Can cosmetics harm a developing baby?
Maybe – it’s hard to know because doctors are obviously not going to test them on pregnant women.
But studies done on animals show that some ingredients are harmful to fetuses and mothers. Also, there’s documented evidence of unexpected side effects from certain products (1).
Therefore, it’s smart to avoid any problems in the first place. Switch to the best pregnancy-safe makeup and protect your baby and yourself.
Is makeup OK for pregnant women?
Yes, makeup is OK for a pregnant woman as long as it’s non-toxic and safe for sensitive skin.
First, check that there are no chemicals in it that could absorb into your body and harm the baby.
Second, realize that hormonal changes will make your skin react differently. You might have more acne or hyperpigmentation. If you previously dealt with any skin condition, it might worsen (2).
How to choose pregnancy-safe makeup
The easiest way to select cosmetics when you’re expecting is to choose a pregnancy-safe brand.
It’s practically a no-brainer if everything you typically use, like foundation, concealer, mascara, and so on, comes from one company. Of course, you may prefer to assemble your makeup from a variety of sources. That’s why we’ve reviewed an assortment of non-toxic cosmetics below.
Unfortunately, it’s not enough to trust that a hypoallergenic product will be safe enough. It’s better to read the label. We put together information from the experts, including scientific literature.
Here are some ingredients to avoid while you’re expecting:
- Retinol, also known as retinoids or Retin-A, sometimes listed as retinyl palmitate (3)
- Formaldehyde, including diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea
- Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, and so on)
- Phthalates, which are often a part of synthetic fragrances
- Chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate
- Artificial dyes as they may have trace amounts of lead
Retinol is the most significant risk to a baby in the womb as it’s linked to congenital disabilities. Parabens, however, may disrupt the neurological and immune systems in babies.
Some of these chemicals may also present a problem for the mother dealing with sensitive skin and hormonal changes (4). For example, phthalates and preservatives may cause contact dermatitis.
Therefore, let’s take a pass on all the chemicals and stick to safe and natural makeup for pregnancy.
Best Pregnancy-Safe Makeup in 2023
Foundation and concealer
If your acne is suddenly out of control, you might wonder which foundation is safe during pregnancy.
We’d recommend one that’s oil-free and kind to sensitive skin.
Burt’s Bees Goodness Glows Liquid Makeup
Perfect your complexion with pure mineral makeup. This one is 98.9% natural and free of artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, talc, and petrolatum.
One pump provides medium coverage, but it’s buildable to full coverage for a flawless appearance. The foundation comes in 18 shades, including dark tones like Chestnut.
Moreover, it moisturizes with meadowfoam seed oil that won’t clog pores. The texture is lightweight and breathable, never greasy or cakey.
Almay Clear Complexion Makeup
What about pregnancy-safe drugstore makeup? If you have light to medium skin with acne, take a look at Almay’s makeup. It doesn’t just conceal breakouts, but it also clears up blemishes and minimizes shine.
The active ingredient is salicylic acid, which is safe for pregnant women when applied topically in small amounts.
The medium coverage is buildable. It sets to a matte finish that controls oil. The formula is dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic.
The only downside is that there are only 14 shades.
Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
Honest Beauty is a pregnancy-safe brand as they manufacture clean cosmetics with natural ingredients.
Take this cream foundation, for example. It’s packaged in a compact for convenience. The formula is dermatologist-tested and free of talc, phthalates, parabens, artificial fragrances, silicone, and paraffin. It’s also cruelty-free.
It offers buildable medium-to-full coverage with a velvety finish. Reviewers say it’s straightforward to blend for a natural yet enhanced appearance.
BaeBlu Organic Aloe-Based LUX Liquid Foundation
BaeBlu is another brand of non-toxic makeup with certified organic ingredients. This foundation has no artificial color, fragrance, or preservatives. It’s also made in the USA with vegan components and no gluten.
The lightweight liquid won’t clog pores or feel sticky and greasy. Happily, it has natural anti-aging ingredients that control shine and provide a light dose of moisture.
Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Foundation
Women with oily skin may appreciate this powder foundation made with delicious natural extracts and mineral pigments. It features kelp, white tea, pomegranate to rejuvenate the skin. Meanwhile, licorice and aloe calm the complexion.
