Can You Get a Facial While Pregnant?

Can You Get a Facial While Pregnant?

You’ve heard of the elusive pregnancy glow, but pregnancy can affect your skin in less fun ways, too.

As your belly grows, you might be treated to increased oiliness, acne, facial swelling, dark spots, melasma, or dryness. [1]

Even if your skin is radiant (lucky you!), there’s nothing like a little pampering to uplift the spirits.

But before you book yourself a day at the spa, let’s double-check — can you get a facial while pregnant?

In this article: 📝

  • Can you get a facial while pregnant?
  • Are facials safe during pregnancy?
  • Why can’t you get a facial when pregnant?
  • Which facial is good during pregnancy?
  • What is a prenatal facial?
  • What facial products should I avoid during pregnancy?
  • What facial products are safe during pregnancy?

Can you get a facial while pregnant?

Well, yes and no — some facials are a-okay, while others… not so much.

Getting facials while pregnant can be a great way to target your pregnancy skin issues (and also simply to enjoy some well-deserved pampering).

But not all facials are pregnancy-safe.

Navigating the murky waters of what’s okay and what’s not can be tricky.

And when it comes to pregnancy facials, there’s a bit of both.

Are facials safe during pregnancy?

Again, yes and no — not all facials get the thumbs up from medical professionals.

The main deciding factor between what’s safe and what’s not is the ingredients used in the facial.

While facials are a great way to relax and pamper yourself during pregnancy, it’s important to know of any risks to your skin, or your growing baby.

Why can’t you get a facial when pregnant?

Well, it depends on the type of facial you want to get.

There are some types of facial treatments and ingredients to avoid when you’re pregnant.

So let’s break them down, with the help of embryologist Navya Muralidhar.


“Treatment or facials with retinoids contain vitamin A, which can be harmful to your baby’s development and could lead to birth defects.”, as Navya explains.

But retinols can be in lots of different skincare products, so it’s worth checking the labels before putting them on your skin.

“Retinoids are also often found in some anti-aging moisturizers and acne creams, so if you’ve been using them pre-pregnancy, it’s a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider about their usage.”.

Chemical peels

“Another ingredient to be aware of is salicylic acids in high doses. This is often found in chemical peels and some acne creams”, Navya explains.

Besides having some potentially harmful ingredients, chemical peels can be too intense for your extra-sensitive skin.

(Yes, our skin gets more sensitive when pregnant.)

It’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before getting a chemical peel.

Microdermabrasion and laser treatments

Because your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, these treatments might lead to irritation and breakouts, and even scarring.

The jury’s out as to whether they are pregnancy-safe, it’s best to give them a skip for a few more months.

Which facial is good during pregnancy?

Now for the good news.

There are many facial options which are pregnancy-safe.

Some of these are:

  • Oxygen facials: These facials aim to improve blood circulation, which can make the skin look plump.
  • Hydrating facials: As the name suggests, these facials use water, elastin, and collagen to hydrate, cleanse and moisturize dry facial skin during pregnancy. “Even facials that have fruit acid peels and extractions are safe”, Navya explains.
  • Deep cleansing facials: These facials include cleansing, exfoliation, masks, and moisturizing.
  • Collagen facials: These facials focus on deep cleansing, exfoliating, and then applying collagen creams to help replenish the skin’s natural proteins.
  • Steam facials: Although you want to avoid increasing your body temperature when pregnant (meaning no saunas and steaming hot baths), steam facials are okay. Steam is used to open the pores to help cleansing.
  • LED facials: In these treatments, the skin is exposed to LED light. Different LED lights are used to target different skin concerns.

🧴 Want more? Your Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy Safe Skin Care

What is a prenatal facial?

Some beauty salons and spas have created a prenatal facial, specifically designed to combat some of the skin issues associated with pregnancy, while making sure the ingredients list is safe.

By getting a pregnancy facial, you know you’re not putting yourself or your baby at risk.

What facial products should I avoid during pregnancy?

Certain skincare products should be avoided when you’re expecting.

Generally, you want to steer clear of products containing any of these:

  • Retin-A (AKA tretinoin), retinol, and retinyl palmitate (AKA vitamin A) — popular in anti-aging skincare products [2,3,4]
  • Hydroquinone — often found in products used to target dark spots on the skin [5]
  • Trichloroacetic — commonly used in chemical peels [6]
  • Benzoyl peroxide — most common in products used for treating acne [3]
  • Tazarotene and accutane — also commonly used for treating acne [7,8]
  • Aluminum chloride — used in commonly in antiperspirants and some facial products [9]
  • Formaldehyde — used in everything from soaps to shampoos, to nail polish to hair gel [10]
  • Chemical sunscreens — they could be absorbed into your skin [11]
  • Tetracycline — often used in acne creams [12]
  • Dihydroxyacetone — often used in fake tanning products [13]

What facial products are safe during pregnancy?

Your best bet is to go for something that uses natural ingredients, not harsh chemicals.

You can also go for homemade facial scrubs that are natural and safe to use during pregnancy.

Some ingredients need to be avoided, but many other skincare products are pregnancy-safe.

🛒 Add to cart: 9 Soothing Pregnant Skincare Products

It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution.

So if there are certain products or facial methodologies that you’re wondering about, check with your healthcare provider first.

Pregnancy is hard work, and taking care of yourself during pregnancy is important.

If a facial isn’t right for you right now, you could also try a pregnancy massage.

Or at the very least, take a moment to prop your feet up and close your eyes.

You deserve it, mama-to-be.


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