Non-toxic Pregnancy Skincare Guide
The skin is your body’s largest organ. Therefore it’s really important that you take a moment to stop and consider what you’re putting on it. Here is our guide to safer pregnancy skincare.
Learning that you are pregnant is wonderful, exciting, sometimes scary and even challenging. Once you know that you have a little person developing inside you, you often become hyper-aware of how you treat your body. You might begin eating healthier and taking better care of yourself to help that little one grow into a strong and healthy baby. While you might spend a lot of time thinking about what you put in your body, it’s also important to consider what you’re putting on your body.
What to consider when choosing skincare while pregnant
What you put on your skin is really important to both you and to your baby’s health. Many ingredients and chemicals have particles that are small enough to pass through the skin into our bloodstream, and these particles can break down even further and pass through the umbilical membrane to the baby. It can sound overwhelming, however if you are strategic in your product selections, you can drastically reduce how many toxic ingredients you are both exposed to.
The best thing you can do when shopping for products is to start reading ingredients lists – not labels! Be aware of green washing and marketing buzz words. Just because a brand boasts “phthalate-free” or “natural” doesn’t mean they don’t load them up with a bevy of other chemical ingredients. Sad, we know.
Natural and safer ingredients are things that are not made in a laboratory and don’t require complicated numbering systems. Just remember – the less ingredients, the better. You can also begin scrutinizing the current products you already use. Start with the ones that spend the most time on your skin. For example, body lotion that you put on in the morning has more time to sit and absorb whereas something like a body wash or cleanser is used relatively briefly and is promptly washed off. You can always work your way toward replacing all of your products but this is a good way to begin the process.
Skincare chemicals to avoid when pregnant
Retinoids & Rx products
These are typically prescription anti-aging and face treatments and are also known as retinoic acid, isotretinoin, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tazarotene, retinyl palmitate, adapalene, and tretinoin on product labels. There is an increased risk of birth defects if these are used during pregnancy. As with any medication or prescribed products, check with your doctor to make sure they are safe to use while you are pregnant.
Parabens are preservatives that lengthen the shelf life of a product and prevent mold growth. The issue with these are they mimic the human hormone estrogen. Many companies are avoiding these ingredients now that “paraben” has become a bad word, but it’s still up in the air how safe the alternatives are. There are many variations but they all end in “-paraben” on labels.
Phthalates are never listed on the ingredients list. They are disguised as “fragrance.” Phthalates are used to bind scents to a product. These also have estrogenic properties according to many independent studies. It is best to search out products scented with natural essences and oils instead of artificial ones.
You won’t find formaldehyde listed on a product but it is a common byproduct of processing ingredients. quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal – and anything that looks like a chemistry formula with numbers and dashes – chances are it’s processed and formaldehyde or 1,4 dioxane, a potential carcinogen is a risk. The riskiest products for this contaminant are nail polishes and lash glues, but they’ve also been found in some baby shampoos and other baby skincare as well.
It sounds crazy but essential oils are highly potent and taken internally could reek havoc on a myriad of things like your gut bacteria or hormone balance. In skincare, a little lavender oil won’t do much damage but before using any oils or undiluted concentrations, check with a midwife or doctor first.
Non-Toxic Pregnancy Skincare Options From The Tot
The Everden Mama Collection includes a fragrance-free Multi Purpose Healing Balm, Nourishing Stretch Mark Cream, and a Lifting and Firming Lotion. Made in the USA, it’s accepted by the National Eczema Association.
The Kate McLeod Mama Stone is an innovative body lotion bar that melts when rubbed onto skin. Featuring only five ingredients and free of essential oils, it’s packaged in linen and bamboo and is the truly non-toxic and sustainable option you’ve been looking for.
As your belly begins to grow, your skin can feel tight and itchy. Erbaviva has a fantastic oil option that we love using in the evening for a soothing and relaxing bedtime ritual.
Easy to apply and gentle on both your skin and clothing, Erbaviva’s Organic Stretch Mark Cream can be used every morning on your belly, breasts, back and thighs.