Pregnancy is the time when you take extra care of yourself and pay attention to every little detail that is directly or indirectly related to your foetus’s healthy growth. As a pregnant woman, you must focus on consuming healthy food, drinking nutritious shakes, taking proper sleep and also on things you read and listen to.
But do you ever pay attention to the makeup items stocked in your dressing drawer? You might be wondering what makeup has to do with pregnancy and the growth of the baby inside your womb.
Is Makeup Safe During Pregnancy?
A lot of pregnant women wonder if using makeup will harm the baby in their womb. While there are certain beauty products that you should avoid while pregnant, you don’t have to give up makeup especially if it will help you feel confident during this stage.
You can still wear makeup, but the important thing is to make sure that they contain ingredients that are safe for you and your baby. This is because your skin absorbs the products you put on it. Thus, the chemicals in them can interfere with the development of the fetus in your body.
According to NCBI scientific reports, since the majority of cosmetic products are used directly onto the skin, the hazardous chemicals can directly pass the epidermal barrier to the dermis of the human body and thereby enter the systemic blood circulation, which potentially damages the fertility and reproductive health of women. Some of these chemicals are related to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Most makeup items contain harmful chemicals. Even the ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ makeup items use chemicals for preservation to increase shelf life and prevent fungus growth. Daily use products such as hair dye, deodorant, moisturizers, anti-ageing creams, soaps, acne-treatment creams, body wash, foundations, eye makeup, lipsticks, etc. contain harmful chemicals like paraben, retinol and phthalates.
Chemicals like these are immediately absorbed in the skin upon application and blend in with the bloodstream. Further, these chemicals impact our hormonal activity and affect the entire body function, including the baby in your womb.
You will be experiencing hormonal, metabolical, vascular, and immunological changes and these can all take a toll on your skin condition. By carefully choosing pregnancy-safe makeup products, you can mask these skin changes in order to look good and feel better.
If you are unsure about the chemicals and ingredients in the products, take time to research and discuss them with your doctor and dermatologist.
The Biggest Culprit – Paraben
One of the biggest culprits in personal care products is paraben. It is classified as an endocrine hormone disrupter as it tends to impact the endocrine glands and hormone secretion based on the level of its usage.
In simple words, paraben with constant use can impact the functions of glands like the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland and adrenal glands. It can affect your reproductive tract and can harm your baby, both prenatal and after birth.
This harmful toxic chemical is used as a preservative in 90 per cent of cosmetics and personal care products. You might not be aware, but chances are that you are already exposed to a lot of parabens present in a variety of beauty products.
Heavy exposure to this chemical during pregnancy can lead to several abnormalities and can disrupt foetal and postnatal growth in boys. Also, it could lead to less weight gain in babies and pre-term delivery.
What Are the Ingredients in Makeup to Avoid During Pregnancy?
First things first: Read the label. It pays to be extra cautious at this stage of your life.
Avoid using cosmetics that contain toxic chemicals that can hinder your child’s cognitive development.
Some of the chemicals you should steer clear of are retinoids, chemical sunscreens, and hydroquinone. The Natural Resources Defense Council also encourages pregnant women to stay away from the following:
- Paraben, as mentioned earlier
- Fragrance/Parfum – these may irritate your sensitive skin, and the scents may make you nauseated, light-headed, agitated, or more prone to headaches.
- Phthalates – These are often found in cosmetics with fragrances and can disrupt your hormones which results in preterm birth, preeclampsia and maternal glucose disorders.
- Triclosan – Typically found in antibacterial products, this is another hormone disruptor.
- Bisphenol A (BPA) – this chemical has been linked to negative effects on the brain of human fetuses. It can affect your baby’s prostate gland as well.
- Retinoids – this chemical can go in your blood stream and increase the risk for physical and mental birth defects in your baby.
- Diethyl Phthalates (DEP) – see phtalates
Pregnancy Safe Makeup
So how do you find the right makeup then while there’s a bun in the oven? The key is to pay attention to these:
- Ingredients – What do they contain? Not all “natural cosmetics" are equal. Make sure they are really as they seem.
- Features – Aside from the ingredients, do these features suit you? You are putting on makeup to look and feel good after all so let’s not forget that.
To avoid products that could potentially harm you and your baby, check out the below alternatives for paraben-free pregnancy-safe makeup items.
Foundations and concealers
During pregnancy, your skin can look dull and might need a little foundation boost. Before applying your favourite concealer and foundation, check out the ingredients listed on the box.
Look for preservative agent paraben also known by the names propylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben, and isopropyl paraben. Also, check if your foundation has retinol and fragrance in it. If you see any of these chemicals listed on the back of your foundation and concealer bottle, avoid them.
Instead of using foundation, use CC and BB cream in your makeup. these creams use ingredients that are gentle on the skin and are safe to use on a daily basis. If you are still keen on using foundation then there are several paraben-free products like Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation, Bobbi Brown Skin Long-wear Weightless Foundation with SPF15, and etc.
Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation (Available in 10 Shades)
Youth Elixir Liquid Foundation – Mesmerize Photo: Liht Organics website
Smelling like cupcakes, this foundation comes with a luxurious gel texture that will deliver a buildable, yet natural-looking coverage with a satin finish. It also nourishes dehydrated skin and curbs excessive sebum production in oilier skin. Suitable for all skin types. | Buy here
Eye Shadows and Mascara
Eyeliners and eye shadows contain artificial dyes and colours. Makeups having long-lasting attributes have more chemicals in them. These products sometimes develop eye irritation and itchiness.
Try investing in natural and hypoallergenic products made with vegetable dyes. If you see aluminium powder, talc, and Diazolidinyl urea mentioned in ingredients, then look for other natural options.
