One major part of your beauty regimen that changes when you’re pregnant is your foundation: Finding a pregnancy-safe foundation becomes a must. Let’s rewind, though. There are a lot of things to account for when you’re pregnant; in addition to just general physical changes, you also have to be cognizant of what you put in and on your body, and that includes everything from your shampoos, sunscreen, face wash, and more. And while you may already be enjoying that pregnancy glow, you may also want to look at the makeup products you use daily, like your go-to foundation, to make sure they’re pregnancy-safe.
According to Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy, a primary care doctor at Doctor Spring, aside from eating, our bodies can absorb substances through the skin, which is why women who are expecting should be careful about the ingredients in their makeup. Parabens, for example, he says, are common preservative agents found in lipsticks and foundations to preserve shelf-life. But they are also associated with developmental issues in fetuses and linked to neurological and reproductive disruptions during pregnancy.
In addition to avoiding parabens, Jill Canes, a board-certified nurse practitioner (and mom to five boys!), says for pregnancy-safe foundations you should try to avoid products that include alcohol, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, BPA, triclosan, and DEP. She also recommends pregnant women avoid retinoids, as there has been a link between birth defects and high amounts of retinoid use.
Instead, she says to try non-comedogenic products (especially if you’re prone to breakouts) and you may want to avoid coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil as these can clog pores. Canes says you might also want to try a BB or CC cream, which are gentler and moisturize the skin at the same time. Dr. Tripathy agrees with this advice, adding that all-natural BB or CC creams tend to have fewer, and often less harsh, ingredients than the typical foundation. If you have concerns or questions, speak with your health care provider.
With all that in mind, here are nine pregnancy-safe foundations to try.
Best Pregnancy-Safe Foundations
This recommendation from Canes is a vegan foundation that has a water-based formula to hydrate your skin while providing coverage. It’s also made with marine plants and vitamin E to nourish and smooth your skin. It’s free of parabens and phthalates and has broad spectrum SPF 15 sunscreen.
Said one reviewer, “I’ve tried a few different foundations, this has been my favorite. I wear this every day. I have combination skin and this wears great. Blendable and buildable. Very light weight and lasts all day.”
Another recommendation from Canes is the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-Wear Weightless Foundation, which provides medium coverage to help keep your skin looking fresh all day long. It’s lightweight and water-based, as well as free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates SLS & SLES, and triclosan. It has SPF 15 and comes in 42 different shades.
One reviewer said, “Gorgeous foundation. Super lightweight, beautiful buildable coverage, and smashing texture. And it is SUPER hard to find a foundation that matches my undertone. I always fall in between shades. But this right here, this is it. Perfect.”
Canes also recommends this CC cream that was developed with plastic surgeons. It has an oil-free, full coverage matte formula with SPF 40, and can help reduce shine for up to 12 hours. It also does more than just even out your skin tone — it has tea tree extract to handle blemishes, charcoal to help detoxify, and an anti-aging serum made with peptides and antioxidants to help you glow, even if you’re not getting enough sleep.
One reviewer said, “I love this BB cream. The matte version isn’t as greasy as the regular one. It has great coverage and all the sunscreen I need for FL!”
The Physicians Formula CC cream is a multi-tasker — it color corrects, protects from the sun, has anti aging properties, and moisturizes. It’s hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin, as well as oil-free, parabens-free, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic.
One reviewer said, “This is my go-to, daily, and favorite liquid foundation. I have light skin, freckles, always forget to moisturize, never wear sunblock, and as a result, have plenty of uneven skin tone and the occasional blemish. This CC Creme is a life saver for someone who wants a product that can do a little bit of everything.”
Maybe you’re born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline, but either way, you’ll never have to tell anyone. This BB cream with SPF 30 provides light coverage and hydrates, brightens, smoothes, and more. It’s oil-free, non-comedogenic, and comes in five different shades.
One reviewer said, “Great BB cream, very lightweight, blends in with my skin perfectly, it does not make it look orange or too pale. It doesn’t clog my pores and I love it specially during the winter when my skin gets reddish. This cream gives my skin a normal look, absolutely love it for everyday use.”
If you love Supergoop! Sunscreen, you’ll love the CC screen even more, which provides SPF 50 that’s not only reef-safe, but is also formulated with only clean ingredients. It’s 100 percent mineral, non-comedogenic, and available in 15 different shades to help even out your skin tone.
One reviewer said, “This product is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a lightweight, tinted sunscreen that would provide light coverage and wouldn’t make my face feel greasy. It covers up my acne scars and dark circles in about 10 seconds time, which is basically best case scenario… I also found SuperGoop’s color guide to be very accurate; it helped me pick the right tint color quickly and easily. I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for fast, easy, and lightweight coverage!”
COOLA’s BB cream has mineral broad spectrum SPF 30, is reef-friendly, non-comedogenic, and water resistant up to 80 minutes. It’s made with 70 percent certified organic ingredients, and includes super ingredients like rose stem cell extracts, plankton extract, and acai fruit oil to smooth and restore your skin. It’s free of parabens and comes in three different shades.
Said one reviewer, “My new go-to fave. I apply it before going to the gym. It gives me the SPF needed, with a nice light tinted glow perfect for casual days or gym, when you don’t want to look like you tried too hard. Smells amazing also.”
This bareMinerals product is a clean, water-based tinted moisturizer designed to keep your skin hydrated. It also has buildable coverage (from sheer to medium) for those days where skin needs a little evening out. It’s 98 percent naturally derived, non-comedogenic, and free of parabens and synthetic fragrances.
One reviewer said, “I’ve been using this product for years. It has a nice hybrid gel-slash-lotion texture that allows you to layer it. You can just do one layer like a tinted moisturizer provides, or add more for when you want more coverage, and a few layers does provide really nice coverage. I love the stuff and no matter where I stray, I keep coming back to it.”
For a full coverage BB cream, try jane iredale’s Glow Time. It has reef-safe SPF 17 or 25 depending on the shade, is non-comedogenic, and can help cover up any blemishes and brighten up your skin. Available in multiple shades, this BB cream also has no parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances or preservatives.
One reviewer said “This BB cream gives really good medium to full coverage and it also feels very natural/light on your face. It doesn’t feel dry or dewy, it’s just right for my skin, and looks incredibly natural. This made me really happy because a lot of foundations I’ve tried have been too dry for me. Another plus is that it’s great for sunny outdoor days because it includes SPF and I live in Florida where it gets incredibly humid and hot but this foundation still manages to stay on most of the day.”
For more ideas to change up your daily routine, check out our other Beauty Must-Haves.