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Skincare During Pregnancy: Best Products & Treatments

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Published on Apr 23, 2020 By: WIFH Staff

Explore Safe Products & Treatments for Skincare During Pregnancy

Among the many changes you experience during pregnancy, those to your skin can be at the top of the list of most frustrating. Some women who have been lucky enough to have clear skin their entire lives suddenly have frequent breakouts or cystic acne. Some find that their oily skin is now extremely dry, or vice-versa.

Your skin is also more sensitive and reactive during this time. All these things can leave you agonizing over how to care for your “new” skin. Just as food and health are of the utmost importance when you are busy growing a little person, so is what you are putting on your skin. We want you to know what your options are, and what products and services are safe, so you can get started on your new pregnancy skincare routine.

*all products and services listed are deemed safe during pregnancy, however we recommend you discuss with your OB what their recommendations are as opinions vary. 

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Skincare Products to Avoid During Pregnancy

Let’s start with a list of ingredients to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Retinoids (tretinoin, Retin-A, retinol, retinoic acid, adapalene, tazarotene, isotretinoin)
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Hydroquinone
  • Tetracycline
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Chemical Sunscreen

Skincare Products Safe for Pregnant Women

Now for the good news. Here are just a few common ingredients, along with recommended products, safe to use during pregnancy:

Mineral Sunscreen

Containing zinc and titanium dioxide, mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of your skin and are not absorbed into your bloodstream like chemical ingredients can be.

Recommended Mineral Sunscreens: Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, Colorscience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (tinted)

Vitamin C

Consider this ingredient an essential because of all the benefits it provides. Vitamin C brightens, evens out discoloration, adds an extra layer of protection from the sun along with your sunscreen, helps to stimulate the production of collagen, and helps protect your skin from harmful pollution.

Recommended Vitamin C products: Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, iS Clinical Super Serum Advance+.

Hyaluronic Acid

Don’t be fooled by the name. Hyaluronic acid is not exfoliating and will not make you peel. It’s a powerhouse hydrator and plumper. High quality hyaluronic acid products will not only deeply hydrate, they will also increase your skins ability to retain that hydration. If you feel like no amount of moisturizer is ever enough, layer a HA serum under your moisturizer and you will notice a significant improvement. If your skin’s oily and you’re afraid moisturizer will break you out, use an HA serum as your moisturizer. This will help balance your skins pH and reduce your oil and breakouts.

Recommended Hyaluronic acid products: SkinCeuticals B5 Gel, Skinceuticals Phyto-Corrective Gel, Skinceuticals Phyto Gel, iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum, Skinceuticals HA Intensifier.


Another hero ingredient that can help to hydrate, plump, and repair your skin. Peptides mimic the anti-aging power of retinoids by building collagen and elastin in the skin. Recommended products with Peptides: Obagi Hydrate Luxe, SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 Moisturizer, Reparative Moisture Emulsion.

Here are some product recommendations for specific skin issues common during pregnancy, along with appropriate treatments. At WIFH we customize every facial for your unique skin. This is especially important during pregnancy when your skin’s needs can change rapidly:

Pregnancy-Friendly Skincare Products by Skin Conditions

Sensitive/Reactive Skin

  • Karin Herzog Rose Cream: This moisturizer relieves redness, heat, and inflammation by combining detoxifying and hydrating properties of Active Oxygen with soothing and brightening effects of Rose Centifolia. We also love the gorgeous glow it gives your skin!
  • IS Clinical Copper Firming Mist: A mist that instantly soothes and hydrates, as well as provides antioxidant protection. Copper also heals and firms the skin. Pro tip: this product makes a great makeup setting spray.
  • is Clinical Sheald Balm Recovery:  A moisture-rich formula that dramatically replenishes hydration to dry, sensitive or compromised skin.
  • Obagi Gentle Cleanser: As the name suggests, this cleanser will thoroughly, but gently remove your makeup, without leaving your skin feeling dry and tight.
  • SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel: This serum contains hyaluronic acid, cucumber, thyme, and other botanical ingredients which help to calm skin, reduce redness and irritation. It also features mulberry to help minimize the appearance of discoloration and promote a clear, fresh-looking complexion. It’s also an excellent moisturizer for acne-prone skin.
  • SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Mask: A unique blend of cucumber, thyme, and olive extracts. This intensive calming facial mask cools on contact, comforts skin sensitivity, and leaves skin looking radiant and smooth.
  • Skinceuticals Phloretin CF: A vitamin C serum that will help brighten, lighten, and tighten your skin.

