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Use Safer Personal Care Products During Pregnancy

Use Safer Personal Care Products During Pregnancy

March 27, 2013

What you put on your skin can be absorbed into your body, which makes choosing safe personal care products a must—especially when pregnant.

Conventional products can contain a whole host of synthetic chemicals that have been linked to everything from hormone disruption to skin or eye irritation to cancers to birth defects. Not even the potions and lotions made specifically for expectant moms—belly creams and the like—are guaranteed to be free of questionable ingredients.

Formulas vary from product to product but now is an important time to ditch anything unsafe and to replace it with safer, more natural versions. Here’s how:

  1. Go through the products you have been using to make sure they’re safe for you in your current state. Some acne creams, even over-the-counter ones, for example, may no longer be something you can use. Read through the ingredient lists on everything from your shampoo to your hair styling products to your deodorant to your mascara. Look your products up on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to assess their safety. Discontinue using anything with a high hazard rating.
  2. When it comes to makeup, be especially careful with lipsticks and glosses; you swallow whatever you put on your mouth.
  3. Nail polish and hair dye are two other products to reconsider. Generally speaking neither is safe when pregnant, though some versions are safer than others.
  4. If you like to wear perfume, consider switching to an organic essential oil. Synthetic fragrance formulas are government-protected trade secrets but tend to contain phthalates, which have been linked to hormone disruption. Fragrance is also an allergen.
  5. Ditch any soaps or body washes that contain the antibacterial agent triclosan.
  6. If the thought of replacing all of your favorite products exhausts you and you don’t want to memorize tons of ingredients you now should avoid—from parabens to formaldehyde—try using single-ingredient food grade oils. Safflower oil, for example, works well to moisturize an ever-expanding baby bump. And it’s easy to find an organic version.