My Minimalist Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine

Maybe it’s just me, but I read/see other women’s skincare routines and they stress me out. They include 10+ products, with different ones for night and day, and tons of add-ons that just aren’t necessary. I love trying out new skincare and beauty products — don’t get me wrong — but try to keep it as minimalist as possible wherever possible. Sometimes simplicity is key.

Skincare routines becomes a bit more challenging when you’re pregnant, as there are certain ingredients that are proven unsafe (or simply not studied enough to be proven safe) to use. While a lot of these ingredients can be up for debate, I wanted to share what I’ve been using and what’s working for me for those who are interested. Here are what products make up my minimalist pregnancy-safe skincare routine.

My Minimalist Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine

My Minimalist Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Body and Face Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid – I apply this moisturizer daily on my face, usually in the morning or immediately after a shower (mid-day showers happen more often than not due to my working from home schedule). At nighttime, I’ll apply something a bit thicker, but this is great for morning/throughout the day as needed. I’m a huge CeraVe fan because the products are simple and contain few ingredients, and it’s super gentle on my skin.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser with Ceramides and Hyaluronic Acid – I use this cleanser in the shower in the morning, and then at night if I wore makeup that day (after removing my makeup with a balm). It helps get rid of anything leftover from cleansing and is super gentle on my skin.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm – I use this cleansing balm to remove my makeup at the end of the day (namely my eyebrows and mascara/eyeliner since that’s always the hardest to get off).

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks – While I firmly believe that stretch marks can’t really be prevented (it’s mostly genetics), I enjoy using this product regardless. It smells good and keeps my skin moisturized. For what it’s worth, I did not have stretch marks with my first pregnancy and I used this religiously, so take with that what you will.

belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb – I’ve been using this eye cream since before I was pregnant, but continued on during my pregnancy. It contains willow bark, which is a natural and gentler alternative to salicylic acid.

Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Moisturizer* – I use this as my heavier, nighttime moisturizer (even though it doesn’t feel “heavy” at all). It helps to visibly plump, firm, and restore bounce to skin.

Drunk Elephant Protini™ Powerpeptide Resurfacing Serum* – I apply this serum before my moisturizer at night. It contains 10% Lactic Acid, which is a milder AHA that exfoliates skin dissolving bonds that hold dead cells together. I don’t use this every night if I’m being honest — maybe 3-4 days a week — and mainly use it because I got a sample (not for pregnancy-specific skin concerns).

*The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists approves the use of over-the-counter topical products with glycolic acid, so that’s why I feel safe using these two Drunk Elephant products with the small percentage of glycolic acid they contain.

What I’m Not Using While Pregnant

  • Retinol. I was gifted the Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide and was super excited to try it out. But I knew we wanted to start trying to get pregnant, so I withheld from opening it. Since it takes a few weeks/months for a retinol to begin working and to see the results, I didn’t want to waste opening up the product. My gut feeling was right — we got pregnant shortly after receiving the product so I’m saving this one for the end of 2022 when it’s safe to use.
  • That’s about it. I never really use any harsh peels or acne products (that include high levels of salicylic acid), so I didn’t have to change it up too much. And I’ve never gotten Botox or fillers, so I didn’t need to stop those, either.

Resources for Pregnancy-Safe Skincare

Your dermatologist and OB-GYN are of course great resources. Some will even have hand-outs for you during your early appointments with a list of safe or unsafe ingredients. Mine did not do this (I wish they did!), so I turned to reputable sources online, like:

As always, this blog is not a substitute for medical or healthcare advice. Please always consult your healthcare team for any questions regarding pregnancy-safe skincare. 

4 Comments

  1. I havent ever used retinol but have used Bakuchiol which is a retinol alternative without the harsh ingredients! Safe while pregnant and nursing!

    1. Supergoop for my face! ELTA MD is another I used before pregnancy, but I’ve run out now. I haven’t worn any on my body since I’ve been pregnant because I live in NJ where we haven’t seen the sun yet this year, but I will once I start wearing short sleeves!

  2. This is wonderful thank you! Did you happen to try the belif aqua bomb? Considering trying that to increase hydration in the skin. Also using Palmer’s and CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.

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