Pregnant women typically steer clear of alcohol, tobacco products, and sushi as soon as they discover they are pregnant. Pregnancy is also a time to examine the cosmetics and other beauty regimen products you use because many of them contain harmful ingredients.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Website Womenshealth.gov cosmetics include skin creams, lotions, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and face make-up products, permanent waves, hair dyes, toothpastes, and deodorants.
Some cosmetics are considered to be both a cosmetic and a drug such as toothpastes that contain fluoride, deodorants that are also antiperspirants, moisturizers and make-up that provide sun protection and anti-dandruff treatment shampoos. These items are reviewed and approved by the FDA. All other cosmetics are not reviewed or approved as being safe by the FDA.
Did you know that any ingredient you place on your skin could be absorbed into your bloodstream and cross the placenta into your unborn baby? Certain cosmetic products can contain substances that should be avoided in excessive amounts during pregnancy.
Hairsprays and nail polish can contain Phthalates, which some research has linked to possible increased risk for birth defects. The FDA has not established an associated between phthalates in cosmetics and a human health risk yet so for now avoiding beauty regimen products that contain phthalates would be at the pregnant woman’s discretion. Pregnant women do have the option of using mousse, gel or phtalate-free nail polish. Pregnant women who are repeated exposed to hair spray at work such as cosmetologist may be at increased risk for birth defects according to a recent British study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives. The risk was not clearly attributed to hairspray according to the study.
Tattoos and permanent make-up can transmit diseases, such as hepatitis C and HIV. Verify that all needles and supplies used are sterile as a precaution if you must use them. Blood donations are banned for a year after getting a tattoo or permanent make-up as a result of the disease risk, which should also be a warning to pregnant women.
Teeth Whiteners contain peroxide, is that safe for a pregnancy?
Dermatologist Dr. Diane Berson, states in a article written for iVillage on Beauty Do’s & Don’ts for Pregnant Women that pregnant women should avoid oral antibiotics prescribed for acne, daily use of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid used in acne preparations, products that contain vitamin A and it’s derivatives such as retinals, Retin-A, and retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids that are often contained in face creams, depilatories which are cream hair removers because the chemicals used can go into skin pores. She also says to avoid self-tanners because of the chemicals and hair dyes. It is safer to use hair dye during the third trimester but it is better to avoid all chemicals and dyes that are not necessary to expose your skin to during pregnancy. She also suggests that all pregnant women should ask the healthcare provider caring for their pregnancy about any questions or concerns they have about using any cosmetic or beauty regimen product.
FDA: “Phthalates and Cosmetic Products.” http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productandingredientsafety/selectedcosmeticingredients/ucm128250.htm
Ormond, G., Environmental Health Perspectives, February 2009; vol 117: pp 303-307.
Womenshealth.gov Cosmetics and your health http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/cosmetics-your-health.cfm#4
IVillage Beauty Do’s & Don’ts for Pregnant Women http://beauty.ivillage.com/0,,j1ph,00.html