When breastfeeding or pregnant, it’s essential to be mindful of ingredients in the products you’d typically use. Most women have specific skincare products they use to keep their skin healthy and hydrated, including a facial cleanser, toner, topical ointment, and moisturizer. However, not all products contain the best ingredients, and some of those ingredients aren’t good to use if you’re breastfeeding or expecting. So be sure to check out this list of skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Related: Make these Lifestyle Changes to Prepare for Pregnancy

Here are skincare ingredients to avoid when pregnant or breastfeeding to maintain glowing skin without risking the health of your baby.

1. Retin A/Retinoids 

If you have a prescription for Retin A, a topical product commonly used by those fighting acne, it’s best not to use it while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. It has the potential to cause congenital disabilities and miscarriages. Vitamin C serums can be used as an alternative.

Related: The Best Gifts for a New Mom and Baby That She’ll Love and Use

Sure, you want to have good skin, but not at the expense of your little one’s health and wellbeing. If you’re using anti-aging products, check the ingredients to see if it’s safe to continue using. If the cream contains retinol, skip it because it poses risks to your baby.

Examples: Differin (adapelene)
, Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), 
Retinoic acid
, Retinol
, Retinyl palmitate
, Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene)

2. Hydroxy Acids

Some acids used on the face to fight signs of aging and blemishes aren’t suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. One example of this is salicylic acid. When consumed orally, it can lead to congenital disabilities. 

On the other hand, some other options are safe to use while expecting or breastfeeding, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. The body naturally produces lactic acid, so it’s not a harmful ingredient to use on your face when you want to have healthy, glowing skin without causing potential problems.

3. Parabens

Try to use paraben-free products at home. Parabens can disrupt your hormones, throwing them all out of whack, which can cause problems when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Not sure what has parabens in it? 

Be sure to look at the ingredients list for some of the products you frequently use, including your shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and body lotion. Some of these products contain parabens. If they don’t, they’ll usually say paraben-free on the cover. Of course, you can always read through the ingredients list to check for potential parabens beforehand.

Examples: sodium methylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben

The truth is that many products available in department stores and beauty stores contain ingredients that aren’t the best for pregnant or breastfeeding women to use. These products can irritate and lead to issues with the pregnancy, which makes them worth avoiding for the time being. I find sites like  15MinuteBeauty, helpful when I need to research pregnancy and breastfeeding safe skincare products. Christine, the site’s owner is a physician. 

4. What to Use When Pregnant

While it may feel like there aren’t many products you can safely use while pregnant, this isn’t true. More companies are taking the initiative to provide paraben-free products that are safe to use, including companies that produce shampoo, conditioner, and other hair styling products. 

  • Take a visit to your local beauty counter or different department store and check out the beauty section. 
  • When you’re searching for shampoo or conditioner, check the labels. Just because a product says, the words “organic” or “natural” doesn’t mean those products are the absolute best for you. 
  • Look for products that contain healthy, calming ingredients that are safe for your skin and, more importantly, safe for your baby.

Safe Brands to Consider 

There are several brands currently providing skincare products designed specifically with pregnant and breastfeeding women in mind. Some of these brands include The Spoiled Mama, Belli Skincare, and Earth Mama Organics. But, of course, if you want to keep it simple, you can buy what you need at the department stores. 

Related: Belli Beauty: Skincare for Pregnancy and Beyond!

You’ll need to go through the list of ingredients before you make your purchase to ensure that what you’re using is safe for you to use on your skin while you’re expecting or feeding your little one.

5. Try a Natural Approach to Skincare While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Remember the power of some natural ingredients. If you’d like to take a natural approach to skincare during this time, you can use fresh and wholesome ingredients found at home, including avocado, banana, and raw honey, all of which work well when combined to create a hydrating facial mask for the skin. 

Other good ingredients to use on your skin include willow herb, witch hazel, and green tea extract. There are many natural skin care recipes online that you can prepare with simple, easy-to-find ingredients that will keep your skin in excellent condition.

Many women don’t know about the risks of ingredients in the products they use each day, including their facial cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, and more. Now that you know that some products containing specific ingredients aren’t safe to use while you’re expecting or breastfeeding, it’s the perfect time to make a switch to different products.

While there are some skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy some become okay to use while breastfeeding. It's confusing. As with anything, when in doubt, speak with your physician about any skincare ingredients to avoid during your pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Consult With Your Physician

While there are some skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy some become okay to use while breastfeeding. It’s confusing. As with anything, when in doubt, speak with your physician about any skincare ingredients to avoid during your pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It’s especially important to have this conversation with your physician during your first trimester.