Best Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine – The Comprehensive Guide

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Pregnant? Soon to be a mom? Congratulations. While being a skincare lover, being pregnant comes with the hardest decision in your skincare routine. The sad-truth is, you’re definitely going to dish-out some of your previous skincare topicals, and reconstruct your skincare routine to fit in your soon -to-be-a-mom condition (pregnancy). 


Gone are those days when getting pregnant meant quitting all skincare products till after delivery, all thanks to our gallant skincare scientists for their intensive and rigorous research. Now, you can use SOME skincare products while pregnant, and you know what? They’re pregnancy-safe.

Therefore, if you’re pregnant and seeking the best pregnancy-safe skincare routine for yourself, we’ve got you covered. 

Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine – Morning. 

Step 1: Cleanse.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser.

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Every skincare routine starts with a CLEANSE

To commence your skincare routine, you have to first of all, cleanse your face, to get rid of dirt and oil (sebum) so as to prep your skin for the application of your skincare topicals. 

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is a gentle cleanser which helps cleanse the skin without disrupting the skin’s natural protective barrier or stripping the skin of its natural moisture all thanks to its content in hyaluronic acid and ceramides that work to restore the skin’s natural barrier to help the skin lock in moisture. 

How To Cleanse. 

Squeeze out a reasonable amount of the facial cleanser, apply on your face, gently massage in a circular motion for 60 seconds (1 minute), then wash off using clean water. Pat your face with a clean towel (don’t rub), then move over to the next step of your skincare routine.

Step 2: Hydrate.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.Best hyaluronic acid serum

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Keep the skin dewy and Intensely hydrated with hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid helps replenish skin of lost moisture, as it’s a humectant which pulls moisture from the atmosphere to hydrate skin surface which improve the hydration barrier, calm skin, and even minimize fine lines and wrinkles on the face.

And guess what? Hyaluronic acid is safe to use during pregnancy (hooray!). It’s naturally found in our bodies and is very versatile, so it works well with all skin types, including sensitive skin as it’s typically hypoallergenic.

The Ordinary hyaluronic acid serum pairs 2% hyaluronic acid with vitamin B5 to help supply intense hydration to the skin and keeps it looking all healthy and plump. Read the full review here

How To Apply. 

While your skin is damp, apply 4-5 drops of hyaluronic acid serum, massage until fully absorbed.

Step 3: Treat.

Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum.

Timeless Vs SkinCeuticles Vitamin C Serum

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Vitamin C being a powerful antioxidant skincare ingredient, makes it very much recommended to be applied during the day, not only will it help fend-off environmental free radicals, but also helps reverse sun damages as it combats the oxidative stress which helps potentiates the efficacy of your sunscreen. That’s why the combination of vitamin C serum and sunscreen during the day is highly dermatological-recommended.

Vitamin C also extends its potentials to anti-aging benefits, as it helps boost collagen production in the skin, which helps minimize the looks of wrinkles and fine lines and also brightens the skin, which helps address minor hyperpigmentation issues. 

Concerned about vitamin C’s safety for pregnancy? Worry no more as vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid and other vitamin C derivatives) are all pregnancy-safe. Vitamin C helps tackle melasma issues which is associated with pregnancy as it helps brightens the skin, and encourages luminosity. Therefore, If you have dark spots, instead of using hydroquinone, high strengths of vitamin C are very effective.

Timeless Vitamin C Serum contains 20% L-ascorbic acid vitamin C, in combination with vitamin E and ferulic, which helps elongate the shelf-life of vitamin C, for better efficacy and effectiveness. Read a comparison review between Timeless & Skinceuticles vitamin C serum.

How To Apply. 

Apply 2-3 drops of the vitamin C serum to your face, gently massage till fully absorbed. You can apply more if needed. 

Step 4: Moisturize.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.

Best Moisturizers For dry skin

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Moisturization is a must in every skincare routine to keep the skin well moisturized and in good shape. Denying your skin of moisture is like denying yourself of water. And when it comes to maintaining a solid pregnancy skincare routine, your skin needs intense moisture to be in good shape. And to get the most out of your moisturizer, you need to use one of the best. That’s where CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion comes in. 

