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Skincare During Pregnancy: What Products To Avoid?

When you are pregnant, you must exercise caution, particularly when it comes to certain chemicals and activities, as all of these can adversely affect your health and the health of your child. While it is well known that you have to put away so many things when you become pregnant, it may surprise you to have to discard your trusted skin care products.

This is due to the fact that certain ingredients can be absorbed into the body of the parent and, therefore, into the body of the child [1].

Although most over-the-counter (OTC) body care products are safe for pregnant women, there are some ingredients that may cause harm to your baby. So, it is important you pay etra attetion to your skincare during pregnancy.

Here are a few skincare products you should avoid when you are pregnant:

Skin Care Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

As a pregnant woman, you should be aware that some ingredients may not work well. During pregnancy, it is very important to exercise more caution regarding skincare.

1. Retinoids

As a crucial nutrient, vitamin A plays a vital role in optimizing skin, immune, reproductive, and eye health. Once consumed or absorbed through the skin, vitamin A is converted into retinol. OTC products contain lower levels of retinoids, whereas prescription medications contain much higher levels [2].

In topical products, retinoids are likely to be absorbed very slowly, but higher doses of the drug have been associated with birth irregularities. Prescription retinoid-containing products are most likely to cause severe congenital irregularities, according to research.

2. Formaldehyde

As a known carcinogen, formaldehyde is rarely used as a preservative and disinfectant in beauty products nowadays, as it can increase the risk of infertility and miscarriage, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [3].

In cosmetics, there are formaldehyde-releasing chemicals such as hydroxymethylglycinate, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15 that also have a potentially dangerous effect.

3. Phthalates

Several beauty and personal products contain phthalates, which are endocrine disrupting chemicals. In animal and human studies, phthalate exposure has been associated with serious reproductive and developmental problems. The most common phthalate found in beauty products is diethylphthalate (DEP), which can also be leached into personal care products [4].

4. Chemical sunscreens

In sunscreens, oxybenzone is the most commonly used ultraviolet (UV) filter. Although it is proven effective for skin protection, potential health and environmental effects of oxybenzone are making it less desirable [5].

Since oxybenzone disrupts hormones and could cause permanent damage to both you and your child, its use in pregnancy is a concern. Hirschsprung disease, a birth irregularity affecting the large intestines, is also associated with oxybenzone exposure [6].

5. Salicylic acid

Aspirin-like anti-inflammatory properties make salicylic acid a common acne treatment ingredient. Pregnant women should avoid products that deliver salicylic acid, such as peels and oral medications. The majority of physicians recommend using products containing a maximum of 2 per cent salicylic acid [7][8].

On A Final Note...

Although giving up your favourite skincare regimen is difficult, you needto make some changes to your skincare during pregnancy, including avoiding products that could cause harm to the baby or you during pregnancy.

If you are taking prescription medications or are concerned about a pre-existing skin condition, consult your dermatologist and gynaecologist regarding the safety of your skin care products.

Story first published: Saturday, January 21, 2023, 16:01 [IST]
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