Pregnancy-Safe Skincare: Ingredients Decoded

Expecting a new babe is one of life’s biggest blessings. Physically, though, things can get uncomfortable as your body grows, births, and then feeds that little miracle of yours. By now, you’ve probably noticed some unwanted symptoms popping up like nausea, heartburn, swelling, and/or hemorrhoids (we have products for all those btw!). But it’s all worth it when you finally have babe in your arms.

After decades in the maternity business, we know a good thing when we see it. We’ve sourced the best-of-the-best wellness products from brands we love to serve your every need. And in the meantime, we’ve been working behind the scenes on two new skincare solutions we know you’re gonna love. 

After a deep dive in the skincare space, we found that more doesn’t mean better. Formulas don’t need 15+ ingredients to do good for your skin. We’re moms too, and have learned through lots of trial and error to keep things simple. We learned that less is more. Fewer products with multiple uses because you’re busy. Fewer ingredients that are 100% natural and only there if they serve a purpose. It’s been two years in the making, but The Oil and The Balm (with the help of some amazing natural ingredient experts!) have finally arrived.

We know we’re a little biased, but this truly is the best belly oil around. It’s simple, safe, and really works—what more could you ask for!? It only takes a few drops to feed your tight, itchy skin with nutrients and intense hydration, and help prevent stretch marks as your belly grows.

We formulated The Oil with just 7 natural ingredients. Yep, you read that right...7 ingredients. 1 bottle. One of them is rose absolute to give you those spa vibes every time you apply. Read up on all the ingredients below and why we picked them!

Ingredients  
  1. Apricot Kernel Oil: We chose this oil as our nourishing base. It’s fast-absorbing which means you get no stickiness and rich in vitamin E to support skin elasticity.
  2. Calendula Flower*: You may know this flower as the marigold, but did you know that it has amazing skin-healing properties? We put it in The Oil for two reasons: to help soften skin and calm irritation. Plus it’s chock full of antioxidants (okay, so that’s three reasons!). 
  3. Marshmallow Root*: Not the kind you make s’mores with, this is actually a powerful perennial herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties. We put it in The Oil to help relieve irritation and soothe uncomfortable, stretching skin. 
  4. Lavender Flower*: You know lavender for its calming benefits, and this also applies to your skin. We infused it in The Oil because it promotes collagen production to help prevent stretch marks as your belly grows. 
  5. Rosehips*: The fruit of the rose is also in our belly oil to help with stretch mark prevention. It’s rich in vitamins to help nourish and repair even the driest, tightest skin.
  6. Chamomile Flower*: Just like chamomile tea, the oil extracted from this flower has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help relieve irritation like itchiness from stretching skin.
  7. Rose Absolute: Last but not least, this one is in there just for mama! It gives a subtle (we know your sense of smell is heightened) rose scent that’s like a breath of fresh air. And that’s pre-bump, when you were able to take full breaths!

All in all, this lovely lineup proves that Mother Nature knows best. You don’t need icky things like parabens, gluten, or soy to make a formula that feels amazing and actually works. And if you’re not pregnant, The Oil is great for treating other areas too...like dry patches on your elbows or even conditioning the ends of your hair! Read more about this incredible multi-tasker here

You didn’t think we’d forget about what comes after babe, did you?! For many mamas, the breastfeeding journey isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, especially in the beginning. A good nipple balm can work wonders for soothing those nursing nips and keep you on track to reach your breastfeeding goals, if that’s what you set out to do. 

Just like The Oil, we formulated The Balm with the least amount of ingredients possible. We also chose to steer clear of lanolin in this formula. Why, you may ask? Keep reading to learn what The Balm is formulated with and without—and why.

Ingredients  
  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil*: It’s not only a staple in your pantry, it actually has some pretty incredible skin benefits too! Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, we put it in this organic jar of goodness to help moisturize dry skin and soothe cracked nipples.
  2. Calendula Flower*: Just like The Oil, we’ve included this natural wonder in The Balm for its amazing skin-healing properties. It’s long been an herbal treatment for wounds, and the same can be applied to help soothe your irritated nipples. 
  3. Marshmallow Root*: This one’s in The Oil too. It’s that good! It’s got amazing anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe and moisturize delicate areas of skin. 
  4. Shea Nut Butter*: Nut butters are popular for a reason, and the skincare world is catching on! Thanks to high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins, shea nut butter is nature’s skin softener. We love it because it’s ultra-moisturizing and safe for all skin types. 
  5. Beeswax*: Just like shea nut butter, beeswax is nature’s emollient. It gives The Balm a nourishing texture that melts into skin, rather than sitting on top of it. It’s also got anti-inflammatory goodness. 

In short, just 5 ingredients from nature make up The Balm. And just like our belly oil, it’s your one and done product that can be used for much more than nursing nips. The Balm can also help soften your lips, elbows, and everywhere you’re feeling extra dryness. Read more about it here.

Formulated Without

During pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding, there are a few things to avoid in all of your skincare just to be safe. We recommend clean formulas with no potentially bad stuff. And below are a few examples of what we mean when we say “bad stuff”...

  1. Parabens: These are commonly used in skincare products as a preservative, but some studies have linked these endocrine-disrupting chemicals to possible risks like reproductive issues. The FDA says more research is needed but if you want to avoid them, make sure you look for formulas labeled as “paraben free.” 
  2. Lanolin: This ingredient is used in many nursing products but there’s a reason why we choose to avoid it. Lanolin is a natural wax coating found on sheep wool and sheep are often treated with pesticides to control parasites. It’s also not a great option for those who have a sensitivity to wool.
  3. Petrolatum: AKA petroleum jelly...we recommend avoiding it during pregnancy and when you’re breastfeeding since it may be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

In addition, it’s best to steer clear of gluten, soy, dyes, synthetic fragrances, mineral oils, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals commonly found in skincare. Unfortunately, when you’re pregnant you will need to put your retinoids and other acids on hold to be safe. Botox, fillers, lasers, peels, and microdermabrasion are also a no go for the time being, and we recommend consulting your dermatologist for a full recommendation on what to use or change in your current regimen.

The Takeaway…

If there’s ever been a time to care about what’s in your skincare products, this is it. You’re absorbing everything you put on your body, which means babe is too! So as you cut out certain foods and drinks from your diet to keep babe safe, don’t forget about your skincare routine. It just takes a little extra effort researching and reading labels but then you’ll be good to grow (see what we did there…).

If you need a shortcut, remember: the less ingredients, the better. Make sure they are ones you can pronounce. And if your mamahood journey has brought on new concerns like belly itch, stretch marks, sore nipples, and more, know that you can’t go wrong with The Oil or The Balm.

Sources:

*Responsibly sourced, certified organic ingredients

Ingrid & Isabel was born when its founder, Ingrid, was newly pregnant with her daughter Isabel and could no longer button her pre-pregnancy bottoms. She fashioned the first prototype of the Bellaband and spent three years perfecting the design before it hit shelves in 2003. To this day, every piece we make, we design with, on, and for moms. Shop our full line of maternity wear.


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