Everyone knows the basics of what to avoid when they’re expecting. While there are plenty of things that are a given, some aren’t so obvious, which is especially true when it comes to our beauty routines.
We’ll all shop for pregnancy-approved meds and stretch mark lotions, and then mindlessly add a product in our cart that contains an unsafe ingredient for our unborn kids. Every mom should do their research and be wary of the toiletries they have at home, thinking twice before using a certain shampoo or putting on an acne spot treatment.
Here are a few ingredients to watch out for:
If you look at any of your anti aging creams, cleansers and serums, you’ll probably find retinoids, or any one of its variants outlined on Mother Nature Network, included in the label.
Retinoids are key ingredients for anti aging and acne products, as they help to boost collagen, reduce fine lines and unclog pores.
However, medical research shows that these chemicals can increase the chance of birth defects for unborn children.
Thus, doctors warn patients to stay away from such skin care products and medications during pregnancy, or remind them to not get pregnant if they have to take the meds.
Parabens are rather confusing. They are a group of chemicals that are found in some foods, like blueberries. They act as preservatives in toiletries, which isn’t necessarily good or bad for adults. For newborns and unborn babies, on the other hand, it’s a different story.
According to Natural News, some studies have indicated negative links with human growth and development. Parabens are hormone disruptors that can be easily absorbed through the skin and have the capacity to penetrate through the placenta.
A lot of the time, pregnant women will pay more attention to what they’re applying to their hair and skin, forgetting that products like nail polish also contain harmful ingredients. What you’ll often find in nail polishes is a carcinogen known as formaldehyde, which can take on different names, making it difficult for most to figure out if the product is safe to use.
Luckily, many beauty brands have discovered non-toxic, vegan and cruelty free formulas for nail polish, as Allure promoted Julep in one of their subscription boxes last year, shown in a video posted by The Scene. Other than nail polish, formaldehyde is also a common ingredient in eyelash glue and hair straightening treatments, so be on the lookout for this on labels, and ask your hairstylist for treatments that are safe for pregnant women.
4. Essential Oils
While essential oils are used in many natural beauty and aromatherapy treatments, they haven’t been marked as safe by health organizations, despite companies insisting that they are. There’s a question of how much a certain ingredient is diluted into these oils, and too much of anything, including rosemary, can be dangerous.
A prenatal specialist shares with Fit Pregnancy, “Essential oils could cause uterine contractions or adversely affect your baby in his early developmental stages.” Some oils are safe to use in your later trimesters, but it might be safer to take the proper precautions and avoid them all throughout the pregnancy.
5. Hair Dye
There’s an ongoing debate on whether hair dying is safe during pregnancy or not. The reason why some women don’t think twice about changing the color of their hair when they’re expecting is because your scalp will only absorb a small amount of the chemical.
An appointment every few months will keep the potential risk very small. What to Expect reminds us that the first 12 weeks are very critical for development, so err on the side of caution and wait at least until your second trimester to get your hair done. It’s also best to check in with your doctor beforehand.