Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

If you’re an expecting mom it can feel like there’s a whole new set of rules to learn. As you begin cutting out the alcohol and sushi it’s also a good idea to start thinking about your skincare. Most products will be fine to keep using. But there are some ingredients to avoid as they can pose a potential risk. There’s good news though: there are some easy rules and tools for understanding the ingredients to avoid during pregnancy.

Clean skincare is not the same as pregnancy-safe skincare

Lots of women decide to transition to clean skincare when they’re pregnant, and it makes sense. You want to stay away from toxins that could harm your baby. Why not choose more natural alternatives?

While there’s no universal definition of clean beauty, the switch will mean the elimination of certain additives, preservatives and chemicals that may be unsafe. At Kura Skin, we’re committed to safety and sustainability. It’s why we don’t carry products with ingredients like Parabens, Sulfates, artificial fragrance, Hydroquinone, Mineral Oil. It’s best to avoid many of these same ingredients during pregnancy, which makes things a lot easier. But just because something is “clean” doesn’t meant that it’s necessarily safe for pregnancy. Here’s what else to avoid:


This is the biggest and most talked-about ingredient watch-out. Retinol is an excellent ingredient for treating acne and signs of aging, but studies have shown that it can cause birth defects. Look out for ingredients like Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinaldehyde, and Tretinoin.

Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is another common treatment for acne. It works by penetrating pores and helping to keep them clear. Low concentrations (up to 2%) are unlikely to pose a risk as absorption is low. But it’s a good idea to double check with your doctor.

Chemical Sunscreens

You may already know that there are two categories of SPF. Firstly, there are physical sunscreens. These sit on top of your skip and use UV blockers like Zinc and Titanium Dioxide to physically block rays. Then there are chemical sunscreens, which work by penetrating the skin and absorbing UV rays.

Physical sunscreens are safe for everyone. But chemical sunscreens sit along a spectrum of known safety. For example, Sephora bans only Octinoxate from their clean program. Supergoop! bans Oxybenzone in addition to Octinoxate because it’s been scientifically proven to mess with hormones. However, Supergoop! refers to Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate and Octisalate as “clean” alternatives.

The reality is that all chemical sunscreens are absorbed into your skin, and just because some have not been proven harmful doesn’t mean they’re safe.

Skip the guesswork

When you complete a Skin Profile and let us know that you’re pregnant or expecting we’ll automatically filter out product with Retinol and Salicylic Acid. And we don’t carry any products with chemical UV blockers.

Every pregnancy is different, and we always recommend chatting with your doctor about the ingredients that are right for you during your pregnancy. But we can help make getting started easy.

Team Kura