Mother and Baby

The best face washes to use during pregnancy

pregnancy face wash

While pregnancy brings with it plenty of joy, there are most certainly elements that are far from exciting. Apart from the usual backache, nausea and fatigue that are on endless rotation, many pregnant mamas also experience problems with their skin.

Whether it’s a sudden flare-up of acne which is making you feel like a hormonal teenager all over again, increased hyperpigmentation, or drier skin – you’re not alone. Luckily for you, there’s nothing like a good skincare routine to get your skin feeling revitalised again, and we all know that the basis for good skin starts with one thing: a good face wash.

Now, before you go reaching for your usual favourites, we’d like to remind you of some ingredients that are absolute no-nos while you’re expecting. Retinoids - a crucial substance for healthy skin and an ingredient in many skincare products - are advised against during pregnancy. High doses of salicylic acid are prohibited, as well as the hyperpigmentation combatant, hydroquinone. Phthalates, formaldehyde and certain essential oils should also be steered clear of, not to mention chemical sunscreens.

We know - that sounds like a lot. Hunting for the right face wash is hard enough without the complexities of pregnancy, and you’ve already given up so (so) many things. To help you navigate the ins and outs of pregnancy skincare, we’ve created a list of 100% clean and natural facial cleansers which are pregnancy safe.

The Cetaphil gentle cleanser is, without doubt, the long-standing victor of clean and gentle face washes. An oldie but a goldy, this product is ideal for pregnancy given the sheer simplicity of the formula. Fragrance-free, soap-free and containing safe ingredients all around, your skin will enjoy a nice deep clean which will leave your face feeling plump and healthy. The light formula prevents against clogging your pores and is suitable for sensitive skin. Oh, and even better – it’s extremely affordable! 

Rich in antioxidants, free of harmful substances and extremely effective – it’s no surprise that this cleansing gel has garnered a boatload of rave reviews. This product will brighten your face, all the while removing dirt and oils from the surface of your skin and repairing damage. Use this gel daily to help even out your skin tone and avoid redness. All this goodness should have your skin feeling cleaner and more satin than ever before.

Another superstar brand for all-things simple, CeraVe’s face wash will cleanse your skin without stripping back its natural moisture. Thanks to active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerine, this cleanser helps restore the skins barrier, hydrate and nourish. If you’re suffering from dry and flaky skin during pregnancy – don’t worry. Unlike a host of other cleansers, this one won’t be leaving your face feeling tight and dry. Instead, the special formula will help lock in all moisture and leave you glowing.

There’s nothing like the natural nutrients of the ocean to give your face a good clean. Formulated with algae, coconut water and advanced marine polynutrients, this face wash will remove all impurities, oils and grime from the surface of your skin and leave you looking absolutely luminous. Not only is this product free of any harsh chemicals, it’ll also bring you the delightful aroma of fresh coconut that’ll brighten your day.

This rich and nutritious face cleanser is free from any harmful chemicals, which is perfect for use during pregnancy. The anti-blemish and non-drying formula will cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural substances, and aid in the recovery of skin cells. Made of certified organic aloe vera, your skin will feel pure and fresh, without any worry for your baby. Don’t be steered away by the small quantity – only a penny size of the product is necessary for each use, as this hand-crafted formula is jam-packed with natural and organic ingredients.

Popular for its gentleness, this foam cleanser will lift all debris, oils and other impurities from your skin without causing any irritations. Proven to work nicely with acne-prone skin, the gentle enzymes in the formula will cleanse your pores, leaving your face feeling fresher and softer than ever before. This product is suitable for all skin types and is safe for daily use.

Gentle but effective are two words that describe our next product. The creamy texture will glide over your skin, removing any dirt and oils on its journey. This product is paraben-free, soap-free, oil-free and sulphate-tree, making it a perfect choice for pregnancy as well as for sensitive skin. Doubling as a make-up remover, you can kill two birds with one stone, being left with a smooth, healthy and clean face.

Another popular choice for when you're expecting, this fragrance-free formula will take a deep dive into your pores and remove any dirt, oil or make-up from your skin. Working to hydrate and protect your skin from any damage, you won’t be desperately reaching for your moisturiser anytime soon, as this cleanser prevents any drying and irritation. The natural ingredients will help keep acne-prone skin under control while still ridding your pores of all impurities.

Maintain soft and supple skin all throughout your pregnancy with First Aid’s cleanser. Uniquely infused with plant-derived antioxidants, this face wash will act as a barrier between your skin and any environmental irritants. You’ll find no synthetic fragrances or essential oils here – just a simple formula what will leave you skin feeling fresh as a baby’s.

  • Author: Marina Avraam Marina Avraam
  • Job Title: Storytelling Executive

Marina Avraam is a Storytelling Executive for Mother&Baby, and she also works on She has a passion for psychology, reading and fashion writing.

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