Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PREGNANT ? Use Safe Skin Care


As most pregnant women know, what they put (or don't put) in their bodies is important to the well-being of their growing baby, whether it is the right kind of protein, too much caffeine, or certain types of fish. However, what many pregnant women might not know which is also very important, is being more informed on the products they put on their bodies.

Many women slather on a substantial amount of lotions every day, but we do not think about what might be passing the skin barrier and getting absorbed into our bodies. This is a vital concern with a developing baby in your belly.

Whatever you eat, products you put on or come into contact with, may affect not only you, but also your baby. Some topical ingredients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and these are what you want to avoid!

Skin care products are becoming more powerful and targeted every day so we need to be careful about our daily skin care regimen during pregnancy. Most of the commonly used products are completely safe, but there are a handful of ingredients considered potentially harmful to a growing baby. Also, if you plan to breastfeed, avoid these products that have these ingredients until you have finished nursing.

A list of these types of ingredients and what they do are stated below.


A powerful substance which can be found in some anti-aging moisturizers. Retinoids are lauded for helping reduce wrinkles and improve skin tone. They are a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division (quickening your skin's renewal) and prevents skin collagen from breaking down.

Some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child. And oral retinoids, such as isotretinoin (found in Accutane, an acne treatment), are known to cause birth defects. Retinoids in the their topical form, have not been shown to cause problems in pregnant women. Of particular note is there is no data to show retinoid is harmful when used on the skin, but you will find most doctors like to be on the cautious side.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Differin (adapelene), Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Tazorac and Avage (Tazarotene)


This mild acid is used to treat certain skin disorders, including acne, and you can find it in a number of skin products, such as cleansers and toners. It can penetrate facial oils to get deep into pores and clean out dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is in the aspirin family, so it can also help reduce inflammation or redness. BHA, or beta hydroxy acid, is a form of salicylic acid and is used in some topical exfoliants to reverse signs of aging.

However, salicylic acid is another ingredient pregnant women should avoid. Studies have shown that high doses of this acid in its oral form, can cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. Applying small amounts to the skin — such as a salicylic acid-containing toner used once or twice a day — are considered safe. There is more of a stronger concern about face and body peels which contain this acid. "Soaking" in the ingredient is similar to taking one or more aspirin when pregnant. More product used equals more absorption into the bloodstream. It is best to always check with your doctor first, before having a peel treatment. If you must have a peel treatment when you are pregnant, it is best to use a dermatologist as they will know how to do it safely during pregnancy.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Salicylic acid, Beta hydroxy acid BHA . However, Alpha hydroxy acids, sometimes listed as AHAs, glycolic acid, or lactic acid, are safe.


Some pregnant women look for natural ingredients such as soy in their skin-care products, thinking that they're free from harmful effects, which is not necessarily true. Generally, soy-based lotions and facial products are safe to use, "Soy has estrogenic effects, which can make the dark patches (also known as melasma or chloasma) on facial skin on pregnant women worse, as can "oil of bergamot:, which can be found in many organic products. However, "active soy" found in some product lines is okay, as the estrogenic components have been taken out.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Lethicin, Phosphatidylcholine, Soy, Textured vegetable protein (TVP), especially pregnant women who have dark skin or melasma. Choose the "active soy" products instead.


It is quite common for pregnant women to have "breakouts" in their first trimester because of changing estrogen levels, even if they have always had clear skin. A dermatologist can help you if you are dealing with pregnancy-induced acne. However, if you wish, you can use a facial wash that contains no more than 2 percent salicylic acid (look for the percentage on the product label). which is a safe amount for pregnant women to use. As always, check with your doctor or obstetrician. Pregnant women should also stay away from leave-on acne lotions, gels and creams, as well as "at-home peels", which can contain salicylic acid or retinoids in unknown amounts. Always, pregnant women should steer clear of the oral form of the retinoid Accutane.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Beta hydroxy acid BHA, Differin (adapelene), Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Salicylic acid, Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene), Tretinoin. Glycolic Acid is an AHA and safe to use. It is always a good idea to consult with your dermatologist or use mild over-the-counter cleansers only.


Pregnant women using a lotion as directed, that removes your hair chemically (depilatories) or that minimize hair between shaves products are considered risk-free. It is a topical solution that is not absorbed into your bloodstream, however you do run the risk of an "allergy", especially if you have had an allergic skin reaction to hair minimizers or removal creams in the past. Therefore, these pregnant women should avoid using these products.

Some women have skin which gets extra sensitive during pregnancy, so you may have a reaction to these ingredients even if you haven't before. It is suggested that before slathering your whole leg, do a patch test on a small piece of skin behind your knee, and wait 24 hours to see if you react.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Potassium Thioglycolate (depilatory), Calcium Thioglycolate (depilatory), Sodium Hydroxide (minimizer), Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract (minimizer), Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (minimizer)


Pregnant women can also continue to enjoy the beach, but don't forget the sunscreen. Sunscreens are perfectly safe including those with ingredients that penetrate the skin. The ingredients that go deep into the skin, do so in such small concentrations, that they are not worth worrying about. Some experts say they prefer titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in sunscreens as they are powerful physical sunscreens and do not penetrate the skin.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide, Avobenzone (Parsol 1789), Oxybenzone, Dioxybenzone, Benzophenone, Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Octocrylene


Today, there are many makeup products which are marked "noncomedogenic" or "nonacnegenic" — meaning they're oil-free and don't clog pores. These are safe for pregnant women and will not affect the health of your baby. However, avoid cosmetics that contain retinol or salicylic acid (found in some makeup for acne-prone skin).

Pregnant women want to be extra careful during pregnancy. They should try some of the minerals-only makeup lines. The minerals-only products use ingredients that primarily sit on top of the skin and don't cause irritation for most people.

While pregnant, it is best to avoid products that show any of these on the labels: Differin (adapelene), Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate, Tazorac and avage (Tazarotene), Tretinoin

A rule-of-thumb for pregnant women to follow is avoid cosmetics that contain retinoids or salicylic acids, otherwise the product is safe to use.

If a pregnant women finds they are using a product that contains one of the potentially harmful ingredients noted above, simply stop using the product now and pick one with known-to-be-safe ingredients. Most over-the-counter products by reputable brands are safe. If you are applying these products to less than 10% of your total skin surface, the risks of systemic effects are very low.

Bottom line ladies - check/read the labels on products and check with your doctor before using them if you are uncertain. Is it not better to be safe than sorry? I wish you all a safe, healthy and happy pregnancy.

DID YOU KNOW??? Clinical testing of Mary Kay® products is conducted under the supervision
of a board-certified dermatologist or that any Mary Kay consultant can give you a list of the ingredients for the products, if you ask them for it.

Satin Hands® Extra Emollient Night Cream is a popular MK product amongst my pregnant customers. They use it to help them with their stretch marks! It contains petrolatum, beeswax and mineral oil to help protect, condition and seal in moisture.

Shirra Turner, Independent Sales
Mary Kay Cosmetics
(403) 934-9638


Shirra Turner (403) 934-9638 - This saying is so true ... if you look good, you feel good! said...

Mary Kay Head Office has just confirmed that all Mary Kay products ARE SAFE for pregnant women to use.

If you wish a list of ingredients for any Mary Kay product, please email me at and I will be happy to get it for you.

John Parker said...

Truly professional, Exactly what i was looking for. Will bookmark this blog for future posts.V.SACHAR MD- a web store that offers beauty products for pregnant women. Sachar posses diverse knowledge in this field.

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