The triple-milled powder has a silky texture. Its coverage is buildable, plus it reduces shine for hours.
What’s nice is that it comes in an inclusive range of shades, from fair to deep colors.
Lastly, the foundation is free of gluten, talc, perfumes, parabens, and phthalates.
BaeBlu Organic Concealer
Pair this concealer with the BaeBlue foundation above. It covers up dark circles, acne scars, and other blemishes. It blends well enough that you can hide spots with it without the need for additional makeup.
The non-comedogenic formula is based on organic components. It’s free of preservatives, dyes, and fragrances.
bareMinerals Barepro 16-Hour Full Coverage Concealer
This creamy stick concealer refreshes tired eyes without creasing. It has a soft matte finish and comes in a variety of shades and tones. The waterproof formula lasts throughout the day, too.
While you wear it, it disguises fine lines and large pores while it works wonders for your skin. It’s enriched with antioxidants and moisturizers from raspberry and black currant seed oils.
Like other makeup from this bareMinerals, it has no parabens, animal ingredients, gluten, talc, tree nuts, artificial fragrances.
CLOVE + HALLOW Conceal + Concealer
This high-coverage concealer is based on minerals and argan oil. It’s richly pigmented and nourishing to improve the skin over time. Thankfully, it won’t cake or settle into lines.
Use it as an undereye concealer or to hide other imperfections. It comes with a wand applicator for less mess.
There are 10 shades available for every skin tone – more than many brands offer.
Blush, setting powder, & bronzer
Steer clear of artificial pigments and those contaminated with lead. You don’t need any of that to be beautiful.
BURTS BEES Shy Pink Blush
Burt’s Bees makeup is dermatologist-tested. It’s made without parabens, phthalates, talc, synthetic fragrances, silicone, and petrolatum.
This mineral blush is made with ingredients from natural origins. It’s fortified with honey, bamboo, and vitamin E.
There are three attractive shades available to match most skin tones. They include Bare Peach, Shy Pink, and Toasted Cinnamon.
V.SACHAR MD Mineral Blush
This brand purposefully makes non-toxic products for pregnant women. Their blush is based on silica, zinc oxide, crushed mineral pigments, and Kosher rice powder.
It’s naturally anti-inflammatory and able to reduce shine. But it’s non-acnegenic and safe for sensitive skin.
Reviewers say it looks luminous in the compact and radiant on the skin, but not glittery.
Honest Beauty Invisible Blurring Loose Powder
Those with oily or combination skin can benefit from setting powder. It keeps the complexion fresh and clean and helps hold makeup in place for hours longer.
This loose powder is made without talc, parabens, silicone, or artificial fragrances. It’s dermatologist-tested to be hypoallergenic. Furthermore, it’s safe to use as a mattifier for lip gloss.
It’s translucent and blends invisibly without altering skin color.
Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
Products from Physicians Formula are non-comedogenic, gluten-free, and paraben-free. They are designed for sensitive skin with hypoallergenic ingredients.
This bronzer features tempting exotic murumuru butter from the Amazon. Who knew that bronzer could be so nourishing with pro-vitamins and fatty acids? What’s more, it creates a subtle shimmer for a soft-focus finish.
It’s one thing when concealer, foundation, and blush sits on top of the skin. It’s another when it’s lipstick that gets consumed. Please be picky when it comes to your lip gloss. Make sure it’s pregnancy-safe.
V.SACHAR MD Pregnancy-Safe Lipstick
The number 1 choice of lipstick for pregnant women is right here. It’s safe from lead and other toxins.
Did you know that hundreds of major brands of lipstick contain detectable amounts of lead? (5) It comes from commercial dyes.
This harmful contaminant leaches into the placenta and the brain of a baby. Excess lead in the mother’s body can cause low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, and other negative consequences for the baby.
It’s best to choose lipstick like this one that’s tested to be lead-free. It has no gluten, carmine, BHT, parabens, or preservatives, either.
The natural mineral pigments and plant waxes in the formula leave the lips silky soft, and richly-colored.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick
Allure presented Burt’s Bees with a Best of Beauty Award in 2016 for this lipstick. It has a satin finish and comes in 18 shades.
With moringa oil and raspberry seed, it conditions the lips for 8 hours after application.
