Did you know your beauty products affect your baby? Photo credit: Shutterstock.
Being pregnant means a of lot hormonal changes. And thanks to your hormones (and moods) going haywire, issues like skin pigmentation, infections, increased hair growth (which tends to fall after delivery) and brittle nails come up. But did you know that your beauty products can hamper the health of your child? Follow a few tips and you will able to get through the nine months without worry.
1. Avoid Retinoids
They are powerful substances which prevent skin collagen from breaking and are found in some anti-ageing moisturisers. However tempting they may sound, moms-to-be should stay away from them. High doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. And oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin (SOTRET, an acne treatment), are known to cause birth defects.
2. Salicylic Acid is Another No-no
High doses of salicyclic acid in its oral form have been shown to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. Larger amounts of it through face and body peels get absorbed into the bloodstream, which is similar to taking one or more aspirin when pregnant. Using a facial wash that contains less than 2% salicylic acid is considered safe. Consult a dermatologist to be doubly sure about it.
3. Look for Products Marked Non-comedogenic and Non-acnegenic
Makeup products and sunscreens marked ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘non-acnegenic’ — meaning they’re oil-free and don't clog pores – are safe and will not affect the health of your baby. Stay away from zinc oxide and titanium oxide. You can try mineral makeup products during pregnancy. These products use ingredients that mainly sit on top of the skin.
4. Go Natural, But Carefully
Some moms-to-be seek out natural ingredients such as soy and oil of bergamot in their skincare, thinking they’re free from harmful effects. But that’s not necessarily the case. While soy-based lotions and facial products are generally safe, it has estrogenic effects which can make dark splotches worse. Instead, go for an 'active soy' product which is safe to use.
5. Say No To Hair Colour
Do not use hair colour during pregnancy. Though if you do not have any prior allergy to hair colour then it is safe for you and the baby. But generally pregnancy causes changes in immunity levels, so if you develop itching on scalp, it should be avoided.
6. What About Hair Removal?
There are no specific ingredients to avoid when it comes to hair removing and minimizing products. The only risk is allergy. Avoid these products during pregnancy if you’ve had an allergic skin reaction to them in the past. As long as you use chemical hair removers as directed, they shouldn't be a problem. It's a topical solution that isn't absorbed into your bloodstream, so it can't have any effect on the baby. And yes, waxing is absolutely safe.
7. And Stretch Marks?
Regular oil massages after 4 months of pregnancy help in minimizing marks. Chaffing between breasts and thighs takes place because of fungal infection. Due to weight gain, the skin folds become more prone to infection. Always dry the skin folds with a towel followed by an anti-fungal powder like Abzorb. And if itching continues, consult your gynaecologist.
Dr Shehla Agarwal is the director and consultant dermatologist of Mehak - The Derma and Surgery Clinic, New Delhi. She has over 15 years of experience in dealing with unruly skin and hair.