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains the combination of 3 essential ceramides alongside hyaluronic acid to deliver intense moisture and hydration to the skin. Read comparison review between CeraVe & Cetaphil moisturizing lotion.

You can as well try the moisturizer from The Ordinary brand, as it contains humectants, emollients and occlusives to help enhance moisture retention in the skin by trapping in moisture which prevents moisture-loss thereby keeping the skin hydrated, plump and supple. If you’re not a fan of The Ordinary products (which is weird), you can as well try Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream — A moisture-rich moisturizer infused with a well-known humectant — hyaluronic acid, which is known to pull moisture from the atmosphere into the skin to keep it Intensely hydrated and moisturized.

Bear in mind, all aforementioned moisturizers are all pregnancy-safe and don’t contain any pregnancy-unsafe ingredients. 

How To Apply.

Apply a generous amount of your moisturizer, massage till fully absorbed. 

Step 5: Sunscreen.

Sun Bum Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.

Best Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine

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There are two (2) types of sunscreen, Physical and Chemical sunscreen. 

  • Physical sunscreen (also known as Mineral sunscreen) acts like a barrier, they sit on the top layer of the skin to protect or shield the skin from sun exposure. That’s why you get to have white-cast residue after applying physical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are made with mineral-based ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • Chemical sunscreen on the other hand penetrates into the skin, where it stays to absorb UVA and UVB light rays before it’s able to damage the sensitive DNA of the skin cells. That’s why chemical sunscreens tend to be more elegant in terms of ease of application and minimizing that white-cast residue. Common ingredients in chemical sunscreens include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate.

In summary, physical (or mineral) sunscreens act more like a shield, deflecting the sun’s rays, while chemical sunscreens act almost like a sponge, absorbing UV light. 

For pregnancy safety, dermatologists best recommend physical sunscreens for pregnant women. Reason is, physical sunscreens sit on skin surface to deflect sun UV rays, therefore they don’t absorb into the bloodstream, unlike chemical sunscreen which penetrates into the skin to absorb sun rays, therefore reaching the bloodstream which may affect either parent or baby. Therefore, for pregnancy safety measures, it’s dermatologically-advised to stick to physical sunscreens (which contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide).

Bear in mind that, chemical sunscreen has no ugly effect on people that aren’t pregnant, but for the sake of pregnancy safety measures, it’s advised to stick to physical sunscreens during pregnancy. As the absorption of chemical sunscreen ingredients into the bloodstream isn’t health-safe for pregnant women. 

Physical sunscreens, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are the only two sunscreen ingredients generally recognized as safe and effective by the FDA.

Sun Bum Mineral Broad Spectrum sunscreen is completely, lightweight and non-greasy. It contains mineral moisturizing ingredients with SPF 50 to protect skin from UVA/UVB rays.

Sun Bum mineral broad spectrum sunscreen lotion not only protect your skin from UVA/UVB, it is also 100% hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, reef friendly (oxybenzone free) and octinoxate free which makes it an Ideal for everyday use, by adults and children with even the most sensitive skin. Here’s the list of other physical (or mineral) sunscreen

How To Apply. 

Apply a three-finger worth amount of your sunscreen on your face. Gently massage till fully absorbed. Don’t forget to extend the application of your sunscreen to the tips and back of your ears, exposed scalp, back of the neck, around the eyes, on the lips and the tops of your hands and feet. Read how to apply your sunscreen correctly

If you don’t like the idea of applying sunscreen on your lips, you can as well use a moisturizing lip balm with SPF which is to be re-applied around every 2 hours. Here’s a list of the best moisturizing lip balms with SPF.   

Pregnancy-Safe Skincare Routine – Night-Time. 

Step 1: Take Off Makeup.

This is a vital step during your night-time skincare routine. You need to take off your makeup using a makeup remover or makeup remover wipes. If you wore a waterproof makeup, then take it off using a waterproof makeup remover. Taking off your makeup relieves your pores of clogs, dirt and oil (attached to the makeup) alongside removal of sunscreen residue too. 

