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10 Best Face Washes for Pregnancy Acne & Breakouts

10 Best Face Washes for Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your hormones aren’t the same as they used to be. The change in your body chemistry makes your skin more sensitive.

That’s why most pregnant women experience pregnancy acne, stretch marks, and dark spots. Many of them have to be more meticulous with their skincare products to prevent further irritation.

Gentle formulas are highly recommended for pregnant women. These are the 10 best face washes for pregnancy that we think are good options.

Best for Pregnancy Acne
Maternal Anti-Blemish Face Wash
Our Pick
Belli Anti-Blemish Acne Facial Wash
Best for Dry Skin
La Roche-Posay Gentle Cleanser
Table of Contents

10 Best Face Washes for Pregnancy

Belli Anti-Blemish Acne Facial Wash

Our Pick

The Belli brand is known for selling pregnancy-safe skincare products. That’s why this facial wash is the best face wash for pregnancy that we recommend since it’s designed for hormonal, acne-prone skin.

It’s even a recipient of the Women’s Choice Award since 9 out of 10 women prefer it over other face washes.

The mild formula contains plant-derived ingredients. Lemon Peel Oil is one of the key components. It has antibacterial and lightening properties that give you a brighter complexion.

Green Tea Extract and Cucumber are also added for a boost of antioxidants and nourishment.

Any dead skin you have will be exfoliated by this face wash as well. It contains Lactic Acid which is a gentle exfoliant that unclogs pores and smoothens your skin.

No artificial fragrances or dyes are added to this facial cleanser, and it’s paraben-free too. It’s tested to be safe for all skin types, but especially for pregnant women’s skin. It’s also dermatologist-tested and OB/GYN-approved.


  • Gently exfoliates dead skin for a smoother complexion
  • Naturally-derived ingredients
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Nourishing formula
  • OB/GYN-recommended


  • Still has a mild scent due to the plant extracts
  • Can’t completely remove makeup on its own

Maternal Anti-Blemish Face Wash

Best for Pregnancy Acne

The name of this acne face wash will already tell you that it’s meant to be used by pregnant women. What makes it extra special is that it’s formulated to treat pregnancy acne.

As mentioned, a change in hormone levels is what causes acne in pregnancy. The tricky part is that you can’t use some common acne remedies since they can be too harsh. Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid are examples of anti-acne ingredients you should stay away from when you’re pregnant.

It’s a good thing that this face wash is formulated with acne-fighting ingredients that are also pregnancy-safe.

The key ingredient is Lactic Acid, a known mild exfoliant. It decongests clogged pores to reveal a clearer and brighter face. It’s also what prevents acne from forming.

Other ingredients like Green Tea, Cucumber, and Lemon Peel Oil extracts are also included in the formula. They work together to strengthen, nourish, and soothe sensitive skin during pregnancy.

Many users say that this product works great on their face even when they’re no longer pregnant. With acne, this face wash is highly effective. Even those with easily irritated skin enjoy using this.

This skincare product is certified paraben-free, phthalate-free, and fragrance-free. It has no artificial dyes or preservatives.


  • Has a mild exfoliant to prevent and treat acne
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • No harmful ingredients
  • Naturally-derived formula


  • Has a slight scent despite being fragrance-free 
  • The bottle lid and seal tend to loosen during shipping

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Best for Dry Skin

Apart from acne, pregnant women also commonly experience dryness in their skin. It’s another repercussion of the change in hormones during pregnancy.

This gentle facial cleanser by La Roche-Posay is the best face wash for pregnancy and dry skin. It has a hydrating formula that retains the skin’s moisture levels.

The ingredients are both gentle and non-comedogenic, so don’t worry about clogged pores. They create an effective cleansing formula that’s pregnancy-safe and gentle enough for regular use.

The star ingredient is La Roche-Posay Probiotic Thermal Water which is great at soothing and moisturizing the skin. This face wash even has antioxidant properties!

