Perhaps because it’s such a grey area (some dermatologists, for instance, will tell you it’s fine to apply skincare containing salicylic acid in low doses throughout your pregnancy, others will recommend you avoid it altogether), it’s surprisingly difficult to find solid pregnancy skincare advice online.
After much research and hormone-fuelled angst, this is the regimen I decided on. My mission: to avoid parabens, phthalates (thought to mess with your hormones) and synthetic fragrances where possible in favour of safe natural alternatives, as well as steering well clear of anything clinically proven to be hazardous in pregnancy (think actives like retinol and salicylic acid). Of course, nothing should replace the advice of your doctor, so always run everything past them first.
1/ Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, $27.95
This is the one you’ll find on all pregnancy skincare lists – Weleda consulted with midwives as well as pharmacists to develop this 100 per cent natural stretch mark preventer, which I dutifully slathered on each morning from 12 weeks onwards (when my skin first started to stretch). So far, so good (although I still have 10 weeks to go…).
2/ Skin Juice Mummy’s Tummy cream, $35
Once my first bottle of Weleda ran out, I switched to this on the glowing recommendation of a pregnant friend. Luxuriously thick, it does take a while to rub in completely, but it’s incredibly moisturising. Now that the weather’s warming up, I’m planning to switch to Go-To Exceptionoil as a pregnancy-safe, all-over body moisturiser.
I’m not usually one for foaming cleansers, but this is gentle enough not to dry out my sensitive skin and actually feels like it nourishes, rather than strips away, my skin’s natural barrier. It’s free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates (tick, tick, tick) and enriched with vitamin C – a pregnancy-safe skin brightener. I alternated between this and Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse Balm (a pre-pregnancy fave) at night.
4/ Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub, $55.50
My usual arsenal of chemical exfoliants suddenly off-limits, I turned to this physical scrub on a skincare therapist’s recommendation. Mixed with the brand’s Ultracalming Cleanser and used weekly, it gives a gentle exfoliation (thanks to finely milled corn cob meal) that I’ve found effectively sloughs off dead skin cells.
5/ Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $116
Almost all the Drunk Elephant products are safe for use during pregnancy, but this Vitamin C-packed serum has been my desert island skincare product (apart from SPF, of course) for years now. It’s amazing, your skin will love it, read more on why here.
This was my daily moisturiser for whenever my skin needed an added hydration hit. Designed to de-stress and soothe sensitive skin, the simple formula only has 10 ingredients (hence its name) and is fragrance-free, oil-free and non-comedogenic.
7/ Go-To Very Useful Face Cream, $72
A tub of this stuff lived on my bedside table all winter long – it’s a tad too rich for my oily-prone skin for day use, but I’ve found it’s perfect as a night cream, particularly when pregnancy hormones made my skin extra-parched.
It’s free from parabens, phthalates and sulfates, but don’t let that fool you – this is one natural (or at least, slightly more natural) mascara that can compete with the big guns in terms of its volumising and lengthening capabilities and staying power. The Ilia mascara is another natural fave I’ve found.
9/ Lanolips tinted lip balm, $40/three
My hands-down favourite lip balm.
10/ Kester Black nail polish, $20
One of the first beauty switches I made was quitting my SNS manicure habit and saying no to conventional nail polish. Instead, I ordered up on Australian brand Kester Black’s 10-Free formulas, which give the glossy finish (and colour range) I craved, minus nasties like formaldehyde, toluene, parabens etc.
I resisted going down the completely natural foundation route in favour of this relative newbie by Bobbi Brown. Unlike most department store foundations, it’s made without parabens, phthalates and sulfates, but still offers decent coverage and a longwear matte finish.
I’ve been using this under my eyes to cover my extra-dark circles (one of those pregnancy symptoms no-one tells you about!) and love the creamy finish it gives.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.