Everything You Need To Know About Pregnancy-Safe Skin Care Brand Versine

A dermatologist explains how and why azelaic acid is an effective skin care ingredient during pregnancy.

Major hormonal shifts, such as those that take place during pregnancy, can cause the skin to go a little haywire. Melasma, acne, discoloration and more can rear their ugly head, and it’s frustrating to try to find products that are safe for both your own skin and your gestating baby as some common prescription acne-fighting ingredients aren’t recommended. Luckily, products do exist that offer pregnancy-safe solutions for common skin issues, harnessing the power of active ingredients that are as gentle as they are effective. One of these products — azelaic acid — is the foundational ingredient of skincare brand Versine. The brand has two products in its lineup: a day serum and a night serum, the latter of which is enriched with healing, bacteria-fighting azelaic acid to help clear up acne, reduce discoloration and more.

Calm & Hydrate gentle actives clarity crème-serum with azelaic acid
Calm & Hydrate gentle actives clarity crème-serum with azelaic acid

Dr. Adeline Kikam, a board-certified dermatologist, explained that azelaic acid is a naturally derived carboxylic acid that comes from plants like wheat, rye and barley. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used to treat dermatological conditions. It helps unclogs pores, fights against acne-causing bacteria and rarely causes irritation. “If you are very sensitive to benzoyl peroxide, then this is a good alternative,” Kikam said. “I especially like it for skin of color because it also targets discoloration without bleaching the skin.”

Kikam recommends introducing azelaic acid into your routine if you have sensitive skin in general or conditions like rosacea, acne or post-acne dark marks. It’s a very versatile ingredient that can treat all of these concerns at any point in one’s life. According to Kikan, “it’s widely considered a safe ingredient in pregnancy and breastfeeding by the medical community,” and it can help with pregnancy-induced skin concerns like melasma, discoloration and acne.

Versine’s “Calm & Hydrate” azelaic acid serum is specially formulated for acne-prone skin before, during and after pregnancy. It’s a multi-tasking product that not only helps to calm breakouts but can also reduce the look of dark spots and melasma, all while leaving skin hydrated, dewy and brighter. Along with azelaic acid, it uses vitamin C, niacinamide, squalane, hyaluronic acid, kakadu plum extract and ceramides to create a soft, smooth formula that is as nourishing and soothing as it is effective.

Though I’m not pregnant, I have been keen to try it out on my sensitive and acne-prone skin. I’m always wary of serums that have pore-clogging potential, even when they’re touted as being non-comedogenic. (My skin always finds a way.) Right off the bat, the texture won me over. Calm & Hydrate has a smooth slip that feels hydrating but is quickly absorbed and dries down with a really clean texture — no stickiness here. It gave my skin a really nice, dewy glow without looking oily or greasy and was a great base for the rest of my skin care routine. I didn’t notice any pilling and found that I woke up with a clear and fresh complexion after only a few uses. I kept my use strictly to my night routine, but it’s gentle and light enough to use both day and night.

I was interested in trying out the brand’s full product line, so I alternated the aforementioned serum with Versine’s Illuminate crème-serum, a brightening cream-serum hybrid that was formulated to deeply hydrate the skin while helping to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Like the azelaic acid serum, it also features vitamin C, niacinamide, squalane, hyaluronic acid, ceramides and more. But the texture is very different.

Illuminate multi-tasking crème-serum
Illuminate multi-tasking crème-serum

I was much more skeptical of this iteration — certain there was no way it could keep my acne at bay — but I was pleasantly surprised. The texture itself is unique; it has a powdery dry-down, similar to that of pore-erasing primers. This initially made me nervous, as my skin does not respond well to primers. It has a slightly matte finish, especially in comparison to the azelaic acid serum, and made my skin feel silky smooth, soft and velvety. It was a surprisingly lovely base for my moisturizer and SPF and didn’t cause pilling. It is not as light as the other serum, so I was a bit more conscious of it, but once I got used to the texture it was a really nice complement to the rest of my routine. The Crème-Serum didn’t cause any congestion or breakouts, and felt nourishing and cozy, like a gentle hug for the skin.

This power duo is a great option for those with sensitive pregnancy skin or anyone who is looking to find gentle and effective options for skin concerns like melasma, acne and dryness. I would also recommend them to tweens and teens who are working through hormonal shifts that can cause myriad skin issues, as they are unlikely to exacerbate the situation by causing irritation and parents can rest easy that the ingredient list won’t cause any long-term issues.

Given the thoughtful formulation and the great care given to sourcing safe, effective ingredients, it makes sense that these two skin care items come at the relatively high price point of $80 each. However, you can always purchase the duo as a bundle and save $32 in the process. Snag this pair before holiday stress gets to your skin and try them out for yourself.

Before You Go

Artifact Uprising walnut photo calendar

Holiday Gifts Under $50 That Everyone Will Love


HuffPost Shopping’s Best Finds