Ceramide-3 , Glycerin, and Niacinamide also work together to provide hydrating properties. You can be sure that your skin retains moisture for much longer when you use this face wash.

The formula is oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free. It’s also dermatologist-tested to be safe on sensitive skin so it’s good for pregnant women.


  • Highly moisturizing ingredients
  • Gentle and nourishing formula
  • No harsh ingredients
  • Safe for sensitive skin


  • Can’t completely get rid of makeup on its own
  • Some users find the consistency to be too watery

This acne-fighting face wash by Mederma is the best choice if you want mild exfoliation. In fact, it’s also recommended as an alternative to shaving cream. This is since shaving cream formulas tend to be too harsh and drying on the skin during pregnancy.

The star ingredient is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) which encourages skin renewal for a smoother texture. Compared to Salicylic Acid, it’s pregnancy-safe. It’s also great because it’s pH-balanced so it exfoliates without drying out the skin.

Free from fragrance, perfume, and soap, this face wash is dermatologist-approved and safe for sensitive skin. It’s also safe to use not just throughout pregnancy, but even long after.

In fact, since the formula is mild, you can use it on your bikini line and underarms as well. It lessens the chances of getting razor bumps and ingrown hairs when shaving, too.

With daily use of this face wash, you’ll notice clearer and smoother skin on your face.


  • pH-balanced exfoliating formula
  • No harsh ingredients
  • Safe for daily use on sensitive skin
  • Can be used as a shaving cream on intimate areas
  • Contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) to smooth skin


  • Product tends to leak during shipping

The most common skin issue among women is acne. With pregnancy, it doesn’t get easier to solve at all. Luckily, this facial cleanser by Body Boost is one of the best options that work great for preventing acne.

Ingredients like Lemon, Orange, and Lavender extracts soothe irritation on acne-prone skin types. They’re natural astringents that can clarify and even out your complexion.

Lactic Acid is also present as a gentle exfoliant for the face. It smooths out patchy texture and decongests the pores for smoother skin. Unlike Benzoyl Peroxide, a common anti-acne ingredient, it’s safe to use when you are pregnant.

Finally, Cucumber and Green Tea extracts in the product formula have calming properties. They lessen redness and stinging caused by any allergies.

What we really love about this face wash is that it has a Citrus Mint scent. It makes you feel both refreshed and invigorated as you apply the face wash.

This hydrating facial cleanser is mineral oil-free, paraben-free, and phthalate-free. It’s clinically tested to be hypoallergenic and safe on sensitive skin. In fact, it’s gentle enough to be effective on pubescent and menopausal skin as well.


  • Soothing and naturally-derived ingredients
  • Gentle exfoliating formula to smoothen skin texture
  • Safe for all skin types
  • No harsh chemicals


  • Has a mild scent
  • Some users observed that the nozzle breaks easily when twisted too much

True to its name, this face wash really is first aid for your acne-prone skin. When you’re pregnant, you have to be careful to choose mild skincare products, so it’s great that this product exists.

It boasts of an antioxidant blend that strengthens and nourishes the skin. Licorice Root, Feverfew, and White Tea extracts all work together to protect your skin from external damage.

Other ingredients include Aloe Vera and Allantoin. These are well-known for their soothing properties on irritated skin. They’re able to eliminate redness and dry patches caused by the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy.

Finally, a natural moisturizer called Glycerin is also in the formula. It’s a great ingredient that will keep your skin hydrated and soft throughout the day. It also makes skin texture look smoother and silkier.

We highly recommend this face wash since it’s oil-free and fragrance-free. The formula is pH-balanced so it won’t disrupt the moisture levels of your skin. It’s also paraben-free, phthalate-free, AND alcohol-free!


  • Soothing ingredients are perfect for irritated skin
  • Hydrating and smoothing formula
  • No harsh chemicals added
  • pH-balanced


  • Can’t remove eye makeup
  • Users still observe a mild scent despite it being fragrance-free

Anything that’s safe enough to use on sensitive skin is also safe enough to use when pregnant. Mild ingredients are always your best picks for face washes.

