Do you know about the list of ingredients to avoid while pregnant? Aside from parabens and aluminum, I certainly didn’t! I had to go through my makeup bag and my cabinet of toiletries to see what I needed to find replacements for. Fortunately, I already had a decent number of clean beauty and body products, but I definitely had to make some adjustments to make sure that I would avoid causing any prenatal damage to our baby. This list compiles the best clean beauty products that I have tried.
PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCTS — these are items that were approved for my pregnancy, but I am not an expert, nor am I a physician and therefore can not provide medical advice for your specific situation.
I have been in love with Olaplex products for a few years now and I was so relieved when I found out that I could continue using them into my pregnancy! Finding a shampoo / conditioner that you like is like finding the perfect pair of jeans and I really didn’t want to have to start that process!
I use their universal Shampoo and Conditioner in every shower — I’m obsessed specifically with the rich lather of the shampoo (you really don’t need much!). I am continually impressed by how well the whole Olaplex line of products work together.
The No. 3 Hair Perfector helps my hair when it’s feeling a bit dull and dry… I love to use it to keep my hair healthy between haircuts! The No. 6 Bond Smoother is great when applied to damp hair after a shower as a styler… more on that below!
My hair has some natural wave / curl to it and when I am embracing my natural hair pattern, I like to use Kristen Ess Curl Defining Jelly. As its name states, the product defines my curls without giving it a “crunchy” feel when I dry my hair in the Curly Girl method and use a diffuser.
I mentioned this item in the first section, but it was worth mentioning in the styling portion as well; I like to use Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother to encourage natural beach waves when skipping the heat styling and letting my hair air dry. My hair is pretty long so my natural curls often fall out from the weight and become more of a wave, which is fine by me! I’m a big fan of effortless hair styling. 😉
When I am going for a sleeker straightened look, I like to use Living Proof’s Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate before blowing my hair dry with a round brush and then finishing with my flat iron. A little goes a LONG way with this product and it truly helps to minimize the dry time.
Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is part of my beauty regimen on the days I just don’t have time (or frankly, the energy) to wash and dry my hair. I know that a lot of hair care products are pregnancy safe as they are mostly applied to the hair strand shafts and not the scalp, but the entire point of dry shampoo is to get the roots / scalp! Thankfully, Living Proof products are safe to use while pregnant / breastfeeding. That being said, I still hold my breath while spraying to avoid breathing in any aerosol, but I’m also an overly-cautious person. lol
I discovered the Nécessaire brand last year and I’m thrilled to have such an awesome clean body wash option. It has such a great lather and I looove the Bergamot scent (all of their scents are great, this is just my favorite option)! Nécessaire also has a few more products in their line of body care — it’s so great to have access to this eco-conscious clean skincare brand.
When my body needs a little extra TLC, I turn to my trusty all-natural Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Sugar Scrub. It helps to slough away any rough, dead skin and leaves my skin feeling smooth and fresh! (Top Tip: I especially love to use this product on my bikini line to help minimize razor burn).
I have acne-prone skin, so I was DEVASTATED to learn that I would have to give up not only my benzoyl-peroxide treatments, but also my salicylic acid face wash! 😩 Pregnancy hormones are NO JOKE either… add those changes to maskne (acne caused from wearing COVID-19 protective masks) and my skin is just out of control.
To remove any serious flaky, dead skin, I love to use Palmer’s Coconut Sugar Scrub. The coconut oil helps to soften skin and the sugar crystals help to loosen the rough skin. After scrubbing it around my face I like to leave it on for an extra minute of two before rinsing because I want to let the coconut work it’s magic — I adore how baby soft my face feels after rinsing!
As far as cleansing goes, a few times a week I will reach for my Glycolic Acid Face Wash because I love that it includes (you guessed it!) glycolic acid to assist in the removal of dead skin.
