10 Skincare Ingredients You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

10 Skincare Ingredients You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, there are lots of things you should be careful of to maintain your health and protect your growing baby. When it comes to skincare, ingredients are absorbed into the skin, and some can affect your foetus. So, here are some of the skincare ingredients you should avoid during pregnancy.  

  1. Retinol, retinoids and other retinol derivatives

Often used for its anti-aging properties in skincare, retinol and other retinol-derived ingredients are a type of synthetic vitamin A. High doses of vitamin A, as you receive from retinol, has been shown to cause problems such as miscarriage, premature delivery and birth defects.

  1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is usually found in skin-whitening products and is known to cause many complications in the body, including during pregnancy. The IARC have classified the ingredients as a human carcinogen, meaning it can cause tumour growth and lead to cancer, and can also cause many pregnancy complications.

  1. Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid, while used on the face for its powerful properties, is also one of the main ingredients used in aspirin, which is forbidden during pregnancy, as it can cause complications. For this reason, you should avoid it in oral form particularly, and it’s safer to avoid the ingredient completely during your pregnancy.

  1. Essential oils

Although we may not see them to pose a huge risk, essential oils haven’t been approved by the FDA for their use in skincare products, it is advised that you avoid them completely during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy at least. There are lots of questions and uncertainty in this area, so it’s better to stay on the safe side.

  1. Benzoyl peroxide

While this acne-fighting acid doesn’t have quite as many problems as others on this list, there is some uncertainty about it, and usage in certain doses can lead to problems. Therefore, it’s safer to choose an alternative, safe acid, such as glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid.

  1. Accutane

Used to treat acne and other skincare concerns, Accutane is an oral prescription that is known to come with many side effects, and these could be damaging to your baby. It’s also another form of vitamin A, just like retinol.  

  1. Hydroquinone

Illegal in many countries, hydroquinone is used for skin whitening, but it is a known carcinogen, meaning it’s use can lead to the development of cancer, and it can cause a number of complications concerning your baby.

  1. Chemical sunscreens

The ingredients used in chemical sunscreens are designed to penetrate into your skin, and this means they can end up reaching your baby. It can cause cell changes during embryonic development, so it’s best to opt for a mineral sunscreen, which won’t host the same problems.

  1. Parabens

When you use parabens in your skincare routine, they can enter your bloodstream and reach your baby. Scientific research has shown that this exposure can cause high weight gain of your child during infancy, which often results in adult obesity, making them more vulnerable to health complications.

  1. Phthalates

Although these are generally advised against anyway, you should steer clear of phthalates, used to soften and lubricate beauty products, as they have been shown to be most damaging to a growing baby, and can potentially affect birth weight, fertility and abnormalities in the body.

Final thoughts

In the end, it’s clear to see that there are many skincare ingredients you should probably avoid during pregnancy, so it’s recommended that you steer clear of those. If you’re unsure about whether you can use a specific product, consult with your obstetrician or other medical professional for advice.

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