Vanity should give way to pregnancy care | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The Year of the Water Dragon is supposedly an auspicious one for having babies. Couples are racing against time to conceive no later than May 2.

Women who are planning or are expecting are urged to read the fine print in pregnancy beauty. Magic ingredients that make us pretty all year round are banned from conception till delivery.

Category X  products are a definite no-no; they include anti-acne products, otherwise women’s holy grail products. Women should go to skin clinics for regular cleaning. They should inform the clinics of their pregnancy for treatments that should eliminate high frequency light and steam with glycolic acid.

Also banned are Vitamin A derivatives such as Tretinoin (Retin A, Stieva, etc.) and Retinol A, which are responsible for smooth, glowing, poreless, dewy, even-toned skin. The treatments also eliminate fine lines, dead skin and acne. Vitamin A derivatives are linked to birth defects in babies.

Salicylic acid/BHA—This ingredient can be found in anti-acne treatments, exfoliators and anti-aging products. Complications in pregnancy have arisen in women who have taken aspirin, and, since salicylic acid is part of the aspirin family, it is felt the formula is something best avoided.

Accutane—This miracle oral treatment for moderate to severe acne should not be used at all during pregnancy. It will put the fetus at risk for serious birth defects. It also increases the risks of fetal loss. Safe gives this a Category X, which means, do not use.

Toulene—Emits strong solvent fumes from nail salons and rugby is believed to cause developmental damage to fetus.

DBP, or Phthalates, is found in any number of skin-care and cosmetic products, including nail polish, deodorant, hair spray and perfumes. According  to “Not Just a Pretty Face – The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry,” a 2005 study by Shanna Swan, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Rochester, there’s a “significant relationship” between the presence of higher quantities of Phthalates present in a pregnant woman’s body and changes in the genitals of boy babies.  If you must, use DBP-free polish like Orly and Butter London.

Hair-remover creams that leave you with a smooth, lighter skin that grow back fine and slower also contain DBP/Phthalates, so opt to shave or wax instead.  Shaving is better, as waxing could leave you with ingrown hairs when it grows back.

Handle with care

C Category products are those products that should be handled with care. There are no clear-cut studies, but avoid the products so you don’t risk your baby in any way.

Hydroquinone is the  fastest-acting whitening agent of late; it’s effective for fading brown spots and dark scars. Women of color are most prone to skin discoloration and darkening, more so when pregnant.  Underarms, neck, groin areas and face get spots that range from brown to grayish blue-black.  This is when we actually need this the most. Lab animals treated with Hydroquinone are prone to still births and lower birth weight, as well as deformities in unborn fetuses.

Parabens—This preservative enables us to keep our beauty products on the shelf up to two years so we can hoard during sales and save money. However, there are studies that show they have serious effects on the reproductive system of baby boys.  Common parabens include methylparaben (E number E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216) and butylparaben. Less common parabens include isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts.

This article is not meant to cause panic but instead make women who are pregnant or planning to be informed of the risks. Check out for more helpful info.

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