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21 Best Safe Face Washes During Pregnancy: Reviews & Buying Guide

by  Katie -  Last updated on September 10, 2021
Best Safe Face Washes During Pregnancy

Last Updated on September 10, 2021

When you’re expecting, your skin is more sensitive.

You might also be worried about how skincare products affect your baby.

I understand your concerns.

That’s why today, I’ll review the best safe face washes during pregnancy.


Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.


Is it okay to use a facial cleanser while you’re pregnant?

I’ve got good news for you.

Pregnancy acne can be a big problem.

But you can still use pregnancy-safe acne face cleansers.

You may need to take a break from the usual products.

Let’s discuss ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide that are best to avoid while pregnant.


Skip these ingredients in your face wash

It’s best if expectant and nursing mothers check the label for these unwanted ingredients:

  • Beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid – use lactic or glycolic acid (alpha hydroxy acid) instead. Glycolic acid is meant to treat acne as well. Also, stick with mild concentrations.
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Willow bark, which is equivalent to salicylic acid
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Formaldehyde (found in components like quaternium-15, DMDM, hydantoin, and imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea)
  • Parabens of any type
  • Phthalates which are common in products with artificial fragrances (better to go fragrance-free to protect sensitive skin)
  • Retinol and retinoids

If you must use a face wash with one of these ingredients, make sure it’s one of the last listed on the label.

The problem is two-fold.

Ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide might irritate your skin. Or your skin could absorb the salicylic acid, benxoyl peroxide and pass them to your baby.

For example, parabens are linked to low birth rates, impaired growth, and miscarriage.

Fortunately, there are many safe and effective face washes you can use while pregnant.


21 Top Safe Face Washes During Pregnancy (2021 Update)

1. Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash – Cleanse Acne-Prone Skin

My first pick is Belli’s face wash for pregnant women and nursing moms.

This is my number one choice if you have pregnancy acne.

It doubles as a cleansing mask as you can leave it on the skin for up to five minutes. But it’s mild enough to use twice a day.

The active ingredients include lactic acid, green tea leaf, cucumber fruit, and lemon peel oil. These gently exfoliate, moisturize, nourish, and tighten pores.

Moreover, the formula doesn’t have sulfates, perfumes, or parabens and is perfect to treat acne for pregnant women.

2. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Foaming Face Wash

The next option is something you’re likely to find at the local drugstore or supermarket. This foaming face wash is inexpensive and very mild.

Garnier imbues a transparent gel with the benefits of micellar water. It’s easier to use in the shower as you don’t need cotton pads to wipe it off.

It creates a little bit of lather that rinses clean. Plus, it won’t dehydrate dry skin. This pregnancy-safe face wash is perfect for all skin types.

There are only seven ingredients, so you don’t need to worry about oils, fragrances, alcohol, parabens, phthalates or sulfates and is perfect to treat acne. We feel this is the best face wash that is pregnancy-safe.

3. Bioderma Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleansing Water

On the other hand, you might prefer to wipe off makeup with micellar water.

The best I’ve used is made by Bioderma. There are plenty of other brands now that micellar water, but this is the one I prefer.

There are different versions for sensitive or oily skin. Choose one which best fits your situation.

The formula is free of parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and sulfates. We feel this is the best face wash that is pregnancy-safe.

4. CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

There are two competitors with similar face washes: CeraVe and Cetaphil.

To my dismay, I discovered that Cetaphil’s face wash has parabens and is safe for pregnant women.

Meanwhile, CeraVe’s does not.

This dermatologist-tested face wash features the classic three ceramide formula that appears in all of their products. The ceramides help restore the skin’s natural barrier against infection and moisture loss.

Next, it has hyaluronic acid to attract water into the skin. That way, your face doesn’t feel right once you’re done washing. The effects last up to twenty-four hours after you wash.

Finally, it’s fragrance-free and won’t clog pores.

5. EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser

EltaMD makes more than one type of face cleanser. This one contains bromelain enzymes to reduce inflammation.

It’s made for all skin types, and it’s pH-balanced. The latter quality means that it’s unlikely to cause irritation or strip moisture.

