Pregnancy is a very special thing in a woman’s life… something not so may men can actually truly understand (tongue in cheek).

Due to the added responsibility of having to bring another life into this world, many pregnant women take special care of themselves during this period and rightly so too as their bodies become an incubator or covering for this little life emerging from within them.

Special care and attention is given not only to what goes into the body, but equally to what is applied on the outside, having been proven by science that most topically applied products are still able to penetrate the skin and eventually find their way into the blood stream.


Below are a list of skincare ingredients that should be avoided by pregnant women:

  • Aluminum chloride hexahydrate: Found in antiperspirant; check for aluminum chloride hexahydrate and aluminium chlorohydrate.
  • Beta hydroxy acids: Salicylic acid, 3-hydroxypropionic acid, trethocanic acid and tropic acid.
  • Chemical sunscreens: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate and oxtocrylene.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA): Found in hair and body products; stay clear of diethanolamine, oleamide DEA, lauramide DEA and cocamide DEA.
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): Found in spray self-tanners; could be harmful if inhaled.
  • Formaldehyde: Found in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes and eyelash glue; look for formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).
  • Hydroquinone: A lightening agent; abstain from hydroquinone, idrochinone and quinol/1-4 dihydroxy benzene/1-4 hydroxy benzene.
  • Parabens: Keep away from propyl, butyl, isopropyl, isobutyl and methyl parabens.
  • Phthalates: Found in products with synthetic fragrances and nail polishes; avoid diethyl and dibutyl especially.
  • Retinol and Vitamin A Derivatives: Vitamin A, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin.
  • Thioglycolic acid: Found in chemical hair removers; can also be labeled acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid and thiovanic acid.
  • Toluene: Found in nail polishes;
  • Essential oils : With the exception of Roman chamomile, cape chamomile, Mandarin, lavender, sandalwood and fragonia
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Hair dye: The frequent change in product formulation makes it very difficult to assess the potential risks,” Dr. Sassoon says. To err on the safe side, he recommends pregnant patients steer clear of hair coloring for the first 12 weeks, when the fetus is busy forming integral body parts and organs. Afterward, he says, occasional appointments are okay: “Such small amounts of chemical is absorbed through the scalp that the potential risk is very small if the appointments are infrequent.”


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