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Pregnancy Skincare: Unsafe Ingredients in Conventional Skincare Products

Posted by Eman Tabbara, MPH on Aug 12th 2021

When I started Scentual Aroma back in 2016, I was pregnant with my second child and just got my degree in Public Health. I remember how my passion for health shaped my daily lifestyle choices and how I wanted to keep my family healthy and spread this passion of health to my surrounding because I believe that prevention is key!

I became more aware that we are surrounded with uncontrolled load of environmental exposure and controlled unhealthy lifestyles. I started with what I can control which is my personal skincare routine as many women out there, I love and enjoy using my skincare.

I learned to read the label of everything I am consuming and applying on my body and I was shocked by how many of the products I am using on a daily basis are loaded with so many toxic ingredients including allergens, hormonal disruptors & carcinogens.

I also learned that most of these toxic ingredients are not regulated in the cosmetic industry in the US and that there are over 1,300 chemicals banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union due to questions over their safety. In comparison, the U.S. has only banned 11.

Toxic Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

For many women, pregnancy brings a lot of worries and safety concerns for their unborn child and it is the period where they feel the urge to make better and healthier choices. When it comes to skincare ingredients, below are some of the many unsafe ingredients that experts say to avoid during pregnancy:

1. Phthalates: are known as endocrine disruptors which can negatively impact reproductive health and are highly found in beauty and personal care products.

2. Hydroquinone: found in many skin lightening products and is used to fade discoloration or melasma. It is highly absorbed by our bodies and it is recommended that pregnant women limit their exposure to this ingredients as this study shows.

3. Salicylic Acid: is superior in anti-inflammatory properties and used to treat acne. High doses found in chemical peels are not recommended during pregnancy as a study by Europe PMC on Acne Therapy During Pregnancy concludes.

4. Retinoids: Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for optimum skin & body health. Once it is consumed or applied topically, our bodies converts it to retinol. It is used in many anti-aging products to help minimize fine lines and wrinkles by speeding up cell renewal and rejuvenating the skin. Retinoids in higher doses are linked to birth defects in scientific studies.

5. Formaldehydes: is used as a preservative in skin & personal care products. It is advised to be avoided as the CDC reports it to being a carcinogen and can pose risk to reproductive health.

In addition to so many unsafe ingredients that can negatively impact pregnant moms' and babies' health, the list goes on an on that we can't cover in one blog post.

As a rule of thumb, gentle ingredients are always the best alternatives and consulting with your doctor is always recommended. A great gentle skincare AM & PM routine from our line combines three or four steps where you start with one of our gentle cold-processed soaps such as the Lavender Bar Soap or the Rose Bar Soap as a cleanser and follow with our Balance Rose Hydrating Elixir to hydrate and balance skin. For a boost of antioxidants and glow follow with our Illuminate Vitamin C Booster and finally lock everything in with our super light yet most hydrating Nourishing Face Cream

In summary, not everything natural is considered safe during pregnancy. There are many natural and botanical ingredients that should be avoided. We will discuss some of those ingredients in details in our next blog post. Stay tuned!

References:

1. https://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/regula

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC31146...

3. https://europepmc.org/article/med/23430167

4. https://www.cfp.ca/content/57/6/665.full

5. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/121...

6. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/repro/formaldehyd...