This gentle skin cleanser by Derma E is pH-balanced and formulated for daily use on sensitive skin. It doesn’t make you overly oily or overly dry. It keeps the balance on your skin so that you get a healthier complexion.

Aside from cleaning out impurities, this facial cleanser also has a combination of antioxidants that nourish your skin. Green Tea and Pycnogenol work with each other to strengthen the skin’s upper barrier. They protect your face from pollution and UV damage.

A blend of plant extracts also provides your skin with much needed soothing. Lemongrass and Chamomile calm down irritation. They’re even effective on skin with rosacea and dry patches.

This facial cleanser is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and mineral oil-free. It’s also cruelty-free, gluten-free, and lanolin-free.


  • Has antioxidant properties to strengthen the skin
  • Nourishing, plant-derived ingredients
  • Soothing formula is perfect for easily irritated skin
  • No harsh chemicals added


  • Can’t completely wash away all your face makeup
  • The pump dispenser tends to break during shipping

If you follow us, you might already know that we’re big fans of the Cerave brand. We’ve included their products in a few of our previous round-up articles since their formulas are not only effective, but affordable as well.

This face wash is no exception. The best part is that it’s safe enough to use all throughout your pregnancy since the formula is mild.

The star ingredients are a blend of Ceramides and the brand’s patented MVE Technology. The former strengthens your skin’s upper barrier to protect it from damage. The latter is a concoction of highly moisturizing ingredients that ensure optimum hydration for your skin.

As your face gets cleaner with every wash, it also stays properly moisturized because of the Hyaluronic Acid content. And since this face wash was developed by dermatologists, you can rest assured that it’s safe on any skin type, but especially for dry skin.

This hydrating facial cleanser is also certified to be non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic. It also has no parabens and is approved by the National Eczema Association.


  • Highly moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid
  • Nourishing MVE Technology formula
  • Safe for daily use on sensitive skin
  • No harsh chemicals


  • Some users find the consistency to be too thick
  • Not suitable for oily skin

Pregnancy changes many things about your skin’s natural chemistry. That’s why you should get an effective face wash. This face wash by Mama Mio is a great choice.

Just from the brand name, you can see that it’s made for pregnant women. This face wash is formulated with mild but effective ingredients that can treat various skin issues that come with pregnancy.

A combination of Tea Tree Oil and Green Tea Leaf extract cleanses the skin without drying it out. The former has antiseptic properties that can treat acne. Meanwhile, the latter provides the skin with antioxidants that protect it from free radicals and environmental damage.

A special concoction of coconut-based cleansers nourishes the skin while clearing it from impurities. They contain vitamins and omega components that make your face softer and more elastic.

You can rest easy knowing that none of the ingredients in this facial wash is harmful for you throughout your pregnancy.


  • Natural antiseptic and antioxidant properties
  • Nourishing ingredients improve skin texture
  • No harsh chemicals are included in the formula


  • Some users say that the pump breaks easily
  • Has a mild fragrance

Completing our list of best face washes is this facial cleanser by Andalou Naturals. Though it’s mainly formulated for skin dryness, it’s great for treating skin issues brought about by pregnancy as well.

To cleanse the skin, it uses probiotics. Apricot and Borage oils mixed with resveratrol COQ10 wash away impurities without causing irritation. They also provide antioxidants that can delay the signs of aging.

Other ingredients in the formula include Goji Berry and Aloe Vera. They work together to improve skin texture by moisturizing the skin. You’ll enjoy a healthier and brighter complexion with this facial wash.

Finally, the components of this facial cleanser are 70% organic and naturally-derived. They’re GMO-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free as well.


  • Naturally-derived ingredients
  • Nourishing and antioxidant properties
  • Moisturizing components can smooth out uneven texture


  • Can’t completely wash away face makeup
  • Not ideal for oily skin

What Ingredients Are Best for Acne During Pregnancy?