Acne Prone Skin

  • Obagi Foaming Gel Cleanser: Helps to balance the skins pH, reducing oil production.
  • Karin Herzog Oxygen Face: With 2% active oxygen, this product is designed to treat and regulate acne-prone skin. It helps to reduce your oil, clogged pores, and blemishes. The active oxygen kills bacteria living on and under your skin, as well as lightens old acne scars. Also makes a beautiful base for your makeup.
  • SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel:  This serum contains hyaluronic acid, cucumber, thyme, and other botanical ingredients which help to calm skin, reduce redness and irritation. It also features mulberry to help minimize the appearance of discoloration and promote a clear, fresh-looking complexion. It’s also an excellent moisturizer for acne-prone skin and will reduce inflammation caused by blemishes.
  • Karin Herzog Apricot Oil: A non-comedogenic facial oil that hydrates your skin without feeling heavy or greasy. By giving your skin these “good oils’, it will reduce the amount of “bad oils” it produces.
  • SkinCeuticals B5 Gel: This oil free moisturizer combines vitamin B5 with hyaluronic acid, the body’s natural hydrator, to help bind moisture to the skin. It can be used alone or with a daily moisturizer to provide extra hydration and is an ideal moisturizer for acne prone skin.
  • IS Clinical Hydra Cool Serum: This hydrating, calming serum combines superior antioxidant Centella Asiatica, essential skin nutrient Vitamin B5, skin brightening Mushroom extract, and skin hydrator Hyaluronic Acid. Another fantastic, weightless moisturizer option for acne prone skin.
  • Skinceuticals Phloretin CF: A vitamin C serum that will help brighten, lighten, and tighten your skin.

Dry Skin

  • Skinceuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2: One of our all-time favorite products. This moisturizer is not too heavy and will deeply hydrate your skin leaving it feeling like velvet.
  • Obagi Hydrate Luxe: Slightly heavier that the Triple Lipid Restore, but also wonderful. It may come down to personal preference, so we are happy to give you a sample of both for you to try.
  • Skinceuticals CE Ferulic– Award winning vitamin c serum that hydrates, improves elasticity, as well as brightens and lightens your skin.
  • Cosmedix Purity Solution: Deep Cleansing Oil is a two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser with a nutrient-rich blend of radiance-boosting oils that gently melt away dirt, oil, makeup, and impurities for a hydrated, healthy-looking glow.
  • Skinceuticals HA Intensifier: This hyaluronic acid serum instantly improves the visible appearance of firmness, smoothness, and facial plumpness. You can apply it all over, or just on crows’ feet or lines around the lips. Another one of our faves!

Safe Facial Treatments During Pregnancy

Acne Prone Skin

  • An Oxygen Facial to kill acne bacteria, decongest and clean pores, and rebalance skin to prevent more breakouts.
  • Microdermabrasion is a great option if there are no active blemishes present since we do not want to spread bacteria.

Sensitive Skin

  • Dermaplaning facial for sensitive skin. We use a surgical blade to gently exfoliate facial hair and build-up of dead skin. This helps to enable your products to penetrate and makes your skin feel like silk.

Dry Skin

  • Dermaplaning, microdermabrasion or an Oxygen Facial are all good options for this skin type.

Sarah Richardson, LME

Sarah Richardson is WIFH’s Lead Medical Aesthetician and manages the skincare side of our practice. She is also an Assistant Cosmetic Laser Practitioner licensed by the Georgia Medical Composite Board. With over 16 years of skin care experience, Sarah specializes in creating customized treatment plans to address our patients’ individualized needs. Through a combination of clinical facials and aesthetic procedures, as well as scientifically effective skin care products, Sarah helps patients achieve a healthy, radiant, and glowing complexion. She is truly passionate about what she does and loves to educate others who are looking to improve their skin’s health.