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Skin Treatments During Pregnancy: What’s Safe?

Being pregnant is one of the most precious time a woman can experience. But no woman who has gone through one can deny that it is also a roller coaster ride. The highs of excitement with the precious one growing inside the womb and the lows of all the changes that the body goes through.

There are many things that a pregnant woman should be cautious of and many things that should altogether be avoided in order to safeguard the health of the baby growing inside the womb. One of these things are the beauty regimens that you regularly put on your body prior to getting pregnant. There are a lot of no-no’s present in many skin care ingredients and treatments that we usually use.

Here are some advice given by dermatologists on what’s safe and what’s not to use when you’re expecting.

What is safe to use for makeups?

Makeup under mineral lines are safe to use as they sit on top of the skin only. As long as it doesn’t contain any retinoids or salicylic acid, it is considered safe to use.

What is safe to use for acne?

Many pregnant women suffer from pregnancy acne that if left untreated may worsen and continue on until the baby is born. But despair not, you can still treat your acne using products derived from sugar cane which dermatologists recommend as safe in small amounts.

They are:

Glycolic Acid

Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA

There is also a new acne treatment option which is all-natural and guaranteed safe for pregnant and lactating women using natural blue light. The BLUE LIGHT TREATMENT kills the bacteria that causes the appearance of acne.

Other products are safe to use topically in small amounts:

Beta hydroxy acids (BHA) Beta hydroxybutanoic acid Betaine salicylate Citric acid Dicarbonous acid

Erythromycin Hydroacetic acid Hydroxyacetic acid Hydroxycaproic acid Lactic acid Trethocanic acid

Tropic acid 2-hydroxyethanoic acid

What is safe to use for skin pigmentations?

Apart from acne, pregnancy mask or melasma and other skin pigmentation is also a common problem. For treatment you can use:

Azelaic acid

Any topical Vitamin C product

What is safe to use as minimizers and hair removers?

Hair removers and minimizers considered safe to low risk (topical application) as long as it is used as directed are as follows:

Calcium thioglycolate Hydrolyzed soy protein Potassium thioglycolate Sanguisorba officinalis root extract Sodium hydroxide

What is safe to use as sunscreens?

Applied topically, these ingredients are considered safe to low risk as follows:

Avobenzone (Parsol 1789) Benzophenone Dioxybenzone Hydroquinone Octocrylene Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC) Oxybenzone Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) Titanium dioxide Zinc oxide

What is NOT safe to use?


Used in: Moisturizers, anti-ageing creams, treatment for acne and pigment disorder

Retinoid is a type of Vitamin A that is mostly present in anti-ageing products that speeds up skin renewal and prevents collagen breakdown. There are studies showing the ill effects of taking high doses of Vitamin A to an unborn baby. A prescription treatment of oral retinoid was found to cause birth defects. Although topical retinoid has not been proven to cause any bad effects to pregnant women, doctors recommend to completely stay away from products with this ingredient as an extra caution.

Salicylic Acid

Used in: Cleansers, toners, other anti-ageing products, treatment for skin disorders

Salicylic acid is the most common beta hydroxyl acid (BHA). Studies show that high dosage of salicylic acid in oral form causes complications in pregnancy and birth defects. Although topical salicylic acid is minimally absorbed in the skin, doctors still would not recommend its use because it is not safe when taken orally.

For pregnant women with melasma, avoid products with the following ingredients:




TVP or Textured vegetable protein

For pregnant women with acne, avoid any leave on creams, gels, lotions and peels as they are likely to contain retinoids or salicylic acid. Avoid ingredients as follows:

Avage, Fabior, Tazorac (tazarotene) Avita (tretinoin) Differin (adapelene) Panretin (alitretinoin) Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin) Retinoic acid Retinol Retinyl linoleate Retinyl palmitate Salicylic acid Targretin gel (bexarotene) Tretinoin

In conclusion, it is always safe to consult your doctor or better, your dermatologist for concerns regarding any skin care product that you use. You can also visit Loveli Skin Beauty Centre to get professional advice and assessment.

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