Moreover, it’s made without phthalates, petrolatum, or parabens. If you’re concerned about your child’s future, the packaging environmentally-friendly as it’s recyclable.
Honest Beauty Tinted Lip Balm
Vegan lipstick like this one is also cruelty-free. Like other products from Honest Beauty, it was never tested on animals.
It’s free from paraffin, petrolatum, artificial fragrances, silicone, mineral oil, and parabens. Instead, it moisturizes for 6 hours or longer because of natural moisturizers like avocado oil, pomegranate, and açai.
What mascara is safe during pregnancy? Furthermore, which mascara is gentle enough for contact lens wearers and sensitive eyes? Check out the offerings below.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Nourishing Mascara
This mascara is tested by ophthalmologists for contact lens wearers. What’s more, it’s 100% natural and free from perfumes, petrolatum, phthalates, and parabens.
There are two shades: black and black brown. Both contain glycerin and jojoba oil to condition lashes and help them grow long and healthy. After all, this is a lengthening mascara.
It’s designed to define lashes and nourish them, too.
Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara
If you use primer on your face, why not on your eyelashes? This product is a primer and mascara. It preps the lashes for the ideal length, lift, and volume.
The applicator has specially-shaped bristles for perfect definition. Plus, the formula has been tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists. It’s free of parabens, silicone, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, and paraffin.
Pacifica Beauty Stellar Gaze Length & Strength Mascara
Here’s a brand that avoids petrolatum, phthalates, parabens, silicone, gluten, peanut oil, and mineral oil as a rule. Their products are vegan and cruelty-free.
The mascara is infused with vitamin B and coconut oil to condition each lash. It doesn’t clump, but it does add volume.
Eye shadow and eyeliner
Bring out the best in your eyes with the right eye shadow and liner. Steer clear of harmful dyes, fragrances, and other toxins when you choose pregnancy-safe eye makeup.
Honeybee Gardens ‘Skinny Dip’ Refillable Eye Shadow Palette
Are you familiar with the EWG (Environmental Working Group)? They maintain the Skin Deep Database where you can search for non-toxic cosmetics. Those with a green rating of 1 or 2 are considered safe.
Happily, this eye shadow has a rating of 1 as it’s free from harmful ingredients like chemical dyes, parabens, preservatives, fragrances, talc, and petroleum. It doesn’t even contain GMO or genetically modified components.
What’s more, it comes in a refillable palette that’s also recyclable. You can purchase only what you need and refill the magnetic wells in the compact. The compact includes a mirror and a two-ended brush.
There’s more than one palette available, so be sure to consider all the possibilities. This one features pinks, plums, and beiges. Reviewers say that the powder is luxuriously-pigmented and doesn’t crease.
Catrice 18H Colour & Contour Pencil
Let’s wrap up with a pregnancy-safe eyeliner from Catrice. It’s rated a 1 for safe on the EWG database.
Besides, it’s available in a variety of gorgeous colors besides black and brown.
Now that you’re about to become a parent, more things are going to keep you awake at night. Don’t waste time worrying about the ingredients in your makeup.
Rest easy knowing that you’ve chosen non-toxic cosmetics that are pregnancy-safe.
If we helped you find your new favorite foundation, lipstick, or other beauty product today, please come back and tell us about your experience with it. We’d love to hear your thoughts to improve our recommendations for all of our readers.
1. https://www.cfp.ca/content/57/6/665.full Safety of skin care products during pregnancy, by Pina Bozzo, Angela Chua-Gocheco and Adrienne Einarson, in Canadian Family Physician June 2011, 57 (6) 665-667, accessed December 14, 2020
2. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0115/p211.html by MARC TUNZI, M.D., and GARY R. GRAY, D.O. in American Family Physician, 2007 Jan 15;75(2):211-218, accessed December 14, 2020
3. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/health-and-safety-issues/12-cosmetic-ingredients-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/ by Alessandra Foresto, published December 20, 2018, accessed December 14, 2020
4. https://www.treehugger.com/skin-care-ingredients-avoid-during-pregnancy-4868823 by Jenn Savedge, updated May 18, 2020, accessed December 14, 2020
5. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productsingredients/products/ucm137224.htm accessed December 14, 2020