· By Mary Dale
Clean Beauty Pregnancy Essentials
When I found out I was pregnant in July 2021, I was in the middle of planning my wedding celebration for 150+ people (which had been postponed from May 2020 due to Covid), launching Verde Lusso’s Summer Pop Up Shop in Birmingham, and preparing to get our online shop up and running. Needless to say, I was in a very busy season of life!
I was overwhelmed with surprise, gratitude, and joy when I found out that we’d be expecting our first baby in March 2022. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I thought I had so much else to figure out before I entered this deeply transformative stage of life. Life had other plans for me and I’m forever grateful to be plunged into this new chapter.
I was already devoted to the clean beauty and wellness lifestyle, but I quickly realized there were lots of changes to everything from my beauty routine to my supplements and beyond. I also dove deeply into the emotional, spiritual, and physical transformation that is birth. See below for my pregnancy essentials, both for skincare, body care, and supplements but also my other go-to's for supporting your emotional, mental, and spiritual states as you go through this transformative journey, including pregnancy reads and workouts.
Clean Beauty Pregnancy Essentials
#1: Say goodbye to harsh Retinols
If you haven’t already, it’s really time to say goodbye to Retin-A, retinol, and retinyl palmitate, Tazorac, and Accutane. Prescription retinol treatments are associated with spinal and/or facial deformities in a growing fetus and the exact amount of retinol linked to causing deformities hasn’t been determined so it’s best to eliminate these ingredients altogether if you’re thinking about getting pregnant or are already pregnant. For a clean collagen booster, look for natural forms of Vitamin A, like the Agent Nateur Ageless Serum ($128) which incorporates natural rosehip oil, a gentle and safe bio-available version of vitamin A that is safe for any season of life.
#2 - Exfoliating Toners for Baby Soft Skin
Pregnancy creates a lot of hormonal shifts and an exfoliating toner is a must have for navigating these times. A toner like Ayuna's The Facial will provide exfoliation, help to get rid of dark spots and acne, regulate sebum (the oil in your skin), enhance the skin's natural glow, balance skin pH, shrink pore size, and even out skin tone. I've used the Ayuna Facial High and Low (I alternate these throughout the week depending on my skin’s needs).
It’s important to use a non-toxic exfoliating toner as the one in your current rotation might not be pregnancy safe. Cult favorite toners like Biologique Recharge p50 contain Phenol (linked to birth defects and organ toxicity) and parabens which aren’t good to have on your skin even if you aren’t pregnant so consider making this swap whether you’re expecting a baby or not.
#3 - Body Balms, Lotions and Oils are your new BFF
Now is the time to lather yourself in deeply nutritive plant and seed oils to support your skin as it's growing a baby. Lotions, balms, and oils are all part of my rotation and I use them at different times depending on my needs. I love the body balms and lotions from Sangre de Fruta for their clean ingredients and elegant essentail oil fragrances. I also use the Holi (Oil) Ageless Body Serum from Agent Nateur religiously for it's super powered ingredients, including vitamin C, rosehip oil, and caffiene.
#4 - Non-toxic Sunscreen is a Must
Pregnancy increases hormones that lead to hyperpigmentation, and can result in the “pregnancy mask” known as melasma. Sunscreen is super important while you're pregnant, especially if you're prone to melasma, but it's important to avoid chemical filters like oxybenzone and avobenzone, which are known hormone disruptors. Instead, you’ll want to use non-toxic sunscreens incorporating uncoated non-nano zinc oxide (all sunscreens stocked at Verde Lusso meet this requirement).
I swear by the Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30, which is as natural as they come and 100% baby safe. I also love Suntegrity’s 5-in-1 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer for light make-up coverage in addition to non-toxic sunscreen.
#5 - Topical Vitamin C is your go to skin brightening super ingredient.
It's extremely common for pregnant women to develop "pregnancy mask" aka melasma or brown skin spots. Vitamin C applied topically is your go to for limiting hyperpigmentation in preganncy and brightening any existing brown or dark spots. It's also a powerhouse for building collagen, the supportive fibers that keep your skin bouncy and young. I've been using Agent Nateur's Holi (c) Face Vitamins and Josh Rosebrook's Vitamin C serum religiously as part of my rotation.
