As soon as I realized I was pregnant, I was hyper aware that everything I was ingesting or putting on my body was getting to the baby, too. I had no idea how many harsh chemicals were in most of my beauty products (even those claiming to be natural or mineral) until I researched the toxicity level of each ingredient.
I used a website called Skin Deep to do a lot of my research, and when I didn’t see a particular product’s rating, I painstakingly looked up every single ingredient. I was very surprised to learn that most of my products had ingredients linked to hormone interruption and birth defects.
It took a lot of time and effort, but I finally found a list of products that are non-toxic. By trial and error, I narrowed my list down to the ones that are not only pregnancy-safe, but also enjoyable to use.
Here is a breakdown of what to avoid while pregnant, as well as a list of affordable and easy substitutes that you can use throughout your entire pregnancy (and beyond!).
What To Avoid:
- Anti-acne anything (prescription acne meds, salicylic acid)
- Anti-aging products that contain retinoids, retinols
- Phthalates (scary chemicals that cause birth defects because they interfere with the functions of hormones)
- Fragrances (for the same reason as above — any ingredient lists that has “fragrance” in it should be avoided. A good rule of thumb: If it smells strongly, avoid it!)
- Skin lightening or bleaching products
- Lauryl sulfate (popular surfactant found in shampoos and has been linked to birth defects)
- Parabens (found in a lot of makeup products, they too interfere with hormones)
- Petroleum, silicone (dimethicone), and chemical preservatives
- Methylisothiazolinone (found in hand creams and shampoos, primarily)
- Toulene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) — all common in nail polishes
The difficult part is that the above can sometimes be hard to spot on ingredient lists because they also go by different names. And there are many loopholes that companies use to get the “natural” or “organic” label on their products, even when they contain very harmful chemicals.
Which brings me to my list of safe beauty products for pregnancy…No research (or huge pocketbook) required
Disclaimer: I absolutely love all of these products and was so happy to find safe, affordable alternatives to my beauty regimen. I have personally used every single item in this list, and if you happen to purchase anything from the links, I will receive a small commission–which will go toward anything this website (or Zoey) needs. Thank you!!
I love Acure’s philosophy and how they are big into skin care and anti-aging benefits from all-organic sources, like chlorella. I was so excited when I first read their ingredient lists and could pronounce and recognize every single ingredient! Read their” filthy fifty” and all of the chemicals they avoid here.
Argan Oil + MInt Cleansing Creme –I went through a LOT of other natural cleansers before I found Acure. I hated how many of them were too watery and didn’t get any of my makeup off. On a whim, I picked Acure’s cleanser out, and the rest is history. The consistency of this cleansing creme is the best I’ve found and, most importantly, it gets off ALL of my makeup so that I don’t need to use any additional makeup remover. They also have a sensitive version that works just as well at removing makeup and dirt.
Argan Stem Cell Brightening Facial Scrub — An amazing scrub that gets rid of dead skin cells and impurities and brightens the face while promoting new cell regeneration. I use it 2-3 days a week.
Lilac Stem Cells + Chlorella Moisturizer — The best moisturizer I have found for pregnant skin, since it controls moisture but still has amazing anti-aging and smoothing benefits. I used it everyday after applying SPF. For sensitive skin, I’d use this moisturizer. If you don’t need moisture control, I’d use this day cream.
Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Night Cream — The same anti-aging and smoothing benefits as the day cream. Also a great night solution because it’s lightweight and rubs in easily. I was pregnant during the heat of early summer, so I was super grateful to have something that didn’t feel sticky and thick!
For sunscreen protection, I wanted an alternative to the chemicals found in mainstream brands and loved this one by Badger. I found it at Whole Foods, but I buy it on Amazon because it’s cheaper:
Badger Balm Lavender Sunscreen — The scent is mild but great and they use zinc oxide for the SPF 30 sun protection. Bonus: This lavender version also doubles as a moisturizer, so you can just apply and go!
Need a specific anti-acne approach? Try:
There are many brands out there now for nail polishes that do not contain toulene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate (DBP) — but they can be very expensive (like the Scotch Naturals brand).
I buy the more affordable Natural Fusion brand, which is non-toxic and has a wide variety of colors with lasting power. When getting a pedicure at a salon, I just bring my own polish, and ask them to use my non-toxic base coat and top coat too.
When I wanted to splurge a tiny bit more, I also bought Zoya polishes, as they were a bit cheaper than Scotch Naturals, and they also have a wide variety of colors.
Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo — Acure brand shampoo is great because I know they use the same high quality, organic ingredients as they do for their skin care. I like this argan oil one the best, but they also have a great Clarifying Shampoo, as well as a Pure Mint Shampoo.
Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner — Pair with the Argan oil shampoo. Or use the Pure Mint Conditioner, which is nice, light, and refreshing.
And for hair styling, I use Andalou Naturals Perfect Hold Hair Spray. It’s the best hairspray I’ve used, pregnant or not, and I love the smell.
I had to be super careful about which hair products I purchased — and I made sure to look everything up separately, as some brands have some great products, but not every single item they sell will be free of harmful chemicals. So far, Acure is one of the few brands that never scores above a “3” on Skin Deep.
A great affordable choice for basically any makeup item you’ll need is 100% Pure. None of their products rate above a “3” on Skin Deep, and I love that they use natural sources like black tea and peach for pigment. I especially love their Pure Fruit Mascara, black eyeliner, and concealer. Plus, a little goes a long way for all of their products, and I basically used the above basics throughout my entire pregnancy.
Hope this helps! What are your favorite toxin-free beauty products?