While you’re more restricted to what products and beauty treatments are safe to use when you’re pregnant, this doesn’t mean you have to completely cull your pampering and skincare routine, you just need to know what you can and can’t do.
Feeling and looking good is important during pregnancy, but even the most serene mother-to-be can get stressed trying to evaluate the risk factor of every peel, product and treatment on the market.
We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to beauty treatments for expectant mothers that takes the guesswork out of grooming (you’re welcome)!
Things pregnant women never say. Post continues below.
Sharing her struggles on the You Beauty podcast, Mamamia’s executive editor, Leigh Campbell shared the rules she followed during her pregnancy.
“I’m discovering the opinions around pregnancy are wild… but the short answer is, there’s no certification for what’s pregnancy-safe and there aren’t any clear guidelines so it’s tricky. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal choice, and you should always check with your obstetrician,” she said.
“The hardest part about pregnancy is, no one is going to put 200 pregnant women in a study and try stuff on them, so many things might be safe but we need to err on the side of caution because it hasn’t been tested.”
However, there are some ingredients you should be aware of.
Vitamin A, retinol and retinoids
You’re going to want to avoid all of the above.
The more powerful and targeted a products is, the higher the chances it contains an ingredient considered potentially harmful to a growing baby. The main one to look out for is retinoid – a type of vitamin A that speeds up cell division and prevents skin collagen from breaking down. Studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A during pregnancy can be harmful to an unborn child and oral retinoids (such as Accutane, an acne medication) are a known cause of birth defects.
“It’s advised not to use retinols and vitamin As during pregnancy, which is great advice because they haven’t done studies into how it might affect the baby,” said Leigh.
“Confusingly, some brands are bringing out what they’re calling ‘pregnancy-safe’ vitamin As and retinols. They’ll say ‘our version is safe in pregnancy’, that’s when you’d ask you obstetrician – those types of ingredients are getting a lot more sophisticated and safer to use, but just because a beauty brand says it’s OK, I would still check with your doctor.”