Clean and Cruelty-Free Beauty Products I'm Loving During Pregnancy
Keeping My Beauty and Skincare Routine Squeaky Clean and Kind While Expecting
Confession: I’m a total makeup and skincare junkie. Tell me a serum or peel or highlighter is the hottest new thing, and I’ll line up to buy it.
When I first got pregnant, the idea of making sure my skin routine was not only cruelty-free—always a must!—but also uber-natural and baby-friendly seemed like a fun challenge. I pictured myself rubbing plant-based serums into a glowing complexion. I thought I’d be spending nine months wearing boho maxi dresses, eating superfood salads, taking the dogs for long walks, and doing a lot of yoga.
Instead, by ten weeks pregnant, my main exercise was crawling from the couch to the toilet to throw up, and the only food I could keep down was potato chips and lemonade. There was no pregnancy glow, only a I’ve-been-inside-watching-Riverdale-all-week sheen.
As I’ve hit the halfway point in pregnancy, the nausea is fading away and I’ve started to feel like myself again. I’m ready to do things like painting my nails, wearing makeup, and, you know, leaving the house.
But as it turns out, finding clean, cruelty-free beauty and skincare products that are considered safe for pregnancy is no joke. I’m not a doctor—disclaimer!— so reading product labels is a challenge. And trying to figure out what is safe for me and the baby has taken a lot of intense research.
As an animal lover, I always try to use products that are cruelty-free. But during pregnancy I’m also being especially careful to seek out products that are clean and plant-based. I’ve been avoiding anything with parabens, phthalates, hydroquinone, formaldehyde, ammonia, DHA, retinol, toluene, benzoyl peroxide, Vitamin A, and aluminum chloride hexahydrate. I also generally skip any products that have “fragrance” listed as an ingredient since manufacturers can hide a lot of ingredients they don’t want to list in that umbrella term.
Obviously everyone has a different pregnancy journey, and I’m not a doctor, dermatologist, or skincare expert. But if you’re reading this blog, you probably love dogs and want to avoid products tested on animals, too, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites here. Take a read, and let me know your go-to cruelty-free brands in the comments!
My Favorite Clean and Cruelty-Free Skincare Products:
True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster: To cut down on chemicals as much as possible, I’ve been going with the less-is-more approach for my pregnancy skincare. That’s meant giving up a lot of the serums and creams that normally keep my skin looking glowy. But I am loving this pregnancy-safe Vitamin C powder from True Botanicals. I mix this with my face oil in the morning and it gives my skin a little extra vibrance.
Acure: The Essentials Argan Oil: Nothing in this but pure argan oil. I mix with the vitamin c booster every morning.
Tatcha’s The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder: I love Tatcha products, and have been using this to exfoliate during pregnancy. It leaves my skin so soft. Legend has it that Meghan Markle and Kim Kardashian use it, so obviously it has magical powers.
Puracy Natural Body Wash: I tried a few all-natural body washes during the first trimester, but this was the only one with a smell that didn’t make me nauseous.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Pregnancy Peel: I love Juice Beauty’s organic line of beauty products, but especially appreciate that this gentle peel was specially made for pregnancy.
Conscious Coconut Coconut Oil: Everyone tells you to moisturize a ton during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, but so many of the oils and creams had wayyy too many crazy chemicals and weird ingredients. I’m sticking with this simple coconut oil as a body lotion. I love knowing I’m putting something pure and edible on my body, so I’ve been slathering this all over my dry winter skin. Plus, proceeds from every sale go toward meals for kids in need.
Weleda Skin Food: This is one of my all-time fave products because it’s cheap, lasts forever, and makes a visible difference for my skin. On days that I feel like my face needs a little extra love, I smear this on after I get out of the shower. Pro tip: After applying it, try placing a hot wet washcloth over your face to open your pores and let it really soak into your skin.
Primally Pure Deoderant: Most natural deoderants irritate my skin, but I love this fragrance-free one. To be on the safe side, I emailed them to double-check that they’re cruelty-free since I didn’t see it on their site and they confirmed that they only test on humans. Plus, I’m such a sucker for that minimalist packaging.
My Favorite Clean and Cruelty-Free Makeup Products:
Antonym Certified Organic Eyeshadow Quatro in Noisette: This is my favorite all-natural eyeshadow set—I brush the bronze on my eyelids for day make up or go for the chocolate color for nights out.
Antonym Certified Organic Highlighter: This doesn’t have as much shimmer as I like in my highlighters, but it works well for my skin tone as a blush.
Ilia Illuminator in Cosmic Dancer: This is my go-to highlighter for a nice glow across my cheekbones.
Olio E Osso Balm in Spring: I’m not really a lipstick or lipgloss person, but I’m completely addicted to this tinted lip balm.
Lily Lolo Natural Vegan Mascara: I’ve been around the natural mascara block, but this is the very best one I’ve found. It’s not clumpy and, unlike so many natural mascaras, it doesn’t have a weird black-tea smell.
Jane Iredale Clear Purebrow Brow Gel: Jane Iredale is one of my go-to brands for clean beauty products that actually work. My brows are naturally dark, but I like to brush this through them for more definition.
RMS Beauty Vintage Cake Liner: Not part of my heavy rotation, but I occasionally use this for a cat eye on a night out.
Jane Iredale PurePressed Base in Bisque: This is meant to be used as foundation, but I’m not really a full-face of makeup person, so I just brush it over any spots I’ve concealed or anywhere that’s looking a little uneven like my chin or nose.
Olive & June 7-Free Nail Polish in Barrett: I’m obsessed with this light blue-ish tint for spring.
Ella & Mila Quick 7-Free Dry Top Coat Nail Polish: Ella + Mila has a ton of fun colors, all of which are 7-free and cruelty-free.
Kure Bazaar 10-Free Nail Polish in Caicos: I’ve been wearing this tropical blue on my toes all winter, mostly because it makes me think of vacation.
My Favorite Clean and Cruelty-Free Hair care Products:
BrioGeo Farewell Frizz Smoothing Shampoo: It’s tricky to find shampoos that don’t have a scary list of ingredients, and this one still has more long words in the ingredients than I’d like, but it is certified clean by Sephora. And unlike so many other natural shampoos, it lathers nicely and doesn’t leave any residue in my hair.
Acure Mega Moisture Conditioner in Argan Oil and Pumpkin: This conditioner smells like an almond cookie and it makes my hair soft and shiny—without leaving any greasy weight behind.
BrioGeo Scalp Revival Dry Shampoo: Also certified clean by Sephora, I love the smell of this dry shampoo.
Olivine Atelier Love + Salt Spray: I’m obsessed with the yummy, beachy smell of this salt spray. And it adds just the right amount of texture to my hair. It does list fragrance as one of the ingredients, which is generally a no-no to me, but I emailed them and they said their fragrance is just a mix of natural oils.
As always, thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear in the comments where you find clean and cruelty-free beauty products. 🐾