Harmful Ingredients for Pregnant Women

pregnant woman

One of the most beautiful and delicate experiences, pregnancy is the time that a woman may experience the most tricky and surprising balancing acts in her life, especially when it comes to skin care.  There are always the positives, like glowing skin and/or fuller hair. The body’s hormones can act unpredictably and even if you have a usual skin care regimen down pat, it may not be what is right for you while pregnant. WebMD recently published a list of safe alternatives. Not only may certain ingredients become inefficient for you, they could potentially be dangerous while you’re with child. It is common to see warning labels that say something to the effect of, “consult your physician if you are pregnant or nursing”. It’s time to reevaluate what you are using while you’re pregnant, as your hormones could allow you to revert back to your usual regimen after giving birth.

The first ingredient pregnant women are recommended to stay away from is retinol.

Retinol is also known as Vitamin A. It can work wonders for your skin and is important to fetal development in the womb. However, it can also hinder the growth of the fetus by possibly developing abnormalities. Doctors and professionals all around agree that pregnant women should avoid retinol use at all costs.

Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent tool to use to fight acne. It works by reducing both the oil production in the skin and the inflammation on the surface. For non-pregnant women, it is one of the best acne-fighting ingredients to use. Some pregnant women may experience hormone related acne but benzoyl peroxide is not the answer!

Similarly, salicylic acid is the other “go-to” for combating acne. It works by stripping dirt, grime, and bacteria from the skin. While it is another top product to use to fight acne, its also another to avoid due to its potency and potential to cause intracranial bleeding.

If you’ve ever used a skin lightener, you must have heard of “hydroquinone“. Hydroquinone is a potent hyperpigmentation (darker spots appear on skin) combatant. Pregnany induced hyperpigmented skin usually fades but women are often tempted to remedy that by applying creams or serums that contain hydroquinone. What makes hydroquinone an effective ingredient is it’s particularly high absorbtion rate. The skin takes in the hydroquinone so effectively, it is unclear how (or how quickly) the fetus may absorb it, too. That being said, medical professionals agree it should be avoided.

Other ingredients include but are not limited to parabens (or preservatives), chemical sunscreens, tetracycline, and phthalates or essential oils (meaning products with fragrances). Again, these are all common ingredients that may work well for you at any given time. Because your body is experiencing hormonal changes, the exact same products may react differently or even negatively to both you and your fetus. Try avoiding the above mentioned products and always consult a medical professional when in doubt to ensure a happy and healthy pregnancy.