Pregnancy Safe Skincare Ingredients

Pregnancy Safe Skincare Ingredients

Posted by Alison Butijer on

Why is it important to understand what ingredients are in your skincare products when you are pregnant and/ breastfeeding?
Just like you need to use caution with what you consume when you are pregnant, the same needs to be considered for what you are putting on your skin.
Skincare products may contain chemicals that can be absorbed into the bloodstream and potentially cross the placenta, which can lead to adverse effects on the growing fetus. Or transfer from your breastmilk to your feeding baby.

It is recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women use skincare products with known safe ingredients and avoid products that contain potentially harmful ingredients such as retinoids, salicylic acid, and certain essential oils.

    AMPERNA® Pregnancy Safe Ingredients

    During pregnancy there are many changes to your skin and body. So, what skin care products and ingredients are safe to use? Here is a number of handy tips and information to help you create a pregnancy and/ breastfeeding safe skin care routine.

    Safe Ingredients

    Here are a few ingredients that you can safely use while pregnant and experiencing some of the most common skin problems.


    Many women are prone to breakouts when they are pregnant and want to use actives to assist with this. If you are after a safe alternative to a retinoid product, then glycolic acid is one of the most effective ingredients you can use.

    You may be wondering if a 10% glycolic acid product is safe during pregnancy. While glycolic acid in large quantities is not recommended during pregnancy, it is safe in small doses. 

    Glycolic acid and azelaic acid are also great pro-aging ingredients as they also help with brightening skin, reducing fine lines, and reducing skin pigmentation. 

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

    Skin that is also prone to breakouts will also benefit from pregnancy safe skincare products that help to deliver deep hydration, such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide (Vitamin B3). Plant-based oils that help regulate sebum production such as Sage are also great ingredients.

    AMPERNA® Pregnancy Safe Ingredients


    If you are affected by hyperpigmentation, then you may want to look into using these natural skin lighteners as they are safe to use whilst pregnant.

    Kakadu Plum is believed to have one of the world’s highest natural amounts of 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 string of amino acids that help make collagen and elastin, smooth fine lines, and minimise the appearance of pores. 

    Omega Fatty Acids (Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9) are unsaturated fatty acids. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to irritation, then these could be a useful ingredient for you. They play a role in maintaining youthful, healthy-looking skin as well as helping with roughness, scaling and skin hydration.

    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 grow.

    Sun protection

    Sun protection is one of the most important things you can do for long-term 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 and Treatments to Avoid During Pregnancy

    When looking for pregnancy safe skin care products or treatments these are considered unsafe for use while pregnant and/ breastfeeding because they can either cause harm to a fetus when they enter the bloodstream and/ breastmilk or cause irritation in sensitive skin:

    • Retinol
    • 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 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: 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 are a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division and prevents skin collagen from breaking down. This may sound great, but retinoids are one of the skin-care ingredients that experts recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women stay away from. Steer clear of the oral form of the retinoid Accutane as well.

    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 is not on the ‘safe’ list in high doses so it is 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. 

    AVOID: Hydroquinone (For 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 is one to avoid.

    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

    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 and 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.


    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 and 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 and 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.



    Blog article author

    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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