It finally happened. You are pregnant. So many things are running through your mind, what to eat and what not to eat, where to buy clothes for soon to be expanding figure, what baby essentials you will need, where to register and so on and so on... And while so many new things are running through your head, you may forget about the skin care products that you use every day as it feels like a second nature. Now is the time to start paying attention to the ingredient label more then ever. Chances are every skin care product you are using now, has at least 2-3 ingredients you would be advised to avoid, while you are pregnant. But don't worry, you don't have to throw them away, just put aside for the next 9 months. You would be surprised to learn that the more "famous" the skin care brand is - the more chemicals it uses in it's products. Don't believe me - research the ingredient label. If you have difficulty reading and understanding any particular ingredient, chances are - it is a chemical your body does not need, for a few months to come at least. Better safe then sorry. It is a proven fact that some ingredients may cause negative effect on developing fetus. And to help you out, we will go through all of them here, above and beyond.
1. Retinol. May also be stated on a label as Retinyl Palmitate or Vitamin A. Have been linked to birth defects. Even though Vitamin A is essential for the proper development of the fetus, we would suggest getting it from foods.
2. Salicylic Acid, also may be stated as Beta Hydroxy Acid. It is often used in astringent toners or anti-acne products. Salicylic acid is the main ingredient in aspirin and has caused some problems with some women.
3. Phthalates or often stated on the labels as "fragrance". Other names for it are: dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate or diethylhexyl phthalate. Companies are not required to list them, so they are conveniently masked as "fragrance" - Those also should be avoided when pregnant especially if you are having a boy. It can be carcinogenic and affect development of genital organs in boys. Using skin care products scented with essential oils is an alternative if you like scented products.
4. Parabens. There is no 100% proof that it affect a fetus but it has been linked to breast cancer and may affect reproductive system. It is a preservative widely used in skin care products to prevent growth of mold and prolong shelf life. While preservatives are essential for skin care (unless you are prepared to use up your new product within 3 weeks) parabens are best to be avoided. There are plenty of safer alternatives. Latest studies have shown that Parabens release 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde and those are known carcinogens.
5. Ethylene oxide - It is used in a process called ethoxylation. This is to make a harsh ingredient milder. Luckily it is not used often, but some baby wipes contain it. Be Cautious If you are unsure about a product or ingredients, don't use it. Or check what it is in Cosmetic Safety Database. Use Real Natural or even better Organic Skin Care Products. Synthetics may seem to work but they are chemical inventions that may have bad results and it's the last thing you need while responsible for little new life inside you.
6. Triethanolamine (TEA) - Human immune system toxicant.
7. Propylene Glycol. Very widely used. Known carcinogen in skin care. Propylene glycol is practically non-toxic when taken orally, i.e. added to food. However, it has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance. Do we need to take a chance? That's the question.
8. DMDM Hydantoin. Human immune system toxicant, restricted/banned in Japan. Here I have to add that this ingredient is present in one of the leading and very well known maternity skin care line, that claims to be very safe. Hmmm, really?
9. PEG-100 Stearate and Ceteareth compounds . Have evidence of sense organ toxicity, endocrine system disruption. Not safe for use on injured or damaged skin as well as has evidence of Dioxane contamination.
10. Iodopropynl Butylcarbamat. Human toxicant - strong evidence, restricted in Japan. Also present in the same well know maternity skin care line.
So here is a quick run-down of Top 10 to avoid. Is it hard to do? Not really. Just pay attention to the ingredients. Products that have the best and safest ingredients usually have them listed online so you can see what you are buying before you do it. That's the way to go.
One of the companies that offers Organic products that do not contain any of the ingredients listed above is Sweetsation Therapy.