I’ve been reading up on skin care ingredients and food to avoid during pregnancy since I got to know I am pregnant. Checking the products I have been using to make sure they are pregnancy-safe. There many sources that have differing views on the ingredients considered unsafe or the quantity used for it to become unsafe. I’ve picked out the below ingredients as they are the ones that are mentioned more frequently. Most of them are ingredients that are unsafe to be consumed in large amounts. Topical application in small quantities/infrequently seems to be okay. But, I would avoid all these just to be safe.
1. Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate
This is commonly found in antiperspirants to block the release of sweat. Too much aluminium can result in illnesses such as anaemia. Opt for deodorants without aluminium content instead.
2. Retin-A, Retinol, and Retinyl palmitate
Too much consumption of these Vitamin A derivatives may cause birth defects. They are commonly found in acne and anti-aging products.
3. Salicylic Acid
It is a type of BHA commonly found in acne skincare and facial/body peels. Salicylic acid also causes the skin to be more sensitive to the sun. Always use a sunscreen after use.
This ingredient is often found in whitening/lightening skincare products. The use of this ingredient is highly regulated, and even banned to be used in cosmetic products in some countries. Around 35-45% of hydroquinone may be absorbed upon topical application due to its small molecular size, thus this is one of the more important ingredients to avoid during pregnancy.
5. Chemical Sunscreens
Studies have shown that chemicals such as oxybenzone, a UV absorber often used in chemical sunscreens, can cause birth defect in fetus. It is small enough to enter the bloodstream and reach the developing fetus. Best to switch to physical sunscreens.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils molecules are also very small and can enter the bloodstream. So you have to be very careful in choosing the right essential oils to use during pregnancy. Not just the type of essential oil, but also the quality of the essential oil.
Parabens are preservatives used in many skin care and body care products. Higher exposure to parabens may cause preterm labour, low birth weight and decreased body length in babies. Parabens are estrogenic, meaning they can mimic the effect of estrogen in the body. Baby boys may end up having higher estrogen levels. Read labels carefully and avoid products with parabens (eg. methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben and isopropylparaben).
All the info above were found through online search. Always check with your doctor for advice on the products you are using if you are unsure.
Stay safe mummies!