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11 Beauty Product Ingredients to Avoid when Pregnant

If you’re pregnant, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you’re already making to keep your body healthy and your baby safe. You likely already know that sushi, alcohol, caffeine, hair dye, tanning, and some forms of exercise are things of the past (for now). Yet, there’s another less-mentioned category to avoid when pregnant: the toxic ingredients found in many beauty and skincare products.

Of course, when you aren’t pregnant, the ingredients we’re about to mention don’t often cause negative effects in the short-term. However, when there is a baby involved, it’s best to avoid harmful chemicals at all costs—especially when they can cause long-term health issues.

Here are 11 beauty ingredients to avoid when pregnant:

1. BPA: is a hormone-disrupting chemical that is commonly used in manufactured plastics—and can be found in beauty products like hand-sanitizer, sunscreen, and soaps. Not only can pre-natal exposure to this harsh chemical cause your child to develop health issues such as diabetes and heart disease as they mature, but it isn’t great for pregnant mommas either. An Endocrinology study reports that when exposed to BPA, moms and their unborn child may suffer from oxidative stress, a health issue that occurs when the body cannot neutralize free-radicals quickly enough to correct an imbalance.

To avoid BPA: Use La Bloom Hand Sanitizer! This all-natural, vegan sanitizer is sustainably packaged and made with organic essential oils to keep your hands (and body) clean and healthy.

2. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is an organic chemical used most commonly as a preservative and disinfectant. Found in many nail polishes, Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer, increase the risk of infertility and miscarriages, and may negatively affect breast milk.

To avoid Formaldehyde: Try 7-free nail polish formulas such as: Pacifica, and Sundays. 7-free nail polishes ensure that toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde (and 6 others!) are eliminated from the recipe to keep you and your baby safe!

Phthalates are commonly found in lipsticks, perfume, and lotions. These chemicals act as hormones and interfere with male genital development while increasing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Though it’s difficult to avoid phthalates altogether, keeping this harsh ingredient out of your beauty routine while pregnant is a good call. A

3. Phthalates: Phthalates are commonly found in lipsticks, perfume, and lotions. These chemicals act as hormones and interfere with male genital development while increasing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Though it’s difficult to avoid phthalates all together, keeping this harsh ingredient out of your beauty routine while pregnant is a good call. A study showed that children whose mothers were exposed to phthalates during pregnancy were likely to have problems with motor skills and language development.

To avoid Phthalates: Swap lotion with La Bloom Beauty’s Rose Hand Scrub. This luxurious all-natural hand scrub will hydrate your hands just like traditional lotion—leaving you with that silky smooth feeling you crave! Plus, its aromatherapy benefits will keep you calm and focused all pregnancy long.

4. Parabens: Parabens are a harmful ingredient used to prolong shelf life and decrease bacteria in cosmetic products such as dry shampoo, soap, and deodorant. Parabens disrupt hormone function by mimicking estrogen, which may cause cell division in breast tissue and tumors over time.

To avoid Parabens: Ditch your dry shampoo and use La Bloom Beauty’s Hair Refresher instead! This aerosol-free dry shampoo formula is oil-absorbing, talc-free, and contains minimal all-natural ingredients. Plus, it blends with blonde and brunette hair!

5. Hydroquinone: Products that include the ingredient hydroquinone should be avoided while pregnant and nursing. This powerful chemical is used to lighten skin that is darkened by acne or aging. The FDA warns that while studies on hydroquinone and human pregnancy are limited, adverse effects have been noted in animal reproductive studies.

To avoid Hydroquinone: Immerse yourself in the benefits of La Bloom Beauty’s Cocoa Epsom Soak! This relaxing herbal remedy includes all-natural cocoa butter shavings which helps to reduce signs of aging while restoring the healthy appearance of skin.

6. Retinoids: Retinoids are anti-aging chemicals that should not be used while pregnant due to their association with fetal spinal and facial deformities. Though retinoids aide in the removal of fine lines, there are plenty of pregnancy-safe products that work just as well!

To avoid Retinoids: Trade your retinol-based products for a vitamin C cream like Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Serum. This concentrated serum includes plant-based and vitamin-derived antioxidants that improve the appearance of the skin to enhance firmness and reduce uneven tones.

7. Salicylic Acid: Salicylic Acid is part of the aspirin family and may cause harm during pregnancy—especially when using a prescription strength formula. This oral or topical treatment is often used to combat various skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and dandruff and is a common ingredient in chemical peels. Studies have shown that using oral salicylic acid while pregnant increases the risk of intracranial bleeding. Continued use of salicylic acid while pregnant should be discussed with a doctor.

To avoid Salicylic Acid: Change up your daily routine to include foods rich in vitamin A, wash your face with a mild, all-natural soap, and drink plenty of water!

8. Chemical Sunscreens: An organic compound found in most chemical sunscreens, called oxybenzone, turns UV rays into heat before releasing it from the body. Studies show that this chemical is known to cause a birth defect called Hirschsprung’s Disease which affects the infant’s large intestine and may require surgery. According to the NIH, Hirschsprung’s disease effects one in 5,000 infants.

To avoid chemical sunscreens: Try an organic alternative! Zinc It Over is a chemical-free SPF facial mist engineered to be the cleanest and most effective of its kind. Check out SeriouslyFAB for the entire SPF facial mist collection.

9. BHT: BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is an antioxidant and preservative used to stabilize formulas and prevent oxidation. It’s primarily found in beauty products such as eyeliner and lipstick but can also be found in exfoliants, moisturizers, and perfumes, too. According to EWG Skin Deep, even low levels of BHT can promote tumors and cause liver cancer or developmental effects.

To avoid BHT: Keep your lips and hands exfoliated and moisturized all year long with La Bloom Beauty’s toxin-free Exfoliation Set!

10. BHA: Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is an oil-soluble acid that cuts deep into pores to remove dead skin cells. BHA is used in beauty products to combat sun damage and acne. Like salicylic acid (see #7), BHA should be avoided during pregnancy due to the risk of intracranial bleeding.

To avoid BHA: Rid your beauty routine of BHA and salicylic acids during pregnancy and enhance your natural glow with water, vitamin A heavy foods, and use gentle soaps to cleanse!

11. Fragrance/Parfum: While fragrance/parfum won’t cause long-term side effects during pregnancy, they’re labeled as irritants which can have escalated short-term effects while pregnant. Nausea, light-headedness, agitation, and headaches can be natural during pregnancy—don’t escalate these issues to smell good!

To avoid fragrance/parfum: Swap your favorite fragrance for organic essential oils! Using a carrier oil for safety, essential oils can be combined to create stunning fragrance profiles that are safe for you and your baby! Plus, the aromatherapy benefits will keep you stress-free. When it comes to essential oils, La Bloom Beauty products are completely customizable! Contact us to personalize the aroma of your products today!

The Bottom Line

We get it. The list of should-nots during pregnancy are endless. Being pregnant is overwhelming enough and now you have to add certain beauty products to your list of things to avoid.

We hope you rest assured knowing that La Bloom Beauty’s collection of all-natural, vegan beauty products (with the exception of CBD) will keep you and your baby safe throughout your pregnancy. Visit our shop to learn more!

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