Skin Care Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

We know how excited you are to maintain your look even when you’re pregnant. You probably already know what food, what drinks, and what activities to avoid; now you feel like you’re ready for the journey of pregnancy. Where toxic ingredients are a no-no, and food aversions are consistent. Well… This includes your skincare regimen. We’re very much aware of how hormones affect our skin in a number of ways and being pregnant may cause them to go haywire. 

If you’re already careful about your go-to products, you’re gonna have to be even more careful for your baby because some ingredients may be absorbed by your skin and can slowly make its way to your body fluids; so you’re gonna have to avoid these not only during pregnancy but also when you’re breastfeeding. 

Our team did some research and we found these common ingredients listed: 

Benozyl Peroxide 

This ingredient is commonly used in products that treat acne. They say it’s safe to use during pregnancy just as long as its concentration levels are below 2.5% but it has been found that 5% of the chemical is absorbed through the skin. Which poses a risk to the fetus by causing a shift in blood flow caused by skin inflammation. 


Retinoids are prescription medications for acne and anti-aging. They may come in oral or topical forms. It may be listed under the following names 

Retinoic Acid           Retinaldehyde 

Etinyl Palmitate       Adapalene 

Tretinoin                  Tazarotene 


Isotretinoin comes in both forms and is known to cause birth defects of the brand and heart. Patients are warned not to conceive within 30 days after the last dose and are advised to stop immediately once they attempt to get pregnant and avoid them while breastfeeding. Topical retinoids are to be avoided because they can get absorbed by the skin in small quantities but have been linked to birth-defects. 

Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic Acid can also be taken in both oral route and as a topical treatment. This is also used in products for acne-prone skin. Oral salicylic acid causes bleeding in late pregnancy and has been associated with other birth-defects. These are unlikely to be harmful in low-doses for a limited period of time. 


Formaldehyde is found in various beauty products including hair straightening treatments and nail polish. The chemical has been linked to cancer and other nervous system problems. An ingredient found in mascaras called Diazolidinyl Urea releases formaldehyde. 


This acne treatment crosses the placenta. It causes developmental problems such as staining the baby’s teeth and causing skeletal problems. This is also excreted by breast milk so better avoid these when you’re breastfeeding too. 

Thioglycolic Acid 

This is used in hair-removal creams. They may be listed under these names: 

Acetyl Mercaptan    Mercaptoacetate 

Mercaptoacetic Acid   Thiovanic Acid 

While no studies have been conducted yet, it is worth noting that Europe limits its concentrations to 5% while they are allowed as much as 15.2% in the US. Backed by the lack of concrete data on its possible health risks, it’s best to skip these when you’re pregnant. 

Chemical Sunscreens 

Sunscreens are vital skincare products. These are used especially when the sun is scorching and the weather is too damaging. And while these do not have much known risks when used, we suggest you avoid the following because they are not listed under the FDA categories. 

Avobenzone HomosalateOctisalate     

Octocrylene    OxybenzoneOxtinoxate 

Menthyl Anthranilate             Oxtocrylene 


Of course, parabens. These chemicals are used to preserve products and can be found in almost every beauty product. Some may be paraben-free, some are not. These can cause various skin issues for you and increases your risk to breast cancer. Parabens may disrupt fetal gestation and growth during the first few years of life.