5 Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

We know that whatever goes into our body will affect the baby; it applies to the products used over the skin. While we make sure about avoiding harmful medication and certain food and fruits during pregnancy and breastfeeding, most of us are lost about the ingredients used in our skin care and makeup.

We, at Mamma’z Baby, have you covered with a list of high-risk ingredients that you can avoid during your pregnancy and breastfeeding.

  • Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid contains Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), a common ingredient found in exfoliants, cleansers and toners, peels and acne care creams. BHA is an oil soluble ingredient which when exposed to skin penetrates deep in to the pores and sheds dead skin cells. Studies shows serious birth defects after using Salicylic acid or BHA taken orally or as skin peels and creams.


  • Retinoid: It is another commonly found ingredient in anti-ageing cosmetics and acne products, which is a huge No – No for a pregnant and breastfeeding women. Retinoid is a Vitamin A derivative that helps in rapid skin division and shed dead cells. While a little Vitamin A is good for baby, a lot of it can be harmful. Retinoid derivatives that you should avoid are retinoic acid, retinaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin.


  • Formaldehyde:  Formaldehyde is a common preservative used in the skin care products. Formaldehyde reacts with baby’s sensitive skin causing rashes and allergies. Other names of Formaldehyde include hydroxyl methyl glycinate, DMDM-hydantoin and methenesmine.


  • Phthalates and Parabens: These are found in almost all the cosmetics, fragrances, hair sprays and baby products. These ingredients affects the endocrine system by increase the risk of chemical and toxin buildup in the body for adults as well as babies. Avoid products with isopropyl paraben or methyl paraben. Always prefer Paraben-free and Phthalate-free products.


  • Others: Ingredients such as Toluene found in nail polish, Thioglycolic acid found in hair sprays, tanners, DEA, Skin Whitening agents, petroleum based products, hydroquinone, and chemical sunscreen may penetrate through the skin.


Safe to Use:

  • Use herbal and home-made masks and bath powders
  • Pick sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
  • Use the makeup sparingly
  • Prefer Mineral based Make up products
  • Avoid nail polishes, whitening skin creams
  • Anti-ageing creams are strict No
  • Avoid AHAs and BHAs
  • Using essential oils are not harmful when used moderately
  • Safe to use 2.5% – 5% of Benzoyl Peroxide for treating acne

P.S: Do talk with your healthcare provider about the safety of any prescribed products, including topical prescriptions, before using them during pregnancy and nursing. 

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