I have a confession to make. I thought about makeup that is safe to use during pregnancy exactly zero times when I was pregnant. Though I took caution in what I ate and drank, I never once considered that what I was putting on my face might actually harm my baby or myself. Fast-forward a few years, and now I know so much more about the lack of regulation on the cosmetics industry in the U.S., and how important it is to make sure your makeup is safe, particularly during pregnancy.
It may surprise you to know that the United States is sorely behind much of the world when it comes to ensuring the safety of makeup and skincare products. It has been more than 80 years since Congress has updated a federal law regulating the cosmetics and personal care industry, as explained on the Environmental Working Group website. And if that wasn't enough to make your beautifully made-up face cringe, consider this: The European Union has banned the use of more than 1300 chemicals that are either known to cause health issues, or are suspected to be harmful, as outlined on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website. And the U.S.? Well, as noted on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) website, we've restricted or banned the use of 11. Yep, 11.
So, what's a pregnant woman (or anyone who wants to wear makeup really) to do? Well, as Dr. Kelly Bickle, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, tells Romper, it's all about knowing which ingredients are in your cosmetics and then being able to research any risks that may be associated with them. She says that while there isn't always research available on the safety of some ingredients when it comes to topical use, it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to questionable products such as anything with retinoids, parabens, formaldehyde, lead, and chemical sunscreens. And yes, those are all things that can commonly be found in cosmetics on our shelves.
Thankfully, there are many companies who are now stepping up to the makeup palette plate and creating safer alternatives (and being transparent about ingredients) that are sure to keep you looking gorgeous during pregnancy and beyond. One of my personal favorites is Beautycounter, which created "The Never List™" a list of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that are never used in their products. The Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" database is also an amazing tool for searching the safety of your makeup products.
Ready to do a beauty reboot? Well, the nine companies below all create makeup that is safe for pregnancy, and these products from their collections come recommended by celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno, who uses non-toxic and eco-friendly makeup on all her celebrity clients such as Felicity Jones, Amanda Seyfreid, and Natasha Lyonne.
1. No BS Eyeshadow Palette from PYT Beauty
Any product found on Credo Beauty's website is cruelty-free, as well as free of any ingredient on The Dirty List™️, so you can be sure these products are safe for pregnancy. This bestselling eyeshadow palette from PYT Beauty is a favorite of Denno's, and with eight gorgeous shades, including mattes and glamorous shimmer finishes, it's easy to see why.
2. Wild With Desire Lipstick from RMS Beauty
As stated on the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics website, "Lead in lipstick was presumed an urban legend until 2007." That year, they released the results from a report conducted by an independent lab that tested 33 popular brands for lead content. Turns out, 61 percent of the lipsticks they tested contained lead. Considering how much of our lipstick we end up ingesting during the day, if you're just going to switch to one product in your makeup bag, lipstick is a great place to start.
This stunning lipstick from RMS Beauty (shown here in their Russian Roulette shade) is not only an Allure Best of Beauty winner, it's also free of harmful chemicals, including parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, according to the company's ingredient list.
3. Liquid Eyeliner by Zuzu Luxe
Denno loves this liquid eyeliner from Zuzu Luxe (she's a big fan of the blue if you're feeling bold), and customers love it for how long-lasting it is, while also being easy to apply. Because of the high concentration of pigments, the company recommends giving it a gentle shake before applying.
4. Aura Multi Stick by Vapour Beauty
Cosmetics company Vapour Beauty appears often on Denno's Instagram, and I cannot wait to get my hands on this Aura Multi Stick that can be used on lips, cheeks, and lids. Trust me, once you have a baby, you're always multi-tasking, so to get a safe, well-performing product that can work all over your face is definitely a must-have. It comes in six different shades and is scented with pure, essential oils according to the product page.
5. Summer Solstice Palette by Aether Beauty
Summer may be coming to an end, but you can definitely wear these beautiful eyeshadow colors all year long. Denno describes newcomer Aether Beauty as "eco-friendly meets super clean ingredients meets amazing quality meets great color payoff meets fun." That's a whole lot of meeting!
The product description states these eyeshadows are formulated with organic coconut oil and organic shea butter to create "an uber smooth buttery texture." Um, yes please.
6. Fruit Pigmented® Full Coverage Water Foundation by 100% Pure
This Elite Magazine Best of Beauty winner from 100% PURE™ is designed to plump and hydrate your skin with aloe and green tea, according to the product description. Available in 19 different shades, you're sure to find your perfect match while also knowing your foundation doesn't contain harsh or toxic ingredients. The company also claims to be completely cruelty-free and all their products are naturally pigmented.
7. Blush and Highlighter Duo from Kosas Cosmetics
Clean beauty company Kosas Cosmetics prides itself on formulas that are always free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, and synthetic fragrance, according to their website. This cream blush and highlighter duo is "buildable, blendable, and brightening," as stated in the product description. It'll also help you keep that "pregnancy glow" going strong even when you're tired as you know what in that last trimester.
8. Lip Pencil by BITE Beauty
Denno uses this lip pencil in shade #100 for a berry lip tutorial on her YouTube page, but even if berry isn't your jam (see what I did there), you're sure to find a hue you love from the 50 different shades BITE Beauty has available. Pair it with one of their award-winning lip crayons or lipsticks and you'll have the perfect pout during pregnancy and beyond.
9. True Skin Serum Concealer by ILIA Beauty
Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your skin, so a safe concealer is a must-have for many mamas-to-be. This bestselling serum concealer from one of Denno's go-to clean beauty brands ILIA Beauty is lightweight with a "serum-like texture," according to the product description. It's also designed to protect your skin from "free radicals and environmental damage," while reducing the appearance of dark circles and discolorations. I don't know about you, but for me motherhood and dark circles go hand-in-hand (or eye-in-eye as the case may be), so I'm thinking this will be part of all my baby shower gift baskets from here on out!