Hi and happy Friday, friends! It takes you being here no time at all to know my affinity for all things beauty related. So, when finding out I was pregnant, I knew incorporating pregnancy safe skincare products was a must! But, gosh … where to start? It was so overwhelming! So, I wanted to put together a post that made it easy for you ladies! I love trying out new skincare products, which is why this is more of a round-up of what I used and liked throughout my pregnancy. I realize it can be expensive so I’m happy to be a guinea pig of sorts to provide options at different budgets. I also find that sometimes people have tried something that worked great for me but would like another option to consider because it didn’t work for them! Everyone’s skin is different so keep that in mind as you consider what I tried and liked throughout pregnancy.
Last, but not least, before we get started, be sure to check these products against your healthcare providers recommendation. I did that with all of these but I am not trying to replace their advice. Remember, I live in another country that abides by potentially different standards and sells products that could be formulated differently because of those standards. A great reference I found to be super helpful when I was deciding on items to purchase and try when I couldn’t ask my midwife was this website. Alright, lets get into all things beauty!
First thing you should know about how I cleanse my face is that I always double cleanse.
MAKEUP REMOVING BALM
The first cleanse is always with a makeup removing balm to get most of my makeup off. With makeup removing balms, the key is to rub them INTO your makeup and wipe off with a warm, damp washcloth. One reason I use these products when taking off my makeup is, it not only melts away your makeup but removes impurities and gently exfoliates at the same time. It’s also much better for your skin and environmentally-friendly to use these products versus makeup wipes or cotton-pads and micellar water. The cleansing balms I’ve been using throughout pregnancy are Farmacy’s Green Clean & Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm [rose scented | original scent].
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A COUPLE NOTES: I’m often asked if I prefer one over the other and the answer is no. I love them both enough to have repurchased them over and over again throughout the last three years. Also, I realize that skincare can be expensive so if you want to test a product first before committing to full-size, I’d recommend snagging the travel size first!
Next, for the second cleanse, I use a gel cleanser. I am not married to one specific gel cleanser as I really really love trying new ones out to share with you all. Everyone has different budgets and skin types so I know it’s helpful for me to share more than just one with you guys that have passed my test. The cleansers I’ve used and loved during pregnancy have been the Summer Friday’s Super Amino Cleansing Gel and, my long-standing favorite, the TULA Purifying Facial Cleanser. I’ve also started testing out the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cleanser and am really liking it! All of these cleansers make my skin feel deep-cleaned and soft!
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Toners helps to get the last little bit of dirt and grime out of your pores. They help to reset your skin’s pH level so that they’re less prone to oiliness as well as help to create a more vibrant, smooth appearance. Toners were one of the hardest products for me to find during my pregnacy skincare journey and, after talking to multiple friends, I finally landed on Lotion P50W, which is a gentle vitamin-enriched exfoliating lotion that exfoliates, improves the skin’s natural pH balance, helps get rid of dark spots, shrinks pore size and so much more. It’s not actually a lotion-like consistency, and actually more like water. Be sure to check out that blog post I linked to the product as it’s not available online and the blogger, Brooklyn Blonde, did an incredible job breaking down the product. I only use it at night and usually about three times a week. To apply, press into skin with a reusable cotton pad – don’t rub!
For the month of January, I used TULA Purifying & pH Balancing Toner Pads and absolutely loved! I used them in the morning and in the evenings I wasn’t using Lotion P50W. I highly recommend them as a more budget friendly and effective toner alternative. Their original toner is also a great one to try. The product pages clearly state the difference between the two. And, again, don’t forget to use code ALYSONHALEY for 15% off!
Lately, instead of TULA’s toners, I’ve been using Elemis’ Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads. These were a product I’ve had my eye on and can also be classified as a gentle exfoliant as it’s formulated with lactic acid and promotes cell turnover, which I can appreciate being that retinol is a no-no during pregnancy. I have absolutely loved them and wish I had found them sooner. They definitely improve and brighten your skin’s complexion and when followed by a Vitamin C serum in the morning – wow! You definitely will have a great glow to show off! Again, enjoy 20% off with code ALYSON20 at checkout!
Serums can be somewhat intimidating if you are new to skincare. It’s important to take note of your skin’s issues and do some research on what types of serums can help combat those issues. It’s also really important to remember consistency is key and that results do not happen overnight so to be patient! Before moving on to a new product, I’d say use the one you’re trying consistently for 90 days before moving on to something new if you haven’t seen the results you want.
The serums I use might not be helpful for you as we all have our own issues so I won’t go into every single one in my arsenal. I’ll touch on ones I think are the most beneficial for most people. One serum I think we ALL need and can benefit from is a really good Vitamin C serum. For me, the winner is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Drops but, I realize the price is outrageous. If you do decide to splurge, consider this your warning: it smells like hot dogs but the effects are worth it! I only use these in AM during my morning skincare routine. They not only brighten your complexion, but they lighten lines, firm your skin and help neutralize free radicals induced by UVA/UVB, infrared radiation (IRA) and ozone pollution (O3).The new TULA Triple Vitamin C Serum are a good alternative if you’re looking for something effective and budget-friendly. Also 15% off with code ALYSONHALEY at checkout!
