Pregnant? Here are the top ingredients to AVOID in your beauty products

Pregnancy is life-changing. You end up with a long list of do’s and do not’s from your doctor: say "see you later" to sushi and coffee, and "hello" mood swings, frequent trips to the loo, PLUS a whole bunch of pregnancy-related skin issues. However, what is often overlooked is the need to recheck the label of your HG everyday skincare and makeup products! Some of the ingredients you lovingly slather on your skin may make its way into your body and to your little peanut.

And so, here’s a quick and dirty list of ingredients you may want to avoid. Note that there is no conclusive research to prove that these are bad for you and your baby, but the current advice from doctors is to be safe than sorry. Doesn't hurt to take it and to be informed, right? Here goes!

This beautiful image is from . She is our momspiration! Check her blog for lifestyle tips and first-time mommy advice.

This beautiful image is from She is our momspiration! Check her blog for lifestyle tips and first-time mommy advice.


While this Vitamin A-derivative helps quicken skin renewal and is a common ingredient in anti-aging creams, some studies have shown that it is linked to birth defects when taken in a pill form. While the studies have not yet proven that your night cream would have the same effects as retinoid pills, what you put on your skin can end up in your blood stream, and make its way to your baby.


Please give this whitening product a rest. Many countries have banned this ingredient because of side effects such as discoloration, skin dryness, and burning. While the dark mask and spots of pregnancy (melasma) is a pain to deal with, using hydroquinone should definitely be avoided because up to 45% of this ingredient gets absorbed into your skin.

Instead, use a Vitamin C-rich spot treatment at night to help brighten skin. As an added bonus, it helps produce collagen, which keeps your skin looking plump and healthy! We recommend only using Vitamin C at night, or with a good dose of pregnancy-friendly sunscreen since, if exposed to sunlight, it can react with your skin and cause more discoloration.

Formaldehyde, Toulene, and DibutylPhthlate

These common nail polish ingredients are suspected carcinogens that have given rise to Big 3-free products. Though you don't exactly apply them to your skin, extended exposure to these ingredients are linked to birth defects and developmental delays.

So what’s a girl to do? Paint your nails with various vegan and 3-free nail polishes such as OPI, Zoya, and local brand Girlstuff (fun fact: their summer collection includes a gel top coat that glows under blacklight!).

Salicylic Acid

Like dark spots suddenly appearing, there will be times when you wonder if you’re carrying a baby or are pregnant with a giant pimple. Before you reach for your salicylic acid-laced skin care products, consider using a dab of low-concentrate tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is generally accepted as safe for pregnant women and The Body Shop has a whole Tea Tree line to choose from!

Before switching out your products, do ask your doctor if he or she would be comfortable with these replacements. Remember to keep away from these ingredients if you plan on breastfeeding, too! Preggos and mommas, please share which products you’ve used or are using in the comments below!

Sources: The College of Family Physicians of CanadaNational Center of Biotechnology InformationPaula's Choice,  FitPregnancy , Mother Nature Network