Being pregnant is challenging as it is: no sushi, no sunny-side up eggs, no cold cuts, no brie (!!!) and no under-cooked sprouts or alfalfa. So basically, nothing delicious… for FORTY weeks! That’s a long time. Along with dietary restrictions, lack of sleep, aches, pains, and more, we may be facing some skin changes too. Some will be positive, like the pregnancy glow. Not to mention your hair gets super thick and lustrous. But some changes will be negative, like acne, back acne, stretch marks, broken veins, sensitive or itchy skin, and ultra pigmented skin such as melasma and chlosma, also known as the pregnancy mask.
Being pregnant adds an extra challenge because of ingredients that can affect your little growing bambino. Using safe products is paramount to ensuring your baby’s safety. In my opinion, it’s paramount to use safe products always even if you aren’t pregnant. When it comes to products that claim results, sometimes the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Clear skin isn’t worth inundating your body with toxins. And there are generally more natural and equally as effective results.
Here’s a list of products I feel should be avoided in general, but it’s imperative to avoid them during pregnancy:
• Hydroquinone – Typically used as a skin-lightener to fade scars, this controversial ingredient has been known to causes birth defects, low birth weight, and stillbirth in animals. Hydroquinone absorbs into your system at a very high rate (opposed to only acting locally on the area that you apply them), and while it has not been definitively shown to cause adverse effects during pregnancy, it’s best to minimize your exposure to it until further studies can completely confirm its safety.
• Retin A/Retinoids/Retin/Retinol – Any form of retin should be avoided. Retin has many AKAs such as retinol on your night cream, retin A in your serum, and so on… Many of the best anti-aging skin care products have some form of retin. What they don’t tell you is that retin products can thin the skin and diminish collagen. Which is going completely against anti-aging efforts in general. Not only does it harm your growing little one, it also has lasting negative effects on your skin. Avoid at all costs!
• Tetracycline – This antibiotic (including doxycycline and minocycline) treats several conditions, including acne and rosacea. Tetracycline is not safe to use if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Research suggests that tetracyclines can have toxic effects on skeletal formation, as well as causing discoloration of fetal tooth development. Moms planning to breast feed cannot take tetracycline products because it may permanently stain babies’ teeth gray. Beyond that, you’re basically pumping yourself with unnecessary antibiotics and diminishing the effects of antibiotics in your system when they are needed.
• Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide – This is common in a number of facial cleansers, and should not be used during pregnancy. Same goes for benzoyl peroxide products. Both are category C products and the risk to baby cannot be ruled out. Also, these products can be extremely drying. I’ve had a client that used these products postpartum and it caused her skin to dry so dramatically that opening her mouth caused her skin to crack and bleed.
These are just SOME of the major offenders out there. If you’re working to improve your overall health, take an easy albeit critical step today by eliminating poison from your skin routine! If you need to know more, contact me, and together we can establish a custom, natural and safe skin routine for you that is safe during pregnancy and beyond!