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View All Posts - Safe Skincare for Pregnancy: What to use and what not to use

Pregnancy is something that brings joy and smiles to the whole family and it’s an amazing time for moms-to-be. Growing a new human is a beautiful thing, but it also means making some drastic changes to your lifestyle to create the healthiest environment for both you and your baby. Giving up certain foods, limiting high-intensity workouts, and eliminating toxins are just a few things new moms have to consider. Alongside what you put in your body, what you put on your body is just as important because there are ingredients in products that can be harmful to your baby. To help you get started, take a look at some of these skincare products you should avoid and what you can use instead to have a safe and healthy pregnancy! 

What to Avoid

  • Retinoids 

You’ve probably seen this vitamin A derivative in a wide variety of skincare products. Known for their anti-aging and acne-fighting properties, retinoids have become a popular ingredient for the face and body in the beauty industry. You can easily find products with this active ingredient at any beauty store, but higher amounts of retinoids must be obtained through a prescription. Although over-the-counter products have lower levels of retinoids compared to prescription medications, it’s advised to avoid all retinoids during pregnancy because studies show that it can affect embryo growth and lead to birth defects.

What to Use Instead

If you find that your favorite products contain retinoids, try the Kashmere Firming Lotion to promote skin elasticity and minimize stretch marks. This quick-absorbing cream is formulated with an impressive combination of shea butter, caffeine, and Butcher’s Broom extract to help tighten and nourish the skin without any parabens or sulfates. Studies suggest caffeine is safe to have during pregnancy, so you can still enjoy a cup of coffee and use this firming lotion with confidence! Most health officials advise no more than 200mg of caffeine per day, but we recommend speaking with your doctor for details.

  • Salicylic Acids 

The next ingredient that should be avoided in body products is another acne-fighting favorite: salicylic acid. With their anti-inflammatory properties, salicylic acids are commonly used to treat acne and acne-prone skin as well as dry, rough textured skin. However, high levels of these ingredients, like peels or medications, should be avoided during pregnancy to prevent any potential risks to a developing baby. 

What to Use Instead 

For another way to incorporate anti-inflammatory properties into your beauty regimen, check out the Luxurious Toning Oil to soothe and hydrate your body. Made with a blend of rich botanical oils, this silky toning oil deeply nourishes the skin and locks in moisture to help minimize the appearance of stretch marks, leaving your skin soft and smooth. Both wheat germ and tamanu oil boost collagen production and promote the regeneration of skin cells to help combat scarring. Use after applying body lotion to retain maximum moisture for best results. 

  • Formaldehydes 

Formaldehyde is a chemical that can be found in beauty and disinfectant products as a preservative and its carcinogenic properties can increase the risk of miscarriage and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although formaldehyde is not used as commonly as before, there are still similar chemicals found in cosmetics that are potentially dangerous and used in items like nail polishes, eyelash glue, and hair straightening treatments. The following are a few other chemicals to watch out for…

  • Formalin
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Quaternium-15
  • DMDM (dimethyl-dimethyl)
  • Hydantoin
  • Hydroxymethylglycinate
  • Bronopol

What to Use Instead

It may be best to stay away from manicures and lash extensions while you’re pregnant to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and preservatives. Instead, opt for more natural nails and create an at-home spa experience by investing in a basic mani/pedi set with a nail cutter, cuticle pusher, cuticle cutter, nail file, and nail buffer. Buffing your nails can help them give a natural shine that looks like you put on a clear topcoat without any actual polish!

  • Chemical Sunscreens

Sun protection is always one of the top tips dermatologists give when asked how to age gracefully. Too much UV exposure can harm not only your skin but your cells and DNA as well. That’s why wearing sunscreen and having sun protection is so important to protect against wrinkles, damage, and disease. 

However, the type of sunscreen you choose matters, especially when you’re pregnant. Oxybenzone, although effective for skin protection, has been shown through animal studies to disrupt the endocrine system and could interfere with hormone functions. The effects of oxybenzone on humans needs further research, but it is best to avoid using sunscreens with this ingredient when you’re expecting.

What to Use Instead

You may be asking, “How am I going to protect my skin against UV rays?” Use a mineral sunscreen instead! Rather than being absorbed into the skin and to combat UV rays like chemical sunscreens, mineral sunscreens act as a barrier on top of the skin to reflect and deflect the harmful rays. In addition to sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing are great to include for sun protection.

What to Look for in Products

We’ve only highlighted a handful of commonly used ingredients in beauty products that can be harmful, so this is not a comprehensive list of all the chemicals to avoid. As a general rule of thumb, look for gentle products free of additives including parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Of course, you should always consult your doctor or physician for any questions or concerns you have about any products! 

https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/complications/health-and-safety-issues/12-cosmetic-ingredients-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pregnancy-safe-skin-care#ingredients-to-avoid

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/things-not-to-do-while-pregnant

https://academic.oup.com/jes/article/2/8/903/4999716

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246404#foods-to-avoid

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro/formaldehyde.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-chemicals-in-your-sunscreen/2019/06/14/3840042c-8ca3-11e9-adf3-f70f78c156e8_story.html

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/07/sun-skin

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