Pregnancy is an exciting time, filled with many transitions: preparing a nursery, thinking about childcare and crossing all those items off your newborn checklist for your baby’s arrival. One transition you might not have thought about is changing up your makeup routine to include pregnancy-safe options.
If you’re a foundation wearer and looking for pregnancy-safe foundation, here’s a list to consider.
Yes, you can wear foundation during pregnancy, says Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, but with a few caveats. Avoid those with salicylic acid (often used in acne-prone formulas), chemical sunscreens and retinol (used in some anti-aging formulas), she says of finding a pregnancy-safe option.
When looking for the best pregnancy-safe foundations, look at the ingredient list first to rule out some skincare no-nos. “If your foundation contains sunscreen, make sure that you’re looking for ones with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and not oxybenzone, a popular ingredient in chemical sunscreens,” Dr. Jaliman says.
“It’s also important to avoid foundations with retinol. Retinol should not be used during pregnancy.” Skin can get dry during pregnancy, so look for hydrating and plumping formulas, too.
Daybird’s Tinted Skincare works overtime as a serum, moisturizer, sheer foundation and mineral SPF 50 sunscreen so that tired pregnant people can be one and done with skincare. It’s available in four shades and has good-for-your-skin ingredients such as niacinamide, which increases collagen production, and Bisabolol to reduce inflammation.
A powerful SPF 50 mineral sunscreen helps top it all off. The clean beauty, high-performing formula is weightless, easy to layer and looks incredibly natural on most skin types. It's one of our favorite tinted moisturizers for before and after pregnancy, too.
ILIA has built up a following as a clean skincare brand for a reason—its products are natural, feel good and work to keep your skin and face in tip-top shape. Its True Skin Serum Foundation has a medium, buildable coverage and it’s packed with actives like niacinamide and allantoin to help smooth, soothe and perfect.
Like all the brand’s products, it's vegan, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, non-comedogenic and safe for sensitive skin. Plus, it’s available in almost 30 shades so you can get a perfect match.
Clean brand Kosas has another hit with its Revealer Skin-Improving Foundation with SPF 25. It’s a buildable formula that can flex between medium and full coverage. It has a ton of good-for-your-skin and safe ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, squalane, arnica and more to plump, smooth, calm and brighten.
Non-irritating and safe for sensitive skin, it’s also listed as vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, and free from parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
For those on a budget, e.l.f.’s Flawless Finish Foundation can pack a punch similar to higher-end foundations. It’s formulated for all-day wear yet is lightweight and silky smooth. It improves texture and can build into full coverage for those who want it. A high glycerin formula (instead of pore-clogging seed oil additives) makes it extra hydrating, too.
We love the affordable pricing and easy layering with other beauty products.
As Dr. Jaliman mentioned, you won’t want to use traditional acne-prone formulas with ingredients like salicylic acid while pregnant or breastfeeding. The next best thing is a non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic formula that is breathable, such as bareMinerals Barepro Performance Wear Liquid Foundation SPF 20.
This smooth, adaptive formula keeps selling out for a good reason. It offers full coverage and a matte finish that can give the illusion of smaller pores and smoother skin. It’s been clinically proven to show improvement in texture, pore size and hydration over time according to the brand. It's considered safe for pregnant women, is free of harsh chemicals and makes sticking to a clean beauty regimen a breeze.
If you want to capitalize on that famous pregnancy glow and add a little extra dewiness, consider Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint with Hyaluronic Acid, which has over 10,000 reviews on Amazon. Reviewers praise the tinted water gel formula that is lightweight, plumping and hydrating while still feeling breathable.
It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic as well, making it one of the most popular budget-friendly makeup products for beauty enthusiasts before and after pregnancy as well.
Dr. Jaliman says it’s also safe to use foundation when breastfeeding but to check the labels first. ‘You can use foundation while breastfeeding, but if the foundation has a sunscreen, I recommend one containing a physical/mineral sunscreen [rather],” she says.
While there haven’t been enough studies done on breastfeeding and retinol according to Dr. Jaliman, she advises against using one with retinol, “I’d err on the side of caution.”
She suggests sticking to pregnancy-safe makeup while you're breastfeeding. Steer clear of parabens, phthalates and other potentially harmful and irritating ingredients.
Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners