I became interested in clean beauty about a year ago when I invested in my first non-toxic makeup products. Before that, I sort of imagined “clean beauty” as lackluster hippie-embraced products that couldn’t visibly improve skin and probably didn’t work well in makeup application. But after my first foray into all-natural products, I was pleasantly surprised and open to diving deeper into the world of clean beauty.
When I became pregnant, my mom encouraged me to switch up my skincare and begin using non-toxic products. This wasn’t easy for me – if you’ve followed me for long, you know that I’ve struggled with allergies and sensitive skin in the past few years and have only recently sorted out my skin issues. I was concerned my skin would take a step backward, but I was committed to making safe changes for my baby’s health. And I began wondering… If a product isn’t great for her, why would I want to use it? I once read that our skin absorbs about 65% of whatever we apply to it; that’s a lot of product we absorb each and every day. I was excited about making the switch for both my daughter and myself.
When making the switch to clean skincare I suggest doing a little at a time – it’s less wasteful and your skin will be able to slowly adjust. As you run out of products, replace them with non-toxic alternatives. And give each new product at least two months of consistent use to see a difference. My skin was fairly broken out at the beginning of my pregnancy due to hormones, a lack of allergy medicine I was no longer allowed to take, and all my new skincare products. But within a couple of months it had evened out and I began getting compliments on my “glowy” skin. I’ve been using the products below throughout my entire pregnancy and have been pleasantly surprised. Just like with food or anything else – there is a balance to this, but each switch to a healthier alternative you can make is worth it.
* read description under moisturizer down below if pregnant.
Tata Harper Crème Riche Anti-Aging Peptide Night Cream
Rahua Defining Hair Spray
Hairsprays often contain toxic polymers and solvents, release volatile organic compounds when heated, and clog pores. My dermatologist suggested I use this clear plastic facial shield when spraying hairspray. I knew that I wanted to use a clean hairspray alternative as much as possible during my pregnancy and I chose this medium-hold non-aerosol spray derived from sugar cane extract.
Review: While it took a bit of time to get used to the spray vs aerosol application (spray this from at least a 6″ distance to avoid making hair damp) I did end up enjoying the light to medium hold this hair spray provided and the overall lack of fumes. For date night or days when I need my hair to last all day I will probably use my old toxic can of hairspray. But I plan on keeping this clean hairspray on hand for everyday use.
Pregnancy-Safe vs Clean Skincare
There is a difference between pregnancy-safe skincare and clean skincare and in this article I will be focusing on the latter because the two don’t always overlap, as I mention when discussing the daytime moisturizer down below. My doctor did okay three skincare products from iS Clinical which are pregnancy-safe and I continued to use these throughout my pregnancy, although about half as often as I was using them prior to my pregnancy. If you are pregnant, be sure to bring these products in for your OB to okay.
Pregnancy-Safe Products: I like to use the iS Clinical Cleansing Complex for my daytime cleanser. It has a silky texture with a lot of slip that makes my skin feel squeaky clean, but never dries it out. I use the iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus for my morning serum and the iS Clinical Active Serum as my nightly serum.
Tata Harper Purifying Pore Detox Cleanser
This cleanser is 100% natural, comes in recyclable packaging, and smells like a beautiful green blend of healthy botanicals when I apply it. It contains Broccoli Extract to purge impurities and fight free radicals, a Purple Clay Complex to absorb dirt and oil, and Papaya Enzymes to gently exfoliate skin.
I use this cleanser at least once a day, but always at night. I run my hands lightly under the water before applying two pumps of cleanser to my dry skin; it melts off makeup and sunscreen as it transforms from a creamy gel to an oil.
Review: This cleanser makes my skin feel like I’m doing a mini spa treatment at home each night. It removes makeup and cleanses my skin while somehow making my skin feel hydrated. Some nights I wouldn’t even apply anything else after. I will definitely continue to use this product!
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner
I switched to this gentle, alcohol-free witch hazel facial toner after I became pregnant. I prefer the rose petal formula because rose water helps soothe redness and irritation in sensitive skin, but there are a variety of formulas like lavender and cucumber. I apply this to a cotton pad and gently swipe over my skin after cleansing and before applying any serum or cream.
Review: I was pleasantly surprised by the gentle, soothing feeling this toner gives my skin while still managing to remove leftover traces of dirt or makeup. I am a convert and I’ll happily be continuing to use this as my toner going forward.
