Pregnancy Skincare: 11 Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Written by April Renee, B.A.
Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

The list of do’s and don’ts during pregnancy is quite a long one. For the most part you know what you are and are not supposed to be doing, eating or otherwise consuming (i.e. medications), etc., but what about your skincare products?

Skincare products come with a long list of their own – ingredients to be exact. And there are some that you should avoid if you’re preggers (and perhaps longer if you plan to breastfeed) to avoid potential risks.

Here’s a brief list of 11 Skincare Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy –

1. Chemical Hair Removal Products

Thioglycolic acid… just sounds scary doesn’t it? – It’s an active ingredient in hair removal products, and still a chemical that little is known about. Shy away from it while you’re pregnant. Need some relief – perhaps your partner can help you get to those hard to reach places.

2. Skin Whitening/Lightening Products

Side Effect of Skin Care Products During Pregnancy

Darkening skin is often a ‘side effect’ of pregnancy, especially in the face, causing women to seek out skin lightening products to maintain their more natural look. Note that melanin is the natural hormone that darkens your skin pigment and these products contain chemicals that can potentially interrupt proper production.

3. Spray on Tanning

DHA (dihydroxyacetone) has been approved for use in spray tanning by the Food and Drug Administration even though there are studies that indicate that DHA could be ‘mutagenic’, causing primary DNA damage. Furthermore, you might consider the risks of inhaling the particles of spray that float through the air while you’re ‘tanning’.

4. High End or Luxury Bath Products

That’s right, ditch the expensive bath products that you love so much, for now at least, and pick up some store brand products. The luxury products often use more exotic ingredients, sometimes with chemicals that can cause allergies. If you want to pamper yourself, take into consideration that manufacturers of infant and child products put more effort into avoiding questionable ingredients.

5. Fragrant Recipes

If you don’t know if your skin product contains phthalates (ingredients that generally hide behind the general descriptor of ‘fragrance’), ditch it, right away. Phthalates are known to imitate natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the development and growth of a fetus. Even small amounts are considered highly dangerous during pregnancy.

6. Nail Care

Nail Care During Pregnancy

If you really must have your nails done professionally, make sure to select a well ventilated salon. Nail products contain many ingredients that are inadequately tested even after reports of health problems among nail salon employees and their unborn children.

7. Stay away from Sticky and/or Stinky (products)

A strong smell is an immediate indicator of chemicals. Sticky face products that are not ‘naturally made’ are not safe either.

8. Certain acne treatments – Medication matters

Make sure you’re having conversations with your doctor before you intend to become pregnant and if you become unexpectedly pregnant, make sure to meet with your doctor right away. There are some medications and prescription treatments that should be avoided while pregnant.

  • Accutane (isotretinoin)
  • Retin-A (tretinoin)
  • Tetracycline

These drugs are intended to change the chemical processes in your body and could cause harmful birth defects.

9. Ink

Leave the Tattoos

Leave the tattoos for after the pregnancy. Think of it this way, it will give you something to look forward to in order to get your body figure back, post pregnancy. Even though the risk of disease transmission is not high with needle to bloodstream contact, it’s not a risk worth taking during this precious time in your baby’s life.

10. Salon Hair Care

While there are new studies that have surfaced overturning previous thought suggesting links to bladder cancer or miscarriage in hair salon employees, there are still new studies emerging that find links between hair salon employees and birth defects of their children. So, skip the highlights for a few months at least. Wait until the second trimester if you’re not going to follow this rule.

11. Chemical Sunscreens

It contains a slough of chemicals that could pose potential risks to your unborn child. Look for all natural products that are PABA free (PABA stands for Aminobenzoic Acid). If it’s winter time you might get lucky, depending on your geographical location, but otherwise, wear a hat and light long clothing to avoid the potions altogether.

Some ingredient lists to watch out for-

  • Aluminum Chloride hexaydrate
  • Beta hydroxy acids
  • Diethanolamine (DEA)
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)
  • Formaldehyde – take note that this chemical is found in many styling and beauty products
  • Hydroquinone
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Retinol
  • Thioglycolic Acid
  • Toluene

Finally – talk with your doctor or dermatologist with any questions or concerns you might have. Remember that your skin is the largest organ in/on and of your body. Take good care of it, for you and your baby.


Contributor : April Renee, B.A. ()

This Article Has Been Published on April 18, 2016 and Last Modified on December 22, 2018

April Renee is a Freelance Writer and Enthusiast. She currently studies English and Humanities with a focus in Writing Communications. Her dedication to writing spans many years across topics of many interests. She is niched in Travel, Environmental and Agricultural/Gardening Fare, Health and Fitness, Arts/Humanities, Philosophies, Pets, and Mortgage/Real Estate/Banking. April has a culturally diverse technique related to promotional marketing and consumer product sales/reviews, including website content and maintenance. She also has relative experience in advertising and website design pertaining to entrepreneurial startups. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. You can also view her work on

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