Most women when they find out they are pregnant become hyper-aware about what they should and shouldn’t be putting into their bodies knowing full well whatever they consume will somehow affect their growing child but actually what you put on your skin can be just as important. Not just what you eat but everything you apply or come into contact with may affect not only you but your unborn child. I actually stumbled across this information when watching one of Caroline Hirons’ videos on YouTube (she is the skincare guru) and went on to do a lot of research about what beauty products were safe for my baby throughout pregnancy.
Retinoids are a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division (quickening your skin’s renewal) and prevent skin collagen from breaking down. They are usually found in anti-ageing products but it is recommended that expectant mothers stay away from them during pregnancy. Some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child especially oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin (Accutane, an acne treatment), which are known to cause birth defects. Best to leave the anti-ageing potions til after giving birth ladies!
Salicylic acid can be found in a number of skincare products including cleansers and toners and is used to treat certain skin disorders including acne. Again the emphasis is more on Oral consumption of this as it is known to cause birth defects and complications during pregnancy but there isn’t enough evidence to say whether topical use carries the same risks therefore it’s best avoided.
If you’re a fan of aromatherapy or looking for more natural methods to ease the symptoms of pregnancy it’s probably best to know that there are certain oils that should be avoided.
- Nutmeg, which may have hallucinogenic effects and react with pain-relieving drugs in labour.
- Rosemary, which is thought to increase blood pressure, and may cause contractions.
- Basil, which is thought to contribute to abnormal cell development.
- Jasmine and clary sage, which may trigger contractions.
- Sage and rose, which may cause bleeding in your uterus (womb).
- Juniper berry, which may affect your kidneys.
When looking into whether dying your hair during pregnancy there’s limited research but from what there is it’s safe to dye your hair. I would avoid it during the first trimester as some studies have found that very high doses of the chemicals in hair dyes may cause harm. However, these doses are massive compared with the very low amount of chemicals a woman is exposed to when colouring her hair. Personally I’ve avoided dying my hair as I have read articles claiming the chemicals can be absorbed through the scalp and be absorbed into the bloodstream and anything that’s absorbed into the bloodstream can affect the fetus so unless it’s absolutely necessary, I’ve stayed away from anything that could potentially affect my baby.