Let it work for thirty seconds before you rinse.

6. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

If you’ve ever stepped into a European pharmacy, you know that this brand has a section all to itself.

French manufacturer La Roche-Posay has been in business for well over a hundred years. Their products are pricey but effective.

They avoid parabens, are fragrance-free, and sulfates, and have dermatologists test for allergens.

The base ingredient in most of their products is pre-biotic thermal spring water that’s mineral-rich.

Next, it has hyaluronic acid to attract water into the skin. That way, your face doesn’t feel tight once you’re done washing.

The Toleriane cleanser also has glycerin and ceramide to increase hydration, plus niacinamide to calm redness.

That’s no surprise, as this face wash is targeted at normal to dry skin. The ceramides help restore the skin’s natural barrier against infection and moisture loss and help rejuvenate dead skin cells.

One bottle will last up to three months if you use it daily.

7. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Face Wash Cleanser

The difference between this cleanser and the face wash above is the texture. The cleanser feels like a gel, and it’s best for normal to oily, sensitive skin.

It doesn’t clog pores or leave a residue. But it will remove face and eye makeup.

8. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, reach for the Effaclar cleanser.

It contains zinc pidolate with two benefits. Not only does it remove impurities, but it also reduces shine.

Furthermore, it’s free of parabens, alcohol, soap, and oil. But take note, it does have an artificial fragrance listed at the end of the label.

9. Body Boost Clarifying Daily Face Wash

This pregnancy face wash is made for hormonal skin. You can also wash your chest, back, and neck with it.

It’s made in the USA without ingredients that could cause irritation or harm your baby.

To illustrate, it doesn’t have parabens, dyes, phthalates, perfume, caffeine, rosemary, clary sage, mineral oil, or harsh sulfates. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan.

Instead, it uses lactic acid to remove dead skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Then, it has antioxidants from green tea and cucumber to repair the damage.

And finally, natural astringents from fruit and lavender clear up blemishes and it also includes ingredients like tea-tree oil. We feel this is the best pregnancy-safe face wash for daily use.

10. Neutrogena Naturals Fresh Cleansing Daily Face Wash

There are pluses and minuses to the Neutrogena Naturals face wash.

Let’s do the bad news first. It has an artificial fragrance that’s the last ingredient.

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

If you can overlook that one problem, you can enjoy a product that’s 86% natural.

It features something called the spiny hold back, or the Peruvian Tara. It’s a plant from South America that was used by the Aztecs and Mayans.

It’s very good at moisturizing and softening the skin. We feel this is the best face wash for dry skin during pregnancy.

What’s more, the formula is free of sulfates, parabens, artificial colors, phthalates, and petrolatum.

11. Alba Botanica Hawaiian, Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser

Alba Botanica’s fruity face cleanser is hypoallergenic and pH-balanced.

As you may already know, “hypoallergenic” is propaganda. The FDA doesn’t enforce any particular standard that companies have to meet to use this word.

On the other hand, I took a look at the label.

Besides pineapple and papaya extracts, it has jojoba seed oil, aloe vera, ginger, vitamin E, and glycerin, among other things.

Some of these are certified organic.

Plus, I didn’t see any of the no-nos like parabens.

12. Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser

The go-to product for people with sensitive skin is right here.

If you’re allergic to just about everything and have trouble with scents, check it out.

Free & Clear is made to be used on your face and body. It’s okay for kids, too.

There are eleven ingredients on the label, starting with purified water and glycerin.

None of them are dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, betaines, or gluten.

13. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

Get First Aid for your face. It calms red, irritated, and dry skin. Then it leaves it smooth and soft.

This is a creamy cleanser that lathers up nicely when mixed with water.

The magic inside comes from aloe vera, allantoin, glycerin, licorice root, white tea, and feverfew.

It’s free of artificial fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, sulfates, formaldehyde, drying alcohols, and more. It’s also vegan and doesn’t contain nuts, gluten, oils, and soy.

14. ACURE Brightening Cleansing Gel

ACURE’s gel cleanser contains several organic ingredients like açai, blackberry, and calendula.

