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Beauty Products to Avoid During Pregnancy

What are the beauty products to avoid during pregnancy? Which chemicals might harm your health and that of your unborn baby? Read this to find out.
Saptakee Sengupta Jun 18, 2019
During pregnancy, it's very natural to worry about little things in life because your health directly affects the baby developing in your womb. For the same reason, you should be cautious while using cosmetics and beauty products containing chemicals that might harm your baby in different ways.
Even though the cosmetics could be safe on a normal female, but the chemicals might have dangerous side effects on a pregnant woman.
The chemicals in creams, lotions, shampoos show gradual effects that become evident in the long run. Thus, you might not experience the side effects immediately and continue using skin care products. This will hamper the growth of your baby as well as pose a threat to your internal health.
One such product is Accutane, a key ingredient in acne creams, that may cause birth defects in the baby, so it should be avoided by a pregnant woman under all circumstances. Here is some more information regarding which cosmetic products you stay away from when you are expecting.


Retinoid is a strong agent found in anti-aging creams and moisturizers. It is also found in acne creams that are generally not safe during pregnancy. Retinol is actually a precursor of vitamin A, that helps in cell growth and regeneration.
Skin care products containing this chemical affect the health of an unborn child. The effects are fairly severe if expecting mothers are exposed to oral retinoids, like isotretinoin. It can even cause birth defects in a baby.


Paraben is added as a preservative to many cosmetics. It protects bacterial, fungal, mold growth on shampoos, creams, sunscreens, astringents, lotions. Paraben is not safe during pregnancy as it causes disruption in reproductive hormones.
One such product is methyl paraben that leads to disruption in secretion of endocrine hormones. It affects the levels of estrogen, thereby causing health complications during pregnancy. Instead, you can use paraben-free cosmetics.


Extensive use of stain removers and alcoholic cleansers is a common practice while performing pedicures and manicures. They contain acetone and ethanol, chemicals that release fumes when used. These fumes, when inhaled by expecting mothers, can affect the development of fetus.
Although safe for the pregnant woman, their harmful effects are directed to the baby. Therefore, while undergoing any type of body care session, make sure you get it done in a well-ventilated room and cover your nose and mouth for some time so that you do not inhale the fumes.


Face packs, masks containing soy as a key ingredient might cause trouble to your skin. The side effects are caused due to oil of bergamot, and it gives rise to dark patches on skin.
Women suffering from melasma should avoid soy products, as it deteriorates the condition of skin, causing it to tan more. Furthermore, soy has estrogenic effects that are not really recommended during pregnancy.

Other Products

There are many products that are harmful during pregnancy. Phthalate and dibutyl phthalate, which are present in nail polishes, hair removing lotions, deodorants, body sprays, etc. Phthalates, when absorbed by the body, also hamper fetal growth.
Cosmetics containing lead, 1,4-dioxane, hydrocortisone, and benzoyl peroxide can cause potential threat to fetus by causing birth defects and toxicity. Lead is easily permeable through the placenta and hampers normal functioning of the fetal brain. These chemicals are active ingredients of topical creams, lipsticks, acne products, etc.
So, the next time you purchase any cosmetics for yourself, make sure that they are free from the chemicals mentioned here. It is also suggested not to change beauty products frequently, as your skin gets suited to the specific ingredients present in a product. Use products that are FDA approved for pregnant women.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.