8 Cosmetics That Should Be Definitely Avoided During Pregnancy

4 min read

Written by Pradeep


Pregnancy is a wonderful experience and also a time of huge sacrifices. We need to give up so many things: coffee, alcohol, cosmetics. Yes, you read it right, there are some cosmetics that you need to give up completely during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Pregnant woman in salon
Cosmetics are substances or mixture of substances used on external parts of body like face, skin, hair intended to cleanse, beautify or altering appearance. While we all use cosmetics more or less in some form, it is important to pay attention to what cosmetics you use during pregnancy. It is because some of the ingredients of cosmetics can pass through the skin barrier and affect your growing baby negatively. So, it is not silly to worry about the moisturizer or the fragrance you are using during pregnancy. The cosmetics you should stay away from during pregnancy include:

8 Cosmetics That Should Be Definitely Avoided During Pregnancy
    1. Anti-aging Creams: Some anti-aging creams and spot treatment creams contain a powerful substance known as retinoids. It is a form of vitamin A which if taken in high doses can cause harm to the fetus. Do not use the prescription retinoids like Retin-A, Renova, Differin, Tazorac. There is no clear evidence that retinoid causes birth defects but high doses of vitamin A should be avoided during pregnancy because there is a risk of vitamin A toxicity. As they say, better safe than sorry!
    2. Acne Medication Creams and Salicylic Acid: Certain medications used to treat acne contain salicylic acid, which is also a no-no for a pregnant woman. Acne medications reduce the acnes by causing changes to your body. There are evidences that when salicylic acid is used orally in high doses can cause birth defects. Please avoid using Accutane (isotretinoin), flutamide, spironolactone(hormonal therapies), Retinoids like adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin and oral tetracyclines (minocycline, doxycycline) All these can pass onto the fetus through your bloodstream and cause birth defects
    3. Strong Fragrances: Strong fragrances like perfumes, body sprays and some body lotions are often lauded with phthalates. Phthalates are chemicals that can have a toxic effect on the fetus. Most of the times it is not present on the labels so it is better to avoid them completely during pregnancy
    4. Skin Whitening Creams/Products: Skin whitening creams contain Hydroquinone. It bleaches the skin by altering the enzymes process that make melanin in the body. About 35-45 percent of the product is absorbed in the skin, they might interfere with the proper development of the fetus. All skin lightening products should be avoided until you stop breastfeeding even if you suffer from pigmentation during your pregnancy
    5. Chemical Hair Removing Cream: There is no evidence on whether these creams are unsafe or safe to use during pregnancy. It contains some form of thioglycolic acid which reacts with the disulfide bonds in the hair. The chemicals used in these creams can irritate the skin and cause allergic reaction. Since there are no studies to show its effects on pregnancy, we advise to better avoid them during your pregnancy

Pregnant woman looking in mirror

  1. Nail Care Products: You should also avoid the nail care products as it contains the “toxic trio” dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde and toluene. Formaldehyde is used to harden the nail paint and it can also irritate your eyes, nose. And too much exposure to Toluene can damage nervous system in an unborn baby. There are studies showing stillbirth, birth defects and slow fetal growth in nail salon workers. It should be fine if you are only using the nail care products occasionally, however it is not advisable to be exposed to them too often. Are nail paints considered safe during pregnancy? Find out here
  2. Tattoos: It is not safe to get inked during pregnancy as there is a chance of getting some infections like Hepatitis B and HIV if the needle used was dirty. And these infections can be passed on to your unborn baby. Moreover, your skin is very sensitive in pregnancy that you might feel hurt more by the sharp needles. The ink used in tattoo can be absorbed in your body and there are no clear proof to know if it is safe in pregnancy. Tattoos safe in pregnancy?
  3. Hair Care Products: It is better to avoid the chemical treatments on hair like dyes, perms, highlights as there is a chance of chemicals getting absorbed in the skin of your scalp and enter the bloodstream. If you must color your hair, or get some hair treatment done, you should wait until the second trimester. Find out whether hair treatments are safe during pregnancy

Do read the labels before buying any creams, lotions and other cosmetics throughout your pregnancy. As a precautionary step, you should be avoiding all above cosmetics until you stop breastfeeding. Again, it is advisable to consult your doctor when in doubt.


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