Step 2: Double Cleanse.

The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser.

The Ordinary Skincare Routine

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Double cleansing is a practice of cleansing the skin twice, first with an oil-based cleanser, then secondly with a water-based cleanser. The reason for this is to ensure a adequate cleansing, as the oil-based cleanser helps breaks down make-up, oil, sticky-dirt and sunscreen residue applied during the day, while the water-based cleanser helps rinse them all off, mildly exfoliate the skin, unclog pores and also targets acne. 

The Ordinary squalane cleanser helps cleanse the skin. It’s a lightweight and skin-friendly oil which not only helps break down stubborn makeup and sunscreen residue, but also hydrates the skin simultaneously. 

According to Board certified dermatologist David Lortscher, M.D. said “The benefit of double cleansing is that the first cleanser will break down any makeup, remove dirt and excess oils from the day and clean your skin. The second cleanser will address your particular skin type or concern and should have ingredients to hydrate, smooth or exfoliate and treat acne.”

After oil-cleansing, you should plunge ahead to cleanse the second time with a water-based cleanser. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser is still recommended for this purpose. 

How To Apply.

Squeeze out a reasonable amount (careful not to squeeze out too much) a little goes a long way.

Gently massage it on your face for 2 minutes, then rinse off. After that, proceed to your water-based gentle cleanser. 

Step 3: Hydrate.

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.

Best hyaluronic acid serum

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After cleansing, you need to hydrate your skin to replenish it of lost moisture and prep it for the application of other skincare topicals.

How To Apply.

After cleansing, while your skin is damp (not dripping wet) apply 4-5 drops of hyaluronic acid serum, gently massage till fully absorbed.

Step 4: Treat.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension.

The ordinary skincare routine

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Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. It’s rich in anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it an effective treatment for acne and rosacea. 

Azelaic acid is considered a multi-functional skincare ingredient, as it tackles different kinds of skin issues and fix imperfections such as acne, by mildly exfoliating the skin (unclog congested pores), rosacea, redness, hyperpigmentationmelasma and shrink large pores, and oh!, It’s pregnancy-safe, which makes it a great skincare Ingredient for moms-to-be.

Therefore, if you’re considering creating the best pregnancy-safe skincare routine, then azelaic acid is the only skincare ingredient deemed fit to tackle melasma (which is associated with pregnancy), acne, and other skin imperfections during pregnancy and for the fact it’s pregnancy-safe, dermatologists places it on high priority for pregnant women seeking to create a solid pregnancy skincare routine. 

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% formula comes in both 30ml and 100ml tubes. Contains 10% azelaic acid to help tackle skin-texture-irregularities, hyperpigmentation and other skin imperfections. Read the full review here. 

If you feel 10% azelaic acid isn’t giving you a desired result, you can consider going for a higher strength (which is the 15% or 20%), but do well to discuss with your dermatologist on your intended approach. 

Niacinamide and azelaic acid
A 20% azelaic acid gel

How To Apply. 

Apply a pea size amount (the size of a bean), dot it all over your face, while you smear and massage till fully absorbed. You can apply a little more on more problematic areas. 

Step 5: Moisturize.

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.

Best Moisturizers For dry skin

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Then you seal in with a moisturizer to keep the skin moisturized all night. You wouldn’t want to wake up with dehydrated skin right? So do the needful. 

How To Apply. 

Squeeze out and apply a generous amount, massage till fully absorbed. 

In Conclusion. 

Pregnancy comes with some limitations when it comes to skincare, which should unlock your sense of cautiousness on what you put on your skin for your safety and that of the baby. So, feel free to explore the aforementioned best pregnancy-safe skincare routine, but do well to consult with your board-certified dermatologist for further professional guidance before plunging ahead. 

Disclaimer: This is an informational guide on the best skincare products to use while pregnant to ensure pregnancy-safe measures, we advise you should consult your dermatologist or doctor for further professional guidance and assistance before commencing treatment.

UP NEXT: Pregnant? Take A Look At These Pregnancy-Unsafe Skincare Ingredients And Stay Away From Them


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