What Ingredients Are Best for Acne During Pregnancy-

When you’re pregnant, you suddenly get bombarded with so many dos and don’ts. Though there might be more don’ts, there still are some things that you can continue to enjoy.

Most doctors and dermatologists will still allow you to apply over-the-counter anti-acne products. An example is hydrocortisone cream. You can also still get skin care products that contain triamcinolone, fluocinolone, alclometasone, and desonide.

Below are other anti-acne substances that are in most acne face washes you can still apply on your face throughout your pregnancy.

Glycolic Acid

This mild exfoliant is gentle enough for those who are pregnant. It sloughs off dead skin cells to renew your complexion. Glycolic acid is also very popular for effectively dealing with clogged pores because of dirt and excess oil.

You can check out our review of the top glycolic acid products for some examples!

Lactic Acid

This is another mild exfoliant that’s still allowed for you. You might have even noticed that most of the face wash products listed above contain this substance. It’s because it’s great at clarifying the face to prevent acne and other issues.

Citric Acid

You might be more used to seeing this substance alongside citrus fruit names. Since it’s commonly extracted from oranges, lemons, and grapefruits, it’s a great source of Vitamin C. You don’t have to stop using this precisely because it’s naturally-derived anyway.

Ingredients That Are Best to Avoid in Facial Cleansers for Pregnancy Acne

Here comes the part that you have to pay close attention to. Since you’re more sensitive during pregnancy, there are substances in facial cleanser products that you have to stay away from.

Since they’re stronger and more concentrated, you should stop using these substances as soon as possible if you’re currently pregnant.

Salicylic Acid

Though this is probably the most popular anti-acne treatment, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe enough for all skin types. When it comes to dealing with acne During pregnancy, Salicylic Acid can cause irritation, even more so when in a face wash.

Also, since it’s quite potent, it could bring about negative effects on your fetus.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Another popular acne remedy that you should stop using is Benzoyl Peroxide. Like Salicylic Acid, it’s quite harsh for your skin cells. And since peroxide is a type of bleach, there is no way to be sure that your baby won’t be affected by this chemical.


Though this is a widely used lightening agent, you can’t use it for acne during pregnancy. For now, lightening those pesky dark spots will have to wait. Hydroquinone is far too strong to be applied throughout your pregnancy.

This substance can also affect the development of the fetus so be sure to toss any skin care product you have that contains it.


We can all admit that we’re after a youthful complexion and pregnancy doesn’t get rid of that desire. However, think twice about using Retinoids for acne during pregnancy.

This component, though effective, is very potent. And while there have been studies that it can’t directly affect your baby, it’s still best to avoid it to be safe.

What Are the Causes of Acne During Pregnancy?

The causes of your acne during pregnancy traces back to your increased hormone levels, especially during the 3rd trimester.

With higher hormone levels, your body can produce excess oil, which can lead to clogged pores, dirt-buildup, and finally, acne.

Thankfully, your hormone levels will return back to normal after you give birth. So in the meantime, you can settle for using a pregnancy-safe face wash to deal with those pesky breakouts.



Pregnancy is a very exciting time in every mom’s life. And while you’re counting down the months, weeks, and days until your baby arrives, make sure to take care of yourself well.

A healthy lifestyle for you and your baby is not just about diet and physical fitness. You should be careful about the products you apply to your body as well.

Mild face wash formulas are always best!

Hopefully, you were able to choose a gentle face wash from our recommendations above that will suit your routine. A good cleanser is hopefully one less thing for you to worry about by now.

One thing that we can assure you from this point on is that you’ll be fine. We can’t wait for you to meet your baby!

We wish you luck on your journey to becoming the best mom you can be!

Final tip: Since your body will eventually grow and change during pregnancy, sleep positions might become an issue later on. Check out our Guide on the Best Pregnancy Pillows for Stomach Sleepers if you need good options.


August 2, 2021 – updated article images

July 31, 2021 – Updated article content, optimized content

July 19, 2021 – Updated internal links, updated external links, removed author box

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.