7 skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

7 skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time. Yet, all of a sudden, things that never happened before are happening and the mama that’s never broken out before has woken up with hormonal acne. There is already a list as long as your arm for mamas to think about without having to sieve through every single ingredient on the back of your favourite face cream.

In this excerpt from Mama You’ve Got This, an honest guide to pregnancy, Melissa Schweiger Kleinman, offers a concise guide of skincare nasties to avoid while pregnant.

Which skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, Google becomes your best friend. Anyone with a computer, smart phone or tablet and access to WiFi can uncover all sorts of potential “dangers” in their personal care products. That’s both the beauty and danger of the internet. It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole of terrifying information, where nothing but a mound of charcoal and a bottle of purified water sound safe enough to use on your skin anymore. You’ve got enough to worry about with all of the major life changes happening, the last thing you need are more things to keep you up at night. So when we talk about what skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy, you have permission to focus on only the ones that have true cause for concern.

I personally banned parabens along with a few other questionable ingredients from my skincare repertoire during pregnancy, but still used a lot of products that contained ingredients that many watch groups would say were inadvisable. To help make it easier for people to know what beauty ingredients to avoid during pregnancy, the US Food and Drug Administration has pregnancy categories for ingredients and assigns drugs a letter (A, B, C, D and X) based on their safety (see next page for more details).

Mama Mio has taken the guesswork out of product shopping for mamas. All nasties have been tossed out, so shopping for skincare is one less thing to worry about during pregnancy.

All of the products do exactly what they say they’re going to do and use only the cleanest ingredients. Mama Mio proves it’s possible to create effective products without using any of those nasty ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, mineral oils or xenoestrogens.
Categories A and B mean the ingredient has not shown any evidence of posing a risk to mamas. Category C means the risk is not ruled out. Categories D and X mean there is a positive evidence of risk and the drug is not advised during pregnancy.

These common skincare ingredients fall under categories C, D and X so should be avoided:

• Salicylic Acid: Watch out for this ingredient in acne products as well as some exfoliating products.

• Benzoyl Peroxide: Another common acne fighting ingredient. Find spot treatments that contain sulphur instead.

• Retin-A, retinol and retinyl palmitate: A very common anti-ageing ingredient – vitamin A. Too much vitamin A in your diet during pregnancy can cause birth defects, so why take a chance and use it on your skin?

• Hydroquinone: Found in skin lightening products.

• Aluminum chloride hexahydrate: Found in common deodorants and antiperspirants. Pregnancy is the time to switch to a natural alternative, rather than your regular deodorant.

While the below ingredients do not have a pregnancy classification, they should still be avoided:

• Parabens: Have much controversy surrounding them and whilst no clear link has been made between birth defects and this class of preservatives, it’s still wise to try and avoid it during your pregnancy. Parabens are thought to mimic oestrogen and disrupt hormones, a very scary thought during pregnancy.

• Triclosan: Is another ingredient that is thought to disrupt hormones in the body. It’s commonly found in soap, so making the switch to more natural soaps during pregnancy is a good thing. A study showed that both parabens and triclosan could disrupt the growth of boys during foetal development and the first years of their lives.



Tilly Doody-Henshaw

Tilly Doody-Henshaw

Writer and expert

Alongside food, travel and writing, skincare is one of my greatest loves. I'm a self-confessed skincare junkie, and product hoarder! Luckily that means I'm ingredient savvy and confident I know what makes a fab skin care routine.

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