When you’re pregnant, you usually have to go nine months or longer without using certain active ingredients in your skin-care routine (farewell: dear, retinol). But just because a few ingredients aren’t recommended to be used in your regimen for a while doesn’t mean that skin care has to fall by the wayside—there are plenty of barrier-boosting actives that are A-okay to use when you’re expecting. For some guidance, a celebrity esthetician is sharing her entire pregnancy skin-care regimen.
Overall, Natalie Aguilar, celebrity facialist and dermatological nurse, had to swap out six of her daily skin-care staples when she got pregnant. “My skin is very resilient, but easily pigments, so preventing facial discoloration and pigmentation has been my main goal before and during my pregnancy,” she says. To do the brightening job during her pregnancy, Aguilar nixed her typical retinol serum, salicylic acid cleanser, stem cell moisturizer, and chemical SPF, but has effective substitutes in their place (like kojic acid, for one).
Now, Aguilar’s regimen still contains some complexion-evening ingredients, but she’s also incorporating skin-soothing and hydrating products to balance her finicky skin. “During pregnancy, our skin may experience extreme dryness, sensitivity, and even melasma that we didn’t have before thanks to the shift of hormones,” she says. “Also, as your skin experiences hormonal changes, sensitivity increases.” Keep scrolling to see what’s in her beauty cabinet ATM.
A facialist’s pregnancy skin-care regimen
1. Shop now: PCA Skin Pigment Bar, $46
Pre-pregnancy, Aguilar turned to a salicylic acid-spiked cleanser for sloughing off dead skin cells. “My new substitute is this PCA Skin Pigment Bar, which uses natural skin-brightening and exfoliating ingredients such as kojic acid, which is derived from mushrooms or fermented rice, and azelaic acid, which is a naturally occurring acid found in grains,” she says.
2. Shop now: Babor Rose Toning Essence, $32
Aguilar had to change her go-to toner when she got pregnant, since her active ingredient-packed product started to burn and sting her skin. “I swapped for this toning essence, which is alcohol-free and has skin-soothing ingredients like chamomile and rose extracts,” she says.
3. Shop now: PCA Skin Brightening Vitamin B3 Serum, $115
Though Aguilar always used a vitamin B3 and vitamin C serum daily, she found that her skin no longer tolerated them when used together. “Instead, I use this vitamin B3 serum during the day, and a vitamin C serum at night.” The active ingredient, vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) does everything from hydrate to smooth and even out the complexion.
4. Shop now: Ghost Democracy Lightbulb Vitamin C Serum, $34
To aid in her skin-brightening goals, Aguilar uses a vitamin C serum every day. Though the one in her cabinet is by PCA Skin, this serum by Ghost Democracy uses a stable vitamin C derivative that works for all skin types, plus it contains bakuchiol, a plant-based retinol alternative.
5. Shop now: La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Face Serum with Hyaluronic Acid, $27
“I added a hyaluronic acid [to my routine] as my skin began to suffer extreme dehydration, no matter how much water I was drinking,” says Aguilar. “Hyaluronic acid is a safe, water-binding serum, and I began to use one twice daily and instantly felt relief.” This drugstore find will give your skin moisturizing, fine line-plumping benefits, and works for the most sensitive of skin types.
6. Shop now: Eminence Organics Arctic Berry Peptide Radiance Cream, $90
“My stem cell moisturizer and eye cream were swapped out,” says Aguilar, noting that though there isn’t much research on the safety of using topical stem cells during pregnancy, “it’s best to avoid products you just aren’t sure about.” Instead, she turns to peptides, which are collagen-stimulating proteins that are naturally found in your skin. “I switched to using a rich, hydrating cream that contains plant peptides, which are proteins that help strengthen the skin’s barrier.”
7. Shop now: Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral SPF, $14
To stay on the safe side in her beauty regimen, Aguilar swapped her chemical-based sunscreen for this mineral-based option. “This is safe enough to be used on babies and children,” she says. “I feel safer using a mineral sunscreen that provides a protective physical shield and that doesn’t penetrate the skin.” Her tip? Reapply two to three times a day for ultimate sun protection.