If you’re expecting a baby, then you’re probably on the look out for the fabled “pregnancy glow”. But if you’re wondering where yours is at, don’t panic. You're not alone. We’re here to help demystify skincare during pregnancy.
You've probably heard about the incredible changes your own body goes through during this new stage. Maybe spots? Changes in skin pigmentation? Stretch marks?
- Drink plenty of water- this is a must. Being hydrated is essential for both you and your baby. It maintains your skin healthy and elastic and helps in the elimination of toxins from your body, so keep a check on your water intake!
- Let’s move!: Doing mild exercise will help you stay fit and prepare for labour.
- Balanced diet: Healthy eating means wellness. It’s core to feeling good and giving your baby the essential nutrients they need to grow nice and snug in the womb. There’s heaps of information online about exactly this so we’ll spare you the detail. If you want more, check this post out.
Ok, so far so good(ish). I mean you might have to go easy on the caffeine, and chances are you’re craving a glass of wine. But what about your skincare routine? Does it need to change too? What skincare ingredients should I stay clear from to take care of my baby?”. All good questions. After all, eating skincare and wearing skincare aren’t the same, but what we put on our skin still matters.
- Cleanse - Gently face cleansing to try to avoid sebum production.
- Hydrate- Use a hydrating face cream and body lotion to replenish the water loss during pregnancy. This will help you maintain a firm and elastic skin during and after your pregnancy. There are a number of widely available oils on the market specifically here for this too.
- Exfoliate- once a week to prevent the appearance of stretch marks on the belly. Removing the dead and dry cells will enhance the effect of the oils and hydrating body lotions used to improve the elasticity of the skin.
- Protect - Out in the sun? Lucky you! Your skin is hypersensitive to pigmentation changes during pregnancy. Use mineral-based sunscreens to protect your skin from the UV damage and minimise discolouration.
But what about the scary stuff? What can I or cannot put in my skin? Is this product safe for my baby? Frankly, the science might not always agree, but to be safe, here are the top 7 ingredients you might want to avoid:
+7 INGREDIENTS TO AVOID
- Retinoids: A derivative of Vitamin A, they are mainly used to treat acne and are core to many anti-aging routines. It's been widely reported that there's a link between the use of retinoids and an increased risk of undesirable changes in developing babies. With other options around, there’s no need to take any risks. Drop the retinoids and use a gentle cleansing gel instead to help keep away those blemishes.
- Hydroquinone: Used as a skin lightener. Now, let’s be frank... skin lightening is controversial, and rightly so. You’re beautiful in the skin you're in, no matter the colour. But, some people still want to lighten their tone, and hydroquinone is a go-to ingredient for just that job. Studies have shown that as much as 44% of this substance is absorbed into the skin after topical application. And with the power to change skin colour, do you want it in your body? Use mineral-based sunscreens instead, and you will protect yourself from any future UV damage, including changes in skin pigmentation without the same risk. Ciao ciao hydroquinone.
- Phthalates: Usually used as cosmetic product stabilisers, studies have shown links to liver, kidney, lung, and reproductive issues. In Europe and the UK, most of them are banned. If you live elsewhere you'll want to look at the ingredients listed on your skincare and avoid those containing phthalates. This is easier said than done if your product is perfumed, more on that to follow.
- Aluminum chloride hexahydrate: Commonly seen in deodorants and antiperspirants. Safe use in low concentrations, so just try to avoid those products in which aluminium chloride is found in high concentrations. How can you know this? Well, for a start you can look for products where this is low down the list of ingredients.
Formaldehyde: Found in products with synthetic fragrances and nail polishes. It’s better not to use this ingredient because of links to fertility-related problems. As the contents of the perfume in your skincare is often a mystery to all but the perfume house who makes it, our recommendation is simple: use unperfumed products. And if you really want to apply something smelly, wear it on your sleeve or top, rather than spraying directly onto with the skin.
Thioglycolic acid: Found in some chemical hair removers. While there's no solid research on the side effects, there’s plenty of opinion that suggests otherwise. Again, if in doubt, when we’re talking about your baby, it's probably not worth the risk.
Parabens: Used as preservatives, parabens have recently fallen into a group of ingredients that cause controversy. Research is ongoing. Like phthalates, in Europe certain parabens are banned while others are considered totally safe; many even make it into ready meals! But they aren’t essential in cosmetics. So as a running theme to this post, especially if you live beyond the protections of European safety rules... why take the risk?
The good news is there are plenty of other preservative options out there. If your skincare is EcoCert Certified then you’re only ever going to get a preservative which is considered suitable for use in natural cosmetics. That’s where we’re at.
So there we have it. The essentials to a keeping skin and baby healthy during pregnancy.
We have a rule here... hide nothing and involve everyone. We want our products to be safe for everyone, and that goes for future mummies to be too. You won't find any of the above ingredients of concern in our products. But don’t take our word for it, take a look at back-of-pack for every ingredient, and it’s plant origin.
Oh and remember, when it comes to skincare during pregnancy, baby trumps perfect skin, every time. So if in doubt, leave it out. And if ever unsure, always seek the advice of your gynaecologist or family doctor.
Want more safe products? Check out our family set: