Skincare Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy
Despite so many modern advancements in medicine and childbirth, more research and data still need to be conducted on humans to fully understand the effects of certain skincare ingredients on fetal development. There have been anecdotal and animal-based studies in the past that have shown negative fetal reactions to certain skincare ingredients.
Though the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requires all cosmetic products to be deemed “safe” based on specific labeling, most products don’t require FDA approval to actually be sold on the market. As a result, this can make it difficult to fully understand which products are truly “safe” and which should be avoided during pregnancy.
Despite their name and reputation, not all “essential” and “natural” oils are beneficial to use during pregnancy. Some ingredients cause adverse reactions and can be harmful to both the mother and child. Unwanted contractions are able to be triggered if using products containing jasmine and clary sage as active ingredients. If utilizing products with rosemary as a primary ingredient, it can sometimes cause your blood pressure to rise.
If you want to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils while pregnant, most natural products tend to be more diluted, which is overall safer.
Hydroquinone is a prescription product primarily used to brighten the skin and reduce pigmentation. Sometimes, pigmentation or skin discoloration can occur during pregnancy from conditions such as melasma or chloasma. Since the body is able to absorb a significant amount of hydroquinone compared to other skincare ingredients, there has yet to be a direct link that hydroquinone causes birth defects.
Able to be easily absorbed in the skin, parabens are a common preservative found in several cosmetics. Prenatal exposure to these hormone disruptors has been shown to contribute to side effects such as low birth weight, obesity, and in severe instances, miscarriage.
When it comes to pregnancy, retinoids are a huge “no-no” and are probably the most important ingredient to take away from this list. Birth irregularities have been linked to the use of retinoids during pregnancy, especially those containing high doses. These include premature delivery, birth defects, and even miscarriage.
Prescription medications such as tretinoin and isotretinoin contain higher levels of retinoids, while over-the-counter medications like retinol have lower levels of the ingredient.
A common ingredient found in many skincare products, salicylic acid is mostly utilized to treat acne and provide anti-inflammatory remedies. Lower doses of salicylic acid tend to be safer, whereas higher doses during pregnancy should be avoided.
You’re not going to want to limit your sunscreen application during pregnancy, but you are going to want to halt the use of chemical-based sunscreens until your delivery date. Oxybenzone and its derivatives are commonly used YV filters in these sunscreen products. This compound has the potential to disrupt hormones and cause permanent damage to both the mother and child.
Not only are these filters not recommended for pregnancy, but they are also known to be harmful to the environment and food chains. They have also been linked to Hirschsprung disease, which is a birth irregularity that affects the large intestines.