Beauty Ingredients To Avoid When Pregnant

Pregnancy is a wonderful time indeed—but there are plenty of dos and don’ts to follow to keep that little burgeoning life inside you safe and sound. Here are some beauty ingredients to avoid, just to be on the safe side of caution.


Expectant mothers are often careful of what they eat to ensure their baby’s health to the point of making radical dietary & fitness changes—think coffee drinkers going cold turkey! Another concern that to-be mothers need to address is what they apply topically during their term. You should know about the beauty ingredients to avoid simply because some of the ingredients in cosmetics can cross the skin barrier and reach the baby—sometimes with adverse effects.

Most makeup and skin care products are relatively safe to use; however, experts advise against using certain ingredients. These are the red flag ingredients you should steer clear of when pregnant.


Salicylic Acid

Used to treat acne as well as scars, salicylic acid is a derivative of aspirin and can thin the blood as well as cause birth defects and various pregnancy issues. Avoid topical creams and peels. Avoid ingredients such as salicylic acid, beta hydroxyl acid, or BHA.



The primary ingredient of anti-ageing creams and serums, retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and high doses of it can be dangerous to an unborn child. Avoid ingredients like Differin, Renova, Retin-A, tretinoin, Adapelene, Tazorac, Avage, Tazarotene and anything starting with “retin.”



While soy is not harmful to the baby, it can add to the already high levels of estrogen in a pregnant woman’s body (as does bergamot oil) and can cause dark splotches known as melasma or chloasma. Soy derivatives are often found in creams, lotions, and even soaps. Avoid ingredients like Lecithin, Soy, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), and Phosphatidylcholine.



No studies have linked ammonia found in hair colors and dyes to any kind of birth defects but its strong odor can induce nausea, particularly in women who have severe morning sickness. Use ammonia-free hair colors.



A known carcinogen, formaldehyde is commonly found in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes, and eyelash glue. Seek out products that are formaldehyde-free. Avoid ingredients like formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).



Found in nail polishes, perfumes and hair spray, phthalates have shown potential risks in causing birth defects, though it still stands unproven. Animal studies have shown phthalates to cause defects in male sexual development, so it’s better to err on the cautious side with this one. Use phthalate-free nail paints and go for gels and mousses instead of hair sprays. Spray perfumes on clothes instead of your skin or go for essential oils instead. Avoid ingredients like BzBP, DBP, DEP, DMP, or diethyl, dibutyl, or benzylbutyl phthalate.



Another carcinogen, toluene along with formaldehyde and phthalates are known as the toxic trio and need to be avoided whilst you are pregnant. If you don’t like bare nails, look for organic options that are free of these three nasties. Avoid ingredients like toluene, methylbenzene, toluol, or antisal 1a on the ingredient label.



So these are the seven beauty ingredients to avoid if you’re expecting. Lastly, stay away from Botox—it is ultimately a toxin. While there are no studies testing the effect of Botox on a developing baby, remember that the botulin toxin works by paralyzing the muscles around wrinkles so that they become less visible. Not exactly something you want to take chances with or declare safe, right? Wishing you a toxicity free mommyhood…