Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid for Moms-to-be

Recently found out that you are expecting? If so, congratulations! Your first pregnancy marks a momentous milestone in your life as you wait to welcome a new member into your family. That said, pregnancy can be a delicate subject since it requires you to be more careful about your diet and lifestyle. It may also take some adjusting as you navigate the physical changes that occur during your pregnancy.

One of the common changes observed by pregnant women would be their skin as hormonal changes can cause acne, pigmentation, or stretch marks. Your skin may also be more sensitive to products you usually use, which explains why you need pregnancy belly cream and other similar skin care products. As a mom-to-be, you naturally want your pregnancy to go smoothly, so it is normal if you are being more cautious about the products you apply on your skin.

Like how you should not consume alcohol during your pregnancy, you also have to look out for some skin care ingredients that may be harmful to your little one. Read on to learn more about what ingredients you must avoid while you are expecting.


Retinoids refer to a class of compounds from Vitamin A and are commonly found in anti-aging skincare products. They are known to work well in reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation, making them popular among skincare gurus. However, a few studies suggest a possible link between high retinoid doses and birth defects, so you must not use any form of retinoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Hydroquinone is a whitening agent often prescribed for cases of melasma or other forms of pigmentation. When applied topically, your body can absorb a significant amount, about 35% to 45%, of the ingredient. Although there is no conclusive evidence showing a relationship between congenital defects and hydroquinone, it is best that you avoid using the ingredient.


Parabens are often found in your shampoo, foundation, and other cosmetics, as well as some food and beverage products. To be extra safe, avoid any products containing parabens as they are known to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC), which can affect your body’s hormone levels. If you are in need of a trusted pregnancy belly cream, make sure you check the ingredients to ensure that it is free of parabens and phthalates.

High Dose Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is commonly used to combat acne and is generally deemed to be safe by dermatologists. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, however, you must avoid using products that contain more than 2% salicylic acid, as these can pose a risk for your little one. Lower-dose products are reported to be safe, though some doctors recommend avoiding it thoroughly to be extra cautious.

Chemical Sunscreens

Some sunscreen products can contain chemicals, such as oxybenzone, a compound commonly used for UV filters. While it is effective for protecting your skin from the sun, it is also known to be an EDC, just like parabens. As such, you should not use the product while pregnant and instead opt for natural sunscreens if needed.

Pregnancy indeed comes with many changes that you will have to navigate as you go along. Skin care is only one of the many things that you may have to change up in your lifestyle, so try to think of it as an opportunity to explore new skin care products. While you are expecting, you must be more cautious about ingredient lists. When in doubt, consult with your physician before applying any product.

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