Breastfeeding,  Motherhood

Can You Use Retinol While Breastfeeding

Retinol While Breastfeeding

Retinol is an ingredient in many skincare products, but many new moms wonder: can you use retinol while breastfeeding? Skincare products with retinol should be avoided during pregnancy, but there is still debate about their use while breastfeeding.

This article will explain what retinol is, how it’s used, and everything you need to know about retinol use while breastfeeding.

What is Retinol?

What is Retinol
What is Retinol?

Retinol is a family of ingredients used in skincare products. This ingredient is derived from vitamin A and is used in many acne and anti-aging treatments.

Retinol is not exactly the same as retinoids, which are more potent and available with a prescription only. Although retinoids are more potent, retinol still provides extensive benefits to the skin.

When a person uses retinol, the small molecules in retinol go deep beneath the outer layers of skin (epidermis) and to the dermis. Once inside, the molecules help neutralize free radicals. It also stimulates and helps the production of elastin and collagen.

All of this provides a plumping effect that reduces the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and enlarged pores. Retinol can also be used to reduce acne and improve the texture and tone of your skin.

Retinol Uses

Retinol has a variety of skincare applications:

  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
  • Reduces the appearance of sunspots
  • Reduces the appearance of enlarged pores
  • Improves texture and tone of skin (by exfoliating dead skin cells)
  • Treats acne
  • Helps balance skin hydration

Retinol Benefits

Retinol has several key benefits. It can improve the health and appearance of your skin, especially the skin on your face and neck. Because retinol molecules are able to get deep into your skin, the chemical can help stimulate the production of elastin and collagen. This gives your skin a younger and firmer appearance.

Retinol can also be used to treat acne and dry skin. Because it helps with skin health, it is an active ingredient in many face creams.

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Retinol and Breastfeeding

Although retinol does amazing things for your skin, it is not without risk. Women who use retinol during pregnancy increase the likelihood of birth defects and miscarriage. Because of this, many women are advised against using products with retinol during pregnancy.

The question remains: can you use retinol while breastfeeding? Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research to definitively say whether retinol is safe during breastfeeding. Although many sources claim it isn’t absorbed in quantities high enough to impact breastmilk, many moms err on the side of caution and forego retinol while breastfeeding.

Can I Use Retinol While Breastfeeding?

Can You Use Retinol While Breastfeeding
Can You Use Retinol While Breastfeeding?

There haven’t been any studies to determine whether retinol is dangerous while breastfeeding. Although retinol concentrations in skincare products are typically low enough to be used safely, prescription retinoids pose a greater risk while breastfeeding.

If you’re still wondering whether you can use retinol while breastfeeding, you should consult your doctor or dermatologist. They are qualified to advise you on what products to avoid while breastfeeding.

Is Retinol Safe While Breastfeeding?

There isn’t enough evidence to determine whether or not it’s safe to use retinol while breastfeeding. Although retinol is known the cause problems during pregnancy, the low concentrations are unlikely to cause major problems for your breastmilk.

However, there isn’t evidence to suggest retinol is safe, either. You may want to find alternative skin treatment options while you’re breastfeeding.

It’s also important to note that you should not use retinol cream on areas of your body where your baby may touch or lick shortly after application. Retinol is not safe for your baby to ingest, even in small quantities.

If you’re unsure about the skincare products you’re using, consult your doctor or dermatologist to find out what’s safe to use while breastfeeding.

Topical Retinol While Breastfeeding

Not enough retinol is absorbed by topical treatments to cause major concern when breastfeeding. Low enough concentrations are absorbed, meaning the retinol is unlikely to impact the quality of your breastmilk.

However, many moms are setting aside topical retinol while breastfeeding. Although there isn’t research to suggest it’s harmful, there also isn’t definitive research saying it’s safe. If you need more information about topical retinol while breastfeeding, consult your doctor.

Why Avoid Retinol While Breastfeeding – Risk of Retinol While Breastfeeding

Retinol can cause serious birth defects and even a miscarriage when used during pregnancy. However, there isn’t as much research about its effects during breastfeeding.

