Pregnant Women – What Product Ingredients are Safe for Skin Care During Pregnancy?
Are you pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, you already know there are a lot of limitations in medications you can take and foods you can eat. Lots of people ask me about safe pregnancy skin care, and which ingredients they should avoid during pregnancy and nursing.
Pregnancy is a very important time in any female’s life and we dermatologists believe that no risks should be taken unless it’s extremely important for mother’s health or baby’s health! We don’t want to look back and second guess our choices about medications or procedures that weren’t absolutely essential.
There are very few studies which have evaluated the safety of the active ingredients in skin care products during pregnancy. This makes it difficult for doctors to say with certainty that a specific ingredient is completely safe to use throughout pregnancy. Therefore most doctors recommend avoidance as the safest, most conservative course for the mother!
What product ingredients are safe for skin care during pregnancy?
Working at Mumbai as an aesthetic dermatologist, this was the most common question I faced from pregnant mothers. While most skin care ingredients in drugstore and dermatology non-prescription products are safe for use during pregnancy, there are certain prescription medications, both oral and topical, which are exception to this rule.
Acne, which is one of the most common problems during pregnancy, the truly safest and best skincare products to use during pregnancy are the glycolic acid or other AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) products and peels. This is because they are derived from sugar cane. You may also want to consider using organic product lines as they will limit your exposure to chemicals in many skin care products.
What ingredients or medications should you avoid for skin care during pregnancy?
Oral Retinoids (also known as Tretinoins) used for treatment of Acne, pigment disorders and plaque psoriasis. They act by speeding up cell division (Quickening your skin’s renewal) and prevents skin collagen from breaking down. High does are known to cause birth defects. In form of cream, you can put on skin and doesn’t not cause problems.
Hydroxy Acids such as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) are found in products to treat certain skin disorders, including acne, skin inflammation, and redness. Salicylic acid in High doses of the acid in its oral form (it's an ingredient in aspirin) have been shown in studies to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. Small amounts applied to the skin — such as a salicylic acid-containing toner used once or twice a day — are considered safe.
soy-based lotions and facial products are generally safe to use, soy has estrogenic effects that can make dark patches of skin (known as melasma or chloasma) worse, as can oil of bergamot, which is in many organic products.
Many women have breakouts in the first trimester because of changing estrogen levels, even if they've always had clear skin. If you're dealing with pregnancy-induced acne, you can use a facial wash that contains no more than 2 percent salicylic acid (Safe option) Avoid products with higher percent salicylic acid or retinoids. Antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline should be avoided during pregnancy (Category D). Topical antibiotics such as Clindamycin, azelaic acid; Glycol acid & AHA peels are considered safe.
Topical medications are in the “gray zone” or controversial. Some doctors will prescribe them and others won’t. The “B” category in the FDA Pregnancy Categories is “No Evidence of Risk in Humans.”decision often depends on the patient, their skin condition, their stage of pregnancy, their level of anxiety over medications , etc. T
Strict No to any anti ageing and cosmetic treatments such as Botox, Dysport, or dermal fillers of any kind. Laser treatments should be avoided also.
Hair removers & minimisers, are considered safe, as long as you use them as directed. If you've had an allergic skin reaction to hair minimizers or removal creams in the past, then you should avoid these products during pregnancy as well.
Sunscreens with ingredients that penetrate the skin are considered safe during pregnancy. However, use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — physical sunblocks that don't penetrate the skin.
For Melasma during pregnancy, hats, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a physical (like zinc or titanium) as opposed to chemical sun, and possibly azelaic acid (prescription). Glycolic peels are safe in pregnancy but may make melasma worse depending on the time of year of your pregnancy and how much time you spend outdoors.
Many makeup products are marked "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic" — meaning they're oil-free and don't clog pores. These are safe and will not affect the health of your baby.Avoid cosmetics that contain retinol or salicylic acid (found in some makeup for acne-prone skin).
If you want to be super careful during pregnancy, try some of the minerals-only makeup lines. These products use ingredients that primarily sit on top of the skin and don't cause irritation for most people.
Topical steroids such as hydrocortisone creams -- are often used for minor skin irritations, inflammation, itches and rashes caused by contact dermatitis, mild eczema, rashes are considered safe to use during pregnancy
If you have any queries about a skin product, get in touch with us at Dr. Gauri’s Skin & Hair Clinic. iI you have used a product that contains a potentially harmful ingredient, don't panic. Simply stop using the product now and pick one with safer ingredients.