The human body already takes a bit of a beating during pregnancy.
And in case the stretch marks, hemorrhoids, and hair in places you didn’t ask for didn’t already make you wonder if the so-called pregnancy glow is bullshit, realizing you shouldn’t use some of your favourite beauty products only adds to the pain.
As the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada notes, topical creams can cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream. And some common ingredients in anti-aging products, including retinoids, should be avoided during pregnancy, according to Health.com.
WATCH: Foods to avoid while pregnant. Story continues below.
Plus, depending on where you look for info and the leanings of your OB-GYN, you may be told to avoid other common ingredients such as salicylic acid.
“Skincare in pregnancy can be tricky,” Deanne Robinson, a dermatologist and the president and co-founder of Modern Dermatology of Connecticut, previously told Health.com.
So, what’s an, um, mature mom-to-be to do if she wants to play it safe but doesn’t want to look like someone knocked up grandma?
We rounded up some alternatives to your beloved stash. Put those fancy creams back on the shelf for a year, and try these pregnancy-safe products, instead:
All product choices are made independently by our editors. HuffPost Canada may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.
Avene Mineral Cream SPF 50+
Dr. Roni Munk, director of MunkMD in Montreal, told Global News she tells pregnant patients who are using retinols to use sunscreen, instead. “It’s the most effective anti-aging treatment, anyway,” Munk said.
But some experts will add that mineral or physical sunscreens are better than chemical ones, since chemical filters are possible hormone disrupters, Munk added.
So, now you need to find a natural sunscreen for your face that doesn’t leave a thick, white residue.
Get it at: Well.ca, $31.99
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
Wanna brighten up those “pregnancy insomnia” eyes without worrying about chemicals? This highlighter is coconut oil-based!
Sephora describes it as “a cult-favourite, bestselling luminizer to highlight the skin with a dewy, lit-from-within glow.”
Get it at: Sephora, $50
Stone Crop Oxygenating Fizzofoliant
Experts appear split on whether or not pregnant women should avoid salicylic acid. HealthLine says you should avoid over-the-counter products containing the ingredient, while BabyCenter notes that “small amounts applied to the skin – such as a salicylic acid-containing toner used once or twice a day – are considered safe.”
If you want to err on the side of caution and now you have to nix your favourite liquid exfoliant, fear not! There are some lovely exfoliants that contain more natural ingredients and still promise to revitalize your skin.
Get it at: Amazon, $62.45
Marcelle for Thyme Facial Moisturizer
A lot of pregnant women experience skin discolouration on the face (also known as melasma) thanks to hormones. Oh, it’s just such a magical time!
This all-in-one moisturizer from Marcelle promises to help with that uneven skin tone AND diminish fine lines. Bonus! It’s also approved by the Canadian Dermatology Association.
Get it at: Thyme Maternity, $25.95
100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
So, you’ve had to cut down on your daily cappuccino habit (“Yes, I said a short,” you mutter tearfully to the Starbucks barrista). That doesn’t mean you can’t harness the power of caffeine in other ways!
The Bump notes that “topical caffeine-infused creams are pregnancy-safe,” so get your fix and situation those under-eye circles while you’re at it with this natural eye cream.
Get it at: Amazon, $53.14
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Face Cream
“If you’re looking for a moisturizer for the face, I would recommend products that contain hyaluronic acid, which is incredibly hydrating and will plump the skin,” Dr. Michelle Park of Washington Square Dermatology told The Strategist regarding pregnancy-safe options.
“Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in our body’s tissues that’s naturally there anyway, so it’s not like introducing a foreign chemical.”
This Neutrogena moisturizer will fight fine lines and it’s affordable.
Get it at: Amazon, $19.97
Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream
You gotta have a night cream, but which ones are safe?
Soy is a great alternative to retinoic acid, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, told Parents. While some soy products have estrogen-like effects, Aveeno removes this component from its products, Zeichner added.
Get it at: Well.ca, $19.99
L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up
So, most experts are agreed that it is perfectly safe to dye your hair during pregnancy now.
“It just does not stay in contact with your skin long enough to absorb into the blood stream in a way that is harmful to a growing fetus,” Dr. Angela Lamb, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice in New York City, previously told HuffPost.
Still, the unwritten rule persists, and some moms-to-be might feel a little nervous about heading to the salon. Or maybe this is your second child and you no longer have time for such things. Or you’re saving your dollars for that fancy Mamaroo everyone keeps raving about.
Whatever your reason, L’Oréal Paris has a touch-up spray that’s ammonia-free, peroxide-free and contains no synthetic dyes.
Get it at: Walmart, $11.47
Also on HuffPost: