You’re eating well, watching your weight, staying active, and following your doctor’s medical advice to ensure a healthy pregnancy and the birth of a beautiful baby. Good for you!
Now it’s time to follow your dermatologist’s skincare therapist’s advice, because many people forget to tell pregnant women about beauty products and specific ingredients to avoid.
Definitely NOT good for you.
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Team Costhetics has compiled a cheat sheet that can help steer you in a safe direction towards Healthy Babyland.
Your Skin: Guilty of Aiding and Abetting Toxins
There is no “if” about the body’s ability to absorb toxins through its highly permeable skin. Where those toxins go is no mystery either.
“The body absorbs 60% of what we apply to our skin. That’s right — whatever you are putting on your skin, your body is absorbing it. Where is it going? Into your blood stream.” – The News Herald
When certain skincare ingredients make their way into the bloodstream, the effect on a growing baby can be devastating.
In 2011, filmmaker Penelope Jagessar Chaffer made “Toxic Baby.” Her documentary showed that preservatives in skin care products – such as parabens – mimic oestrogen once they enter the blood stream. Her research further revealed that these chemicals are able to pass through the placenta, creating an increasingly dangerous environment for an unborn baby. (Babies are less capable of eliminating toxins from their system after exposure, as their immune systems are still developing.)
The skincare industry has risen to the challenge laid down by Chaffer’s documentary. We now have wonderful products made with ingredients that are good for skin and good for baby, too, but buyer beware!
5 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid When Pregnant
Don’t be fooled by bold-faced words on the front of a product that promise “natural” or “organic” ingredients. Instead, read the ingredient label itself and confirm that the skincare product you’ve chosen doesn’t contain:
- Accutane – Commonly prescribed to combat acne, this prescription-only ingredient has been proven to cause birth defects.
- Chemical Sunscreens – Rather than expose baby to chemicals that may be toxic, doctors recommend that pregnant women chose natural sunscreens based on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- Hydroqunine – This powerful skin lightener is not the answer to the dark spots brought on by pregnancy. Though not proven conclusively to cause problems in humans, this ingredient is linked to birth defects in animals. Doctors recommend that women who are pregnant avoid it.
- Retin-A, retinol, retinly palmitate – This derivative of Vitamin A can cause serious birth defects and liver toxicity.
- Salicylic acid – Found in exfoliating products, this ingredient is considered dangerous for baby. Look instead for products with flycolic, lactic, or mandelic acids for safe sloughing.
If You’re Confused About Skincare and Pregnancy
Costhetics realises that our cheat sheet is far from complete. That’s why we recommend that pregnant women speak to skin care professionals who are also health care professionals. They are in the best position to evaluate the efficacy, as well as the safety, of skin care products and put mothers-to-be on the right track.
If you don’t know, ask a pro!