Whether you’re a mom-to-be or a new mom, shopping for pregnancy-safe skincare can be a big stressor. Just when you’ve perfected label quality control at the grocery store, now you need to use Mom’s Radar to weed out nasty ingredients in makeup and skincare products.
Luckily, brands have started making it easier to navigate skincare, makeup, haircare and more. So whether you’re prenatal or postpartum, it’s never been easier to find products that are safe for you and your bundle of joy.
Since there are as many natural skincare choices as there are baby purees, we’re here to help take the guesswork out. Let’s explore why mom-safe products are so important and what ingredients to avoid – and we’ll feature all the new ones. Mom’s Choice selections that have our seal of approval!
Why Mom-Safe Products Are Important
Natural skin care products for pregnant or breastfeeding women are essential to keep our skin and body healthy and beautiful. Choosing natural skincare means avoiding toxic ingredients that could potentially harm our bodies or worse – unborn children or newborns.
It has been proven that many harmful chemicals contained in conventional skin care are easily absorbed by the mother’s body. Common culprits like parabens and phthalates can disrupt hormonal function or even increase the risk of birth defects. These ingredients pose a threat to the developing fetus, while others should be avoided after delivery as they can pass into breast milk.
The good news is that there are plenty of non-toxic skincare options out there that can help keep you and your baby on board safe, healthy, and happy. It’s important to double-check ingredient lists and familiarize yourself with what’s safe to use or what to avoid.
What makes the selections in our Mom’s Choice safe for your family?
As mothers, our number one job is to ensure the safety and well-being of our family. This is one of the main reasons we highly recommend using clean, natural skin care products. We took it a step further and created our Mom’s Choice seal of approval.
Products bearing the Mom’s Choice logo meet ingredient standards generally considered safe and beneficial for pregnant or breastfeeding women. You won’t find any harmful ingredients here, but you still need to know which ones to avoid and why.
To note: Our Mom’s Choice products, such as all 100% PURE™ productsare free of parabens, phthalates, DBT, toluene, hydroquinone, formaldehyde, talc, quats, aluminum, PEG, petroleum and chemical sunscreen agents.
#1: Made with only mineral or fruit pigments
While other colored cosmetics are colored with synthetic or heavy metal dyes, our products are colored from pure fruits, vegetables or earth-based pigments.
#2: WITHOUT retinol
Retinol has been linked to certain birth defects and has also been shown to pass into breast milk. Although retinol has many benefits for the skin, it’s best to avoid it while pregnant or breastfeeding.
#3: WITHOUT Hydroquinone
Although hydroquinone has not been shown to cause birth defects, it has been noted to be extensively absorbed through the skin. It is generally recommended to completely avoid this skin lightening ingredient while pregnant or breastfeeding. Ingredients like sake (fermented rice), kojic acid, and citrus fruits are great alternatives to hydroquinone, even if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding.
#4: NO salicylic acid
Oral salicylic acid in late pregnancy may increase the risk of intracranial bleeding. Whereas studies suggest topical salicylic acid products can be used sparingly during pregnancy, you will need to ensure that they have a concentration below 2%. It is also recommended to avoid overuse of other topical treatments containing beta hydroxy acids (BHA).
#5: NO formaldehyde, DBT or toluene
Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde and related chemicals like dibutyl phthalate (DBT) and toluene – common in nail polish – has been linked to adverse effects on reproduction and development and toxicity.
#6: NO Parabens
Parabens are preservatives that inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. Keep in mind that these chemical culprits can be absorbed through the skin and into your bloodstream, where they can reach your baby. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive issues.
#7: NO Phthalates / NO Fragrances
Perfumes and other fragrances contain phthalates, which could be harmful to babies. Since they have been linked to reproductive issues, ADHD, asthma, cancer and more, we exclude them from every 100% PURE™ product. This means that all Mom’s Choice products will be phthalate-free.
#8: NO QUAT
Quaternary ammonium compounds or Quats are common chemicals in hair care. Pregnant women and developing babies may be particularly vulnerable to a range of developmental effects with Quats. Our hair care is arguably the cleanest on Earth – and we have the ingredients to prove it.
