Are ALL Beautycounter products REALLY pregnancy-safe? I wanted to know when I was trying to conceive and pregnant, and I know that YOU want to know.
Actually, when I was struggling with infertility and trying to conceive my first child, I started eliminating toxins left and right. I got to the point where I was just rinsing with water and using coconut oil as a moisturizer! Let me tell you- my skin didn’t like that, haha :-). I finally started researching like crazy and discovering products that were safe for trying to conceive and for pregnancy. Today, I’m saving you the trouble I went through by sharing the long list of Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products.
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My Pregnancy-Safe Clean Beauty Journey
When I began my non-toxic journey, I started with haircare, then sunscreen, then moved to skincare and makeup. Here’s the great news- there are SO many options for cleaner, safer beauty products out there! Hurray!!! Here is the bad news- many of the truly clean beauty products don’t work so well. Also, some “clean” beauty brands aren’t clean at all. And if you’re head isn’t spinning already, SOME clean beauty brands have ingredients in them that make them NOT pregnancy-safe.
For a while, it felt like I was spending $60 on random beauty items every time I went to Whole Foods or my local organic shop- and I still wasn’t finding products that worked. Plus I was spending tons of time reading the ingredients.
Pic of me from when we were trying to conceive :-).
In the meantime, I got pregnant (hurrah! Read about that here!), and then started a blog about fertility and non-toxic living. Suddenly, I realized that I needed to organize my research into blog posts so I could help other women who were just like me- struggling to avoid phthalates, parabens, and other toxins, and find beauty products that WORK.
Enter- Beautycounter. Whenever I researched clean beauty brands and products, Beautycounter would come up. I had used some of the products myself and loved them, but was Beautycounter clean and pregnancy-safe enough to recommend on my blog? I had to do my due diligence and research.
I have to interrupt this story for a spoiler alert- I totally signed up as a Beautycounter Brand Advocate because I fell in love with the products and wanted to share them with all of you on this blog. All Beautycounter products are safe for TTC, pregnancy, and breastfeeding (they legitimately develop them on purpose to be safe). This is my favorite product. BUT, I know you have questions, so . . . . .
Is Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe?
Yes, all of Beautycounter’s products are screened against 23 health and environmental endpoints and are created to have zero reproductive impact, and all products are created pregnancy-safe. I’ll get into a deep dive into each ingredient you might have questions about below.
From the Beautycounter Website:
At Beautycounter, we craft all of our products with safety in mind, especially for those who might be extra vulnerable – like pregnant women and babies. We carefully screen and assess each of our ingredients for 23 distinct, safety endpoints, including reproductive toxicity. That said, as pregnancy affects everyone differently, check with your doctor before beginning the use of any products if pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant.Source
Reasons Why Beautycounter is Pregnancy-Safe
- Triple testing for heavy metals, like lead, which is very dangerous in pregnancy (and all the time)
- No traces of PFAS in rigorous consumer-protection testing (Source)
- No use of retinol, Retin-A, or Retinyl Palmitate which are linked to birth defects
- No use of hydroquinone
- All sunscreens are non-nano mineral based, no checmical sunscreens used
- No use of phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde or other common toxins that have reproductive concern
- All salicylic acid is under 2% concentration, which is ACOG approved for pregnancy-safe
- No use of aluminum in the deodorant
- All preservatives have zero reproductive concerned and are EWG verified and MADE SAFE approved
- All essential oils used are pregnancy-safe, or used in pregnancy safe concentrations. This is NOT true for all clean beauty brands.
Is Beautycounter Safe When Trying to Conceive?
Yes, Beautycounter specifically formulates ALL of their products to have zero reproductive impact and be safe for pregnancy and trying to conceive. There’s a GIANT list of ALL of Beautycounter’s products, because they are all pregnancy-safe. You can feel good about every product, from eye cream to body butter.
Is Beautycounter safe when breastfeeding?
Yes, all Beautycounter products are safe for fertility, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. They specifically formulate all products to be safe during breastfeeding.
Is Beautycounter Clean?
Yes, 100% Beautycounter is a safe, clean brand, and all products are clean.
