Pregnancy Safe Skincare Ingredients

Expecting a new little arrival? Congratulations!
Now, while some lucky ladies experience nine months of pure complexion perfection, others experience at least one less favourable new or worsening skin issue at some point.

Women with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea may also experience a change in their symptoms.

Along with lots of other changes happening in your body as it’s subjected to pregnancy hormones, you’ll probably notice your skin going through some changes too, including:

  • Melasma
  • Dry skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Moles (or changes to existing moles)
  • Skin tags
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Excess sebum (an oily substance from your sebaceous glands), which can lead to increased acne
  • Flushed face

AMPERNA® Pregnancy Safe Ingredients

So which skin care ingredients should you avoid while pregnant, and which ingredients are considered safe alternatives? Here's everything you need to know to build a pregnancy-safe skin care routine.

Why do I Need Pregnancy-safe Skincare?

It's best to be very cautious whilst pregnant. Certain active skincare ingredients can be absorbed through the skin during pregnancy.

Once absorbed & in your body’s circulation, they have the potential to cross the placenta and affect the developing foetus.

Safe Ingredients

Here are a few ingredients to safely conquer pregnancy’s most common (and frustrating) skin woes.


If you’re prone to breakouts there are some safer alternatives to using retinoid-based products while expecting. One of the most effective is glycolic acid.

Glycolic acid in large quantities isn’t recommended during pregnancy, but it is safe in small doses. Glycolic acid is an exfoliant that naturally occurs in plants including sugar cane and citrus fruits.

Glycolic acid and azelaic acid can also help with reducing fine lines, brightening skin, and reducing enhanced skin pigmentation. 

Lactic acid is another sensitive skin hero ingredient & is the gentler, yet effective, exfoliator of the acids group.

Fruit enzymes are found in some fruits and berries which break down keratin proteins attached to dead cells to help target congestion.

Breakout prone skin will also benefit from pregnancy safe skincare products that deliver deep hydration, such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and plant-based oils that help regulate sebum production.

AMPERNA® Pregnancy Safe Ingredients


These powerful natural skin lighteners are safe to include in your pregnancy skin care products 

Kakadu Plum is believed to be the world’s most potent source of natural Vitamin C making it an excellent ingredient to help diminish the appearance of dark spots.

Liquorice is a powerful brightening antioxidant high in anti-inflammatories – making it great for post-inflammatory pigmentation and redness/scarring after breakouts.


Vitamin C is an antioxidant hero ingredient and safe to use during pregnancy. Not only does vitamin C repair environmental damage, boost collagen and elastin production but it also inhibits the overproduction of pigmentation.

Peptides are a type of protein that helps preserve and boost collagen levels, smooth fine lines, and minimise the appearance of pores. 

Omega Fatty Acids (Omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9) play a role in maintaining youthful, healthy-looking skin. They deliver positive changes in skin hydration, scaling, and roughness.

AMPERNA® Pregnancy Safe Ingredients

Other pregnancy-safe antioxidants to try in your skin care products include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B3
  • Green tea

Dry skin and stretch marks

In addition to drinking plenty of water, moisturizing products that have coconut oil, cocoa butter, and hyaluronic acid (HA) can improve hydration. Hyaluronic Acid helps to bind water molecules to the skin surface, giving all day long hydration and helping maintain that pregnancy glow. And when it comes to stretch marks, one strategy to prevent them is frequently moisturizing prone zones to help the skin stretch naturally as your bump (and baby) grow.

Sun protection

Sun protection is one of the most important things you can do for long-term wrinkle and skin cancer protection. But how you safely protect your skin during pregnancy is the big question.

The verdict on the safety of chemical broad-spectrum sunscreens is still out, so try mineral-based sunscreens that protect the skin by forcing the UV rays to bounce off the skin entirely. Mineral-based sunscreen ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which are safe to use.

