Makeup Brands to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can feel like nine months of deprivation from the things you love – wine and soft cheese in my case. Here’s one change that doesn’t have to suck: cleaning up your makeup stash. While there are makeup brands to avoid during pregnancy, plenty of safe ones will keep you feeling beautiful. 

Pregnant women and the babies growing inside them can be more vulnerable to negative side effects of certain cosmetic ingredients. Because it’s hard to study how these potentially-dangerous ingredients impact the body during pregnancy, we are lacking a lot of information. But some studies suggest that chemicals like parabens or phthalates could be linked to premature birth, low birth weights, or birth defects, and  the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warns that prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents is linked to cancer and reproductive issues later in life.

Now is a good time to check how hazardous your personal care products might be.

If you’re pregnant, now is a good time to check how hazardous your personal care products might be. You can use the EWG Skindeep Database, or simply Google the “name of your product EWG” to easily find the result. If you want to be safe, stick to products that get a low-hazard rating of 1 or 2. Anything that gets a 9 or 10 has a high-hazard.

How Popular Brands Rank

To give you a sense of popular makeup brands you might want to avoid during pregnancy, I looked at how a few rank on EWG.

Some products from Glossier (like Super Glow) rank as safe, while others could be hazardous.

Glossier: Some products from Glossier get a 1 or 2 on EWG. They include the Super Glow face moisturizer, the Haloscope bronzer and highlighter, some shades of Cloud Paint blush, the Milk Jelly cleanser, the Stretch concealer, and the Super Bounce face moisturizer. Others rank as moderately hazardous, so it’s best to check the specific products you use from this brand.

Cover Girl: There are some lip and eye products from Cover Girl that are safe to use while you’re pregnant. Others don’t rank as well, so be sure to check each product you use in the database.

NYX Professional Makeup: Plenty of NYX Professional Makeup products get ratings of 1 or 2 from EWG, but others don’t. So you have to be mindful of which product you use and which you dump.

e.l.f.: Many e.l.f. products are affordable and get a good rating from EWG. Just double check each in the database.

Maybelline: This popular drugstore brand has plenty of makeup that gets a safe rating of 1 or 2. Again, you’ll want to check each individual product.

Benefit: While most of the formulations for Benefit in the EWG database are out of date, only one (the High Brow Glow brow liner) got a low hazard score. You could always check your specific Benefit products by entering the ingredients for each in EWG’s build your own report, but the track record suggests they probably won’t get a good score.

M.A.C.: The same goes for M.A.C.. There isn’t much info on EWG about how M.A.C. stacks up, but what is there doesn’t suggest the brand has many clean options.

Tarte: While some old products listed on EWG get scores of 1 or 2, the existing Tarte products ranked get mostly 3s, which means there is a moderate risk.

NARS: The archive of NARS products on EWG get moderate hazard scores, suggesting you should skip this brand while you’re pregnant.

Bobbi Brown: Bobbi Brown doesn’t get any low-hazard scores either, which means you should find some substitutes while you’re expecting… and after!

Related: The Best Pregnancy Safe Drugstore Makeup

Pregnancy Safe Brands to Try

While I was sad to give up some of my trusted products during pregnancy, it gave me an opportunity to find new safe brands to love and I haven’t turned back since. If you need to swap in new pregnancy-safe makeup, I suggest you start here:

RMS Beauty makes beautiful makeup you can safely use while pregnant.

RMS Beauty: With beautiful packaging and products that fill multiple needs, you can’t go wrong with RMS Beauty, available at Credo and on Amazon.

Tata Harper: Tata Harper was inspired to learn about safe personal care items after her stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. She created her own line of high-end skincare and makeup, available at Credo.

Mineral Fusion: The brand sells a ton of products directly on Amazon. Almost all are EWG Verified, meaning they go through a special approval process. You can also find Mineral Fusion products at your local Whole Foods.

Juice Beauty: Juice Beauty makes a range of beautiful and high-performing makeup basics, available on Credo and on Amazon.

Drugstore Brands: There are plenty of individual products from popular drugstore brands that are safe to use. Here’s my rundown of the best pregnancy-safe drugstore makeup.

For more ideas, check out my clean skincare routine!