Pregnancy is a long, long time. Carrying a little baby in the belly can be tiring and weary during that span of nine months. I remember my time; if it wasn’t for Netflix and my gals, the mood swings would have gotten me by now.
Most women aren’t lucky enough to have a smooth experience. Many of my friends are just super glowy during this wonderful journey of becoming a mom. Me, on the other hand, not so much . . . I had swelling on my face, got acne during the first trimester and all these blemishes seemed to appear out of nowhere.
I knew I couldn’t get any treatments done during pregnancy. Of course, the health of my tiny fetus was above anything in the world! However, I began my research on what I could do for my skin.
Thinking about my problem at that time, our team has decided to outpour all the information there is in a single article, so all the pregnant beauties out there won’t have to spend their nights scrolling from one YouTube tutorial to another on how to be careful and choose the right products for the skin during pregnancy.
The Connection Between Pregnancy and Cosmetics
Experts believe that hormonal imbalance during pregnancy has a deep impact on the skin as well. It often results in worsening of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. Sometimes the oil production revs up, or the skin becomes prone to inflammation, acne, and hyperpigmentation. This imbalance does not only curtail pregnancy. It can continue during the nursing period as well.
Specialists recommend pregnant women to discuss their skin care regimen with their gynecologists for a thorough review on whether to splurge or save (a makeup reference I know, always wanted to use this one!)
Why You Need to Be Careful: Understanding the Risks Involved
For obvious reasons, pregnant women are not the subjects of a study to test what is harmful to a fetus or not, that is why most suggestions are not clear-cut restrictions but rather suggestions on what to avoid for a smooth and safe pregnancy. That is why it is better to rely on expert opinion rather than take hearsay comments seriously as all women react differently to growing a baby. The product that might not be harmful to one woman can still be unsafe for another.
Behold the stats women! The products that you apply on the skin are absorbed approximately sixty percent into the skin. Anything that gets immersed in the bloodstream has a danger of affecting the placenta.
We’ve all heard about the no smoking/no drinking policy during pregnancy but, many women entirely disregard the fact that anything absorbed by the skin can directly affect the growth of embryo; especially during the first trimester when the baby’s organs are developing.
How to Choose Safety Cosmetics During Pregnancy
Doctors have already warned against going through extensive hair treatments like Extenso or Hair Rebonding. Let’s see what they suggest to look for in makeup products.
Learn to Read Labels
It is absolutely essential to read labels before buying any makeup product even for everyday use. This practice should be followed even more religiously during pregnancy. The ingredients included in cosmetics (or any other product for that part) are written in a descending order. The first three ingredients are found in a larger concentration and thus, have more impact on the skin.
Look out for the following ingredients in your makeup:
Parabens are the preservative agents used in lipsticks and cosmetics. They can have a harmful effect on the developmental, neurological, reproductive, and immune system of the fetus.
There are many risky and hazardous ingredients lurking under the false pretense of fragrance. Ingredients such as phthalates, octoxynols, eugenol, coumarin, Geraniol, and citral are associated with hormonal disturbances and birth defects in children. Aluminum zirconium is another very harmful ingredient that can disrupt the growth of the fetus.
A common complaint of hyperpigmentation or melasma develops during pregnancy. Hydroquinone is a skin lightening agent that is easily absorbed by the skin. It used in creams for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. While no such adverse effects are seen up to date with this ingredient, but its high level of absorption is a concern for many doctors. Hence, you should avoid this one as well.
- Benzoyl Peroxide
This element is included in creams that treat acne. Many women notice their acne getting out of control during pregnancy. However, until your doctors deem necessary, try to avoid these acne treatments until after the nursing period. Or you can read how to treat acne without risking the health of the baby later in this article!
- Cosmetic Injections
Wait for any kind of injectable cosmetic product until you are done with pregnancy and nursing. Injections are directly absorbed by the bloodstream and put an even larger risk of the health of the fetus.
This compound is found in many cosmetic products and it is one of the causes of cancer. This carcinogenic element in makeup is also linked to infertility and miscarriages.
The connection between topical retinoid and birth defects is discussed by many scientists. Retinol is the animal-derived version of the fat-soluble Vitamin A, and any product with retinol-anything is a no-no for mommies-to-be.
What to Choose Instead
- Go Organic!
Go for nontoxic, organic products that are free from harsh chemicals, preservatives, and artificial dyes. Many high-end brands are now offering their range of organic makeup like some of the liquid lipsticks from theBalm or safety powders for pregnant woman by NARS and Laura Mercier.
Organic products like jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter and Vitamin E can be used to treat a variety of skin problems like dryness, pigmentation, dark circles, and stretch marks. Natural oils are highly recommended to ease itchiness of the abdomen during pregnancy.
- Treat Acne with Tea Tree Oil
Specialists suggest the use of spot treatment with tea tree oil for flared up acne rather than treating skin with harsh creams and soaps.
- Homemade Remedies for Skin Care Regime
In order to maintain a skin care regime during pregnancy, you can always opt for homemade scrubs and masks made up of sugar, honey, lemon, coffee, yogurt, egg, and milk.
The best way to treat the body during pregnancy is to go for an inside-out treatment. Drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices for a healthy glowing skin. It will flush out the toxins from the body as well and keep your baby healthy and happy. Another thing to keep in mind is to be patient. Any treatment can wait until after the nursing period is over.
Till then, enjoy your pregnancy and don’t sweat on the little things!