Why Can't You Use Retinol While Pregnant?

Why Can't You Use Retinol While Pregnant?

Pregnancy brings a myriad of do's and don'ts, particularly in skincare. Renowned ingredients like retinol become off-limits during this sensitive period. Despite its myriad benefits, retinol and its derivatives are not recommended for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to potential risks.

Understanding the Risks of Retinol During Pregnancy

Retinol, a form of Vitamin A, is essential but can be harmful in high doses during pregnancy. The World Health Organization highlights the risk of excessive Vitamin A intake, including congenital malformations and spontaneous abortion, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. Therefore, medical professionals advise against using retinoids during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The Efficacy of Retinol in Skincare

Retinol's effectiveness in enhancing skin quality is undisputed. Dermatologists acknowledge its benefits in treating skin issues but caution against its use during pregnancy due to the potential impact on a developing fetus. As a systemic ingredient, retinol can enter the bloodstream, posing risks during pregnancy.

The Challenge of Finding Pregnancy-Safe Skincare

Navigating skincare during pregnancy can be challenging due to limited research on the safety of various ingredients. Amy Peterson, a Miami-based aesthetician, emphasizes the importance of consulting with an OBGYN before using any skincare product during pregnancy.

Alternatives to Retinol During Pregnancy

For those seeking retinol alternatives during pregnancy, products like SabbSkin's "Aging Backwards" cream can be considered post-pregnancy. This cream contains encapsulated retinol and is designed for gentle, effective skin renewal. It's essential to consult a healthcare provider before introducing any new skincare product, especially post-pregnancy.


While retinol is a staple in anti-aging skincare, its use during pregnancy is not recommended. Post-pregnancy products like SabbSkin's "Aging Backwards" offer a potent yet gentle alternative for rejuvenating skin and addressing aging concerns.