Pregnancy-safe skincare brands for mums-to-be and for new mums too

Discover the skincare brands with new and future mums in mind.

The process of becoming a parent is an exciting one, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin. Worse still, as the pregnancy and breastfeeding stages are very sensitive times for both mum and bub, there are plenty of ingredients in popular skincare brands that you may want to avoid.

To help you cure your skincare woes and avoid any nasties, we've rounded up the brands with sensitive skin philosophies catering for pregnancy, new mums and general women's skincare. Though not all are Australian brands, we've also found the stockists that will ship them to Aussie shores so you can get your hands on them easily. We've also provided a list of ingredients doctors recommend avoiding during pregnancy to help you make an informed decision about which beauty products are best for you at this time.

1. Earth Mama Organics

Created by mum and nurse, Melinda Olson, Earth Mama Organics is a brand dedicated to clean and safe herbal products. All of Earth Mama's products are completely toxin free and are created with all natural ingredients. The products have also been created to ensure that all women are catered for with different ranges available for the pregnancy, postpartum and breastfeeding stages.

You can also find organic deodorants, sunscreen and herbal teas along with a range of products that are safe for both babies and children.

The range is very accessible with most products sitting at around the $10-$25 mark.

2. endota

Australian luxury day spa endota has created a Mum To Be range that is suitable for both pre and postnatal mothers. The products have been years in the making as the endota team sought to create a range of dermatologically tested, certified organic skincare that was free from harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, sulphates and parabens.

The line includes Moisture Rich Belly Butter, Nourishing Nipple Balm and a drawstring canvas bucket bag that doubles as a nappy bag. There is also a Mother & Baby collection which includes these products plus a Gentle Bath & Body Wash, Gentle Baby Lotion, Protecting Barrier Balm and Calming Sleep Mist. The baby products have all been specially formulated for delicate baby skin.

The Mum To Be range retails for $50 while the Mother & Baby range costs $155.

3. Palmer's Stretch Marks range

Crafted from natural ingredients such as argan, cocoa butter and shea butter, Palmer's Stretch Marks range is made especially for pregnant women. Each of the products has been created to deeply hydrate skin for up to 48 hours in order to help with the appearance of stretch marks.

Products from the range include a massage lotion, massage cream, massage oil and tummy butter and can be easily shopped from chemists such as Priceline and Chemist Warehouse.

Each of the products from the range retails for around $15.

4. Edible Beauty

Australian luxury skincare brand Edible Beauty was created by naturopath Anna Mitsios, who previously worked at a fertility clinic. Using her knowledge of pregnancy and natural ingredients, Mitsios created a range of toxin-free and hormone-friendly skincare.

Rather than being pregnancy specific, the Edible Beauty range includes staple skincare products such as cleansing milk, serums and face oils, meaning that you can continue with your usual facial routine stress free.

Individual products range between $18 and $83.

5. Motherlove

Motherlove is another all-natural brand that creates a range of organic products for both pregnant and postpartum women. Each product formula is made from certified organic herbs and other pure ingredients.

Some products on offer include Nipple Cream and Pregnant Belly Salve as well as Diaper Balm and other baby products. While Motherlove is not an Australian brand, you can shop a selection of its products through iHerb.

Motherlove skincare items usually retail between $15 and $27.

6. Bio-Oil

Bio-Oil has long been a cult-favourite skincare product among pregnant and postpartum women. The natural formula, made from a combination of plant extracts and vitamins, helps to both reduce the appearance of stretch marks and even out skin tone.

The product has undergone extensive testing to be deemed both safe and effective, with 92% of the women tested in a clinical trial reporting improvement in scarring after 8 weeks.

Bio-Oil typically retails for around $15 for a 60mL bottle.

Which ingredients should you avoid while pregnant?

While there is no conclusive list of ingredients that will cause harm during pregnancy, there are some ingredients that doctors and skincare professionals recommend avoiding:

  • Parabens and phthalates. Parabens and phthalates can act as endocrine disruptors, meaning that they can disrupt hormone function. Endocrine disruptors have been known to cause cancerous tumours, birth defects and other developmental disorders, and they should ultimately be avoided by everyone, not just those who are pregnant. Unfortunately, the word "paraben" isn't always the one that appears on the ingredients list. When checking the back of your favourite skin and beauty products, look for butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben, which are the most commonly found types of parabens in skincare.
  • SLS and SLES. Skin can become more sensitive during pregnancy, meaning that ingredients which may not have bothered you before can start to become irritating. SLS and SLES are surfactants, which are often irritating to the skin anyway, and they are likely to become even more irritating during pregnancy.
  • Vitamin A and retinols. Currently, there is inadequate research around whether vitamin A and retinol products are harmful during pregnancy. However, there is some evidence that they can affect the development of a foetus at high concentrations, so you may want to avoid them if you can.
  • Fragrances. As well as being a potential irritant to sensitive skin, women can become very sensitive to smells during pregnancy. If you're suffering from nausea, you may want to steer clear of any perfumed products.

If you do have any concerns around skincare, it's best to talk to your health care provider or skincare specialist. Together, you can weigh up any potential risks and come up with the best solution for you and your skincare needs.

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Main image: Getty

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