As a mother of three formula-free kiddos (one of whom we're still weaning as of this writing) I can say one thing for certain: if you're breastfeeding, you deserve some quality self-care. Believe it or not, Wild Ice actually started out as a soap company; we sold the soap I designed for my myself and my first little one back when she was a newborn infant.
Through my own experience and from speaking to other moms, I have learned this: If an indulgent skincare routine is one of your favorite ways to unwind after a day of caring for Baby then you’re far from being alone. And if you're at least a teensy bit worried about what's in the products that make up that routine then I and countless other moms are right there with you.
It is never a waste of time to be deliberate about which products you’re using.
Some skincare ingredients can actually be transferred from you to your baby through your breastmilk, after you’ve put them on your skin. Others may be transferred through skin to skin contact.
So naturally, you don’t want to be using anything that could harm your sweet little one. And really, if these ingredients are harmful for your baby, do you want to be using them on yourself in the first place? I didn’t think so.
Keep reading for my list of breastfeeding skincare no-no’s, and a guide to safe skincare during breastfeeding. All of the products we recommend are safe, gentle and nourishing for your skin, even long after your little one has stopped nursing. (However, it’s still a good idea to check with your doctor before trying anything new.)
Skincare Ingredients to Avoid While Nursing
If any of these ingredients are in your skincare lineup, put them away until after you’re done breastfeeding.
Retinol and Retinoids
Retinols and retinoids are typically used for improving skin tone and reducing the visible signs of aging. These products are derivatives of vitamin A, and studies have shown that when vitamin A is ingested orally, it can be damaging to a developing fetus.
Less research has been done on whether vitamin A products like retinols and retinoids applied topically can hurt a nursing baby, but most practitioners recommend against using them to be cautious.
Hydroquinone is typically used to reduce hyperpigmentation of the skin. There hasn’t been enough research on hydroquinone and breastfeeding to determine whether it’s safe for a nursing mother to use. However, this ingredient is banned in many countries for its carcinogenic properties. In our opinion, that’s enough reason to avoid this ingredient altogether, not just when you’re nursing!
Clindamycin is an antibiotic that’s applied topically to the skin. It’s typically used on severe cases of acne. Experts recommend against using it during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Vitamin C is an excellent and safe product to use in its place. (More on that in a bit!)
Hemp and Cannabis
There’s been an influx of hemp and cannabis skincare recently; and for good reason! It has some awesome, anti-inflammatory properties. However, because these products are rather new, there hasn’t been much research on how they can affect nursing mothers. Therefore, it’s good to put a pause on these just in case.
You may get a different answer about this product based on who you ask, but many experts consider salicylic acid to be generally safe to use while you’re breastfeeding. However, if you put it on an area your baby comes into contact with, like your chest, it can pose a threat to the baby. So we suggest avoiding it out of caution.
Skincare Ingredients to Use While Nursing
Skincare while nursing can be tough to figure out. So in general, it’s best to go with the most natural ingredients you can find. Here are a few good ones:
We have two words for all of the breastfeeding mamas out there: Vitamin C. This holy grail product is safe for pregnancy and can temporarily (or permanently!) replace many of the unsafe products listed above.
Vitamin C is excellent at reducing hyperpigmentation in place of dangerous ingredients like hydroquinone. It also combats hormonal acne, which you may be all too familiar with after your pregnancy.
We’ve formulated our Cryo-C vitamin C serum with a form of lipid-soluble vitamin C that’s higher quality than most of the C-serums on the market, so you see actual results. Our well over 100 five-star customer reviews are a testament to the glow you get from daily use. (But feel free to tell everyone it’s your new-mom glow; we can keep a secret!)
Breastfeeding can dehydrate you and your skin, so in addition to drinking lots of water, it’s important to use skincare products that lock in moisture. Squalene is an ideal choice for that, and it’s totally safe to use around Baby.
We recommend ending your day by giving yourself a well-deserved massage with our squalene-rich Berry Boreal Body Oil . We’ve lovingly packed this serum with anti-inflammatory calendula to soothe tired skin.
White Willow Bark
If you’re not comfortable using salicylic acid to treat your acne, white willow bark is an excellent, gentler alternative. (More on that here .)
This plant extract is the star of the show in our Three Seed and White Willow Mask, which we’ve dubbed the Yuki-Onna Facial . This mask is a spa day for when you can’t actually make it to the spa. Full of refining acids and polishing seeds, you can get that good glow while nursing your little one to sleep.
Safe Self Care for New Mamas
If ever there were a time to indulge in yourself and your skincare, the tumultuous early days of motherhood are it. We’re proud to have formulated a line of products devoid of the toxic ingredients that would make breastfeeding unsafe for your little one.
We also keep all of our products cold until the moment they ship to you, meaning we don’t use toxic preservatives either. We want only the best for your baby and for you. You can get started caring for yourself today with our 4 step facial set , which saves you over 20 percent on your purchase.