Congratulations on your pregnancy! You must have been given a list of dos and don’ts by your healthcare provider along with prenatal vitamins. When you get pregnant, not only do you need to take care of what you eat and drink but also the beauty products you used and their possible harm to your baby.
Why do you need to be careful?
Any products applied on the skin has a potential to be absorbed and enter into your bloodstream. It can then cross over your placenta and reach your baby. So taking adequate precaution and stopping using certain products that have ingredients that can harm your baby is advisable.
What are the products that can harm your baby?
The following skin care ingredients must be avoided during pregnancy to keep you and your baby safe:
Retinoids: Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives. Research has proved that there exists a link between use of retinoids and birth defects in babies including congenital heart defects. Retinoids interfere with your growing baby’s cellular development. They can also lead to liver toxicity in the fetus.
Found in: Retinoids are usually present in acne removal medication, night creams, and anti aging serums and creams. Retinoids are often listed on product labels as retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, and isotretinoin.
They are antibiotics and must be avoided during pregnancy. Studies suggest that they can cause liver damage
Found in: Medication for acne and Lyme disease. If you need to take antibiotics, your gynecologist will prescribe safer alternatives containing milder doses such as amoxicillin and erythromycin.
Recent studies have shown the adverse effects of phthalates on your growing baby. It can cause a host of problems such as high blood pressure, ADHD, and even diabetes. Prenatal exposure to phthalates can even lead to abnormal development of the fetus. You can find beauty products listed as phthalate free. Also instead of using hairspray, apply mousse or gel. Often perfumes mention phthalates as fragrances. It will be advisable to not use them during pregnancy.
Found in: Additives to plastics and chemicals like perfumes, hair sprays, and nail polish. Phthalates are listed in ingredients as BBP, DBP, DEP, DMP, or diethyl, dibutyl, or benzyl butyl phthalate.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can hamper your baby’s normal growth and development. It has also been linked to miscarriages.
Found in: Personal care products such as hair straightening serums, nail polish, and fake eyelashes. Formaldehyde is listed on product labels as quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin,imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol).
If you inhale fumes of your hair treatment containing ammonia, it may induce nausea. As a general means of precaution use ammonia free hair color and try to get highlights or color just the tip of your hair so that the chemicals in hair coloring don’t come in contact with your scalp. Most obstetricians suggest not coloring your hair during the first trimester when the baby is developing essential organs and major body systems.
Found in: Most hair colors and dyes have ammonia or ammonia derivatives.
Usually, nail polishes contain toluene in combination with phthalates and formaldehyde. This deadly trio needs to be avoided during pregnancy for your baby’s safety.
Found in: Most nail polishes contain toluene. It is also referred to as methyl benzene, toluole, or anti salt 1a.
The EU has a 5% limit on thioglycolic acid. Although there is no direct evidence to show that thioglycolic acid is harmful but there is no evidence that shows it is safe either. So it may be best to steer clear from chemical hair removal creams and gels till the baby is born.
Found in: Hair removal creams contain thioglycolic acid. It can also be listed as acetyl mercaptan, mercapto acetate, mercaptoacetic acid, and thiocyanic acid.
DHA can be inhaled during application and cause serious problems in the developing baby. It can be mutagenic and can damage the baby’s DNA.
Found in: Spray self-tanners usually contain dihydroxyacetone.
Salicylic acid can cause birth defects and may even lead to stillbirth and stunted development.
Found in: Acne removal creams and exfoliating scrubs usually contain salicylic acid. It is also the main ingredient of aspirin.
So it is time for you to revamp your beauty routine too, to welcome the new arrival.