Before we go into our list, we should note that there is a scarcity of evidence-based data on the safety of specific products during pregnancy. Clinical experiments on pregnant women that could even begin to indicate that particular chemicals are dangerous are almost always unethical.
However, certain animal, anecdotal, or case-specific research have demonstrated that a few common skin-care chemicals have significant foetal consequences. Our recommendations are based on this.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires cosmetics to be “safe” based on their intended uses and labelling, but they do not require FDA approval to be sold.
All of this raises an important question: which cosmetics are genuinely safe to use while pregnant?
High-dose salicylic acid
Salicylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties comparable to aspirin, is a frequent component used to treat acne. However, a 2013 study found that high-dose salicylic acid products, like peels and oral medicines, should be avoided during pregnancy.
However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has declared lower-dose topical OTC salicylic acid treatments to be safe.
Hydroquinone is a prescription medication used to lighten or diminish skin pigmentation caused by melasma and chloasma, both of which can be exacerbated by pregnancy.
Hydroquinone has no demonstrated link to severe congenital abnormalities or negative effects. However, because hydroquinone absorbs a large quantity of water compared to other chemicals (25 to 35 percent, according to this article), it’s better to avoid it (if at all) during pregnancy.
Phthalates are hormone disruptive compounds that can be found in a variety of cosmetics and personal care items. Phthalate exposure has been associated with major reproductive and hormone abnormalities in animals.
Although there are few human studies to back this up, the FDA and professional medical organisations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics are increasingly looking into endocrine disruptors for their potential to harm congenital reproductive health.
Cosmetics is the most prevalent source of phthalate exposure, and diethyl phthalate (DEP) is the most common phthalate found in cosmetic items.
Vitamin A is an essential component for maintaining good skin, immunological, reproductive, and eye health. Your body transforms it to retinol when it is taken or absorbed through the skin.
Some anti-aging skincare products contain retinoids, a kind of retinol that has become a holy grail because of its ability to reverse acne and diminish fine wrinkles. Retinoids renew skin by assisting surface-level skin cells in exfoliating more quickly and increasing collagen formation.
Prescription drugs, such as Retin-A (tretinoin) and Accutane (isotretinoin), contain far larger doses of retinoids than over-the-counter products. Although the quantity of retinoids absorbed by topical treatments is likely insignificant, greater doses have been associated with birth abnormalities. As a result, all retinoids are contraindicated during pregnancy.
Prescription retinoids, such as Accutane, have been linked to a 20 to 35 percent increased risk of serious congenital abnormalities, with up to 60% of infants demonstrating neurocognitive issues after being exposed in utero.
As a result, it is advised that women of reproductive age who are taking Accutane:
- Use two different methods of contraception.
- be checked for pregnancy and compliance by their doctor on a regular basis
- 1–2 months before trying to conceive, cease taking the medicine.
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