Is Beautycounter the CLEANEST Beauty Brand?
No, Beautycounter is NOT the cleanest beauty brand. The cleanest beauty option is coconut oil and water, with no makeup. Any time you add any product you add the possibility of allergic reaction, contamination, and of course, toxic ingredients from conventional companies. Beautycounter is a leader in the clean beauty industry, carefully selecting ingredients and formulating for high-performance.
Because of their diligence in testing colored cosmetics for heavy metals, and the way they avoid any PFAS contamination, I only know of two brands that are cleaner, Crunchi and Pure Haven. They are cleaner because of their choice of preservatives, and the fact that they don’t use synthetic colorants (which leads to a much more limited selection of lip, cheek, and eye colors). However, neither Crunchi nor Pure Haven formulate their products to be pregnancy-safe so there is the chance there may be essential oils or other safe ingredients, that are not safe for pregnancy included in their formulations.
For performance reasons, I usually prefer to use Beautycounter’s products personally, but there are several Crunchi and Pure Haven products that I like. There are plenty of additional clean beauty brands that are high performance, but they don’t triple-screen for heavy metals, and may be testing positive for traces of PFAS. Read my full review of finding clean skincare and clean makeup here! Read my review of Pure Haven here.
Beautycounter’s Ingredient Selection & Screening Process
Beautycounter has an entire Never List with over 2,800 chemicals that they vow to NEVER use in their products. They extensively screen and test all of their ingredients for contaminants like phthalates or heavy metals, and check against 23 health and environmental endpoints. Check out the Beautycounter Blueprint for Clean (TM) below to learn more about Beautycounter’s high standards in their mission to change the industry.
In addition to the endless list of Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products, I really love what they stand for. They’re a certified B-Corporation that prioritizes the planet and people, even paying staff to lobby in Washington D.C. for greater regulation of their industry. They responsibly source raw materials, and they’re the first beauty brand to conduct in-person audits of all mica suppliers to require transparency and legal mining (aka no child labor).
They’re also committed to sustainability in their packaging and environmental footprint. By 2025, 100% of their packaging will be recycled, recyclable, refillable, reused, or compostable. I also love that Beautycounter embraces women of all colors and sizes. They’re dedicated to working towards Equity in Safer Beauty for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and have held congressional briefings in the past few years regarding the topic.
All of that to say, I’m a huge fan of what Beautycounter stands for. I appreciate a company that puts their money where their mouth is, and Beautycounter does just that. The ethics, sustainability, and safety of their products are unparalleled. Pregnancy skincare, makeup, and personal care can be stressful when trying to figure out what’s okay and what isn’t. There are so many Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products to choose from and feel good about. BUT, I know you have questions- because you email them to me regularly :-). So here we go . . .
Is Salicylic Acid Safe in Pregnancy?
Salicylic acid has been approved for fertility and pregnancy by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) (for topical use only) in pregnancy in products with under 2% concentration. There is no evidence of salicylic acid penetrating the skin and entering the bloodstream, however, doctors still advise staying away from concentrations over 15%. Every Beautycounter product that uses salycilic acid, has less than a 2% concentration, to ensure you are safe and meeting the ACOG safety standards. Even the Beautycounter Countercontrol Collection (which is specifically formulated to combat acne) uses 2% or less of a concentration of salicylic acid. So regardless of which skincare products adhere to your needs, you’re in the clear with Beautycounter!
Are the Preservatives Used by Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe?
With all of the scary preservatives on the market, you may see a preservative listed on a label and feel the urge to run. I’m here to let you know that preservatives are not ALL bad. In fact, they’re really important for water-based products! (Skipping preservatives in oil-based products is okay, but then you have to watch out for rancidity to be safe.) With water-based products, skipping preservatives is threatening to your health. The potential growth of bacteria is completely unsafe, especially for immunocompromised people and babies.
Even safe skincare products typically use some kind of preservative such as sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate, and many have phenoxyethanol. I appreciate the purpose of preservatives and the prevention of bacterial growth, and I think that (safe) preservatives are totally okay as long as the levels are controlled. I look for products that keep the preservative levels as low as possible. I also NEVER choose products that include anything ending in -paraben, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and any formaldehyde-releasers (i.e. quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, or bromopol). These are unsafe preservatives that compromise your fertility. (Thankfully, Beautycounter does not use these ingredients!)
