- Pregnancy is a critical time to read labels, explore ingredients and consider changing your skincare products
- Products with fewer ingredients are ideal
- Consider staying away from high-performance active ingredients such as retinol or vitamin C
Discovering you are pregnant is an exciting moment in life but it can also create a wave of anxiety as you re-evaluate your nutrition, skincare routine, and overall lifestyle as you consider the ways the products you use and ingest might impact the new life growing inside of you.
Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and many women don’t realize that the majority of their toxicity exposure comes from their beauty routine. Whether it’s toxicity in makeup or harmful chemicals in body products, your skin draws these potentially dangerous substances into your body, your bloodstream, and your baby. As a result it’s a critical time to read labels, explore ingredients and consider changing your routine and products.
Culturally there is already too much fear surrounding pregnancy, labor, delivery, and motherhood so your beauty and self care routine is not another place for you to add stress and worry to your mind and body. You don’t need to rush out and buy all new products. You might consider finishing the products you have and replacing them when you need replenishment. Or, you might consider putting certain products aside until after delivery and nursing are complete.
Before you rush to change anything, review the products you currently use. Read the labels and list of ingredients. If there are any ingredients you are unfamiliar with try doing a quick Google search to learn more. Ask yourself some basic questions: Is this something I would be comfortable putting on the skin of my newborn baby? If this product ended up in my mouth is it safe enough to be edible? If you can’t eat it and you wouldn’t put it on your baby, it might not be the right product for you at this sensitive time. Your skin can also become more sensitive during pregnancy so products with fewer ingredients might be less likely to cause irritation, breakouts, rashes, or discoloration.
Dr. Yoon says certain ingredients in functional skincare products may affect the fetus so you want to pay special attention. In particular, it’s generally a good idea to avoid using high-performance active ingredients such as vitamin C or retinol during pregnancy, if you can. All you really need to focus on during this time is a good moisturizer and sun protection – worry about the other stuff once the baby is born!
Another consideration are your values. As you prepare to welcome this new life into the world, what do you want to impart to your baby? As new mothers we are bringing forward the next generation of leaders. Throughout pregnancy and even into the earliest years of your child’s life you will establish the values you hope to impart to them and future generations. For example, is it important to you that your purchasing power go toward products that are environmentally safe, non-toxic, or free of animal cruelty? This is a powerful time to reflect on your role as teacher.
So the first step when it comes to pregnancy and skincare is to review the products you currently use, consider replacing them for the time being or finishing what you currently have, and lastly take stock of your values. Pregnancy is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it one step at a time.