Retinol has some side effects: dry and irritated skin, redness, itchiness, peeling skin, and sun sensitivity. While none of these should impact breastfeeding, you probably don’t want to experience these side effects during such an exhausting period of your child’s life.

Because of the side effects during pregnancy and a lack of research into the effects of retinol on breastmilk, it may be better to avoid retinol products altogether. You should talk to your doctor about all skincare products before using them for the first time.

What About Retinol Cream While Breastfeeding?

Retinol cream often has a low enough concentration of retinol that poses no serious risk when absorbed. However, many medical professionals suggest foregoing the retinol cream while breastfeeding, just to be extra safe.

If you aren’t sure about the safety of your skincare products, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. They may be able to recommend products that are safe for your breastfeeding baby.

What if I Accidentally Used Retinol While Breastfeeding?

If you accidentally use retinol while breastfeeding, you may not need to worry. There aren’t any studies about the harmfulness of retinol during breastfeeding. Researchers believe little enough of the retinol is absorbed that it poses little danger to your baby.

However, regular retinol use may still carry some risks. In addition to talking to your doctor about all skincare products, you should make sure no retinol products are used on parts of your body where your baby may touch or lick. Even small amounts of ingested retinol may pose a risk to your baby.

Best Retinol Products

There are a lot of retinol products available on the market. If your doctor said that it is safe for you to use retinol while breastfeeding, the following are some of the best retinol products to treat a variety of skin care needs.

Medik8 Crystal Retinol 1 Serum


Medik8 is the industry leader for all retinol products. Their Crystal Retinol brand provides high-powered retinol that works up to eleven times faster than other retinol skincare products. Hyaluronic acid and vitamin E are added to prevent and reduce skin irritation.

The Crystal Retinol 1 is good for people new to retinol products. As your skin adjusts to retinol use, Medik8’s Crystal Retinol line offers creams with higher concentrations of retinol.

La Roche-Posay Retinol 0.3% Vitamin B3 Serum


This skin serum combines the power of retinol with the soothing effects of B3 to create a great skincare product. Although this serum is good for users new to retinol, it should be used once a week until the skin builds a toleration to the chemical.

Zelens Power A Retexturising and Renewing Serum


This serum uses time-release retinol and two different esters to create a powerful skincare aid. It absorbs quickly without irritation. The potency of this product is helpful for combating fine lines, pigmentation, and enlarged pores.

Beauty Pie Super Retinol Ceramide-Boost Anti-aging Face Serum


This serum uses 3% retinol in an encapsulated form that allows the serum to gradually release into deeper layers of skin overnight. Because this formula is gentle, you have reduced risk of redness or irritation. The low price of this high-quality product makes it a great option for women wanting the most value for their money.

Shani Darden Skin Care Retinol Reform


This light and milky lotion contain 2.2% encapsulated retinol, allowing slow absorption and long-lasting effects. The formula used for this product is ideal for rough-textured skin, post-breakout scars, and pigmentation.

Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol Booster


This serum can be easily incorporated into your existing skincare routine. The mixture of 1% retinol and antioxidants helps prevent the negative impacts of free radicals. It is quick and easy to apply, making it a great option for women who want a simple skincare routine.

Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel


These chemical peel pads provide your skin with fast results. This product is ideal for women who want to give their skincare routine a boost of power. You can use these peels up to twice a week. Over time, the positive effects will build to give you brighter and clearer skin.

Versed Skin Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum


This retinol serum is gentle, making it a great option for women with sensitive skin. The encapsulated retinol allows the product to work slowly overnight, reducing the risk of irritation. It can help improve skin texture without causing inflammation, redness, or irritation.

Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Night Cream


This product combines retinol with red-algae extract to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without causing irritation. The ingredients in this formula are gentle enough to use every night.


Although there aren’t any studies to suggest that retinol is dangerous while breastfeeding, there also aren’t any studies to ensure its. While small amounts of retinol may be used while breastfeeding, you should consider finding alternative skincare products to ensure the safety of your baby.


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