#6 - Collagen Taken Orally to Support Your Rapidly Changing Body
Pregnancy is a time of rapid growth for your little one, but also for you! Expect to gain 25-40 lbs over the course of your pregancy as your body shapeshifts to hold this little baby inside of you. Oral intake of a clean, high-quality collagen is a game changer for helping your skin and other connective tissues adapt to these big changes. I've been drinking one scoop of Agent Nateur's Holi (Mane) Collagen ($98) each morning in my tea (just whisk it in and it's completely tasteless and odorless). So far I've had zero signs of stretch marks and my skin is looking as glowy as ever. It's also helpful for your joints and other connective tissues as they adapt during this time. Finally, collagen is helpful for supporting your skin as it stretches during the labor and delivery and reduces your chances of tearing.
#7 - Gua Sha for Facial Sculpting
The pregnancy bloat is real and regular use of Gua Sha is essential for keeping your face sculpted. Use at least 3 times per week and you'll be well on the way to reducing the dreaded puffy face.
Go-To Pregnancy Supplements:
CollagenAgent Nateur Holi (Mane) Collagen ($98 ~ use code HOLIMANE15 for 15% off your first order of Holi (Mane) at verdelusso.com)
- Will keep the stretch marks away and make your skin extra glowy. Collagen is essential for making your skin more elastic during pregnancy and will also help as you stretch during labor, decreasing your chance of tearing. This collagen is also great for making your hair extra lush postpartum and reducing the dreaded post-baby hair loss as your hormones shift.
ProbioticsSakara Complete Probiotic Forumula ($46)
- Increases the good bacteria in your gut which is essential for you and your baby. Also decreases your risks of testing positive for Group Strep B later in pregnancy (which can mean being hooked up to antibiotics via an IV during labor - not ideal).
CholineSolgar Choline 350 mg ($13)
- Essential for fetal brain development and oddly lacking in most American prenatal vitamins.
Prenatal VitaminsRitual Prenatal Vitamins ($35)
- A minimalistic prenatal vitamin that is easy to take, even when you’re experiencing morning sickness. It has a subtle hint of lemon flavor which is a godsend when everything makes you nauseous. The pill size is also mercifully small compared to some of the horse pills out there.
SpirulinaNutrex Hawaiian Spirulina ($25)
- A pregnancy superfood rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, phytonutrients and protein. Also helps build your blood and improve hemoglobin levels, which can get lowered during pregnancy as you share your nutrients with your growing baby.
IronMega Food Blood Builder ($20)
- I didn’t realize the importance of supplementing iron until I became anemic in my third trimester. From talking with other women, I realized how common this is and will now be incorporating gentle iron supplement in any upcoming pregnancies before getting to the point where I’m deficient.
ChlorophyllMary Ruth’s Organics ($20)
- Good for building your blood in pregnancy.
Flower Remedies from Alexis Smart
- Moon River ($46)
- Crucial for riding the hormonal waves of emotions in pregnancy. Gave me a blissed out peaceful feeling of surrender once I started using this remedy in my third trimester.
- First Aid Kit ($46)
- This is great to have on hand for any panic or fear that arises in pregnancy and to use throughout labor and deliver to support your body as it goes through the birthing process.
More Pregnancy Essentials:
- Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
- Hypnobirthing: A Natural Approach To A Safe, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing
- Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage: Weaving ancient wisdom with modern knowledge
- The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother
SHOP THE STORY
at Verde Lusso
- Agent Nateur Ageless Face Serum ($128)
- Ayuna The Facial High & Low ($96)
- Sangre De Fruta Botanical Body Cream ($58)
- Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30 ($55+)
- Agent Nateur Holi (C) ($128)
- Agent Nateur Holi (Mane) ($98)
- Verde Lusso Gua Sha ($38)
Cover Photography by Moe Kite