Tata Harper Illuminating Dark Circle Eye Cream
This is the product I’ve been using as my daytime eye cream. Just a little of this diamond-infused illuminating cream helps conceal my dark circles and keeps my skin moisturized all day. This product is particularly great for creating a dewy, glowing makeup look.
It contains Jave Fruit Extract to minimize puffiness and dark circles and Marsh Samphire to maintain hydration.
Review: Dark circles are always a struggle for me and having a product that helps me disguise these has allowed me to cut down on my makeup application time. I will continue to use this as my daytime eye cream.
Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm
Alpyn Beauty was created to combat the harsh alpine climate and its products incorporate the strong botanicals that thrive there, making it a great option for those who live here in Colorado. I chose this as my nighttime eye cream because it contains Hyaluronic Acid for moisture and Vitamin C and Licorice Root to brighten. It has a little illuminating shimmer, but not as much as the daytime eye cream I’ve been using.
Review: When I use this at night, I wake up with really hydrated and brightened undereyes. I find that it really helps with moisture and hydration specifically, so I will be continuing to use this even after my pregnancy is over and baby girl is testing my tired eyes!
Tata Harper Repairative Anti-Aging Moisturizer
This was one of the first products recommended to us when my mother and I went into the Aillea clean beauty shop here in Denver specifically for pregnancy-safe skincare. The product is 100% natural and is a fantastic daytime moisturizer. But while researching it for this article, I discovered that one of the ingredients may be controversial for use during pregnancy.
I noticed one website refers to an ingredient in this moisturizer, Willow Bark Extract, as a natural BHA (salicylate) which breaks down into salicylic acid if digested by the body. Salicylic acid is generally a no-no during pregnancy, but some doctors are okay with applying Willow Bark topically during pregnancy and some are even okay with daily applications of salicylic acid at strengths of 2% or less. Since we aren’t digesting Willow Bark and are simply applying it to the skin, this article explains that it won’t be broken down into salicylic acid. I think this is one of those pregnancy issues only you and your doctor can decide; weigh your pros and cons and go from there.
If I had realized this connection sooner I would not have used this product during pregnancy just to be on the safe side. That being said, this moisturizer is non-toxic, vegan, and 100% natural. It contains Saw Palmetto to gently mattify skin and control oil, the aforementioned BHA Botanical Blend to gently exfoliate skin and minimize pores, and Tazman Pepper Berry to calm redness and irritation.
Review: When I’m not pregnant, I will definitely continue using this product. It’s a light, silky moisturizer that keeps skin hydrated and balanced (no shiny t-zone with this one) all day and provides a dewy base under makeup.
Tata Harper Crème Riche Anti-Aging Peptide Night Cream
I’ve been a dedicated fan of the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream at night, but when I became pregnant I left this product in my drawer just to be safe. I switched to the beautifully hydrating Tata Harper Crème Riche and found it to be the perfect night cream. It’s creamy, luxe, and each time I use it I wake up with dewy, plump, hydrated skin.
Crème Riche contains Hyaluronic Acid and Red Maple Bark to hydrate and plump skin and a Sugar Complex to encourage skin’s natural moisture production.
Review: I found the luxe, creamy texture and incredible hydration power to be on par with that of my favorite La Mer cream. However, I found that the La Mer cream softened and improved my skin texture with continued use, which I didn’t notice as much with this product. For a difference of almost $140 between the 1.7 oz Tata Harper cream and the 2.0 oz La Mer cream, I think it could be worth it to switch back and forth between the two each time one runs out.
OSEA Anti-Aging Body Balm
The most hydrating, nourishing body balm I’ve ever tried. I would liken it more to a balm that melts into a deliciously thick oil on your skin. Acai, Babassu, Passion Fruit, and Raw Virgin Coconut Oils deeply hydrate skin while mineral-rich Patagonian Seaweed promotes skin elasticity.
My skin drinks this up! I apply it every night before I go to bed. Be sure to let product sink in or wear older pajamas when you use this; the oils can leave grease marks if you apply as much as I do.
Review: This product has been a godsend. I’ve loved using this during my pregnancy all over my belly and hips to prevent stretch marks. So many people I know have complained about an itchy belly during pregnancy but even at 38 weeks pregnant, I haven’t experienced that at all (even with an 8.5 lb baby in my belly!) and I think it’s due to this hydrating gem of a body oil. I will most definitely continue using this through my pregnancy and beyond.