My skin has a history of dark spots due to excessive sun exposure when I was younger. It will always be a constant battle, even after laser treatments done to alleviate them. Those were helpful but hormones can make them come back, as well as sun exposure. I’ve certainly not been in the sun over the last year like in years’ past but the struggle with my dark spots is ever-present thanks to pregnancy. So, I’ve also been using SkinCeuticals Phlorentin C F Drops to help with those but, dark spots can be a struggle to treat while your hormones are working against the product. Generally speaking, though, the serum helps by improving the appearance of discoloration, fine lines and uneven skin tone. Phloretin neutralizes damaging free radicals, improves cell turnover and lightens signs of discoloration. L-ascorbic acid protects your skin from oxidative stress while providing visible anti-aging benefits, while ferulic acid enhances the antioxidant benefits of phloretin and vitamin C. Ha, that might be a lot to take in but it’s why I use these two products together in the mornings and then I use this one again at night.
Alright, everyone knows it. Moisturizing your skin is an absolute no-brainer, right?! I use Drunk Elephant’s LaLa Retro Whipped Moisturizer in the morning as part of my morning routine. It is vegan and cruelty-free and perfect for drier skin, which has been so helpful during these cold winter months! It’s formulated with the plant ceramide, which is great at providing intense moisture and replenishing barrier support. For evening moisture, I use Tula’s Hydrating Day & Night Cream. This is a moisturizer you can obviously use for both day and night (hence the name) but for me, personally, I just find I need a lighter moisturizer for daytime. This moisturizer left on all night leaves your skin looking more supple, plump & glowy.
For those of us that used to consider sleep a hobby and have now moved into sleep being like an old friend you don’t see very often anymore, may I introduce eye creams, ha! I use TULA’s Revitalizing Eye Cream right after I apply toner in the evenings. It has prebiotic & probiotic extracts that help calm any look of irritation while nourishing your skin at the same time. It also has grape seed oil that is known for its excellent source of vitamin E. Again, use code ALYSONHALEY at checkout for 15% off! Then, on those mornings where sufficient sleep escaped you the night before, I use Elemis’ Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks. Put these on while you’re drinking your coffee or getting the kids’ lunches ready for school. They are perfect for those days that you just need an extra pick-me-up. No one wants to prance into work feeling exhausted and the first thing your co-worker says is “You look exhausted”. These will trick anyone into thinking you got those glorious 8 hours of slumber! Those are also 20% off with code ALYSON20!
One of the things that tipped me off to potentially being pregnant was the acne that kept popping up – no pun intended! It was really frustrating because it was in the very beginning and I was really struggling to find products that were safe because so many products have salicylic acid in them. There are a lot of healthcare professionals who caution women to not use any products with salicylic acid during pregnancy and others who say as long as it is 2% or less, it will be fine. Like I said in the beginning, you do what you feel the most comfortable with based on what you’ve been advised.
I have two different products I have used when break-outs have come up, although, I’ll be honest – once I passed my first trimester, I didn’t experience many. First, I’d recommend this Kate Somerville’s Eradikate Daily Cleanser. Sadly, I found this after my first trimester but I had a breakout or two in the trimesters following and this cleanser helped! It is a medicated foaming acne wash that is uniquely formulated to cleanse acne-prone skin while working to prevent blemishes, unclog pores, balance oily skin and minimize the appearance of pores. I also used Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. I would use this as my toner on evenings where I had skin flare-ups and I did find that it helped alleviate redness and irritation and healed those small break-outs.
I thought it’d be helpful to also provide what I used on my body throughout pregnancy, so here we go!
No surprise here (if you’ve been here for a while) that I used all of Necessaire’s products in the way of body care essentials. I have been a long-time lover of their products so using this vegan & cruelty-free brand while pregnant, was a no-brainer. The eucalyptus fragrance on their body wash is what I’m currently using and it smells absolutely divine! I have used their body lotion literally every single day of my pregnancy! While I can’t say it solves the itching problem we all face during pregnancy – it does slightly help alleviate it if you apply more frequently. I also use their body exfoliator, body serum and their hand cream. All of Necessaire’s products are formulated with vitamins A, B3, C and E, along with Omegas 6 and 9 and antioxidants, too. Their formula’s pH levels are between 4.75-5.75. They strive to formulate to pH levels that support your natural pH and barrier function.
Another long time product I have used & loved is Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant! You guys, this deodorant works! It has a small amount of baking soda to combat odor and a surplus of other natural ingredients that contains added detoxifying benefits while also deodorizing and disinfecting. Be sure to use code ALYSONHALEY for 10% off at checkout!
I received so many questions about what self-tanning products I have used during pregnancy and I’m excited to finally share! Two of the products are actually two of my holy grail self tanning products and you’ve heard my talk about before — St. Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse [for my body] and Isle of Paradise’s Self Tanning Drops [for my face]. I’ve shared and written about both of these in this post from a couple of years ago. I’ve literally tried so many tanning products and these are the two I always come back to. They’re so effective and provide the best glow. Don’t forget to snag the applicator mitt. For the tanning drops, I simply mix 4-6 drops in with my morning moisturizer. I wouldn’t say I fussed with the self-tanning process often during pregnancy, but it gave me a little pick-me-up in the midst of all the body changes. Plus, I’ve spent the majority of my pregnancy in lockdown with freezing temps, so adding a little extra glow to my skin was so nice & made me feel a little more like ‘me’.
A newer product I used to top off my self tanning regimen was this sunless tanning lotion. It’s organic and effective in keeping the tan lasting longer but, I will say, it is a workout to rub in. As pregnancy wore on, it took more energy than sometimes I felt a tan was worth hah!
Whew! We did it, ladies! That was a lot to absorb, I get it! But I know for any of you fellow momma’s out there this world of do’s and don’t can be challenging. If I am able to offer any insight to topics like these, then I feel like I have done my job well! I hope you ladies found this helpful and can use it as a resource for years to come! Also, please leave your pregnancy skincare recommendations in the comments below. I am always looking to broaden my scope of skincare essentials. Until next time! xo.