Skincare Safety During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women realize that once they are pregnant, it’s important to be more careful about the things they put into their bodies, as it can affect the health of their unborn baby. Though precautions like limiting caffeine intake and eliminating unpasteurized foods are important, many women don’t realize that what they put on their skin is just as important.

The skin is an organ that can absorb outside chemicals and substances into the bloodstream. This means that anything you put on your skin can potentially penetrate into your body and, if you are pregnant, affect the health of your unborn child. For this reason, it’s crucial to be aware of what ingredients are contained in your topical skincare products and how safe they are.

There are many types of lotions, creams and topical products available to hydrate and nourish your skin. If you are planning on breastfeeding, it is important to continue with these same rules and guidelines. Here are some tips to help you make the best decisions regarding skin care for you and your baby.


Retinoids are a type of vitamin A used to help improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Studies have shown that vitamin A during pregnancy can be extremely harmful to an unborn child. Oral retinoids like isotretinoin (Accutane acne treatment) should definitely be avoided, as they are known to cause birth defects.


Some expectant mothers will seek out more natural-based products in an effort to avoid harmful effects, but there are still some to be careful with. Though soy-based lotions are generally safe to use, soy can make dark spots on the facial skin worse due to its estrogenic effects. If you have dark skin or melasma, try to avoid these products or choose “active soy” products instead. Otherwise, they are safe to use.

Hair removers and minimizers

With pregnancy sometimes comes darkening of hair or unwanted hair that you may want to remove. The good news is, lotions like depilatories that remove your hair are actually considered safe. But if you have had skin reactions or allergies to these products prior to your pregnancy, you should still avoid them, as pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive than normal.


Sunscreens are perfectly safe to use during pregnancy. But keep in mind that pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive, so it’s important to use caution and common sense when stepping out for a day in the sun. Take shade when you can, wear hats and light clothing to cover your skin, and reapply your sunscreen every two hours, or as directed.


Most women apply at least a small amount of makeup and don’t think twice about it how it can affect their baby. Luckily, most makeup products are safe to use. The only products you should avoid are dual-action makeups that serve other purposes, such as clearing acne. As mentioned above, avoid products that contain retinoids.

For questions or concerns about safety precautions during pregnancy, call the experts at High Risk Pregnancy Center at (702) 382-3200 today to schedule your next appointment.