Last updated on Jun 22nd, 2021 at 04:46 pm

There’s a lesser known part of protecting the baby inside your bump – avoiding certain cosmetic ingredients

Once you fall pregnant, you might not think about changing up your beauty routine, but there are a few cosmetic ingredients that you should avoid:

Check your products and see if you need to switch any of them up.

Please note: some cosmetic ingredients are recommended to be avoided because they have known negative effects, and others because they cannot be tested on pregnant and breastfeeding women due to ethical reasons.

Medical advice will always supercede anything written here, so check with your doctor if you have any doubts or concerns.

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1. Retinoids

The first product to stop using when you’re pregnant is prescription oral retinoids as they have a proven link to an increased rate of birth defects. If you have been using retinoids and fall pregnant, you need to seek medical attention immediately.

Along with that, it’s best to avoid other forms of retinol as well, including topically applied serums and creams.

2. Essential oils

Essential oils are absorbed in your bloodstream. They are used for treating conditions such as high and low blood pressure and to calm or stimulate the nervous system (among many other things).

Specific essential oils can trigger contractions and cause bleeding – you should avoid topically applying and ingesting essential oils altogether if you are pregnant and don’t have very good knowledge on the topic, or consult a medical professional to check which are safe.

3. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is another ingredient with a very high absorption rate – around 40%. While there have been no tests to link it to negative effects, the risk is considered high enough to avoid altogether during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Specific essential oils can trigger contractions and cause bleeding – you should avoid topically applying and ingesting essential oils altogether if you are pregnant

4. Triclosan

Triclosan has recently been banned from use in antibacterial hand and body washes in some countries and is regulated in others, and you’ll also find it in some toothpastes.

As Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor, it’s best to avoid the ingredient completely while pregnant and breastfeeding.

5. Aluminium chloride

There are no facts to prove that aluminium chloride carries a risk during pregnancy, but there are unsubstantiated claims linking it to both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid this one if you prefer to err on the side of caution.

6. Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is an aspirin derivative, and one of its functions is blood thinning. In skincare it’s generally used in acne and exfoliating products, and when used on isolated areas in low concentrations (under 2%) it’s considered safe. It is something to be aware of as you may choose to avoid it, and if you choose to use it, it should be limited.

7. Formaldehyde

If you have your hair chemically straightened, you’ll want to have a good look at what’s inside your products. When breathed in, formaldehyde gas (which is released when the chemicals are applied and the process is executed) has been linked to breathing difficulties, coughing and other respiratory problems.

If you have your hair chemically straightened, you’ll want to have a good look at what’s inside your products

Formaldehyde is also found in some nail polishes – it’s best not to breathe in those fumes either.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure that our articles are based on scientific research, these articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.