When I got pregnant, I decided to do an audit of my skincare and hygiene products. I was terrified I’d be using something that would harm the baby (probably a total #FirstTimeMomProb. I know you veterans are rolling your eyes). So, I took a look at a list of products my midwives gave me of ingredients not to use and realized that the list is long and so were the list of ingredients in the products I used every day. Talk about overwhelm. So, I cut down on the number of products I use so I could really inspect each ingredient to make sure it was safe.
As I’m working my way through the third trimester, I feel like I’ve finally found my groove. This groove hasn’t come without some serious flexibility, though. Here’s my experience with changing my skincare and hygiene products for pregnancy:
First Trimester Skincare and Hygiene Products
In the first trimester, I dealt with some hormonal acne. A friend of mine recommended Lush Herbalism, so I picked up a tub alone with a serum bar for hydration. I also changed my deodorant. I had been using Schmidt’s Bergamot and Lime natural deodorant (I try to use only deodorant without aluminum, even outside of pregnancy), but now the smell made me want to vomit.
I spent almost the entire first trimester trying to find an alternative deodorant that didn’t make me want to vomit and actually worked. I googled “pregnancy body odor” more than once… I was convinced everyone could smell me. To my relief, my husband assured me that he couldn’t smell me, but to my dismay, my Google searches indicated that I probably “always smell this way”, but because of pregnancy my “sense of smell is heightened” so I’m more a-tuned to it. Ew.
My face wasn’t irritated by the Lush products, but sooner or later, that combo stopped providing the moisture my skin so desperately needed. In the second trimester, it became clear that I needed to change some things.
Second Trimester Skincare and Hygiene Products
In the second trimester, I finally settled on a combination of another Schmidt’s deodorant and an old favorite – the Rose Vanilla scent from Schmidts and my old faithful Crystal Body Natural Deodorant. Here’s the thing that I’ve found: the crystal deodorant works well at stopping odor, but it does NOTHING to stop sweat. I found that by layering the two deodorants, I was covered on all fronts… and the rose vanilla scent was tame enough it didn’t make me gag.
I still had the issue of figuring out how to tame the dry patches that had taken over my face. By this time, winter was over, so I really needed to figure out a solution. I switched to Derma E moisturizing face wash and I tried Aquaphor all over my face at night. The Aquaphor helped some, but it was not comfortable to sleep in. I bought an expensive new moisturizer (BeautyCounter Countermatch), but it did little to help. I suffered through the second trimester pretty much completely in love with pregnancy and completely in disdain of my dry-ass skin patches.
It was in the second trimester that I decided to try my hand at the “No Poo” movement. I was already only washing my hair twice a week. I decided to modify the regimen to better fit my needs. I decided on “shampooing” only with Castille Soap. This in an of itself has remained a good option for me, but conditioning is another thing.
At first, I tried skipping the conditioner altogether. This left me with dandruff and unmanageable hair. Then, I tried rinsing with apple cider vinegar. Not any better. In the end, I opted to just use my regular conditioner on the ends of my hair. Is it a purely “no poo” friendly regimen? Nope. Did it work for me? Yep.
Third Trimester Skincare and Hygiene Products
Finally, at my wits-end, I asked some of my favorite beauty bloggers what to do about my dry skin. I was directed to 15 Minute Beauty’s pregnancy safe skincare list and I could not be more thankful. I also did some additional research and found that I could still use my AHA lotion with Glycolic Acid because it was under 10% – Yeah so, don’t take this post as medical advice and always consult your care provider, ok?
Luckily I had an unused bottle of Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion just sitting in my cabinet and I immediately started using it.
I also decided to purchase the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Repair for a nighttime moisturizer. With first use of these two products together I felt a difference and in about a week I saw a definite difference.
My biggest fail when it comes to trying to be as natural and “pregnancy safe” as I can be happened when choosing a bug repellant. I read that DEET and picaridin have been deemed “ok” in pregnancy, but I didn’t feel like there was enough evidence to really support that… so I bought a lemon and eucalyptus bug spray instead and took it on our baby moon. Our first day, I promptly sprayed a hefty layer all over my neck, arms, legs, and feet. Long story short: it left me with a rash all over.
I’m sticking with the DEET for now. Luckily, bug spray isn’t really needed for my day to day life. I’ll really only use it when I’m in Texas for my baby shower. I’ll take my chances.
What I Learned from Changing Skincare and Hygiene Products for Pregnancy
So, all of this background to say this: I learned a lot from the experience of changing products for pregnancy. So, individual products aside, here’s what I suggest to you:
- Some products are not worth skipping. I know that cutting down on the amount of products you use in order to streamline the process may sound great, and it may work for some people, but not for me. Figure out the products that really help you / you really love. See if there are any ingredients in there that you definitely should avoid (ask your care provider for a list), and if it clear of products on that list… continue as usual!
- Be flexible. Pregnancy is not the time to stick with a product that’s never has or is no longer working for you. So many things change as pregnancy progresses, so don’t buy the bulk size… you never know when a product is going to stop working for you.
- The “safest” option isn’t the only option. I get it. We always want to choose the SAFEST option, but what happens when that option doesn’t work for us? Like with the bug repellant. Is it safer to use an essential oil based repellent? Probably so. Should I opt to skip repellant altogether and risk Zika or West Nile? Ehhh… my personal feeling is no.