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Common Skincare Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant

by Editorial Team |

If you’re a mum or mum-to-be, you’ll know why it’s super important to be particularly mindful about what you consume for the safety of your baby. But how often do you consider the ingredients that go onto your body? The truth is, any toxic ingredients in your skincare could put yourself and your baby at risk (you’ll be surprised by how many mainstream beauty products contain harmful ones!) This is why it’s extremely important to adapt your skincare routine––and one of the safest routes is Clean Beauty. 


What is Clean Beauty and Why Do You Need It? 

You’ve probably heard of beauty buzzwords like ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘vegan’, but what is clean beauty? If a product is ‘clean’ it means it has been formulated without toxic ingredients and has been tested for safety, and they can either be made from natural ingredients or synthetic ones (produced in a lab).

Contrary to popular belief, synthetic ingredients can be totally safe for you, and all-natural products are sometimes harmful, especially if they aren’t tested properly. For example, natural clays found in cosmetics can contain toxic heavy metals, while natural essential oils, like tea tree and lemon oil, can cause skin irritation. Clean beauty ensures you are only getting the best ingredients for your skin, be it natural or lab-made. 

But some clean beauty ingredients that are normally safe could potentially be harmful for your baby if you are pregnant or nursing. So in addition to avoiding the most toxic ingredients commonly found in skincare like Parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde (stay away from these regardless if you’re pregnant or not!), it’s important to be aware of the common skincare ingredients that can be harmful if you are expecting. Let’s unpack them below:


1. AHAs 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are great for their exfoliating properties which get rid of dead skin cells, unclog your pores, tackle acne and lighten hyperpigmentation. Two of the most common types are lactic acid, which is considered safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding in low doses (10% or less), and glycolic acid, which should be avoided completely. You’ll find AHAs in a lot of cleansers, toners, and exfoliants.


2. High concentrations of Salicylic acid 

Salicylic acid is a type of BHA (a chemical ingredient similar to AHAs). It’s great for exfoliating your face and it can also be found in aspirin to tackle headaches. It is considered safe in low percentages (2% or lower) in your skincare. Just be mindful of the percentages you are using and don’t use it too often. At Yours, any formulation with Salicylic acid will contain less than 0.5% concentration, so it’s designed to be used safely by anyone! 


3. Retinol (And Vitamin A Derivatives)

Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A. It’s a great ingredient to tackle fine lines, wrinkles and age spots, however, it can be dangerous to use while pregnant or nursing, as it can negatively affect the development of your baby and lead to birth defects. 

Watch out for: Other Vitamin A derivatives including Retin-A, and Retinyl Palmitate, retinyl retinoate, retinaldehyde or hydroxypinacolone retinoate


4. Essential oils

Essential oils are key aromatherapy ingredients which can help minimise nausea and soothe aching muscles. However, you should avoid using products that contain essential oils, especially during your first trimester as they can cause uterine contractions or affect your baby in the early developmental stages. 

Watch out for: Rosemary, lemon, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, tea tree oils

 

5. Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl Peroxide is an excellent ingredient to lighten blemishes and treat acne. It is generally considered safe when you are pregnant but in low concentrations (5% or lower). However, it’s also an allergen, so just to be safe, we recommend to avoid using it altogether. 

We get it, reading ingredient labels can get confusing, and the last thing you’d want to stress out about pre or post-pregnancy is your skincare. We’re here to help – take our quick skin assessment to build your personalised pregnancy-safe routine!

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