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Best Pregnancy Safe Face Washes for Glowing Skin 2024

You may need to switch your face wash to a pregnancy-safe formula. Here's what docs suggest.

Best Pregnancy Safe Face Washes for Glowing Skin 2024

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When you're pregnant, you want to make sure you're doing everything you can to keep your baby safe and healthy. That includes being mindful of the ingredients you put on your skin during pregnancy, including your face wash. But don't stress— we've got the scoop on the best pregnancy safe face wash options thanks to some insight from expert dermatologists.

We asked top derms to spill the tea on the best pregnancy-safe face washes for every skin type or budget. You can thank us later (and then check out these pregnancy safe foundation picks if you're a makeup lover).

What to look for in a pregnancy-safe face wash

It is important for pregnant women to take the time to research the ingredients in their face wash, as some ingredients can be harmful to the baby and cause birth defects, advises Shawnda Dorantes APRN, MSN, FNP-C, family nurse practitioner, and founder of Beauty Lounge Medical Spa. She recommends sticking with hypoallergenic face washes that contain no fragrances, as they are less likely to cause harm during pregnancy.

"Look for a face wash with a hypoallergenic label because these products are less likely to cause allergic reactions, which can be of extra concern with raging hormones during pregnancy," Dorantes tells Today's Parent.

"I also recommend patients look for all-natural and organic products that are fragrance-free. Many scented face washes contain harsh chemicals that are not conducive to sensitive skin during this time."

Are there ingredients in face washes to stay away from when pregnant and nursing?

While there are many skincare ingredients that can hydrate the skin and leave it looking radiant, there are others to avoid when you're pregnant or nursing.

"I always urge pregnant and nursing patients to avoid products that include retinol or salicylic acid, which both are commonly found in acne treatments," says Dorantes. "Other chemicals to stay away from include benzoyl peroxide, formaldehyde, phthalates and parabens which can potentially cause harm to developing babies."

The best pregnancy-safe face wash options 2024

Best overall:

EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser

EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, best pregnancy safe face wash Merchant
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This bestselling face wash is popular for a reason. It's oil-free, paraben-free and pH-balanced—making it the best of the best. With its gentle enzymes, this product is perfect for daily use on all skin types and doctor-approved. It also helps reduce inflammation and has a texture that's as soft as a cloud.

Since it's free of all the nasties, this facial cleanser is pregnancy-safe, according to Dorantes. "I always recommend this face wash to expecting mothers," she says. "It loosens makeup and oil with a thick foam, and it leaves your skin feeling refreshed. It’s safe for all skin types, reduces inflammation, and is pH-balanced.

Pros:

  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • pH-balanced formula
  • Safe for all skin types to use
  • Gentle enzymes help to reduce inflammation
  • Cloud-soft texture
  • Loosens makeup and debris quickly

Cons:

  • Some reviewers suggest this cleanser may be too lightweight for extremely oily skin that needs a more thorough cleaning


Best budget

BELLA B Foaming Face Wash

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We love this gentle, affordable pregnancy-safe face wash from BELLA B. It's an organic foaming face wash that is hypoallergenic and contains natural emollients like shea and aloe. The formula also boasts organic pomegranate, green tea and acai berry extracts. No bad stuff (parabens and salicylic acid, etc.) are on the ingredients list, making this a safe choice for expecting moms.

The sof foam texture can be used daily without drying out your skin. It is also effective against pregnancy acne thanks to the addition of pharmaceutical-grade tea tree oil. Although it has a scent, it is light and shouldn't cause irritation in sensitive areas.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly at about $10
  • Hypoallergenic and free of parabens and salicylic acid
  • Contains organic pomegranate, green tea and acai berry ingredients
  • Contains natural emollients like shea and aloe for hydration
  • Gentle foam texture that is non-drying
  • Contains pharmaceutical-grade tea tree oil to tame breakouts
  • Good for acne-prone pregnancy skin

Cons

  • This wash is not unscented
  • With only four ounces of product, the bottle is on the smaller end of the size spectrum.


Best luxury

TULA Skin Care Supersize Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser

tula skincare face wash, best pregnancy safe face wash Merchant

Did you know that probiotics aren't just good for your gut, but also for your skin? TULA's cleanser can help your face reap all the benefits. The formula combines powerful probiotics with skin-boosting superfoods, so you can have healthy, balanced and glowing skin for days.

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We love the smooth gel texture that magically turns into a luxurious foam when water is added. It's gentle on your skin and easy to wash off.  Reviewers love how it gets deep into pores to remove impurities and helps condition skin, without stripping or over-drying.

This cleanser is suitable for all skin types and textures, has a light scent and is safe to use during pregnancy. Choose from four sizes of this cleanser, so if you fall in love with it, you can stock up.

Pros

  • Cleanser contains powerful probiotics and skin-boosting superfoods
  • Gel texture that turns into foam when water is added
  • Removes impurities from pores without stripping or over-drying
  • Available in four sizes
  • Suitable for all skin types and textures
  • Lightly scented
  • Free of harmful chemicals

Cons

  • While the cleanser has a mild fragrance, it may not be the best option for moms-to-be who prefer unscented products.


Best rated

InstaNatural Vitamin C Cleanser Face Wash

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If this cleanser were a person, it definitely would be the coolest kid in school thanks to a 4.4-star rating and thousands of five-star reviews to back up its cool factor. But this facial cleanser is not only popular, it is also safe to use during pregnancy. Containing natural aloe vera, coconut water, sugar cane and green tea extracts that help brighten, hydrate, and nourish the skin with every wash—you're sure to get the best pregnancy glow.

