If you’re newly pregnant and asking yourself whether there are any products or toiletries in your everyday beauty regimen to avoid, the answer is a resounding YES. Well, at least in the first trimester.
But if you search online or ask the experts, you will find an overwhelming amount of differing opinions on this topic. Some look at their own parents or family members with kids and say that all turned out fine despite the use of every product out there. Others point to new research that links various household chemicals and products to birth defects, and stress the importance of going organic or avoiding each and every product in question.
My opinion on the matter? I simply say why not meet somewhere in the middle and (while not limiting yourself completely), do all you can to prevent your unborn child from having any major issues…especially during the first trimester when baby’s organs are starting to develop and are the most vulnerable.
Here are my picks for pregnancy-proofing your beauty routine:
1. Colgate Cavity Protection Toothpaste
Didn’t think your toothpaste mattered? Well look a bit closer. Toothpastes often contain whitening chemicals — strong chemicals that are potentially harmful to your baby that can even cause you teeth and gum sensitivity (something pregnant women often already suffer from). Therefore when choosing a toothpaste, you really want to stick to the basics here and choose a paste free of any dental bleaching or whitening agents. I like a really great, yet simple toothpaste brand like Colgate — the type with just the basic cavity protection.
2. Tom’s of Maine Deodorant
Most people don’t know it but the majority of deodorants and antiperspirants out there contain aluminum zirconium — a very dangerous chemical for pregnant and nursing mothers. The chemical which can pass through the mother’s skin upon application, has been linked to a number of issues in fetuses. Pretty scary!
Despite knowing that strong perfumes should be avoided, I actually wasn’t aware of this one myself until an older sister pointed it out. Phew!
Luckily, one brand that is aluminum-free is Tom’s of Maine — you can go with the unscented kind or a lightly fresh scent that gets the job done just as well as any other brand.
3. Neutrogena Naturals
This is a big one. Most beauty products (and cleansers especially), contain a handful of severe chemicals that need to be avoided during pregnancy. You may have heard of the culprits: sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates etc. These are chemicals that have been linked to some issues in fetuses and should therefore be used with caution.
Armed with such knowledge, I try to avoid these harmful agents all together and look for a pregnancy-proof face cleanser like Neutrogena Naturals. This cleanser is not only free of harsh chemicals but it also leaves my face feeling fresh and clean. You can read my full review of this Neutrogena cleanser here!
Aquaphor is just one of those products you will fall in love with! I did when I came to rely on it as my daily lip treatment during pregnancy #1. Why is that? One of the many issues that expectant mothers often experience is dry skin — especially chapped, cracked or even bleeding lips! Aquaphor works to repair that irritated skin with enriched shea butter, soothing chamomile and Vitamins C and E. It is also fragrance-free, preservative-free, and dye free!
5. Aveeno Moisturizer
Aveeno has always been one of my moisturizers of choice even before pregnancy. For starters, it contains natural ingredients and is both hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic — something a breakout-prone individual looks for. However, and more importantly, it is free of the dangerous chemicals in many skin treatments. Chemicals like salycylic acids and retinoids that have been closely linked to birth defects. Pregnancy is definitely not the time to use the harshest of chemicals.
6. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
Besides the obvious fact that cocoa butter works wonders for dry skin, I love the advanced formula equipped with bio c-elaste that is especially made to treat and prevent stretch marks! And yes, we all know stretch marks can be genetic, but why not try to prevent any new ones from forming if you can? Palmer’s is dermatologist tested and both paraben and phylate – free!
I used this lotion religiously on my growing belly during the first pregnancy and it definitely did it’s job…but word to the wise: don’t be afraid to use it everywhere!!
7. The “Wet” Brush
Okay so this one isn’t really a “product” per se, but it is definitely a toiletry item I used to replace my chemically-heavy detangler and leave-in-conditioner. The “Wet” Brush is one of the best detangling brushes I’ve used to date. Because I have naturally wavy/curly hair that I often straighten, I needed to find a safe-solution to reduce the knots and breakage I often experienced. This brush was able to unravel my toughest tangles without me resorting to use any harsh chemicals or conditioning treatments.
8. Dove Shampoo/Conditioner
Finding a pregnancy-safe shampoo was never something that really crossed my mind with my first child. I mostly avoided the big hair no-no’s like color treatments and chemical straightening procedures that contain formaldehyde, but I didn’t really think twice about my shampoo. But of course, the more I looked into this one I found another long list of questionable chemicals already being used in the most popular shampoos and conditioners available. So with this one I honestly tried not to worry too much. I just made sure to use a product that wasn’t overly perfumed and irritating. I chose to alternate between Dove and Neutrogena shampoos as I found them to be the most skin/hair-friendly.
Although it’s impossible to really avoid every harsh chemical out there, I do believe it is wise to make small changes here and there as life permits to give your new little bundle of joy the best shot at life.
Did you make any major changes to your daily beauty routine while pregnant?