Is Phenoxyethanol Safe in Pregnancy?
Phenoxyethanol is on my list of safe preservatives – it’s used in place of dangerous parabens. There are no known hormonal effects, and the ingredient is used in Europe where they’re much stricter about what companies are allowed to use. Even though it’s considered safe, some of the clean beauty brands who use it (including Beautycounter) are actively transitioning over to other preservatives, such as sodium benzoate.
Phenoxyethanol isn’t safe when used in nipple cream for breastfeeding babies, and it’s not safe for people who are allergic to the ingredient. Phenoxyethanol can be highly allergenic, which is the main reason some brands have eliminated it. There are some concerns that production workers making phenoxyethanol are potentially exposed to a carcinogen that results from the product. Personally, I use several products that contain phenoxyethanol and appreciate its preservative qualities. If you prefer to use products without phenoxyethanol, I suggest you check out the brand Crunchi.
Both the MADE SAFE label and EWG verified allow phenoxyethanol as a safe, broad-spectrum preservative. For a more detailed dive into Phenoxyethanol’s safety please visit Lindsey Dahl’s site.
Is Bakuchiol Safe During Pregnancy?
Bakuchiol is a pregnancy-safe alternative to retinol to combat fine lines and wrinkles, which is primarily used in Beautycounter’s Countertime Collection. (These are some of the best Beautycounter skincare products in my opinion- they’re SO hydrating.) Bakuchiol is considered safe by Europeans (who have much more stringent ingredient regulations when it comes to chemicals). The European Chemicals Agency doesn’t identify any reproductive toxicity, birth defects, or potential hazards on the Bakuchiol chemical information sheet. This information, paired with the fact that Beautycounter carefully screens each ingredient that they use for 23 safety endpoints (including reproductive toxicity) makes this ingredient safe for use during pregnancy in my opinion. If you come across sites that say “but Bakuchiol isn’t tested for safety in pregnancy!” you have to remember that neither is coconut oil. But because we have testing that shows now reproductive toxicity, birth defects, or potential hazards from Bakuchiol (or coconut oil!) we are okay.
What about Glycolic Acid, Malic Acid, and Gluconolactone?
These are all ingredients I wanted to address because I get asked about them often. Long story short, nobody said that they were unsafe until a different blogger (who shall not be named) brought up these ingredients- without any evidence. (This same blogger says that parabens and phthalates are okay… Sigh.)
My mission is to bring you scientific, data-backed information to protect your fertility and hormone health. When it comes to ingredients and reproductive toxicity, I always make every possible effort to play it safe based on the research presented to me. There is no evidence provided to indicate that these ingredients are actually unsafe- so I’m going to stick to the science here. These ingredients are completely fine according to doctors, the EWG, the European Union, etc., but always conduct your own research when deciding what you are and are not okay with using.
Is Glycolic Acid Safe During Pregnancy?
Glycolic acid is a common ingredient in skincare products that target acne. There is no research to indicate that glycolic acid is unsafe to use during pregnancy. NIH claims that using glycolic acid during pregnancy is not unsafe, because the amount that could potentially be absorbed systemically is so minimal that it’s not of concern for pregnant women. The fact is, this is a great, high-performance acid to use safely in pregnancy.
Is Malic Acid Safe During Pregnancy?
Malic acid is used in skincare products to improve skin texture. The NIH malic acid compound summary does not list any cause for concern in terms of using malic acid during pregnancy. There’s no reproductive toxicity indicated, and no reason to believe that malic acid may cause birth defects, pregnancy complications, or compromise fertility. The fact is, this is a great, high-performance acid to use safely in pregnancy.
Is Gluconolactone Safe During Pregnancy?
Gluconolactone can be found in personal care products to hydrate and improve skin texture and tone. There’s no reason to believe that gluconolactone is unsafe during pregnancy. The NIH gluconolactone compound summary states that there is no evidence of reproductive toxicity or any general health hazards. Based on scientific data, I am totally fine with the presence of gluconolactone for pregnancy or trying to conceive.
