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A guide to pregnancy safe UpCircle products

  • 4 min read

Whether you’re blooming or blemishing, pregnancy can be a time when you choose to give extra thought to your skincare. 

Pregnancy is an exciting time of anticipation, but it's also often a time of increased worry. Complex mixed emotions, and of course all sorts of hormonal and bodily changes can affect your skin. In this guide, we will take you through the ingredients that we would recommend you to avoid, as well as an UpCircle pregnancy safe product list.

Advice from our formulator:

"The use of essential oils in pregnancy is a very emotive area. Advice on use can range from recommending that no oils be used in pregnancy, to the more common suggestion of using only very low doses of only the most ‘non-toxic’ of essential oils.

However, a lot of the researched evidence is based on the ingestion of essential oils and not topical application. The reality is that if essential oils are applied topically, the blood and body absorption rate is likely to be very low as essential oils are commonly used in relatively low proportions in skincare, in addition to oils being highly volatile (which means that some of the essential oil will evaporate into the air when used, therefore not penetrating into the skin).
It has to be said that scientific evidence on the risk of using essential oils in pregnancy is at best scanty and much of it appears to be anecdotal. Some essential oils that may be contraindicated in pregnancy, such as Spanish Sage, Parsley Seed and Wintergreen, are in fact not widely available and are not known as classical aromatherapy essential oils. In essence the following advice will help you make an informed decision regarding the use of essential oils in pregnancy." - Barbara, UpCircle's Formulator 

Questions to consider:
• Are you or could you be pregnant?
• If pregnant, how many weeks? The first trimester (first 12 weeks) is relatively critical in pregnancy, and you may wish to avoid the use of products containing essential oils, because for example sense of smell is heightened and more sensitive.
• Do you have a history of miscarriage and if pregnant are you in your first trimester? If so, the above may apply.

Skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

A good place to start is to know which skincare ingredients and products you should avoid during pregnancy.

An excellent starting point is to generally choose natural and vegan skincare which is SLS, SLEs, palm oil, silicone, paraben, mineral oil, parfum and sulfate free. At UpCircle we pride ourselves on creating products that are a minimum of 98% natural and certified organic where possible.

Within natural skincare, there are still a few ingredients that it is best to avoid. These include:

  • Retinol: There are some studies which show that a high amount of Vitamin A (retinol) can be harmful to an unborn baby. Retinol in skincare is included for its anti-ageing benefits. Retinoids in skincare are generally considered to be much safer than ingesting high amounts of Vitamin A, so don’t worry if you’ve used them accidentally, but generally speaking it’s best to avoid them during pregnancy.

  • Salicylic acid: Again, high doses of salicylic acid aren’t recommended in pregnancy. We use salicylic acid in our moisturiser, eye cream and toner but in very low amounts, and it is topical. These amounts are deemed safe. Salicylic acid can be used in much stronger concentrations in professional peel treatments – these should be avoided during pregnancy.

Whilst the amount of salicylic acid is safe in pregnancy in our skincare products, it's always best to prioritise peace of mind. If you’re at all unsure, then there's no danger in avoiding products containing salicylic acid until after birth. 

  • Some essential oils: The vast majority of essential oils are deemed safe (and indeed welcome!) during pregnancy. However, the ones recommended to avoid are: cinnamon, clove, rosemary, ginger and clary sage. Our recommended pregnancy routine only includes products which don’t contain the essential oils mentioned above. The only products we don’t recommend  during pregnancy are our Chai Soaps, Body Cream, Cleansing Balm and Shampoo Crème which are formulated with either cinnamon or rosemary oils.

  • Hydroquinone: Many pregnant women prefer to opt for natural mineral sunscreens which don’t contain things like hydroquinone. While other sunscreen ingredients, like oxybenzone, are considered safe during pregnancy, many feel the jury is still out, and that many of these ingredients are increasingly being known to be harmful to the environment and ecological systems.

Everyone’s skin is unique and it’ll be unique again to you during pregnancy. Even if a product is safe, it may still cause you irritation. If you experience irritation, then stop using the product immediately. You can try out lots of different UpCircle products to see how your skin reacts by choosing the Pamper Kit.


Pregnancy Safe products from UpCircle: 

You can follow our recommended pregnancy safe skincare routine here