Ingredient Spotlight, Skin Care

Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. There’s so much to do and prepare for-you’re bringing a whole other life into the world! It may feel like there’s so much that you’re already avoiding putting into your body, like alcohol or caffeine, but it’s important to consider what you’re putting ON your body- your skincare. Many people don’t realize that certain skincare ingredients you use every day can affect your pregnancy and your baby. The FDA established five risk categories to show the potential effect of certain ingredients to the health of a fetus- A, B, C, D or X. The categories of ingredients you need to pay attention to are C, D and X- this what you need to avoid when you’re pregnant.

What are some skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy?

Retinol/ Retina-A/ Retinyl Palmitate: These are derivatives of Vitamin A that are shown to affect the development of your baby. Keep in mind that Vitamin A is important to the development of your baby, however, these ingredients are derivatives, so it’s best to avoid them.

Benzoyl Peroxide & Salicylic Acid: It’s pretty common for you to develop some breakouts or acne during pregnancy, but unfortunately, you need to avoid these pimple-clearing favorites, as it’s shown to be harmful to a baby’s development.

Essential Oils: It may be hard to believe due to their natural properties, but essential oils, especially tea tree oil, are linked to complications with pregnancy. They’re often varied in concentration, and it can be difficult to measure how much of the oil is absorbed and how much affects your baby. However, it’s best to just avoid them.

Hydroquinone: This ingredient is a commonly used skin brightener, however, it is known to have a higher absorption rate and can more easily affect your baby, so it’s important to avoid it.

Tazorac & Accutane: Both of these are also derivatives of Vitamin A, and they’re both known to cause birth defects- avoid these at all costs.

Aluminum Chloride: It may be time to look into natural deodorants- this ingredient is commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants and is in group C, meaning it should be avoided.

Formaldehyde: This is commonly found in nail polish and hair products, such as gel manicures and Brazilian hair treatments. Be sure to talk to your nail and hair stylist about their products and ingredients- if they contain formaldehyde, it’s best to avoid.

Chemical Sunscreens: Some sunscreens can contain ingredients that may affect your hormones, and therefore affect your baby’s development. Stick to mineral sunscreens with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and avoid the others.

So, what skincare can I use while pregnant?

First and foremost, when using any products during pregnancy, I always urge my patients to check with their OBGYN before making any final decisions. They should always be the one with final say in what may be harmful and it’s always important to check first.

Many of the Allies of Skin products are known to be safe and healthy to use during pregnancy- and they work! For a moisturizing serum, the Allies of Skin Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum is a great option for dry & dehydrated skin. The Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment has multiple peptides, 7 Brighteners, 9 Antioxidants and a 16.5% Repair Complex to stimulate collagen production and repair damaged skin. It reduces all signs of premature aging. If you’re breaking out, try the Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial, with a powerful blend of 17% Anti-Blemish Complex, 15 Antioxidants + Brighteners, Colloidal Silver & Organic Rosehip Oil, to combat breakouts, improve skin texture and lighten blemish marks.

If you’re looking for a mask treatment, the ClarityRX Live + Be Well Mask has Pink Himalayan Salt and probiotics to detoxify and smooth skin.

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Elta MD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 is a chemical-free sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and is deemed as effective as broad-spectrum sunscreen by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

As always, take the time to take care of yourself by eating well, exercising and taking care of your skin- even more so when you’re pregnant. Talk to your doctor to figure out what skin care routine is best for you, or ask the DW team!

About Dr. Alan J. Parks

Dr. Alan Parks is a board certified dermatologist. Dr. Parks founded his practice, Eastside Dermatology, in 1986 and has been practicing there ever since. In 2016 Dr. Parks launched DermWarehouse, an eCommerce website selling professional strength skin care products to customers across the United States.

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