When you're pregnant, keeping your skin happy and moisturized isn't always easy. For one thing, you're fighting an uphill battle to stay properly hydrated. Growing a person requires a higher intake of water, and the truth is, most people don't get enough each day whether they're pregnant or not. Add in morning sickness and a higher propensity for sweating and suddenly you find the need to make "have a glass of water" an hourly calendar reminder.
Of course starting from the inside out is key to keeping your skin healthy. But giving it a topical boost with the proper products is a good idea as well. That said, when you're pregnant, it's more important than ever to be mindful of product ingredients. Commonly used things like sulfates, phthalates, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, formaldehyde and benzalkonium chloride can absorb into your skin and can potentially be harmful to your baby. With so many options on the market, knowing what is safe and effective can be completely overwhelming.
That's why we're all ears when the pros share their faves.
On a recent episode of the fabulously binge-worthy podcast Forever35 (beloved by beauty junkies everywhere), hosts Kate and Doree spoke with Michelle Lee, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine. Not only does Lee obviously test a bazillion products annually, but she's also the host of Allure's newly launched podcast, The Science of Beauty.
In 2020, Lee gave birth to her third baby at age 44, 11 years after her previous child, and spoke about everything from self-care to her experience with I.V.F. But in true beauty nerd fashion, what caught my ears were her recommendations for the products that saved her skin throughout pregnancy.
Check out her recommendations (and a few of my own personal favorites) for keeping moisturized through pregnancy and beyond below!
Michelle Lee's pregnancy-safe moisturizer picks
Mutha's sexy, indulgent skin care, clad in its signature violet chrome packaging is marketed to mamas but found favor with beauty mavens of all kinds. Lee says she slathered it all over herself—especially her growing belly—throughout pregnancy and beyond. "This sounds gross—and I don't mean it to sound gross, it's actually awesome—but it's sort of the consistency of, like, Crisco," she says. Honestly, I'm very much here for it.
Kora Organics, the organic and natural skin care line launched by Australian mama and model Miranda Kerr, offers a range of pregnancy-friendly products that leave skin feeling softer, healthier, and radiant. The Noni Glow oil can help minimize stretch marks and bring that pregnancy glow to your entire bod with a lightweight and easy to absorb formula.
Other pregnancy-safe body moisturizers we love
Throughout my first pregnancy a decade and a half ago this was my go-to. It's affordable and super clean, crafted without parabens, artificial preservatives or fragrance.
Boosted with pomegranate seed oil, the only known botanical source of a rare omega-5 fatty acid, this oil promotes skin hydration, elasticity and regeneration. Not to mention it relieves that pesky itchiness while remaining non-greasy. Made without ingredients like hormone-disruptors, parabens, phthalates, colorants and perfumes, you don't have to second guess putting this on your skin.
I'll admit, I'm sort of Esker obsessed. Their luxurious body oils have become one of my self-care staples as they've legit changed the appearance and quality of my skin. The belly oil duo (which can be used well beyond your bump) includes the uplifting oil which is bright and energizing with ylang ylang, lemongrass and ginger and the soothing oil which is a more traditional lavender scent. Paired with a pre-shower dry brushing, this is one moisturizing ritual you'll keep up with.
If you find creams too thick and oils too greasy, Necessaire's gel-like body serum might just be your holy grail. The simple formula is packed with hyaluronic acid and B vitamins which not only hydrate but also visibly plumps and replenishes skin. Even better, it's completely fragrance-free so it won't aggravate morning sickness or compete with perfume if that's your thing.
Body, skin, hair, bath, you name it, this oil can be used on it. It absorbs best when you put it on right out of the shower, but I'm so obsessed with the smell that I use it some mornings even when I've skipped the shower. The mainstay blend is a mix of rich cold-pressed plant oils including coconut oil, olive oil, argan oil, jojoba and castor oil. Its intoxicating and calming scent comes from a mix of palo santo, lavender, geranium and clary sage but is also available fragrance-free.
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