Is it safe to wear makeup during pregnancy?

Many routines change during pregnancy: diet and physical activity are adjusted, medical visits are scheduled from time to time, and even slightly different beauty and skincare routines are carried out, aren’t they? Amid this period of transformation, many moms have the doubt, is it safe to put on makeup during pregnancy? Can using cosmetics be bad for the baby?

Is it wrong to wear makeup during pregnancy?

Just as it is preferable to stop consuming certain foods, you should know that it is convenient to stop using some cosmetic products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that before buying them, you check that they are correctly labeled, have instructions for use, and list the ingredients in their formula so that you know if they are safe.

In Oregon, the Women’s Care Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, Reproduction, and Women’s Health shares the list of ingredients in beauty and personal care products that you should avoid if you are pregnant.

Products to avoid if you are pregnant

Retin-A, retinol, and retinyl palmitate:

These vitamin A derivatives can cause birth defects. Although it is important to have adequate vitamin A for the baby’s development, these derivatives can negatively affect his development.

Tazorac and Accutane:

They are also derivatives of vitamin A that are found in controlled medications. The FDA recommends avoiding them during pregnancy as they can cause birth defects.

Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid:

Having acne during pregnancy is common. Be careful if you use anti-acne creams, as they often use these ingredients. Better avoid them.

Essential oils:

Essential oils are often thought of as a natural alternative to beauty products; however, they are not evaluated by health agencies and therefore do not follow the strict labeling standards of other products. Essential oils come in different varieties and concentrations, so it’s hard to tell if they’re safe to use during pregnancy.


Many women are concerned about melasma, the pigmentation that appears during pregnancy. They look for solutions to lighten the skin, but hydroquinone should be avoided. The FDA notes that it has a higher absorption rate than other topical chemicals, making it more likely to enter the bloodstream and affect the baby.

Aluminum chloride:

This ingredient is common in deodorants and antiperspirants. It is generally believed to be safe to use in low concentrations, but it is recommended to avoid products that use it in high concentrations.


It is present in nail polish and certain hair products. The use of formaldehyde products should be avoided, as it has been linked to fertility problems and miscarriages. Nail polishes labeled “3-Free” or “5-Free” are recommended.

Chemical sunscreens:

Sunscreens may contain potential hormone disruptors such as oxybenzone or avobenzone, which can interfere with a baby’s developing nervous system. To protect yourself from UV rays, use protectors based on natural ingredients.


A common antibiotic used to treat a variety of skin conditions. It should be avoided, as well as its derivatives (doxycycline and minocycline). These can have adverse effects on both pregnant mothers and their babies.


It is a chemical that is used in many spray self-tanners. Although it is not absorbed into the body, it can be inhaled during application and is unhealthy for mother and baby.

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Beautiful and safe

Whether a product uses natural ingredients and avoids chemicals, it’s a good idea to go to your dermatologist and gynecologist and ask them about it.

Once you have the recommendations and approval of the experts, look for options that adapt to it. Chemical engineer Iliana Loza, the founder of the Mexican biocosmetic brand Ahal, talks about their ingredients: “All our formulas are clean, free of fragrances, alcohol, parabens, synthetic and toxic agents”.

“We formulate and assemble all our products. We are a laboratory that selects ingredients and active ingredients with a conscience”. This can be a good option, and another good idea is to let your skin rest during this period.

Are you going to make up? You should not worry about:

Eyeliner is mostly wax and cannot be absorbed by your skin.

Mascara because your lashes are “dead hair,” and it’s only applied on top of them.

Powder products, as they settle on the surface of the skin.

* Don’t get caught in the rush! Today is a good time to start shaping your newborn’s wardrobe. Find the clothes for his first weeks and months in our Online Store.

Translated by: Ligia M. Oliver Manrique de Lara

Spanish version