7 Cosmetics to avoid during Pregnancy


Pregnancy can mean different things to different women–from months of nausea to acne and hyper pigmentation. Though some of these problems can be remedied with OTC solutions, there are some ingredients that pregnant women shouldn’t use. These are:

7 Cosmetics Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

1. Retinol

Better known as Retin-A and retinyl palmitate, this is a form of Vitamin A. Though some amounts of this vitamin are essential for embryonic growth, some studies point to an association between an excessive intake of this vitamin to malformed head, heart, spine and brain of the baby. Retinol is also related to Accutane, a powerful acne medication, which causes birth defects.

2. Sunscreen

Though the benefits of sunscreens are known to everyone, yet pregnant women should not choose chemical sunscreens but opt for natural ones. That’s because chemical sunscreens may have filters like avobenzone and oxybenzone that could be hormone disruptors which could cause ADHD, problems of the nervous system and childhood obesity.

Cosmetics during Pregnancy

3. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid

During pregnancy, women experience fluctuations in hormones and increased production of androgen, leading to acne. If benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid are taken, these acne-fighting ingredients in large quantities and orally, they could have negative consequences if not applied in the right proportions. They should also not be applied on large skin areas.

4. Hydroquinone

It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience melasma, a skin pigmentation also known as the “mask of pregnancy.” It may go away after pregnancy, but women may be tempted to use an over the counter product, which could contain hydroquinone.Its high absorption rate of 35 to 45 per cent is troubling, in fact they are contraindicated for pregnant women.


5. Parabens

Used as a preservative in cosmetics, parabens are known to be hormone disruptors and they are easily absorbed into the skin. A study in the Journal of Chemistry, 2016, points to the fact that when pregnant women are exposed to a type of paraben called BPA, it causes miscarriage, behavioral problems, low birth weight, impaired growth of the baby and obesity.

6. Skin Whitening

The chemicals contained in skin lightening products interfere with enzymatic processes leading to the production of melanin, which causes skin darkening. The active ingredient in skin lightening products is usually hydroquinone or glutathione. Usually, pregnancy causes skin darkening, pigment facial mask, etc. Doctors therefore recommend that women use skin lightening treatments after the delivery.

7. Essential oils

Women wanting to change their beauty products during their pregnancy are usually advised by doctors to wait till the third trimester and speak to the doctor before making any changes to their beauty products. Pregnant women seeking the natural benefits of aromatherapy like to go in for essential oils, though they aren’t always recommended during pregnancy. Some essential oils that are proven to be bad for pregnant women include jasmine and clary sage which set off contractions in pregnant women; sage and rosemary oil that cause bleeding; and rosemary that increases blood pressure.