Are you pregnant or trying to conceive? Check out this Vogue Singapore article by Alli Sim about safe skincare substitutes when expecting or trying. Our very own Dr. Sylvia is one of the doctors featured in the post, sharing substitutes for hydroquinone, Botox, and a few other skincare ingredients.

Dr. Sylvia shed light on the following things:

Hydroquinone/Vitamin C 

This skin care ingredient, which is used to lighten spots and pigmentation, is not safe during pregnancy. Products containing vitamin C (topical vitamin C serums) are a good alternative, as they can help prevent oxidative damage and brighten the skin. 


While this is a safe and effective anti-wrinkle treatment, Dr. Sylvia said Botox is unsafe for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding. She then suggested pausing your injectable treatments during this period. Dermapen microneedling is a safer alternative that can minimize the appearance of fine lines and improve skin texture and quality. There is some mild redness after the treatment and minimal downtime of 2 to 3 days, but no chemicals are injected into the skin.

Salicylic acid/Lactic Acid

Higher concentrations of salicylic acid are not safe during pregnancy. So, if you’re looking to reduce acne during this time, Dr. Sylvia suggested switching to products with lactic acid. This type of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), which is commonly found in exfoliating products, poses no threat during pregnancy. 

The use of retinoid

This vitamin A derivative should not be used when pregnant and breastfeeding. Azelaic acid is a good substitute, as it is antibacterial and can reduce redness and pigmentation. If you, however, are trying to conceive, Dr. Sylvia recommends “using retinoids conservatively and only when you’re on your period”. 

All excerpts/quotations were taken from “Safe skincare swaps to make when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive” by Alli Sim. This story was originally published in Vogue Singapore