#9: WITHOUT talc
Although talc (also known as talcum powder) has been used in makeup for longer than we think, it has been linked to products contaminated with asbestos. This known carcinogen is a no-no for any kind of mom.
#10: NO aluminum
Aluminum is a “known toxicant to the human nervous system”. Therefore, aluminum toxicity may be of particular concern to the developing fetus and should be avoided.
#11: NO Oxybenzone or Avobenzone
Chemical sunscreens containing oxybenzone or avobenzone could harm your newborn’s health. They are absorbable, which could mean a myriad of birth defects and endocrine disruptors for babies.
#12: NO PEG
Polyethylene glycols are petroleum-based ingredients added to almost all moisturizers, body creams, primers, and serums on the market today. They are used to improve moisture absorption and retention, but can also aid the absorption of other chemicals into the bloodstream. Carcinogenic contamination, organ toxicity, and irritation are just a few of the potential side effects of PEGs.
A note on essential oils
Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy when taken internally – including clary sage, tansy, parsley, anise, wintergreen, camphor, rosemary, peppermint and thyme. This has led to views that they should also be avoided topically, although dose size, dilution and potency may be determining factors.
Some products bearing the Mom’s Choice logo may contain small amounts of rosemary, peppermint or thyme essential oil for antimicrobial and preservative function. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, discuss usage advice with your healthcare professional if you are concerned about using certain essential oils on the skin.
Pregnancy-safe skincare for new moms or moms-to-be
Now that we’ve gone over the ingredients to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding, let’s talk about the good stuff: what you and +1 box use!
These are our favorite pregnancy-safe skincare options — plus hair, body, and makeup. You can find them by visiting our Mom’s Choice collection page or by looking for the Mom’s Choice logo on our product pages.
Stretch marks are normal and often accompany pregnancy. Don’t worry if you have marks – they signify your warrior status to grow a HUMAN inside your body! But with the right blend of pregnancy-safe ingredients — like those in our Whipped Coconut Body Butter — skin stretching will be comfortable and supported as you grow.
When you have a baby on board, chances are you’ll come across the term “pregnancy mask,” which is code for melasma caused by normal hormonal changes. Luckily, vitamin C is a heavy lifter for brightening the look of dark spots in our Vitamin C Serum, Vitamin C Mask, and Vitamin C Concentrate.
Pregnancy and postpartum acne is caused by hormonal fluctuations and can be quite annoying to deal with amid swollen feet or cluster feeding in newborn babies. Battle it out with our EGCG Green Tea Concentrated Creamer, which is made with non-comedogenic olive squalane and caffeine.
PRO TIP: Surprisingly, many topical coffee/green tea/caffeine products are considered safe, as pregnant women can consume up to 200mg of caffeine per day. A topical treatment is highly unlikely to provide nearly 200 mg of caffeine. For this reason, some Mom’s Choice products contain caffeine for skin or hair benefits.
Hormonal imbalances can also cause “new mom tired” skin. You can indulge yourself with our decadent body butters, but your face might need some extra TLC for the dryness. Just like a tall glass of water, our Hydra Drench Cream instantly quenches thirsty, dehydrated skin.
This formula is lightweight and easily absorbed for fast results – a big plus for new moms! Its gel-lotion texture comes from the mixture of chia gel, coconut oil and shea butter designed to calm and balance the skin.
Some moms may have thinning hair or hair loss during or after pregnancy. Although concerning, hair loss is normal to support your growing bundle of joy or can be caused by stress on the body. Don’t worry, because everything is temporary! Stick to natural products and supplements that can boost hair growth.
A great duo for your hair loss concerns is our Grow More shampoo and conditioner. Formulated to reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth, these formulas will help add bounce and body to hair while your postpartum system finds its balance. Finish with ProVitamin B5 Smoothing Hair Serum to help strengthen your locks and give hair a smoother look without the straightener.
As we’ve said before, pregnancy can be magical – but it can also overload you with a lot of “what ifs”! Finding safe skincare products for pregnancy is just one small piece of the puzzle, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Use our Mom’s Choice logo to free up time to sit back, relax and enjoy every special memory or pregnancy and beyond.