The best skincare products to use during pregnancy

Pregnancy skincare

by Stephanie Anthony |

Now you're pregnant, it's time to ramp up your self-care regime, and that includes your skin routine.

Unfortunately, it's common for skin to go completely haywire thanks to raging pregnancy hormones. Some mums-to-be experience acne, despite never suffering with it before, whilst others find their skin suddenly becomes very dry and flaky. Stretch marks are another unavoidable change which many women experience, and most of the time they stick around long after pregnancy is over.

It's important to be aware that there are also a few potent products from your beauty cabinet which are not recommended now you're expecting.

"You should avoid benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid for breakouts, as these ingredients are considered unsafe," says skincare expert Joyce Connor. It's also advised to steer clear of retinol during pregnancy, due to its vitamin A content and you may want to avoid fragrant potions if you're hypersensitive to strong smells and/or suffering from morning sickness.

Have a look at our recommended skin products, including M&B Award Winners, to try out that are safe to use while you're expecting.

The best skincare products to use during pregnancy

Lansinoh Organic Nipple Balm

nipple balm
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Organic Nipple Balm's plant-based remedy has been crafted to care for tender nipples and dry skin. The unique blend of organic ingredients is safe for mum, bump and baby and suitable for breastfeeding, with no smell, taste or colour. Made with seven natural ingredients to help moisturise and soothe skin, the silky smooth formula is easy to apply and gentle on sensitive skin.

The Lansinoh Organic Nipple Balm was awarded Gold for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream

lanolin nipple cream silver
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Lansinoh HPA Lanolin helps soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples. 100 per cent natural & hypoallergenic with no perfume, taste, or additives, it is also the only lanolin product to have received the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval.

The Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream was awarded Silver for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

QV Cream

QV
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This highly concentrated rich moisturising cream will help replenish the skin and hydrate dry areas. The non-greasy formula helps protect against dryness by sealing in natural moisture and it contains three types of moisturisers to help soothe and replenish dry skin for up to 24 hours.

The QV Cream was awarded Bronze for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

Motherlylove Tums And Boobs Stretch Mark Massage Oil

Motherlylove Stretch Mark and Massage Oil

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Formulated by founder, Jan, a qualified midwife and aromatherapist, all Motherlylove products are blended for safe use in pregnancy. Tums and Boobs massage oil reduces itching on your bump, reduces anxiety, reduces nausea and reduces stretch marks.

The Motherlylove Stretch Mark and Massage Oil was shortlisted for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk

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ESPA's Hydrating Cleansing Milk is a recommended lotion to use during pregnancy, along with all their products in their pregnancy range. ESPA products are made from all-natural ingredients. You will see amazing results from this cleansing milk as it nourishes and smoothens your pregnant skin. Put a small amount over your face and neck and wash off with warm water.

Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food
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If you use Weleda's Skin Food, you're in safe hands. This recommended cream to use during pregnancy is what you need if you're suffering from dry, cracked skin. Weleda's Skin Food will turn your skin around. Made with organic sunflower seed oil and extracts of wild pansy and rosemary extract, your skin will feel brand new - moisturised and smooth.

Hydraphase Hyaluronic Acid Rich Moisturiser

Hydraphase Hyaluronic Acid Rich Moisturiser

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La Roche Posay's intense moisturiser rehydrates, soothes, and softens your skin with La Roche-Posay Thermal Springwater. Containing no fragrances or parabens, this solution will make your skin feel more smooth than ever.

Pai Skincare Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

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Suitable for vegans, and during pregnancy, the Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil is rich in Omegas, with Rosehip Fruit and Seed oil, this will help regenerate your skin without irritation. Known as a 'best-selling skin-savior' it will improve your dull, tired skin and leave it feeling clear and silky smooth.

Mama MioTummy Rub Butter

Tummy Rub Butter

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Mama Mio's Tummy Rub Butter is clinically proven to protect against and prevent stretch marks. It can be found in Mama Mio's No Nasties section. Made with shea butter, organic oils including avocado, sacha inchi and rosehip, and Vitamin E, this moisturiser will leave your skin feeling amazingly strong and protected.

My Little Coco Baby Mama Hydrating Bump Sheet Mask

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Treat your bump with this targeted treatment bump mask to care for your skin. Cooling aloe vera hydrates the dry skin whilst rosehip works to help reduce stretch marks.

The My Little Coco Baby Mama Hydrating Bump Sheet Mask was shortlisted for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil
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We’re not exaggerating when we say that this oil is one of the most hyped pregnancy products to ever exist. The formulation drastically improves skin elasticity and texture and was practically designed for pregnant mamas whose bodies are changing by the minute. Not only will it improve the appearance of existing stretch marks, but this oil will also prevent any new marks from developing as you continue to grow. The bio-oil will also help with acne scars and leave you with healthier and smoother skin all over.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% 30ml

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Another superstar brand for clean skincare, The Ordinary’s simple and clinically proven formulas make them ideal for pregnancy. While the usual go-to product for acne combat – retinoids – are unsafe during pregnancy, azelaic acid is the perfect substitute. Used locally on any problem areas, azelaic acid will drastically improve acne and rosacea, and will also work by stopping the production of pigment in the skin. If that wasn’t enough, the Ordinary’s formula is also intensely brightening as well as affordable if you’re on a budget.

My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits

My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits Review
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Chances are you'll be quite sore after childbirth because of stretching, bruising, and swelling, even if you don't have a tear or episiotomy. This midwife developed and mum approved Spritz for Bits contains natural essential oils which work together to help soothe discomfort after childbirth, including lavender for soothing pain relief, tea tree oil for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and Vitamin E for encouraging skin health and elasticity. 

The My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits was shortlisted for Best New Mum/Maternity Skincare Product in the 2022 Mother&Baby Awards. Check out our full review here.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Gel-Cream Face Moisturizer

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser
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This lightweight gel is just what you need if your skin veers on the drier side. Containing hyaluronic acid - a natural hydrator - this formula will absorb instantly into your skin, becoming your pregnancy skincare saviour. The lack of scent also makes this a great choice for sensitive skin, or those of us who are more sensitive to certain smells during pregnancy. Unlike other gel moisturisers, this one won’t leave your face feeling greasy, and the cool feel of the gel will also refresh your skin and leave it wanting more.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum

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Drunk Elephant is just one of those brands that screams clean and natural. This super-serum will combat uneven skin tone caused by hyperpigmentation which we usually see an increase of during pregnancy. Packed with a load of antioxidants and nutrients essential for your skin, the serum will also help with brightening and diminishing signs of aging. It’ll only take a few uses for your skin to start glowing and looking radiant – you can thank us later.

More from Mother&Baby 

Top tips for eczema-prone skin

The best stretch mark creams to use during your pregnancy

Stretch marks: why do they appear, and what can you do about them?

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