitive skin.
  5. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30: Contains ceramides to support the skin’s natural barrier while providing sun protection.
  6. Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50: A mineral-based sunscreen with colloidal oatmeal, suitable for sensitive and pregnancy-prone skin.
  7. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50: A mineral sunscreen formulated with natural ingredients and safe for pregnant women.
  8. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30: Provides broad-spectrum protection and contains zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
  9. Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 30: A gentle sunscreen option with clear zinc oxide, suitable for sensitive skin.
  10. Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30: A natural and organic option that uses zinc oxide for sun protection and is safe for pregnant women.

Remember to apply sunscreen generously and reapply every two hours, especially when spending time outdoors or after sweating or swimming. Sun protection is crucial during pregnancy to prevent skin discoloration and maintain overall skin health. If you have any concerns or specific skincare needs, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist.

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant:

Certain skincare ingredients are best avoided during pregnancy. These include retinoids, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. Instead, opt for pregnancy-safe alternatives like azelaic acid and glycolic acid to address skin concerns.

Comedogenic products are skincare or cosmetic products that have a tendency to clog pores and promote the formation of comedones, which are non-inflammatory acne lesions like blackheads and whiteheads. These products can exacerbate acne and other skin issues, leading to breakouts and congestion. During pregnancy, it’s important to avoid comedogenic products to maintain healthy and clear skin.

pregnancy skincare routine

Here are some non-comedogenic skincare products that are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy:

  1. Non-Comedogenic Cleansers: Look for gentle cleansers that won’t strip your skin’s natural oils. Examples include Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.
  2. Non-Comedogenic Moisturizers: Hydrate your skin without clogging pores using products like CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, Vanicream Moisturizing Cream, and Eucerin Daily Hydration Lotion.
  3. Non-Comedogenic Sunscreens: Protect your skin from the sun without causing breakouts with options like EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen SPF 60, and Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 50.
  4. Non-Comedogenic Makeup: If you use makeup, choose products labeled as non-comedogenic. Brands like bareMinerals, Clinique, and Neutrogena offer non-comedogenic makeup options.
  5. Non-Comedogenic Serums: Opt for lightweight and non-greasy serums, such as hyaluronic acid serums like The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 or niacinamide serums like Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster.
  6. Non-Comedogenic Exfoliants: If your skin tolerates exfoliation, consider non-comedogenic options like lactic acid or mandelic acid. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA and Stratia Soft Touch AHA are examples.

Always read product labels, ingredient lists, and consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before incorporating new products into your skincare routine during pregnancy. Remember that everyone’s skin is different, so what works well for one person may not work for another. It’s important to pay attention to your skin’s reactions and make adjustments as needed.

Azelaic acid is a versatile skincare ingredient that offers several benefits for pregnancy skin. It is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, making it a suitable option for addressing various skin concerns.

Here are some of the benefits of azelaic acid for pregnancy skin:

  1. Acne Management: Pregnancy hormones can sometimes lead to an increase in acne breakouts. Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the redness and swelling associated with acne. It also has antibacterial effects that target the bacteria responsible for acne.
  2. Hyperpigmentation: Azelaic acid can help improve the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy. It inhibits the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, which can lead to a more even skin tone.
  3. Melasma: Melasma, often referred to as “pregnancy mask,” is a common skin concern during pregnancy. Azelaic acid’s ability to inhibit melanin production can help lighten melasma patches and reduce their visibility.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory: Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritated or inflamed skin, providing relief for redness and sensitivity often experienced during pregnancy.
  5. Gentle Exfoliation: Azelaic acid has mild exfoliating properties, helping to remove dead skin cells and promote skin renewal. This can result in a smoother complexion and improved skin texture.
  6. Rosacea Management: For those dealing with rosacea, azelaic acid can help reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation associated with this skin condition.
  7. Pregnancy-Safe Option: Azelaic acid is considered safe for use during pregnancy, unlike some other skincare ingredients like retinoids and salicylic acid, which are best avoided. Its safety profile makes it an attractive choice for pregnant individuals looking to address skin concerns.

It’s important to note that while azelaic acid is generally safe, individual reactions can vary. Always perform a patch test before incorporating a new product into your skincare routine and consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before using any new skincare products during pregnancy. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs and concerns.

pregnancy skincare routine

Managing Acne:

Pregnancy acne is a common concern. Cleanse your face twice daily, use non-comedogenic products, and consider incorporating gentle, natural remedies like tea tree oil or witch hazel.

