Skincare & Beauty Routine
What is a pregnancy-safe skincare routine?
My overall philosophy to skincare and beauty in pregnancy and postpartum is to feed your skin nourishing and healthful goodness regularly. The approach is simple: go for the most wholesome products as much as you can and they will deliver results and boost your body’s natural abilities to care for you and your new little one. Our bodies know what they like. Much like we feel our best when we eat what we crave, our skin looks glowing when we give it maximal nutrients and minimal harsh ingredients.
Do I need to scrap my old skincare routine when I become pregnant?
This depends on your routine (of course) however most of the time no, I don’t believe you need to change everything. Ditching ingredients like retinoids, hydroquinone, or parabens is important. Materials that are harsh, short term use, or risky should be avoided. In general sticking with what I would call tonic skincare is the way to go. By tonic I mean things that are nurturing, healthful, and long term safe. Chamomile or nettle are tonic botanicals in tea and in skincare. I think of healthful oils like sesame, safflower, olive, rose essential oil, chamomile essential oil, carrot seed essential oil to be tonics to the skin. They are safe and nourishing for long term use. It is different for everyone but when I was pregnant my body was pretty discerning and there was no way for me to miss the cues. This was true with what I ate (hello aversions and cravings!) and what I interacted with. I was still formulating skincare and actually formulated STORQ’s pregnancy offerings while I was with child. My body helped me attune to sensitivities in aroma and safety of the botanicals and ingredients. My sensitive nose turned otherworldly. It was wild.
Skincare Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant
Are “non-toxic” or “clean beauty” products reliably safe for use during pregnancy and postpartum? // Similarly: When products are “all-natural” does that mean they are also safe to use during pregnancy and/or nursing?
Yes, in general clean or green beauty products are safe for pregnancy. It is important to check the source to make sure they are formulated within general safety guidelines for how much essential oil is present, at what concentrations. Essential oils are strong. I wouldn’t use undiluted essential oils (without guidance from a qualified professional) during pregnancy at all. All-natural does not instantly mean that a product is safe during pregnancy or nursing but if products are formulated safely, the amount of each botanical present in the product represents a non therapeutic dose that I would feel comfortable using myself in pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Also, all-natural products signal a higher likelihood of being safe to me, but again, I would check to see who is making them and their safety guidelines. Additionally, there are plants to avoid in pregnancy that might be found in the products like peppermint and rosemary. Those are better avoided.
Is there any way to avoid researching every single ingredient in a given product? // Are there any commonly used ingredients we should always know to avoid? → does this ingredient list feel accurate and up-to-date?
I have not come across any complete lists of ingredients and I believe that may be because it is a hard subject to take an absolute stance on. Also, the conversation is relatively new in the United States meaning not every ingredient (herb, botanical, chemical, extract, substance) has been fully studied in pregnancy or breastfeeding. But yes, that ingredient list feels good. Dilution of essential oil is fundamental at all times and for all people, and even more so during pregnancy, breastfeeding and for little ones. Essential oils should never be used without proper dilution, they should never be used internally (ingested), and training around their safe use is essential. That said, I do think there are many botanicals that are helpful during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.
Pregnancy Safe Face & Skincare Products
What are the most reliable resources for determining what is safe?
If I were pregnant I would read labels and avoid the following botanicals completely: Anise, Cassia, Cinnamon bark, Fennel, Hyssop, Pennyroyal, Myrrh, Oregano, Sage, Sweet birch, and Wintergreen. The good news is these are not common in natural skincare.
Here is a link to a good list of what essential oils to fully avoid during pregnancy, and what delusions are considered generally better during nursing.
Also, I like this list about essential oil safety for babies and children.
Do the same rules apply for what is safe to use during pregnancy and while nursing?
In short, no. There is sometimes overlap however what botanicals are contraindicated during breastfeeding because they could impact milk production might be fine during pregnancy or the other way around.
Are essential oils safe to use on myself and/or on baby while expecting or nursing?
I would feel safe using select essential oils diluted to 2% in a carrier during pregnancy, birth or nursing. The above list are ones I would avoid entirely. However when I was expecting I used my normal skincare and rolled right into breastfeeding that way and used the STORQ mist. Additionally I used diluted blends during pregnancy at home as pick-me-ups that I made myself. I now have a healthy three year old.