Safe skincare during pregnancy
Your skincare routine may or may not have been a priority before you became pregnant, but now is the time to really understand what you are using.
The ingredients lists on skincare products are not always easy to follow. Sometimes there are names you might not know, sometimes the details are hidden under packaging and identifying everything in your cosmetics is not as simple as it should be. It is important you know what you are looking for.
The skin goes through many changes during pregnancy and as there are some ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin, cause allergies, cause birth defects and affect breast milk, it is worth considering whether you want to use them whilst pregnant. Some of the key ingredients to watch out for are:
- Petrol-based products containing ingredients such as petrolatum, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, paraffin and mineral oil. These can irritate sensitive skin, especially during pregnancy.
- Ethoxylated alcohols, such as sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). SLF can cause skin and eye irritation.
- Amines and derivatives, such as diethanolamine (DEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA) can irritate the skin and may be linked to cancer.
- Parfum and fragrances, such as artificial musk. Artificial musk can build up in the body and has been found in breast milk.
- Formaldehyde (a preservative), which is hidden in ingredients such as DMDM-hydantoin, metheneamine and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. This form of preservative is one of the leading causes of allergic reactions.
- Parabens, such as butylparaben and others beginning with methyl-, propyl- and ethyl-. These are absorbed by the skin and can accumulate in the body. Some studies have found traces in breast tissue.
- Retinol, such as tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene and retinyl. Large doses in pregnancy may harm the development of the embryo.