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The soft, gel texture is easy to apply and rinse off, this cleanser is suitable for all skin types—including sensitive. We love the mess-free tube that prevents spills and keep things tidy in the bathroom. But what we love most about this face wash is its ability to cleanse the skin deeply and minimize oiliness, without causing excessive dryness.

Pros

  • Contains aloe vera, coconut water, sugar cane, and green tea extracts
  • Deeply cleanses skin and minimizes oiliness without causing dryness
  • Has a pleasant smell that isn't too overpowering

Cons

  • While this cleanser has a mess-free tube, those who prefer cleansers with a pump may find it difficult to use.

Best for acne

The Honest Company Mama's Gotta Glow Face and Body Wash

honest company mama's gotta glow face and body wash, best pregnancy safe face wash Merchant

Have your pregnancy-safe face wash do double duty with The Honest Company's Mama's Gotta Glow Face + Body Wash. This amazing two-in-one cleanser is perfect for both your face and body and it's loaded with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) derived from apples and amino acids to help clear up breakouts and give your skin the glow it deserves.

It's free of retinoids and salicylic acid, and it's unscented, so it won't cause any irritation. The gel texture makes it easy to apply and rinse off, so you can use it both in the morning and at night. It's safe for the entire body, and ideal for areas that have facial skin-like textures like the neck, shoulders, breasts and the top of your back.

Pros

  • Two-in-one face wash and body wash
  • Easy-to-apply gel texture
  • Moderate pricing
  • Alpha hydroxy acids derived from apples
  • Amino acids to promote exfoliation and clear breakouts
  • Unscented
  • Gentle formula is safe to treat acne of mild and moderate degrees

Cons

  • Because of its thin consistency, this face and body wash tends to come out of the bottle quickly


Best for dry skin

Cerave Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser

Cerave hydrating cream to foam cleanser, best pregnancy safe face wash Merchant
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Pregnancy can be a beautiful journey, but it also can be a bumpy ride for your skin. You might notice acne, dark spots and dryness. If you're looking for a cleanser that can keep up with all those changes, Dr. Kanchanapoomi-Levin recommends this one from CeraVe.

"It's gentle, hydrating, and effective, and priced at $20," she says. "It also does not contain any ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy."

This cleanser contains ceramides, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid that work together to hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier. It is also safe for all skin types to use, from normal to dry, as it is fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and pH-balanced. However, if you have super sensitive skin (or allergies to certain skincare ingredients) make sure you talk to your dermatologist first before using it.

Pros

  • Moderate price point
  • Cleanser contains ceramides and amino acids
  • Boasts hyaluronic ingredients for added moisture and protective
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • pH-balanced
  • The bottle size is 19 ounces, which is the largest on our list and an excellent value

Cons

  • While this cleanser is suitable for all skin types, those with allergies or sensitive skin will want to talk to their dermatologist before using it


Best for anti-aging

Tatcha The Rice Wash Soft Cream Cleanser

Tatcha the rice wash, best pregnancy safe face wash Merchant
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According to Kanchanapoomi-Levin, cleansers are not the most effective anti-aging products because their primary function is to remove dirt, oil and makeup. However, consistently using a gentle exfoliating cleanser can help you achieve a smooth and radiant look that helps you ease into aging gracefully like a fine wine. These products are also ideal for cocktailing with anti-aging products like vitamin C serums.

That's why Dr. Kanchanapoomi-Levin recommends this rice wash from Tatcha, as it gently exfoliates the skin using Japanese rice powder without causing irritation or stripping. "This cleanser is unscented, pH-balanced, and has a creamy texture that leaves your skin feeling silky-smooth," she tells Today's Parent. "It is also safe to use twice a day during pregnancy."

Pros

  • Gently exfoliates the skin without causing irritation or stripping
  • Cleanser is unscented and pH-balanced
  • Cleanser has a creamy texture that leaves the skin feeling silky-smooth
  • Contains botanically derived ingredients

Cons

  • Pricier than other options on the list, but worthwhile


FAQs

Is Cerave face wash safe during pregnancy?

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Cerave offers a range of affordable and effective skincare options, from sunscreen to retinol to moisturizer. Their face washes are formulated with skin-boosting ingredients to keep your skin healthy and are safe to use even during pregnancy.

"Cerave face washes contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which help to maintain the skin's natural barrier and retain moisture, respectively," says dermatologist Dr. T N Rekha Singh. "These ingredients are not known to have any adverse effects on pregnant women or their unborn children."

Is Aveeno face wash safe during pregnancy?

Aveeno face washes are also safe to use during pregnancy, as they contain natural ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, which is known for its skin-soothing and moisturizing properties, says Dr. Singh.  "It also poses no known risk to the mother or the fetus," she adds.

Is benzoyl peroxide face wash safe during pregnancy?

Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful anti-acne ingredient that's used in face washes to eliminate dead skin cells and excess oil. While it is safe to use during pregnancy, it is important to use skincare products containing this ingredient in moderation and according to the provided directions, according to Dr. Sing.

"High concentrations of benzoyl peroxide could potentially be problematic, so a product containing 2.5% to 5% benzoyl peroxide is recommended," she says. "As always, consult with your healthcare provider or board certified dermatologist if you have any concerns."

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Experts:

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This article was originally published on Sep 01, 2023

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