For a daily gentle cleanser, I use Caudalie Foaming Face Wash. The herbal scent makes me feel like I am in a spa and I my skin always feels nice and clean after using, but never dried out. This product is definitely one of my favorite new discoveries!
Due to my hyperhidrosis, I don’t often need to use body lotion (#foreversweaty), but when my skin feels dry or tight, especially during the winter months, I turn to Nécessaire’s Body Lotion. It’s moisturizing without feeling greasy or oily; I love the clean finish after rubbing it into my skin (which absorbs so quickly into my dehydrated body)!
For moisturizing my face, I love to use this amazing Jetlag face mask by Summer Fridays. You can either apply it and then wipe the excess off after waiting ~10 minutes or you can leave it on overnight to wake up to dewey skin (I recommend using a silk pillowcase to keep product on your face and off of your sheets)!
I also struggle to keep my lips moisturized so I am often applying lip balms or glosses (much to my husband’s dismay! haha — he hates “goopy stuff”). My favorites are the Lip Sleeping Mask by Laneige (I prefer the original Berry scent, but it’s mostly about the amazing feel of the formula — apparently there are some scents that may be safer than others? I used this article as a reference and perused the comments to make sure that the Berry was included) and I also enjoy Glossier’s Balm Dotcom (favorite scent is Birthday Balm and also deemed pregnancy-safe!).
Ever since my baby bump started to emerge, I have been applying Babymoon Belly Balm by Summer Fridays to help soothe my skin and [hopefully] prevent stretch marks both on my belly and love handles / hips. I know that stretch marks are mostly hereditary, but I figure applying some balm can only help my skin stay hydrated and supple for stretching to accommodate this growing baby!
I recently shared a clean deodorant roundup and review because I have been thinking about making the switch for a while and pregnancy kind of forced my hand to ditch the aluminum. If you’re interested in all of the options I tried and how they compared, my full post can be found here. Spoiler alert: Kopari was my favorite.
I have been a fan of Isle of Paradise self-tanner for a while… the tanning water in particular has been one of the best home tanning products I have ever used. Last year the brand launched their Hyglo serums (body and face) and I absolutely adore them as well. (As much as I adore the brand, I will say that I did NOT have as positive of an experience with the lotion that was launched last year and do not recommend it — you were warned).
I know that the IoP brand prides themselves in being vegan and cruelty-free, but sometimes that doesn’t quite translate to “pregnancy-safe”. I found this info on their FAQ page:
CAN I APPLY ISLE OF PARADISE IF I’M PREGNANT OR BREAST FEEDING? “We do not recommend using self tanning products in your first trimester of pregnancy. The Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) confirm that it is safe to use spray tanning and self tanning products during pregnancy and breast feeding. We recommend speaking to your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.”
For time out in the actual sun, I recommend finding a clean mineral sunscreen. Even if you don’t normally burn in the sun, your skin reacts differently to the UV exposure when you’re pregnant and I would hate for you to have to deal with a sunburn during pregnancy (how miserable!). Better safe than sorry, in my opinion! (Plus, if you’re looking to give yourself a golden glow, just use the awesome sunless tanner I mentioned above!)
I fell in love with the COOLA brand of sunscreen while in Hawai’i last year (just before the pandemic began! #RIPvacations) so making the switch to their Mineral Sunscreen was a no-brainer for me.
Regarding whether this product is pregnancy-safe, the FAQ page states:
CAN I USE YOUR PRODUCTS WHILE PREGNANT? “All of our products are safe for use during pregnancy as well as nursing, however, we suggest reaching out to your physician for any specific concerns.”
If you’re interested in exploring what other pregnancy-safe clean sunscreen options are available, I’ve heard excellent things about these products in particular:
– SunBum Mineral Sunscreen
– Pipette Mineral Sunscreen
– Supergoop! Sunny Screen
What are your favorite clean beauty products or clean beauty brands? Feel free to share in the comments for other readers to enjoy as well!