Skin Care ingredients to avoid during Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Completely avoid the following while pregnant or breastfeeding;
It's important to shelf the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) while pregnant or breastfeeding. Found in many topical exfoliants, cleansers and toners, this popular acid is mainly used to treat problem skin with acne. The reason it works so well is also the reason you need to avoid it. Being oil soluble, BHA's can penetrate facial oils to get deep into pores and clean out dead skin cells. Salicylic acid helps reduce inflammation or redness (It is found in Aspirin).
Studies have linked the oral use of this acid to certain birth defects. The biggest concern is when the skin is exposed to the acid in a peel. The saturation means more product is used, meaning more is absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream.
Another huge no-no for pregnant women is retinoids, or any type of retinoid derivative. This form of vitamin A speeds up cell division, making it very popular in a lot of anti aging and acne creams. While some vitamin A is necessary for fetal development, excess can be harmful. Retinoid derivatives include: Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin), Accutane, Retinoic acid, Retinol, Retinyl linoleate, Retinyl palmitate.
Ingredients that should still be avoided, but aren't as harmful;
Essential oils are sometimes considered one of the most effective “natural” defenses against acne, amongst other treatable skin conditions. Topical use of specific essential oils work very well against the bacteria that cause pimples to form and decongesting the pores - getting rid of congestion that causes acne.
Although essential oils have amazing benefits, it’s crucial to use them with caution, as they are inconsistent in nature. Improper use can lead to nausea, headaches, even burning the skin. To execute safe, effective treatments during pregnancy it is important understand the proper dilutions of essential oils.
Tea tree, lavender and lemongrass essential oils are all antibacterial solutions to help rid the skin of acne and/or inflammation, however caution must be taken.
Lavendar is one of the safest essential oils to use, as it’s calming and rids the skin of irritations; it speeds up healing and is regularly used to treat wounds, burns and acne lesions.
Lemongrass acts as a natural astringent without over drying the skin, making it great for oily skin types. It is also antibacterial and antimicrobial, meaning it is acne-fighting.
Your health care provider should be consulted before any essential oils use. On your body or diluted in bath water, as there are potential risks involved (miscarriage or pregnancy implications down the road). Those with high or low blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid or kidney problems and asthma, will most likely be advised to stay away from essential oils entirely.
These are safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding;
Soy and AHA’s
Higher than normal estrogen levels can cause breakouts in the first trimester, even if you’ve always been blessed with great skin. If you’re dealing with pregnancy-induced acne, try active-soy based products. Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid and other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's) are safe to use during pregnancy, and will help keep the skin smooth and hydrated, refining your pores. Just beware, of BHA (read above) additives, as products sometimes have a combination.
Being one of the quickest remedies, benzoyl peroxide really is a staple ingredient in treating acne. Lesion causing bacteria doesn’t stand a chance against this antibacterial power house.
Pregnancy limits your choice of skin care remedies. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical solution compound that has been given the green light by physicians and OBs for many years to treat acne during pregnancy. Reveal that beautiful glow!
Benzoyl Peroxide of a small percentage (2.5% - 5%) is absorbed into the skin. From there, your body further breaks down the product, having no effect on your baby. A lot of doctors or OBs will even prescribe a higher percentage if the acne becomes cystic, or worsens.