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A guide to pregnancy-friendly skincare


At the beginning of the pregnancy, many women start to wonder how and what impact everything they consume has on their baby. It’s the moment where many turn towards natural ingredients in food as well as cosmetics. And whilst navigating the cosmetic ingredients jungle is already challenging under normal circumstances, when pregnant you just don’t want to take any risks.

The baby indirectly is exposed to everything the mother takes in: nutrition, cosmetics, alcohol, medicines, but even stress and pollution have an impact. Whereas some things can be challenging to avoid, cosmetics are easy to swap out. As some substances in cosmetics are under the suspicion of impacting the hormonal system, we recommend to avoid these ingredients completely and instead turn to products that are worry-free, make you feel good and if you like, have a beautiful sensory experience. We would bet, that you will fall in love with natural cosmetics forever.

We hope that this guide will make finding what is right for you a little easier. Disclaimer: This is by no means a conclusive guide and as every woman’s pregnancy, symptoms and risk factors are different, we always recommend to conduct your own research too and talk to your doctor.

karma mama pregnancy care

Ingredients to avoid

Oxybenzone (often found in chemical sunscreen)
Salicylic Acid (BHA)
Retinol (vitamin A)
DHA (often found in selftanning products)

The natural beauty space

Whereas we are firm believers that nourishing the body with natural ingredients is the right way to go, it is important to know, that not all ingredients in the natural beauty space are recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

If you are struggling with hormonal acne, you might use Azelaic Acid which is considered to be safe to use when pregnant. For acneic conditions we recommend to use products that are gentle and anti-inflammatory instead of applying harsh skincare products that will dry your skin and throw it off balance even more.

Safe to use

Hyaluronic Acid
You are fine to use Hyaluronic Acid as part of your hydrating routine. We recommend to use a HA serum before applying your moisturiser.

Certain AHA’s like Lactic Acid or Glycolic Acid to gently exfoliate and even skin tone are fine. Lactic Acid usually is considered to be more gentle and always make sure to go for modest percentages. If using acids, include them in your evening skincare routine, not during daytime. If you are unsure and your skin is not sensitive, you can always opt for a physical exfoliator instead.

Vitamin C
This is the good news for all with hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C is fine to be used and can help if you are struggling with melasma. Applying sunscreen whenever you use Vitamin C or acids is a must.

It is considered safe during pregnancy and helps to reduce redness and inflammation.

These are safe to use during pregnancy as they are are amino acids that naturally are present in your skin. They help boost collagen and elastin and might even replace your retinol not only during pregnancy. 

Zinc Oxide
Is the main active ingredient in mineral sunscreens and is considered safe. They are not absorbed by the skin but sit on top. Zinc can also help with acneic conditions.

Essential Oils
Some essential oils are okay to use after the first trimester of pregnancy which include the commonly used lavender, patchouli, neroli, chamomile, orange essential oils.

There is a variety of essential oils that are not recommended during the whole duration of your pregnancy and breastfeeding due to the allergens they contain. It is best to do your own research regarding any essential oils you would like to use and if unsure, cut them out completely. Also never apply essential oils undiluted on your skin.

Be gentle with yourself and your skin

Generally we recommend to go for gentle ingredients and to follow your intuition as your skin and sense of smell might start to change. If you can, refrain from dying your hair and using nail polish. There are so many other things that you can do to feel good and beautiful. Nourish your body and soul from the inside and outside, practice relaxing selfcare rituals, use gentle dry brushing on your legs if you tend to retain water and get outside in the fresh air lots. And one important last thing: make sure to include SPF in your daily routine to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Most brands offer certain products that are fine to use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Often but not always they are the ones without essential oils. A few brands offer completely pregnancy friendly skincare lines such as

Agent Nateur

Karma Mama

If you are introducing new products into your routine and you have doubts if they are the right ones for you and your situation, consult with your doctor as each pregnancy is unique. And of course feel free to reach out if you have questions, we are always trying to help if we can.


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