Last Updated on April 25, 2023 by Jada Glover
As a mom with two kids, I know how important it is to choose body washes that are safe and gentle for your developing baby. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know which ones are truly pregnancy-safe.
In this post, I share my top picks for the best pregnancy safe body washes that are all natural, including options for moms dealing with acne.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something (at no additional cost to you). Read my full disclosure here. I only recommend products I use and love and recommend to my clients.
What Makes a Body Wash Safe For Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time when many women become more mindful about what they put in and on their bodies. When it comes to body wash, it’s important to choose products that are safe and gentle for both you and your baby.
A safe body wash for pregnancy should be free of harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, triclosan, alcohol, and sulfates, as well as artificial fragrances and dyes. Some of these additives have been linked to developmental issues, hormonal imbalances, and other health concerns.
Chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA) are known endocrine disruptors that may interfere with your body’s hormonal balance. This could lead to developmental issues in your baby.
Parabens are preservatives commonly used in body washes that have been linked to breast cancer and other health issues. Sulfates are harsh detergents that can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated.
Fragrances, which are often listed as “perfume” on labels, can contain hundreds of different chemicals, including potential allergens and irritants. They can also trigger nausea and headaches during pregnancy. Any time I use a product with artificial fragrance, I get a headache.
To avoid these potential risks when using these chemicals and additives, it’s best to choose truly natural body washes that do not contain these. Your body wash should contain ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. It should not be too harsh or drying to your skin.
I also prefer brands that do not do animal testing and the natural body washes I recommend later in this post do not do testing on animals.
Which Body Wash Brands Are Pregnancy Safe?
When looking for an all-natural pregnancy safe body wash, it’s important to choose a product that is free from harsh chemicals. Companies are great at marketing their products.
In fact, they have millions to spend on marketing. So, we need to pull back the curtain on some of these to see if they’re truly good for our skin, our bodies, and our babies.
Let’s start by diving in to some of the more common brands on the market. Then, I will review my top natural body wash picks that are the safest to use during pregnancy.
Dove Body Wash is marketed to be gentle on the skin and is formulated with mild cleansing agents and moisturizing ingredients like glycerin. It’s also free from parabens and sulfates, which are chemicals that moms should avoid during pregnancy.
Some varieties of Dove Body Wash may contain artificial fragrance or other ingredients that could irritate sensitive skin or make acne worse.
Aveeno Body Wash says it is formulated with gentle, moisturizing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, which can help to soothe dry, itchy, or sensitive skin. It’s free from parabens, so that’s a plus.
However, it still contains ingredients I wouldn’t want to expose my body to every day, and definitely not while pregnant. Aveeno has a wide range of body wash products, and some varieties may contain artificial fragrance or other ingredients that could irritate sensitive skin.
Native Body Wash is a natural body wash that can be used by pregnant moms. It’s formulated with plant-based ingredients and is free from harsh chemicals, sulfates, and parabens, dyes and phthalates.
This one is a better alternative to Olay, Dove, and Aveeno based on the ingredients. I actually use this brand of natural deodorant and really like it.
Native Body Wash is also free from synthetic fragrances and instead uses essential oils to provide a natural scent. It’s also cruelty-free and vegan-friendly, making it a good option for those who prefer to use natural, ethically sourced products.
Olay is a popular skincare brand that offers a variety of body washes. While some of their products may contain natural ingredients, Olay body washes are not considered to be all-natural products. Olay body washes contain artificial fragrances or other ingredients that could irritate your skin and disrupt your hormones when used long-term.
Method is a popular brand that offers a variety of natural and environmentally-friendly body washes that can be used by pregnant moms. These body washes are formulated with plant-based ingredients and are free from parabens, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals.
Method body washes are also cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and eco-friendly, making them a great choice for moms who want an eco-friendly body wash. They are also free from synthetic fragrances and instead use natural essential oils.
Overall, Method body washes are a good natural option for pregnant moms if you want to use environmentally-friendly and non-toxic products, but there are even better options available (keep reading!).
The Best Pregnancy Safe Body Washes
When you’re a pregnant mom, you’re not only thinking about your own health, but also your baby’s health. It’s important you choose products that are safe for both you and your baby, since so much of what you put in and on your body passes through to your growing little one.
The great thing about this list is that all of these body washes are breastfeeding-safe too. In addition to making sure a brand is transparent with their ingredients, here are some specific ingredients you want to avoid when you’re buying a natural, pregnancy safe body wash:
- Synthetic/Artificial Fragrance
- Allergens (soy, corn, dairy, tree nuts, gluten, peanuts, sesame, fish)
- Potassium sorbate
- Sodium benzoate
Product labels and ingredients change often, so use this post as a guide. But also remember to do your own research. Below are some great options for the best pregnancy safe body washes that offer a good lathering to help you feel clean without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Earthley Wellness Bar Soap
Most body washes are liquid and that’s what we’ve discussed in this post so far. The only way to get a liquid cleanser is to use castile soap or to use detergents.
But, these can strip your skin of healthy oils and leave your face feeling dried out. This is what happened to me over and over again until I started using Earthley products. My face was left feeling dried out even when I used some of the natural bar soaps, which were made with castile soap I later discovered.
I love Earthley’s brand of wellness products in general – from body, skin, and hair care products to baby care and nutritional/wellness support . They are a family-owned company in the U.S. and they are very, very transparent in sharing what they use in their products. Nothing is hidden.
