The World of Pregnancy

Cosmetic & Cleaning Products To Avoid During Pregnancy

A pregnant and responsible woman knows that this special period in her life is different, because she has to protect the life that grows inside her belly. Well, as a pregnant woman, it`s important to know what are the risks of using drugs during pregnancy, what are the forbidden teas while pregnant and, of course, what foods need to be avoided while expecting. But it`s also important to know what cosmetics may affect the life of the future baby.

The list of forbidden cosmetics or cleaning products during pregnancy is quite long. Just about any products that contain specific chemicals enter the blacklist for the 9 months of pregnancy.

Why Should You Be Careful to Cosmetics and Cleaning Products?

The toxic substances contained by most cleaning products and some cosmetics may affect the fetus because you inhale them or let them get in direct contact with your skin. Once they reach the fetus, the toxins may cause hormonal imbalances, deficits of weight gain, abnormalities and even cancer.

Read more on 24 Things to Avoid During Pregnancy

Experts believe that the male fetus is even more affected, because of the toxic substances with which the mother come in contact, malformations of the reproductive system and hormonal disturbances leading to infertility or prostate cancer most of the times.

List of Harmful Substances

In an attempt of retaining potentially dangerous substances while pregnant, you might need this concrete list:

  • Triclosan: cleaning agent present in cleaning products, even in some liquid and solid soaps. It may affect the thyroid gland.
  • Achiphenol: a substance that can be found in many body care items.
  • Phthalate (DEP, DBP, DEHP, BBP, DMP on labels): might be present in perfumes, oats, hair care items. It might cause hormonal disturbances, the ones reported being the premature development of the bust in girls and the reproductive organ damage in boys.
  • Dioxane (SLS, sulphate on some labels): It`s present in a few foam-making items. It might cause hormonal disturbances, abnormalities and nervous system disorders.
  • Parabens (methyl/butyl/ethyl/propyl/isobutyl paraben on labels): preservative type used in a lot of cosmetics. It may increase the possibility of hormonal disorders and cancer.
  • Lead & Mercury: 2 very dangerous toxins, illegal for the United States cosmetics industry, but reported in a few cosmetics produced in other parts of the world.
  • Oxibenzoate: It`s present in some sunscreen items.
  • Artificial Musk: essence/substance present in perfumes and body sprays.

Cleaning Products to Avoid while Pregnant

The fear of using products during pregnancy quickly spread through media as a thorough study that was performed in Bristol (United Kingdom) demonstrated the degree of danger of these products for a pregnant woman and her baby. The medical condition that experts are most confident about can be caused is asthma, even in the first years of the baby`s life.

The cleaning products with which you need to be very careful during pregnancy are:

  • Pesticides and insecticides.
  • Detergents used for cleaning carpets, glass and bathroom and kitchen items (the stove cleaner seems to be the most dangerous).
  • Disinfectants used for bathroom and kitchen items.
  • Spray-type products for the room.
  • Bleaching products.
  • Chalk.
  • Oil-based household paints (those that offer a strong smell and cause nausea, headache or dizziness even to a health person without any special medical condition). Water-based or latex-based paints are more recommended.

Cosmetics You Should Avoid during Pregnancy

Once you found out you are expecting, it would be very healthy for you and your future baby to check out the cosmetics you are already using. This is mostly because some of them might not be adapted to the skin of a pregnant woman and, in addition, it might contain some harmful ingredients. – More details!

In terms of body care, try to ask for advice from a pharmacist or dermatologist and choose a shampoo, conditioner, face cream or body cream for you to use during pregnancy.

Hair Sprays (Fixative or Other Types)

They contain harmful chemicals; for example phthalates, which may cause urinary tract defects in the male fetus.

Nail Polish, Shampoos & Fragrances

Again most of these products contain phthalates, chemical substances that have caused various issues for babies, especially involving the reproductive system, leading even to infertility or cancer, according to some studies.

Anti-aging Products

There anti-aging skin care products that contain vitamin A (including anti-wrinkle crams). Increased doses of vitamin A may affect the fetus. If you use anti-wrinkle creams, you should read the ingredients list as carefully as possible. If you aren`t sure of a certain ingredient, ask your doctor.

Retinoic Acid

The cosmetics that contain retinoic acid (used in the anti-acne products) need to be avoided while pregnant. Retinoic acid can lead to mental retardation and heart defects in the baby.

Body Wrapping

Any type of body wrapping warms the body, including the abdominal area, so it may affect the baby. Also, dehydration may occur, which may lead to premature birth. Overheating may cause fetal neural tube defects.

Uncertain Safety during Pregnancy – Caution!

  • Bleaching products – if you discolor your body hair regularly, you should stop this habit during pregnancy. Although there aren`t studies to prove their harmful effect, there aren`t also studies that prove they are safe to use while pregnant.
  • Epilating creams.
  • Hair dye.
  • Botox treatments.

Hair Dye

It`s recommended to avoid dying your hair during the first trimester of pregnancy, because there are certain substances in the dye`s composition that may pass through your skin and blood and reach the fetus. Experts advise you to postpone dying your hair even after birth, just to be sure.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy can be quite beneficial during pregnancy and helps in reducing some of the sufferings. However, there are compounds from certain essential oils that have hormone-like behaviors due to their molecular structure, but although there isn`t any solid evidence of the effects of estrogen oils, it`s prudent to avoid oils rich in anethole during pregnancy, such as anise or fennel.

Here a more basic and short list of cosmetics from which you should away during pregnancy:

  • Body care items that contain one of the ingredients listed above.
  • Liquid soap.
  • Nail polish with strong smell.
  • Perfumes with strong scents.
  • Products that contain Retin-A or Vitamin K.
  • Creams with fast anti-aging or anti-acne effects.
  • Cosmetic treatments or cosmetics containing essential oils.
  • Hair loss solution.
  • The solution to discolor hair from any area of the body, not just from the head.
  • Hair paint with ammonia.
  • Sunscreen products containing oxybenzone.

The sun protection products that are 100% safe while pregnant are the ones containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

5 Essential Tips to Follow

  1. When you are cleaning around the house, keep your windows/doors open, use latex gloves, use a protective mask and try to turn your head away from the spraying range of action.
  2. Don`t handle the cleaning of the cooker yourself, because the product used for these purposes is the most dangerous cleaning product and we cannot talk about airy space since you need to stay very close to the cooker to clean it.
  3. Read all the labels of all the products as careful as possible, and choose the ones that are least dangerous. Don`t forget about the instructions!
  4. Don`t use 2 cleaning products at once.
  5. Don`t stay around products with strong odors, especially during the first 3 months, because your tolerance when it comes to smelling various scents now is very low and these cases may trigger symptoms of nausea, vomiting and dizziness quite easily. – More info!
Image courtesy of CeleBabyLaundry.com
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