Addressing Hyperpigmentation:

Combat pregnancy-induced hyperpigmentation with vitamin C serums and niacinamide. These ingredients help even out skin tone and minimize dark spots.

Addressing hyperpigmentation during pregnancy requires caution, but vitamin C and niacinamide are generally considered safe and effective ingredients for this purpose. Here are some pregnancy-safe skincare products containing vitamin C and niacinamide that you can consider:

  1. Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster: This vitamin C serum contains 15% ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and can help brighten and even out skin tone.
  2. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%: A vitamin C derivative serum that may help reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  3. CeraVe Skin Renewing Vitamin C Serum: Contains 10% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and hyaluronic acid to target hyperpigmentation and maintain hydration.
  4. La Roche-Posay Mela-D Pigment Control Glycolic Acid Serum: Contains glycolic acid and niacinamide to help reduce dark spots and improve skin texture.
  5. Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster: This niacinamide serum can help improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation.
  6. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: A popular serum containing niacinamide that can help with oil control and improving the appearance of blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
  7. Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense: Contains tranexamic acid, niacinamide, and kojic acid to target various types of skin discoloration.
  8. Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence: A Japanese product containing vitamin C derivative (ascorbyl glucoside) that is known for its gentle yet effective approach to brightening dark spots.

When using products with vitamin C and niacinamide, it’s essential to introduce them gradually into your skincare routine. Perform a patch test first and start by using them every other day to ensure your skin tolerates them well. Additionally, always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 during the day to protect your skin from further hyperpigmentation.

As always, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before introducing new products to your skincare routine, especially during pregnancy. They can provide personalized guidance based on your specific needs and concerns.

Hydration and Nourishment:

Stay hydrated from the inside out by drinking plenty of water. Incorporate hydrating serums containing hyaluronic acid to maintain plump and youthful-looking skin.

Stretch Mark Prevention:

While genetics play a role in stretch mark formation, keeping your skin well-moisturized can help minimize their appearance. Use rich, emollient body butters and oils containing ingredients like cocoa butter and rosehip oil.

pregnancy skincare routine

Pamper Yourself:

Consider indulging in a pregnancy-safe facial or a soothing face mask to relax and rejuvenate. Be sure to inform your esthetician that you’re pregnant so they can tailor the treatment accordingly.

Here are some pregnancy-safe DIY face mask options that you can try at home to pamper your skin:

  1. Oatmeal and Honey Soothing Mask:
    • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons oatmeal, 1 tablespoon honey
    • Benefits: Oatmeal calms and soothes irritated skin, while honey provides gentle hydration and has antibacterial properties.
  2. Yogurt and Turmeric Brightening Mask:
    • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
    • Benefits: Yogurt contains lactic acid for gentle exfoliation, and turmeric has anti-inflammatory and brightening properties.
  3. Avocado and Aloe Vera Hydrating Mask:
    • Ingredients: ½ ripe avocado, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
    • Benefits: Avocado nourishes and hydrates dry skin, while aloe vera soothes and provides a boost of moisture.
  4. Papaya and Banana Exfoliating Mask:
    • Ingredients: ¼ ripe papaya, ½ ripe banana
    • Benefits: Papaya contains natural enzymes that exfoliate and brighten the skin, and banana adds moisture and vitamins.
  5. Cucumber and Mint Cooling Mask:
    • Ingredients: ½ cucumber (blended), a few crushed mint leaves
    • Benefits: Cucumber hydrates and cools the skin, while mint provides a refreshing sensation and can help alleviate inflammation.
  6. Egg White and Lemon Pore-Tightening Mask:
    • Ingredients: 1 egg white, juice of half a lemon
    • Benefits: Egg white helps tighten pores, while lemon juice gently exfoliates and brightens the skin.
  7. Strawberry and Yogurt Radiance Mask:
    • Ingredients: 3-4 ripe strawberries, 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
    • Benefits: Strawberries contain antioxidants and vitamin C for a radiant complexion, and yogurt adds hydration.
  8. Honey and Aloe Vera Soothing Mask:
    • Ingredients: 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
    • Benefits: Honey provides hydration and has antibacterial properties, while aloe vera soothes and calms the skin.

Remember to always perform a patch test before applying any mask to your face and avoid using ingredients to which you may be allergic. If you have specific skin concerns or conditions, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist before trying new DIY face masks during pregnancy.


Maintaining a nurturing skincare routine during pregnancy can contribute to your overall well-being and self-confidence. By embracing pregnancy-safe ingredients and making mindful choices, you can enjoy a healthy, radiant complexion throughout this remarkable journey.

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