They also list whether a product is safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding which is typically VERY hard to find on other brands. The Earthley 3-in-1 bar, is an all natural facial/body cleanser that has jojoba and pumpkin seed oils to help gently cleanse skin without removing beneficial oils.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you can use the Earthley charcoal bar (read more below about that option).
If you like natural fragrance (no artificial smells here), try the Earthley Blueberry-Vanilla bar soap. It can be used as a body wash as well since it lathers up nicely. It smells yummy, gently exfoliates, and nourishes your skin.
Earth Mama Simply Body Wash
Earth Mama Simply Body Wash is specifically designed for mamas and is made with natural ingredients like ginger and lime essential oils. It’s free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and sulfates.
It is fragrance-free with organic calendula + rooibos for sensitive skin. I love rooibos- it has so many amazing health benefits. The Earth Mama brand is another one of my favorites because of their brand transparency.
Puracy Natural Body Wash
Puracy body wash is formulated with natural ingredients like coconut oil, pink Himalayan sea salt, and vegetable glycerin. It’s free from harsh chemicals and is suitable for all skin types.
It does contain a preservative, so be aware. Even if it’s a biodegradable one, sometimes it can affect our bodies and hormones.
Shea Moisture Hydrating Body Wash
Shea Moisture Body Wash is made with natural ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, and aloe vera. It’s gentle on the skin and can help to soothe dry skin. It is safe for everyday use as well.
The particular Shea body wash shown above contains Frankincense and Myrrh oils that are blended with Argan oil, Jojoba oil, and Rosehip oil to nurture and nourish the skin.
Alaffia EveryDay Shea Body Wash
Alaffia EveryDay Shea Body Wash is made with all-natural ingredients like shea butter, African black soap, and coconut oil. It’s free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, and sulfates and can help to balance oily skin. It is sulfate-free and made with neem extract, fair-trade unrefined “raw” shea butter, and virgin coconut oil.
The Best Pregnancy Safe Body Wash For Acne
Before I dive into the best pregnancy safe body wash for acne. I wanted to share a short testimonial about my acne struggle and what actually worked for me after dealing with it on and off for 20 or so years.
I was on Accutane acne medicine three times as a teen and young adult (very harsh pharmaceutical drug, and not something I would do again, knowing what I know now). After having my son, I decided to experiment with removing dairy from my diet temporarily.
I did so for 3-4 weeks and noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin. It cleared up nearly all my blemishes, pimples, etc! Between going gluten free and dairy free, this has dramatically reduced my breakouts.
So my message to you is this: dig a little deeper if you’re suffering with acne or any other skin issue (even eczema). Sometimes, these skin conditions are our body’s way of telling us that something is happening on the inside that it isn’t tolerating well.
Maybe it’s something you’re putting in your body like a type of food you’re eating, or maybe it’s something you’re putting on your body. In my case, the primary offender was cow’s milk/dairy products.
Sometimes we need a little extra help because of hormones during pregnancy, or you may have oily skin causing the acne. So, my top pick for pregnancy-safe body wash for acne prone skin is the Earthley Charcoal facial bar.
It never strips away your skin’s natural oils and is specifically designed for oily/acne prone skin. You can enjoy gently and effectively cleansing your face with natural ingredients without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
It’s nourishing, with mango butter and coconut milk, but it’s also deeply cleansing, with activated charcoal. This combination removes oils quickly and easily, leaving your skin totally clean. And of course, it is pregnancy safe for external use.
Is Pregnancy Safe Body Wash Necessary?
While it’s not absolutely necessary to use a body wash specifically marketed as “pregnancy-safe,” many moms choose to do so as a way to minimize their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients during this important time.
The above pregnancy-safe body washes are formulated with ingredients that are gentle and non-irritating to the skin. They are also free from harmful chemicals that may have adverse effects on your developing baby.
It’s important to note that not all body washes marketed as “pregnancy-safe” are created equal. It’s still essential to read the ingredients list and do your research to ensure that the product is truly safe for you and your baby.
If you need more help preparing for your baby’s arrival, be sure you check out the Milkology breastfeeding course. It is my top choice for learning about breastfeeding before your baby arrives.
Although breastfeeding is natural, it does not come easily to most moms (trust me, I know firsthand). Sign up for the Milkology Online Breastfeeding Course, which has been trusted by thousands of moms just like you. Be empowered and prepared to breastfeed successfully when your baby arrives. Click here to learn more.
Are Body Washes With Exfoliating or Scrubbing Ingredients Pregnancy Safe?
Exfoliating or scrubbing body washes can be safe to use during pregnancy, but it depends on the type and amount of exfoliating or scrubbing ingredients in the product. Real food ingredients like sugar, oatmeal, and natural scrubs made from seeds or nuts are generally safe for pregnant women.
However, some body washes contain synthetic microbeads or harsh chemical exfoliants that should be avoided during pregnancy. These ingredients can be too abrasive for the skin and may be absorbed by the body, potentially harming your developing baby.
Also, keep in mind that some of these ingredients may strip away your natural oils. This is why I love and recommend the Earthley soaps discussed above. If you’re looking for a gently exfoliating soap, try the Earthley Blueberry Vanilla soap!
If you are expecting, selecting a pregnancy safe body wash is a good idea for both your health and your baby’s.
As an expectant mama, you may be searching for ways to keep yourself and your growing baby healthy and safe. You’re doing the right thing!
What you put on your body is equally as important as what you put in your body. I hope you use the recommendations in this post to find the right pregnancy safe body wash for you and your little one. Remember to avoid the ones that contain harmful ingredients that could affect you and your baby.