When breastfeeding, several dos and don’ts get added to your list. You are cautious about what you eat, drink, and even what you apply to your face.
This is especially true for cosmetics that claim to lighten skin tone. Whitening products while breastfeeding can be harmful to you and your baby. But why is this? Let’s find out.
Why You Must STOP Using Whitening Products While Breastfeeding
Before you try out any new product, always check the list of ingredients on it to avoid any complications. | Image courtesy: Stock
Breast milk is the only source of nutrition for the first six months of your baby’s life. So while it passes on nutrition to your baby, it can also pass harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and chemical and lead to your baby. This can cause serious health problems in your baby, including preterm birth.
Now, most whitening products have harmful ingredients for you and your baby. So, before you try out any new product, always check the ingredients list to avoid complications. Here are some common ingredients included in whitening products.
Most whitening products contain hydroquinone, an ingredient that prevents pigmentation. In Europe, it is a forbidden cosmetic ingredient, but it is still used because of its effective skin-whitening properties.
Hydroquinone can cause irritation or uneven bleaching of the skin. According to estimates, our skin absorbs about 35 to 45 per cent of hydroquinone during application. So, it is best to minimise its use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Mercury is another ingredient found in some skin-lightening soaps and creams. Mercury salts prevent the formation of melanin, thus giving a lighter skin tone. But, products containing mercury are unsafe and could harm health.
Some of the adverse effects of using products containing mercury salt can be-
In some whitening products, mercury may be listed under different names. So, check for anything that includes the words “calomel”, “mercuric”, “mercurous”, or “mercurio.”
Remember, every skin type is different. What may suit your friend’s skin type may not be suitable for you. So take necessary precautions before using whitening products while breastfeeding.
8 Precautions To Take While Using Cosmetics During Breastfeeding
If you are a breastfeeding mum, always opt for clean products. Image courtesy: Pixabay
In your entire pregnancy and nursing phase, you need to concentrate on having a nutritious diet to help your baby grow. Remember, you need to be careful before using whitening products while breastfeeding. Here are some precautions to remember:
1. Learn about the common ingredients
It is always better to do a little bit of research. Once you know the common ingredients in whitening products, it will be helpful for you to look for the harmful ones. When you find safe ingredients that suit your skin, go for them.
2. Don’t experiment
You should never go for products that do not list their ingredients. In this way, you will never come to know if they are suitable for your skin or not. Avoid experimenting with new products to prevent the risk of getting any allergies or exposing your skin to any new ingredients.
3. Limit the use of cosmetic and beauty products
Try to limit using whitening products while breastfeeding. There is no harm in doing so. Some products may contain ingredients that may not be healthy for your baby. So try to limit the use of cosmetics and artificial products as much as you can.
4. Use ‘safe’ products
Choose products that are safe for mothers. Go with recommendations and genuine reviews. The lactating phase is crucial for mums as breastmilk is the only food source for their little ones. Any harmful product can affect the supply of your milk. So, always go with products that are reputed in the market.
5. Don’t apply them to your breasts
If you use any whitening products on your body, don’t use them on your breasts and nipples. Since you are lactating, they can pass on to your baby’s system.
6. Wash your hands after using the products
Wash your hands after using any of the whitening products. And don’t touch your baby after that. Your child’s skin is sensitive and may be allergic to the ingredients in the product.
7. Check the label
Most brands usually mention in their label if it is not safe for pregnant or nursing mums. So, check the label to know if using whitening products while breastfeeding would be a safe option.
8. Always do a patch test
When trying out a product, it is recommended to always do a patch test on a small area before using the product on the face. Even if you have used the product before pregnancy, you should still do the patch test.
If you find any allergy or reaction on your skin, immediately stop using it. These precautions will come in handy, especially before whitening products while breastfeeding.
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Commonly Asked Questions About Using Whitening Products While Breastfeeding
Here are some of the questions breastfeeding mums usually ask regarding skin care products:
Can you use AHA BHA while breastfeeding?
Yes, but you should check with your doctor first.
The alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) ingredients in many skin care products may be safe for use while breastfeeding. However, it’s best to speak with a medical professional before using these ingredients to avoid any complications that could arise from their use on your skin.
While both AHAs and BHA are considered safe for general use, there may be certain contraindications depending on the individual user’s health history and current situation.
For example, if you have eczema or rosacea and want to use an AHA or BHA product, speak with your doctor first to ensure it won’t aggravate your condition.
Can I use Vitamin C serum while breastfeeding?
Vitamin C serums are great for your skin, but can they be used during breastfeeding?
The short answer is yes, but you’ll need to be careful about how much you use them.
Vitamin C serums help improve your skin’s appearance by increasing collagen production, making it firmer and supple. They also reduce the appearance of dark and age spots by promoting cell turnover.
However, vitamin C serums can also be irritating if you have sensitive skin or already have rosacea or acne. So if you haven’t used a serum before or have concerns about irritation or redness after using one, talk with your doctor before using it while breastfeeding.
If your doctor says it’s safe for you to use a serum while breastfeeding, follow these tips:
- Use it sparingly. One pump should be enough for your whole face and neck area (that’s about all the products most serums come in). That said…
- Don’t put it on any open wounds (cuts or scrapes), sunburned areas, irritated areas (e.g., eczema), or broken skin.
Is it safe to use salicylic acid while breastfeeding?
The answer to the question of whether or not it’s safe to use salicylic acid while breastfeeding depends on your unique situation.
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in many skincare products, including some acne treatments. It works by exfoliating the skin, which helps remove dead skin cells and reduce oil production.
Talking with your doctor before using new skincare products while breastfeeding is important because it may interact with your medications and your baby’s diet.
Why avoid retinol when breastfeeding?
Retinol is a type of vitamin A that can be purchased over-the-counter and used as an anti-ageing treatment. It’s been shown to reduce wrinkles, improve skin tone, and even treat acne.
But it’s not safe to take while breastfeeding.
Taking retinol converts into retinoic acid, a hormone that regulates cell growth and development. Studies have shown that when you take retinol while breastfeeding, this form of vitamin A can be passed on to your baby through breastmilk. This could lead to problems in your child’s growth and development.
Is hyaluronic acid safe while breastfeeding?
Hyaluronic acid is a safe and effective way to restore hydration, smooth wrinkles, and plump the skin. It’s also completely safe while breastfeeding, so you can use it without worrying about adverse side effects on your baby.
While we understand that you may want to return to your routine, remember that you need to be careful now for your little one. After the breastfeeding phase, you will get enough time to try out new products and follow all the beauty trends. Till then, stay safe and healthy!
Image source: iStock
Updates by Pheona Ilagan
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.