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5 Beauty Product Ingredients to Avoid When You’re Pregnant

Pregnancy can be both a delightful and complicated condition. Expecting a bundle of joy is exciting and definitely a cause for celebration. But pregnancy also entails 40 weeks of hard work, unexpected bodily changes, and careful considerations to be made for both your sake and your baby’s.

You might know that being pregnant means eating a balanced diet and regularly doing pregnancy-friendly exercise routines to keep your child as healthy as possible. You are also required to take your prenatal vitamins daily. Doing all these prepares your body for labor

But aside from the things mentioned above, when you’re pregnant, it is also crucial to avoid chemicals that may potentially harm your baby. Beauty and skin care products, in particular, can enter your bloodstream by being absorbed by your skin. This means you should be extra careful in choosing pregnancy-safe products without harmful chemicals.

To help you become a more conscious shopper, here’s a list of toxic chemicals that can be found in beauty products that you should avoid when you’re pregnant.

1. Salicylic acid

While salicylic acid is a highly common ingredient found in many beauty products like acne creams, this ingredient is best to be avoided during pregnancy. Salicylic acid, especially when taken orally, can be risky and can cause intracranial bleeding in the fetus. So even if the hormonal imbalance you experience during pregnancy can cause acne breakouts, look for pregnancy-friendly acne products that don’t contain salicylic acid.

2. Retinol

A derivative of vitamin A, retinol is commonly found among anti-aging and anti-acne products. And while “vitamin A derivative” sounds healthy, this chemical can be potent and toxic to the baby inside the uterus. Studies have found out that retinol can cause birth defects. These include deformations of the baby’s head, heart, brain, and spinal cord

3. Hydroquinone

Another common beauty product ingredient, hydroquinone is mostly used as a skin bleaching agent found in whitening or brightening creams. Dark spots and melasma often happen during pregnancy, but these should not be treated with hydroquinone creams. Studies show that this chemical has adverse effects on the fetus that include low birth weight, deformities, and stillbirth. 

4. Fragrance

One of the appeals of using skin care products is the lovely scent that they leave. But when you’re pregnant, your best bet is to use fragrance-free products. Fragrances are usually made of chemicals like aldehydes and parabens, which are severely harmful for an unborn child and are linked to nervous system disorders and cancer. 

5. Pure essential oils

Essential oils are touted to be effective natural remedies for almost any ailment, but this should not be applied in pregnancy. While it is reasonable to switch hydroquinone and retinol-containing products for natural alternatives, steer clear of pure essential oils, like rosemary, sage, and jasmine, that are known to trigger labor, cause bleeding, and increase blood pressure. 



Pregnancy is a delicate condition, even if you are having a relatively healthy and uneventful one. In order to protect yourself and the baby inside your womb, it is crucial to consider every product that you use. For skin care and beauty products, avoid those that contain harmful and toxic chemicals that can potentially cause harm to your child. 

Featured image by lucas mendes from Pexels
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