Skincare: What you CAN’T use
In the two weeks that I have “known” I was pregnant, my paranoia has increased like whoa.
I am totally conscious of everything I put in my body (or don’t put, in the case of meds and Diet Coke). I run the other direction from chemical-y smells (you saw that one coming). I am drinking more water than I ever have, in my life, for fear Little Baby will shrivel up from dehydration (it could happen!).
What I was not expecting was for my paranoia to stretch into my beloved beauty cupboard.
But the first day of knowing I was pregnant, I picked up my usual ultra-strong, expensive, micro-powder, favourite skin-sloughing scrub … and then realized I had no idea if it was safe to use.
So I did a little Googling — which I have done approximately 9,000,000 times since knowing I was pregnant — and searched stuff like “pregnant skincare” and “what skincare to avoid while pregnant.”
Here’s what I learned, friends:
THE SCOOP: These are a type of Vitamin A found in anti-aging products, because they help reduce wrinkles. Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANT? No.
PRODUCT: Salicylic acid, Beta hydroxy acid
THE SCOOP: This mild acid can be found in a number of cleansers, toners and peels. It can penetrate facial oils to get deep into pores and clean out dead skin cells. It is similar to taking more than one Aspirin.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANT? No.
PRODUCT: Soy skincare products
THE SCOOP: Soy-based lotions and facial produts are not dangerous, but they can make “the mask of pregnancy” (those dark splotches) even worse.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANCY? Technically safe.
PRODUCT: Hair removers
THE SCOOP: These lotions remove your hair chemically, and can be a good alternative to shaving when it’s tricky to see your legs.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANT? Yes. The only risk is an allergy.
THE SCOOP: Some sunscreens penetrate your skin, and even those are deemed safe while pregnant. Some experts recommend titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, because they’re powerful and don’t penetrate your skin.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANT? Yes.
THE SCOOP: You should avoid cosmetics that contain retinol or salicylic acid (usually marketed as makeup for acne-prone skin). However, makeup marked as “noncomedogenic” (won’t clog pores) or “nonacnegenic” (won’t encourage acne) are safe to use.
SAFE WHILE PREGNANT? Yes, except for makeup that contains retinoids or salicylic acids.