Q&A with Dr Emily Yin

Common Skincare Ingredients to AVOID While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

The team behind our signature serums at Versine includes Dr. Emily Yin, incoming chief resident in the Dermatology Department at NYU Langone Health.

Many conversations helped shape Versine: What's backed by science. What's safe. What's not. What feels good! In this blog post, we tackle the skincare ingredients on common "AVOID" lists for pregnancy.

Dr. Emily Yin

Dr. Yin's Risk Guide

First, it’s important to note that data in this area are very limited. Pregnant patients are a highly protected group when it comes to medical research (for good reason!), and therefore most recommendations regarding skincare product safety are based on animal studies or studies on analogous oral medications.

For this reason, you will find a wide variety of opinions on what ingredients are or are not safe during pregnancy. That said, there are certain ingredients that may pose more of a risk than others.

Without further ado, let's dig into some commonly flagged ingredients:

Oral retinoids have a high risk of birth defects, which is why isotretinoin (also known as Accutane) is strictly contraindicated during pregnancy.

Though the data is limited regarding the safety of topical retinoids (such as tretinoin or tazorac) during pregnancy, most dermatologists advise against using them until after giving birth and/or breastfeeding. 

Dr. Yin's Take:

Overall, I think anyone who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant should feel reassured that topical skincare ingredients – especially when applied only to a small body surface area, such as the face – likely do not absorb into the bloodstream in sufficient quantities to have any toxic effects.

Educating pregnant individuals regarding the safety of various skincare ingredients is about more than just the health of the baby; it also empowers them to make the choices that are right for them and their bodies. 

What changes might you see in your skin when you are pregnant - and what you can do about it? Read more in Dr. Yin's Post post on skin changes during pregnancy.

Shop Versine's luxe, pregnancy-safe facial serums -- Peace of mind included

Brightening serum for all skin types
Luxe and pregnancy safe
Target dry and dull skin and decrease the look of fine lines with our original serum, packed with Kakadu Plum Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Squalane. This worry-free, pH-balanced serum is designed to give you a smooth and healthy glow.

Brightening serum for acne-prone skin
Luxe and pregnancy safe
Calm oily skin and target pregnancy breakouts and dark spots with our 10% concentration azelaic acid formula. This multi-tasking formula also includes Kakadu Plum Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Squalane.

Disclaimer: This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice, and the content of this site is purely for educational and entertainment purposes. Though Versine and Dr. Emily Yin have exercised diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the content, nothing contained herein is intended to be used as medical advice. Versine, Caper x Pi, Inc., and Dr. Emily Yin do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.