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Skincare During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy-friendly skincare guide: addressing common concerns and providing sample routines so you can have glowing skin all 9 months!

Skincare during pregnancy blog post image of Jordan while pregnant with daughter.

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Do I need to change my skincare routine during pregnancy?

There are so many things expecting mothers have to worry about during pregnancy, skincare shouldn't be one of them! 

You might have heard that you need to completely revamp your skincare routine when you're pregnant. Not necessarily! In reality, there are only a few ingredients you'll want to avoid or remove from your current routine.


Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

    • Hydroquinone
    • Retinoids (yes, that means RetinAL Skin Therapy)
    • Salicylic acid over 2%
    • AHAs over 10% (like Glow Peel Pads)
Infographic on products to swap during pregnancy

Now that you know this, the only confusing decision you should have to make is which horizontal surface you want to lay on next or how to better construct your pillow fortress tonight!

Skincare During Pregnancy Jordan Laying on Sofa 

Most Common Skin Concerns During Pregnancy

Your skin during pregnancy might surprise you with sudden changes like acne, melasma, or dryness. Even products that used to work fine might suddenly feel irritating. The hormonal shifts during pregnancy can be unpredictable, leading to changes in the skin that catch you off guard. It's all part of the journey! Just listen to your skin. It’s ok to drop from TPII to Toning Pads or use things once a day instead of twice a day.

We've put together this guide to help you tackle specific skin concerns. This is not intended to replace medical advice by your OB, but rather a helpful tool when deciding which skincare products are right for you during pregnancy + nursing! Here we go, mama! 


Infographic on main skin concerns during pregnancy with example images

Acne During Pregnancy

Pregnancy-induced acne is a common complaint especially during the first trimester due to hormonal changes, even if you have never struggled with acne in the past.

Ingredients that can help with pregnancy induced acne:

      • Salicylic acid (<2%)
      • Glycolic acid (less than 10% is advised)
      • Lactic Acid
      • Azelaic Acid
      • Dapsone

Here is a pregnancy-friendly routine for breakouts during pregnancy (if your skin is more reactive, be sure to introduce products one at a time so your skin can adjust!). 

Sample routine for breakouts while pregnant

Melasma During Pregnancy

Melasma is also referred to as “pregnancy mask" and it can be very challenging to keep at bay. Hormones play a huge role in triggering melasma. The best thing to do is prevent, prevent, prevent — do this by religiously using a vitamin C serum & a daily SPF. Block out those harmful rays any way you can by wearing hats, reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours, avoiding excess soy in your diet, and staying far away excessive heat (hot showers, hot yoga, facial steamers, etc).

Tools to help prevent melasma:

Here is a pregnancy-friendly routine for helping melasma during pregnancy. Sample routine for melasma while pregnant

Dry Skin During Pregnancy

Another common complaint in pregnancy is dry skin. Hormone shifts and fluid shifts can go from you to baby, causing the skin to lose moisture and elasticity.

Ingredients that can help with pregnancy-induced dry skin:

      • Hyaluronic Acid
      • Hydrating moisturizers
      • Essential lipids and antioxidants

Here is a pregnancy-friendly routine to use for dry skin during pregnancy. Sample routine for dry skin while pregnant

Retinoids During Pregnancy

Unfortunately, retinoids are a no-no during pregnancy–but just because you can't use a retinoid doesn't mean you can't work to stimulate cellular turnover! Using products that are formulated to aid regeneration will help continue to fight premature aging as well as minimize the appearance of fine lines + wrinkles.

What is a pregnancy-friendly retinoid alternative?

Overachiever doubles as a great retinoid alternative during this time due to a key ingredient in the formulation — bakuchiol. Clinical studies show that using 0.5% bakuchiol twice daily provides the same results as using retinol once daily. Plus, Overachiever is formulated with ingredients that also help to calm + soothe the skin and minimize visible signs of skin redness, irritation and sensitivity. 

Once you're able to add a retinoid back into your routine, Overachiever can serve as a retinoid booster, helping your retinoid work longer and more effectively on the skin!

Here is a pregnancy-friendly routine to address anti-aging.

Sample routine for anti-aging while pregnant 

Can you use retinoids during breastfeeding?

Retinoids have very low levels of absorption when applied to the skin and won’t get into the breastmilk. The Drug and Lactation Database consider retinoids to be low risk to the nursing infant.

That's why we're comfortable recommending a retinoid for use on the face, neck, chest and backs of hands while nursing. Of course, we recommend getting clearance from your OB first before adding them back into your routine!

Read this post for more tips on skincare while breastfeeding. 



Can I prevent stretch marks? of the best ways to prevent stretch mark is keeping the skin well hydrated to ensure the skin maintains maximum elasticity. Please note - this information is not intended to replace medical advice. Always check with your OB for clearance!



Here are a few products that can help:
      • BodiFirm – (our go-to!) helps restores hydration and support the skin’s moisture barrier while visibly tightening and firming the skin
      • Perfectionist — this oil can serve as an occlusive barrier keeping water molecules and hydration in the skin. apply one dropper full in your PM routine so it the stretching skin can soak in all the soft, supple goodness overnight.
If you're feeling a little *extra* add in:
      • Either of our Toning Pads – the unique blend of acids in Toning Pads (& Toning Pads II) provides a gentle exfoliation to improve product penetration. 
        • Tip: apply pads on face first and then use them on your belly!
      • Liquid Gold – vitamin C is a key nutrient in this production of collagen. Collagen helps to keep the skin strong and elastic.
Skincare During Pregnancy Blog Jordan applying product for Stretch Marks

Example AM + PM Skincare Routine During Pregnancy

In order of application:

Cleanse > Pads > Serums > Moisturizer > Sunscreen

    1. Papaya Enzyme Cleanser (gentle for all skin types)
    2. Toning Pads (help minimize breakouts, smooth skin)
    3. Liquid Gold (daily vitamin C serum)
    4. Brightening Serum (dark spot corrector)
    5. Overachiever (retinoid alternative)
    6. Hydrating Lotion: (daily moisturizer)
    7. Barefaced SPF 50+: (AM only)





    • If your skin is feeling sensitive and reactive, only add in one new product at a time for at least 2 weeks to make sure that product doesn't cause an unwanted reaction.
    • At minimum, use a daily vitamin C serum and sunscreen to protect your skin!
    • Your skin likes consistency — stick with a skincare routine as much as you’re able to.


*All ingredient percentages are considered pregnancy/nursing friendly by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, however, we always recommend consulting with your OB prior to usage.

    1. Anais Brasileiros De Dermatologia, September-October 2014, pages 771–782
    2. Dermatology and Therapy, 2017, pages 305-318

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