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Products
Here is a master list of all Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products. Spoiler alert: all Beautycounter products are pregnancy-safe! They have so many categories of personal care products to choose from. That’s one of the reasons why I love Beautycounter so much- they take the guesswork out of choosing safe products so you just have a whole ton of options to choose what you like. Gone are the days of compromising quality for safety- with Beautycounter, there’s none of that. Everything works SO WELL. Here is my list of over 50 Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products. Cheers to non-toxic, high-quality living!
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Skincare
There are three main Beautycounter pregnancy-safe skincare lines: Countercontrol, Countermatch, and Countertime. These collections all include cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers designed to combat specific skin concerns. These products can also all be bought separately, so if you have a specific skin concern but only want a cleanser or moisturizer, you can pick the products from the collection that you’re looking for to add to your skincare routine.
- All Bright C Serum – Full of shelf-stable vitamin C and perfect for brightening skin and evening skin tone.
- All Bright Brightening Facial Oil – Brightens, smooths, and hydrates skin.
- All Bright Triple Acid AHA Toner – Exfoliating toner using AHA’s that helps to reduce the appearance of pores while brightening skin.
- All Bright Dark Spot Minimizer – Perfect for targeting and reducing the appearance of dark spots.
- Countercontrol Collection – This collection is made for oily and blemish or acne-prone skin.
- Countermatch Collection– These products are for normal-to-dry skin types.
- Countertime Collection– These ultra-hydrating products use safe retinol alternatives for aging skin. The Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum is a favorite in the Beautycounter community!
- Counterstart Cocoboost Moisturizer – Perfect for sensitive skin!
- Counterstart Cococream Cleanser – Think of this as the safe Cetaphil alternative. It’s perfect if you need a simple routine.
- Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm – This works as a makeup remover, cleanser, and overnight hydration mask!
- Counter+ Charcoal Facial Mask – Use this to detox your face AND your armpits when you switch to a clean deodorant.
- Counter+ Charcoal Cleansing Bar – Use on your face, makeup brushes, armpits, or anywhere on your body that gets stinky or needs a little extra love.
- Mighty Plump Ceramide Water Cream – One of my favorite products ever! Instant filler! Read my full review here!
- Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask – Facial in jar. Your skin will feel SO smooth after using this!
- Reflect Effect Bamboobuff Exfoliating Polish – Add to ANY cleanser to make it into an exfoliating cleanser.
- Reflect Effect Overnight Resurfacing Peel – Gentle overnight exfoliant that will keep your skin feeling soft and free of blemishes.
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Makeup
- Flawless In Five – This is a great starting point if you’re building your non-toxic regimen. It includes the Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation or Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer, Skin Twin Creamy Concealer, Brilliant Brow Gel, Think Big All-In-One Mascara, Cheeky Clean Cream Blush, and Beyond Gloss.
- Glow First Priming Serum – Makeup Primer and Hydrating primer in one! Apply under makeup for a smooth finish.
- Skin Twin Creamy Concealer – Visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with this formula that is easy to apply and blends seamlessly into skin.
- Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer – Tinted moisturizer that provides sheer coverage and dewy finish while protecting your skin with SPF 20, this moisturizer doubles as skincare to help brighten and even skin tone.
- Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation – Called Skin Twin for its ability to effortlessly blend into skin and lightweight feel, this Foundation also includes skincare basics that help to hydrate and plump skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Cheeky Clean Cream Blush – Refillable and doubles as a lip color, this Blush is easy to use and hydrates your skin without looking oily.
- Cheeky Clean Highlighting Balm – Refillable and made with responsibly sourced mica, this highlighter is easy to apply and gives you a shimmer without looking like a disco ball. Bonus: it doubles as an eye shadow!
- Mattifying Powder – The first makeup product I ever bought from Beautycounter! This mattifying powder absorbs oil without a residue, sets makeup, and can even double as a dry shampoo in a pinch!
- Think Big All-In-One Mascara – The wand for this mascara is the BEST! Each batch is tested against 23 safety endpoints so you know it is safe.