Skin Care Products to Avoid During Pregnancy

These skincare products are considered unsafe for use while pregnant because they can either cause harm to a foetus when they enter the bloodstream or cause irritation in sensitive skin:

  • Retinol (products containing retinoids, typically used for acne and anti-aging)
  • Hydroquinone (a skin-lightening agent)
  • Salicylic acid in high doses, in a chemical peel or taken orally
  • Cosmetic treatments such as Botox, fillers and lasers
  • Exfoliating treatments such as microdermabrasion, peels or exfoliation masks

AVOID: Retinols, or any vitamin A derivatives
These powerful substances are found in some anti-aging moisturizers and treatments for acne, pigment disorders, and plaque psoriasis. Retinoids (also known as tretinoins) are a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division (quickening your skin's renewal) and prevents skin collagen from breaking down.
But retinoids are one of the skin-care ingredients that experts recommend that pregnant women stay away from. Some studies have shown that taking high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child.

Avoid products with these ingredients:

Avage, Fabior, Tazorac (tazarotene) Avita (tretinoin) Differin (adapelene) Panretin (alitretinoin)

Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin) Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Targretin gel (bexarotene)

AVOID: Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a heavy hitter for treating acne. Its deep exfoliating action clears blocked pores to minimise bacteria and reduce congestion.
When it comes to skincare for pregnant women though, it’s not on the ‘safe’ list in high doses so it’s best to skip this ingredient entirely.
Stay away from leave-on acne lotions, gels, and creams, as well as at-home peels, which can contain salicylic acid or retinoids. Steer clear of the oral form of the retinoid Accutane as well.

Avoid products with these ingredients:

Avage, Fabior, Tazorac (tazarotene) Avita (tretinoin) Differin (adapelene) Panretin (alitretinoin)

Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin) Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Salicylic acid

Targretin gel (bexarotene) Tretinoin

AVOID: Hydroquinone (Hyperpigmentation)
A depigmenting agent, hydroquinone is used to lighten darkened areas of skin by suppressing the formation of melanin in the skin. Research has shown hydroquinone to be problematic during pregnancy, so it’s one to avoid

LIMIT: Hydroxy Acids
Hydroxy acids such as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) are found in products to reduce signs of aging & to treat certain skin disorders, including acne, skin inflammation and redness. Because oral salicylic acid is not safe during pregnancy, doctors also recommend avoiding excessive or frequent use of skin products containing BHAs/AHAs. Small amounts applied topically to the skin are considered safe.
You can consult with your doctor or dermatologist to get the all clear with using this ingredient whilst pregnant.
Please ensure you use sun protection since BHA/AHAs can cause sensitivity to sunlight.

Limit use of products containing these ingredients:

Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) Azelaic acid, Benzoyl peroxide, Beta hydroxy acids (BHA),
Beta hydroxybutanoic acid, Betaine salicylate, Citric acid, Dicarbonous acid,

Hydroacetic acid, Hydroxyacetic acid, Hydroxycaproic acid, Salicylic acid, Trethocanic acid

Tropic acid, 2-hydroxyethanoic acid


AMPERNA® Skincare Ingredients

You can read all about the safe ingredients we use in our formulations by following the links below.

AMPERNA® Ingredients

Skin Concerns


Please note the only AMPERNA® product NOT recommended to use while pregnant is the Pro+ Bio Resurfacing Retinol RXOur alternate retinol for pregnant women is the Pro+ Bio Resurfacing Retinol ALT.


AMPERNA® Pro+ Bio Resurfacing Retinol ALT serum contains azelaic acid salt, niacinamide, liquorice root extract and zinc & copper gluconates to help calm redness and improve the skin’s texture. Hero ingredient bakuchiol is a great plant-based retinol alternative for super sensitive skin. It can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, help restore firmness, refine skin texture and help even out skin tone. AMPERNA®’s unique probiotic complex delivers good bacteria to your skin gently and effectively.

When it comes to skin health, Kiri, founder of AMPERNA®, helps many people suffering from a variety of skin & health conditions. You can book a Holistic Skin Coaching Service to discuss your skin concerns and develop a tailored plan to work towards healthy skin.



Written By Alison Butijer

Alison Butijer has a background in Visual Merchandising but in 2020 started on her own health & wellness journey, helping other people on theirs too. Alison is passionate about holistic living, encouraging others to create healthy lifestyle habits & feeling confident in their own skin. Everything that AMPERNA® embodies.

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