There are so many changes that occur to our bodies during pregnancy, especially to our skin! Some are welcomed (hello, glow!) and some are not so welcomed (breakouts, stretch marks). Just like what you ingest, what you put on your skin can affect your growing baby. While most commonly used skincare products are completely safe, there are a handful of ingredients found in many skincare products that are best to be avoided while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Retinoids – Unfortunately, my favorite anti-wrinkle and acne-blasting topical is a no-go during pregnancy. It’s recommended that products such as Differin, Renova, Retin-A, retinols, retinyl palmitate and Tazorac be avoided. All are derived from vitamin A, and while the vitamin work can wonders on your skin, excessive amounts can hinder fetal development and can lead to birth defects (this goes for if you are trying to become pregnant, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding).

Tetracycline – Tetracycline is used to treat a wide variety of infections, including acne. This antibiotic appears to cause some inhibition of bone growth and discoloration of teeth in a growing baby. Therefore, taking tetracycline while pregnant/breastfeeding is not recommended.

Hydroquinone – Hydroquinone is a topical skin brightening agent used to diminish sun spots and hyperpigmentation. A significant amount of hydroquinone is systemically absorbed into your body when applied topically, therefore not to be used while pregnant.

Salicylic acid – Limited use of topical acne-fighting products that contain less than 2% of salicylic acid are relatively low-risk for baby. There may be more of a concern when salicylic acid is used in higher concentrations, such as in chemical peels. However, most dermatologists still suggest avoiding it just in case.

Benzoyl peroxide – The safety of using benzoyl peroxide to treat acne during pregnancy has yet to be established. For this reason, you should talk with your medical provider before using it while you’re pregnant.

Think of pregnancy as a time to revamp your skincare routine with products specially created to pamper your evolving skin. Here are some of our favorites at Pur Skin Clinic that get the job done while keeping you and baby safe.

Pregnancy-safe Skin Care Products

SkinMedica Vit C + E Complexantioxidant serum I use to ward off pregnancy hyperpigmentation/melasma, steering clear of hydroquinone.

SKinMedica HA5 – hyaluronic acid serum for hydration and plumpness.

SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex – anti-aging go-to product (okay to use during pregnancy) utilizing growth factors to visibly smooth, tone and firm skin.