- Lid Glow Cream Shadow – This eye shadow uses responsibly sourced mica and is easy to apply using the wand or your finger for buildable color that includes lid loving ingredients like chamomile and cucumber.
- Brilliant Brow Gel – EWG verified, each batch of brow gel is screened and assessed against 23 safety endpoints so you can rest assured it is safe!
- Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick – This lipstick goes on smoothly with a satin finish and uses responsibly sourced vanilla.
- Clean Swipe Hyaluronic Lip Balm – Hyaluronic acid keeps lips hydrated and looking plump.
- Statement Maker Satin Lipstick – Long wear lipstick that doubles as a lip liner and you can be sure it doesn’t have any heavy metals in it, this lip stick goes on smoothly with a matte finish thanks to the Shea and Mango Butter.
- Beyond Gloss – Glossy without feeling sticky and uses responsibly sourced organic vanilla while also providing skincare benefits to take care of the delicate skin on your lips.
- Instant Eye Makeup Remover – a safe and easy way to remove makeup at the end of the day.
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen
- Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – Mineral Sunscreen lotion without a white cast!
- Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 – Mineral Spray Sunscreen that is powered by air – aerosol free!
- Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 – Use to apply on your face, ears, and neck!
- Countersun Daily Sheer Defense for Face SPF 25 – Lightweight and feels more like a moisturizer than an actual sunscreen. This product also includes vitamin E to keep your skin hydrated.
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Shampoo and Conditioner
- Daily Shampoo in Bright Grapefruit – as with all clean shampoo, a little bit goes a long way! Comes in an aluminum bottle that is completely recyclable.
- Daily Conditioner in Bright Grapefruit – Lightly scented and comes in an aluminum bottle that is completely recyclable!
Beautycounter Pregnancy-Safe Lotion and Cleansers
- Sugarbuff Body Polish in Lemongrass – Luxurious sugar scrub to gently exfoliate and leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated.
- Counter+ Charcoal Cleansing Bar – Great for washing your face, armpits, and makeup brushes!
- Reflect Effect Overnight Resurfacing Body Peel – Gentle overnight exfoliant that hydrates was it exfoliates using AHA’s. Use this all over your body where you might have dry or blemish prone skin.
- Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa – Made with coconut – derived fatty acids that will keep your skin clean without drying it out! Comes in an aluminum bottle that is fully recyclable.
- Softening Hand Wash in Neroli – Hand wash using responsibly sourced palm and comes in a beautiful glass bottle that is fully recyclable. Buy the refill pouch to reduce your plastic waste.
- Softening Hand Lotion in Neroli – Lotion that quickly absorbs into your skin leaving your hydrated and smelling good! This comes in a beautiful glass bottle that is fully recyclable.
- Hydrating Body Lotion in Bright Grapefruit – Aluminum bottle that is fully recyclable; keep the plastic pump when you buy the refill to reduce landfill waste.
- Melting Body Balm – Comes out as a cream, but smooths into your skin as more of an oil, this body lotion smells like a vacation and helps relieve dry skin.
- Balm For All – Multipurpose balm (think safe Aquaphor alternative)
- Luminous Hydration Body Oil in Citrus Rosemary – This body oil smells amazing, is super luxurious, and can help prevent bug bites when worn.
So, is Beautycounter pregnancy-safe? Yes, all Beautycounter products are formulated specifically to be pregnancy-safe. Now that you have the full rundown of all of the Beautycounter pregnancy-safe products, I hope you give them a try!
If you’re considering joining Beautycounter as a brand advocate, read my post all about being a Beautycounter consultant!
Want to read another blog post on products that are safe for TTC & Pregnancy?
Anna Rapp is a fertility journalist and non-toxic living expert. When Anna Rapp was struggling with infertility and recurrent early miscarriage, she was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve, High FSH, low AMH, low follicle count, endometriosis, and an MTHFR mutation. Despite being told donor eggs were her only solution, Anna used her graduate training in research methods and analysis to read everything she could find on fertility and egg health. Ultimately, she lowered her FSH and got pregnant naturally (twice). She blogs about how she did it and encourages her readers to take charge of their fertility journey and get happy, healthy, and pregnant!