For a face wash, it’s surprisingly rich in antioxidants and nutrients for your skin.

It doesn’t just wash away impurities and makeup; it also repairs damage and moisturizes. If you’re concerned about melasma, I will give it a try.

Plus, it does all that without parabens, sulfates, or formaldehyde.

15. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Hydrating Gel Facial Cleanser

Aveeno’s face cleanser lathers away makeup and dirt without dehydrating the skin.

It has calming feverfew to reduce redness.

But no Aveeno product lacks oats, right? Of course not!

This one has oat extract to soothe irritation and help your skin stay hydrated.

It’s free of soap, artificial fragrances, and parabens.

16. Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser

In 2014, Neutrogena won the Insider’s Choice Beauty Award for this product. It also has the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval.

In other words, if you’re looking for a face wash from a recognized brand that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, here’s a good choice.

The cleanser has a creamy texture that can remove makeup and excess oil without drying out your face.

It doesn’t have fragrances, parabens, soap, or oils.

What it does have is something called a “polyglycerin formula.” This makes it ultra-hydrating and good for eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.

17. Era Organics Natural Moisturizing Face Wash

If you’d like antibacterial soap, but you know it’s bad for you, try this face wash instead.

It’s naturally antimicrobial as it contains Manuka honey.

The formula helps heal blemishes and damaged skin with organic aloe vera, Vitamin E, and cehami.

Additionally, it comes with a sixty-day money-back manufacturer guarantee and is oil-free and non-comedogenic.

Oh, did I mention that it’s free of sulfates, fragrances, and parabens? It also wasn’t tested on animals.

18. DERMA E Sensitive Skin Cleanser

There’s something in this cleanser that makes it stand out from the rest.

It’s packed with antioxidants from green tea and Pycnogenol. I had no idea what this latter thing was until I looked at the label.

It turns out that each ingredient is explained there. This one comes from the bark of the pine tree and is oil-free and non-comedogenic.

Antioxidants are essential for skincare. They repair damage caused by environmental pollution and ultraviolet radiation. Otherwise, without antioxidants, you’d end up with more wrinkles and discoloration.

Obviously, all the antioxidants in the world can’t replace a good sunscreen.

To continue, the cleanser is fragrance-free and pH-balanced. It’s designed to leave your skin feeling smooth and soft, and refreshed.

19. Simple Water Boost Micellar Facial Gel Wash

Simple also makes a gel wash with micellar water.

Micellar water removes impurities and excess oil without causing harm to the skin

The gel texture makes it straightforward to use and is oil-free and non-comedogenic. This pregnancy-safe face wash is perfect for all skin types.

Happily, this product is free of phthalates, parabens, drying alcohols, artificial colors, and fragrances.

20. Vichy Pureté Thermale One Step Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Vichy is a brand you’ll find in European pharmacies. You’ll pay more for it, but it’s worth it.

This cleanser removes makeup and cleanses your face in one step.

This pregnancy face wash has an ingredient called Captelae. It comes from shea, and it’s naturally detoxifying. This pregnancy-safe face wash is perfect for all skin types.

Moreover, the formula is made for sensitive skin. It’s free of parabens and alcohol and tested against common allergies.

21. Eau Thermale Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser

The Avene face cleanser doesn’t need to be rinsed.

It’s a gel-like lotion that lets you wipe off makeup and dirt with a cotton pad.

It’s handy if you go camping or need to freshen up on the go. Additionally, it won’t sting your eyes.

Conversely, you can also rinse it. In fact, they recommend rinsing if you have susceptible skin.

There are very few ingredients, and none of them include dyes, parabens, or fragrances.



I’m happy you dropped by today to look for face washes that are safe for use during pregnancy.

I spent a lot of time researching to make sure I found the best skin-care products for expectant mothers.

I wish you all the best with your upcoming adventure. And I hope you’ll take the time to leave us a comment below.


1. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/health-and-safety-issues/12-cosmetic-ingredients-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

2. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/beauty/pregnancy-skincare-whats-safe-for-face-and-body/

3. https://globalnews.ca/news/3383851/11-skincare-ingredients-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

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