If you’re newly pregnant and asking yourself whether there are skincare or beauty products 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.
Related: Pregnancy-Safe Cleaning Products
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:
Related: Ultimate Pregnancy Resource
1. Non-Whitening 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.
Note: Most toothpastes contain SLS a chemical which is often confused with a related cleaning chemical called sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES. It’s important to note the difference and steer clear of the latter cleaning chemical. Download the printable at the end of this post to help you know which chemicals to avoid!
2. Chemical-Free 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 natural 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. I usually go with the lavender scent since it keeps me a little more relaxed during pregnancy.
Another chemical-free deodorant that is safe to use during pregnancy is Earth Mama Organics. The line offers a super special formulation in four scents including:
- GingerAid Deodorant,
- Bright Citrus Deodorant,
- Natural Non-Scents Deodorant,
- Calming Lavender Deodorant
NOTE: Use our printable checklist below to track all the toxic ingredients to avoid in your skincare and beauty products!
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 andshould 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.
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 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 fragrance-free, preservative-free, and dye free! I typically get a large jar for baby, a medium-size one to keep in the bathroom and a mini one for on-the-go use. (Amazon typically has 20% coupon for the first order!)
5. Gentle 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 most 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. There are various lines of Aveeno products, always check the ingredients to make sure you have the best options.6. Pregnancy-friendly body lotion
Ever tried 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 Cocoa Butter 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. Formaldehyde-free hair tools
The Wet Brush is my FAVORITE. Okay so this one is more of a hair tool, but also a must 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. You can buy the brush here.
8. Sulfate-free 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 was sulfate-free. I chose to alternate between Dove and Aveeno 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?
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