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Your guide to pregnancy safe skincare

22.01.2022 | Skincare

It’s no doubt that pregnancy is life changing. Once the initial news has sunk in, there are adjustments to your day to day to ensure health and safety for parent and baby whilst embarking on this 9 month journey - including your skincare routine. 

What skincare to avoid while pregnant

Firstly, why do we need to change our faithful cleanser or favourite exfoliant? Simply, whatever we are putting into and onto our body is not only being absorbed by us, but also the baby too. Whilst our adult bodies are strong enough to handle most active ingredients in over-the-counter formulas, there are some ingredients that could potentially harm or irritate your unborn child.

Researching this subject can be a confusing space full of conflicting information as studies and solid evidence can be sparse. From The INKEY List perspective, we generally advise to lean towards the safe side and remove any strong active ingredients and exfoliating acids from your routine such as AHAs, BHAs and Retinols whilst pregnant and breastfeeding.

Cleansers and exfoliating acids such as: 

  • Beta Hydroxy Acid Serum
  • Salicylic Acid Cleanser 
  • Succinic Acid Treatment
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid
  • Glycolic Acid Toner
  • Lactic Acid
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Peel

All contain AHA and BHA active ingredients which have been linked to complications in some studies. 

Instead, try… PHA Toner

Our PHA is a gentle exfoliating acid and works to gently remove dead cells from the skins surface, while the PHA's humectant properties naturally lock in moisture. 

For a deeper cleanse, our Kaolin Clay Mask is a natural, deep-cleaning face mask using high-grade clay to help absorb excess oil, unclog pores and remove impurities from the skin.

Retinol is  a skincare staple but also potent active which, of high dosage, have been linked to side effects for prospective parents. We would not recommend using Vitamin A derivatives including Retinol and retinoid formulas due to potential issues and risks.

  • Retinol Serum
  • Retinol Eye Cream

Instead, try Bakuchiol Moisturizer

Our Bakuchiol Moisturizer is a natural alternative to Retinol and works to improve skin firmness, and elasticity, without causing sensitivity. It is a lightweight moisturizer that keeps skin supple and hydrated. 

Keep it simple and natural. 


Whilst many may be blessed with the sought after ‘glow’, pregnancy can also have an activated impact on your skin due to the rollercoaster of hormones and shifts in lifestyle and routine. This can result in changes to pre existing concerns or conditions as well as the development of new issues such as increased breakouts, discoloration and pigmentation, conditions such as dermatitis or psoriasis and change to oiliness/dryness. Often, the skin returns to its normal state post-birth but seek support or include new, pregnancy safe products in your routine to support the symptoms Contact your doctor or dermatologist for individual advice or the askINKEY team can also offer support and direction from our range.

Post-pregnancy, particularly if breastfeeding, we recommend continuing to avoid actives. As with a new routine, re-introduce products gradually and build up the frequency slowly, starting with a couple of times per week, to recalibrate your skin after the time off. 

We recommend consulting your dermatologist or doctor for further guidance on your specific skincare routine and concerns, particularly if treating severe conditions, for tailored guidance on suitable ingredients and alternatives.  

If you have any questions or concerns, the askINKEY team are happy to help. Contact us here to get in touch. 

Photo of Written by one of our askINKEY skincare advisors

Written by one of our askINKEY skincare advisors

Our askINKEY team are available 24/7 on our live chat. A friendly bunch, all experts with deep product knowledge, ready to make skincare as simple as possible. Whether you are an ingredient expert or starting your journey, no question is too big or too small, no judgement or jargon, we’re here to help and be part of your journey.