Lipsticks and Blush
Lipstick is one such makeup item which is partially eaten by women within one hour of its application. It directly goes into your stomach and the chemicals get absorbed during the digestion process. Lipsticks and blushes also contain artificial dyes, and preservatives like phenoxyethanol, benzyl benzoate, paraben, retinol and fragrance.
Glam up and look stunning by using vegan lipsticks and blush containing natural colours and ingredients. Look for ingredients like shea butter, beeswax and vitamin C. Few samples of pregnancy safe lipsticks are Sigi Skin and Forest Rhapsody products.
Color-Intense Liquid Lipstick (Available in 4 shades)
Color-Intense Liquid Lipstick – berry yoghurt | Photo: Liht Organics website
This luscious and nourishing formula on the lips are made of Coconut Oil and Shea Butter that hydrates and protects dry lips. So versatile that you can also use it as a cream blush. A best-seller for a reason too: the pigments leave a natural stain effect on the lips so you don’t have to worry about touch-ups. | Buy here
Anti-ageing and acne cream
Most of the anti-ageing creams are formulated using Vitamin K, Salicylic acid, BHA, Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and sometimes injected with collagen and botox. Acne creams, on the other hand, have retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and several other chemicals. All these chemicals are unsafe and harmful to the baby.
Recall your grandma’s natural home remedies for healthy-looking and glowing skins. Try home remedies for your ageing and acne-related problems. You can also consult your doctor for acne-related issues if it has increased during pregnancy.
Hair spray and hair dye
It is best to avoid hair spray and hair dye during pregnancy. These makeup items contain ammonia, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals.
Consider using ammonia-free products and try vegetable dyes to hide the greys.
And if all you need is some quality skincare, you can consider the all-natural clay masks from this brand:
Photo: soul good project
The Singapore homegrown brand has newly launched two variations of clay masks:
Blended with a combination of French and Australian Pink Clay, rosehip seed powder and chamomile flower powder, this personal care product is suitable for normal, sensitive and mature skin types, and helps decongest clogged pores.
Handcrafted with French green clay, including two superfood ingredients such as spirulina and matcha. Its healing properties helps to cleanse and exfoliate the skin for a smoother and youthful complexion.
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Pregnancy Safe Skincare
Moisturisers are quite essential in any makeup regime and most of them are usually considered safe. But better to be safe than sorry. Many brands add paraben and phthalates in moisturisers to prevent fungus growth. Exposure to these chemicals could lead to a low level of thyroid, obesity and insulin resistance.
There are many paraben-free and organic moisturisers available in the market. Purchase organic skincare products like Dr Roebuck’s No Worries Hydrating Face Moisturizer, Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser, Kew Organics Deluxe Hydra Nutrient Mist, etc. Give your skin a toxin-free treatment by just paying a little attention to the ingredients used.
Body Moisturisers and Lotions
It’s common for pregnant women to suffer from dry skin during pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormone changes cause your skin to lose elasticity and moisture as it stretches and tightens to accommodate a growing belly, leading to flaky skin, itchiness, and sometimes, sensitive skin.
Now, it’s normal for you to reach for the moisturisers and lotions you were using before pregnancy, but some ingredients in your trusty skincare products may contain ingredients such as fragrances, parabens, and synthetic dyes and parabens which can lead to skin irritation and other skin problems.
Choose lotions and moisturisers that are clean and free of harmful ingredients. Choose fragrance-free body lotions and moisturisers that are also sensitive skin-friendly products to ensure that not only will keep your skin hydrated and will not harm your skin.
Dr. Belmeur Mild Derma Body Lotion
This brand is tried and tested by theAsianparent editors. The fragrance-free body lotion absorbs quickly into the skin which gives a soothing and moisturising feel. What’s more, it’s formulated without 11 additives making it safe for all skin types including sensitive skin.
Deodorant and perfumes
Some deodorants have parabens, phthalates and triclosan in them, which get absorbed in the body. These antiperspirant formulae contain chemicals like aluminium chloride hexahydrate which impacts sweat-producing cells in the body. These deodorants and perfumes also contain artificial fragrances, which can be harmful to the expecting mum and baby.
Try and use natural and clean phthalate-free perfumes. Try natural options like Sephora’s Vanilla woods, Kai Perfume oil etc.
Pregnancy Safe Stretch Mark cream
Stretch Mark cream
As your belly grows, your skin will get stretched and itchy, which often results in unsightly stretch marks forming. You might decide to use your normal skin moisturiser to keep your skin moisturised during this period to prevent stretch marks, but it isn’t going to be effective enough.
We’ve found a great formula for you! By using a triple-acting Lipobelle™ Soyaglycone based formula, Mama’s Choice Stretch Mark cream helps you intensively moisturise your skin, relieve itching and fade stretch marks all at once.
Natural Alternatives for Pregnancy-Safe Makeup
If you want to avoid products that could potentially harm you and your unborn baby, you can try the following tips so that you will look glowing without a trace of makeup:
- First, drink plenty of water every day. Aim for 8 to 12 cups or 64 to 96 ounces of water. This will keep your skin hydrated and the water will flush out the toxins from your system.
- Secondly, eat healthy food. Drink juices made from freshly squeezed fruits and eat lots of green veggies. These can nourish your skin and make it look young and supple.
- Third, try organic moisturizers that can minimise pores and reduce fine lines.
- Lastly, take the right supplements, especially Vitamin C, E, and/or biotin. These can help retain moisture in the skin and give you a fresh glow. Make sure to check with your doctor on what supplements you can take.
You need not avoid makeup completely for nine months of your pregnancy. Sometimes looking in the mirror might make you miss your natural glow and looks. Explore pregnancy-safe makeup options which are chemical and paraben-free, keeping your baby’s safety and good health in mind. Use clean products and look beautiful by using natural paraben-free pregnancy-safe makeup today!
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.