In conversation the other day my friend brought up a really great topic for a blog post – so I though I’d expand upon it! She’s a new mom with an adorable baby and is struggling to find clean skincare to use while breastfeeding. I remember the feeling – my skin glowed my entire pregnancy, something I’d never previously experienced! After Piper was born I was admittedly spending less time on my skincare routine but that combined with my out of whack hormones left me with really sad looking skin – and the sleep deprivation didn’t help either. So after some research I thought I’d share a brief rundown on what you should avoid while nursing and safe products that actually work and are worth the investment. Let me just say it’s kind of ridiculous that this information is not more readily available! I had to consult multiple books, articles and websites.
Please keep in mind I’m not a doctor or medical expert and I’m overly cautious when it comes to avoiding certain chemicals! Sadly the case with many OTC personal care items is that there just isn’t any research done to show if these ingredients are harmful for breastfeeding women to use so experts advise avoiding them all together. Please consult your doctor before using any anti-aging skincare while you’re breastfeeding!
Retinoids in all its forms (Seen listed as Retinol, Retin-A, Retinoic Acid in products)
Vitamin A: Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A – so many suggest avoiding it too.
BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid
Lactic Acid + Glycolic Acid: Both of these can be absorbed up to 50% by your skin, but there is no research yet on if they are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. (More here)
Dihydroxyacetone: This is the ingredient used in self tanners and again, some sources say to avoid others say its ok. Use at your own risk!
One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser – One of my all time favorite face washes that leaves your skin feeling taught and clean. I typically use this in the warmer months when my skin tends to feel more greasy.
Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm– One of the best cleansing balms I’ve tried! It’s gentle and soothing and really locks the moisture into your skin as you use it. It melts quite literally into your hands and is really easy to apply to your skin (something I’ve found hard to find with other cleansing balms).
Akwi Purifying Cleanser – Boy, do I love this stuff! It’s so gentle and has really helped with my hormonal skin. I use it year round and it’s great for taking off makeup.
RMS Coconut Oil Makeup Remover Wipes : I’ve tried a lot of facial wipes but none remove makeup (especially stubborn mascara) like these – it’s just a bonus that they are composed of clean ingredients and smell amazing.
Vitner’s Daughter: Miracle in a bottle, I swear! I have made my bottle of Vitner’s Daughter last as long as humanly possible. I save it for when my skin is really feeling dry and dull. I enjoy every part of using this serum from the scent to how easily it absorbs to how it truly makes your skin glow come morning.
Mun Aknari Brightening Serum: This rivals Vitner’s Daughter for me. I used it up right away, applying it daily it for nearly two months straight. I felt this serum made my skin tone more even and started to combat the fine lines on my forehead, thanks to the prickly pear oil it contains — which promotes faster cell turnover.
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum: This is one of the first natural serums I tried (years ago) and I’ve been hooked on Tata Harper ever since. While the other serums I’ve mentioned are oils this formula is more like a traditional serum which absorbs a bit easier. Not only does it combat wrinkles but it brightens and hydrates.
True Botanticals Pre Radiance Oil: This oil will transform your skin. If you’re going to make a splurge on skincare while you’re breastfeeding this is one of the items I’d pick. It’s super hydrating but also absorbs into your skin and doesn’t just sit on the top like some other oils I’ve tried do – it really brightens your skin and layers wonderfully under moisturizers.
Uma Ultimate Brightening Face Oil: This is a newer oil that I just recently starting using. It’s hydrating and brightening formula really wake up dull skin and I find it works really well on discoloration and red splotches. It also soaks into your skin rather quickly which is a definite plus for a busy mom!
French Girl Créme Lumiere: I used this while breastfeeding and loved how easily it absorbed and how it hydrated my skin.
ACURE Day Cream: For a more affordable option I found Acure to be pretty good – though it did take a while to absorb into my skin.
Dr. Roebucks Anti-Aging FACE: This thick, luxurious moisturizer was a savior to my skin this winter. It hydrates and soothes dry skin. I don’t think I’ll be using it in the warmer months since like I mentioned it’s pretty thick!
Juice Beauty Pregnancy Peel: One of my very favorite masks that I swore by through my second pregnancy – it really dramatically clears break outs and uneven skin and one tube will last you a long time. It’s worth every penny!
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask: My all-time favorite mask – even competing with masks that have chemicals. This mask is my very favorite to use before an event, party, shoot or night out. It leaves your skin GLOWING and taught. I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s the perfect pregnancy or nursing treat for your skin.
Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial: This is a GREAT quick scrub/mask that will really leave your skin feeling renewed. It has 6 acids in it and when used weekly can really transform your skin.
One Love Organics Brand New Day: Another scrub/mask combo that’s been a favorite of mine for years, long before I was pregnant or breastfeeding. I love the versatility of this product. You can mix it with yogurt for a clarifying mask or with honey to create a hydrating mask.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir: I love to spritz on this refreshing face mist right after I wash my face- it’s a toning spray that really tightens your pores.
SW Basics Toner: This natural toner has apple cider vinegar and witch hazel and I find it ideal to use after I was my face on days where I’ve been wearing face makeup. It really leaves your skin feeling clean!
Soapwall Deodorant Cream: I swore by this for months – I love the scent. The only downside for some may be the cream formula.
Agent Nateur: This is what I use now and I love it! It’s a stick formula that’s easy to apply and this stuff really works, even during strenuous exercise!
And if you’re interested in saving this post for future reference, here’s a Pinterest graphic for you!
Image by Anna Reynal