You want to take great care of your skin, no matter what stage of life you’re in, and now that you are expecting, taking good care of yourself also means you’re taking good care of the new life that’s forming inside you. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause the skin to act up, but luckily, new products designed with the needs of expectant women in mind are here to help.
The Importance of Avoiding Chemicals
It’s a good idea to avoid harsh chemicals at all times, but when expecting, the importance of using quality natural skin care products is magnified. You should be extremely selective as you choose products for your skin, and steer clear of anything with phthalates, parabens, harsh surfactants, and petroleum derivatives. You’ll also want to stay away from synthetic fragrances and artificial colors. All these things can be absorbed by the body, and while they may not be proven to harm growing babies, it’s best to be on the safe side, since toxins can pass the skin barrier and be passed on to the baby developing inside your body.
Retinoids are found in many anti-aging moisturizers. This type of Vitamin A helps to speed up cell division so skin renews itself faster and collagen doesn’t break down quite so quickly. While products containing retinoids can be beneficial any other time, they’re not recommended for women who are expecting. Some studies have found that high doses of Vitamin A can harm unborn children. Oral retinoids, including those found in acne treatments like Accutane (isotretinoin), have been found to cause birth defects.
Look for and avoid:
- Differin (Adapalene)
- Renova (Tretinoin)
- Retinoic Acid
- Retinyl Palmitate
- Retinyl Linoleate
- Tazorac and Avage
Many skin care products, particularly those designed to treat acne, contain salicylic acid or BHA (beta hydroxy acid). High doses of these acids in oral form have been shown to cause birth defects and pregnancy complications. Doctors are simply being cautious by recommending that women who are expecting steer clear of the face or body peels containing the acid. Many doctors do agree that using a small amount of facial toner containing salicylic acid once or twice daily is generally considered safe. Ask your doctor about retinoids and salicylic acid to stay on the safe side – it’s better to be overly cautious than to make a mistake that could cause harm to your unborn baby.
Choosing Organics and Natural Ingredients
Vitamins and minerals nourish your skin, while certain herbs, natural extracts, oils, and botanicals can help provide comforting fragrance and a soothing sensation you’ll appreciate.
Body washes and lotions, shampoos, and conditioners, and of course, products designed to help prevent stretch marks and soothe tired legs can be fantastic additions to your daily regimen. As you make your selection, steer clear of anything containing soy or bergamot extract, since these products can cause dark splotches on the skin to become more noticeable.
When it comes to makeup, most cosmetics purchased over the counter are safe to use, including those that are marked non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic. If you tend to suffer from acne, double-check to ensure that the cosmetics you choose don’t contain any retinol or salicylic acid, as these chemicals are sometimes added to foundations and other makeup products designed for people with acne-prone skin. If you want to be extra careful, look into products containing minerals only. These cosmetics tend to prevent skin irritation, and they simply sit on top of the skin, so the risk of absorption is minimal.
The bottom line? Ask your doctor about anything that you think might be questionable. Choose natural and organic skincare products whenever possible, and pick products you find pleasant to use.