Is It Safe to Wear Make-Up During Pregnancy?

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Do you love your makeup kit? Are you pregnant and worried that using cosmetics may harm the little one in your womb? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post is a must.

You may feel that makeup is your survival tool during pregnancy as it can camouflage your skin woes and turn you into a yummy mummy! But, do you know the toxic chemicals in your makeup can spell danger for your baby’s cognitive development? If you are clueless and curious, give this article a read, to know all about whether is it safe to wear makeup during pregnancy! (1)


Skin Changes Due To Pregnancy

The hormonal, vascular, metabolical, and immunological changes during pregnancy can take a toll on your skin health. Here are the five most common skin complaints among pregnant women:

  1. Physiological skin changes in pregnancy
  2. Skin disorders unique to pregnancy
  3. Skin tumors of importance in pregnancy
  4. Skin infections of perinatal importance
  5. Dermatoses affected by pregnancy

Therefore, it is natural that women resort to cosmetics, to mask these skin changes in pregnancy to look beautyful and feel better. Even otherwise, wearing makeup during pregnancy is a usual routine for most women (2).

[ Read: Beauty Tips During Pregnancy ]

Cosmetics And Chemicals In Pregnancy

There are contradictory theories on the use of cosmetics and chemical exposure during pregnancy.

Theory 1:

Hydroquinone, a popular skin-lightening agent, does not cause any fetal malformation. However, as it has a relatively high systemic absorption rate into the blood, it is best to minimize the exposure of the chemical during pregnancy.

Theory 2:

Though the amount of absorption of Tretinoin is low, its topical use may lead to birth defects as per a few medical reports. (4) Phthalates, a chemical found in most makeup products like lipstick, hairspray, and nail polish, interferes with hormones during pregnancy. A study indicates, a prenatal exposure to the chemical can lower the IQ level of the child by more than six points. (5) Babies of mothers exposed to high levels of phthalates during pregnancy had up to 78 percent higher risk of developing asthma by the age of 11 in comparison to other children. (6)

Theory 3:

Topical application of clindamycin and erythromycin for acne does not have any teratogenic effect on the fetus. The skin poorly absorbs salicylic acid, a key ingredient in anti-acne products, and Dihydroxyacetone, a color additive in self-tanning products. Therefore, these two chemicals do not pose any threat to the unborn baby. Sodium, calcium, and potassium hydroxide in depilatory creams too are harmless while expecting. In fact, sunscreens protect the skin from harmful UV rays and help prevent melasma. Hence, a majority of people feel that women can look their best by using cosmetics without compromising the health of the unborn child. (7)

[ Read: Is It Safe To Get Facials During Pregnancy ]

Risk Factor

Can pregnant women wear makeup? Well, most cosmetics in the markets are not subject to any regulation. So the toxicity of the chemicals in cosmetics or the safety of its use while expecting is still ambiguous.

Cosmetic Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

For your safety in pregnancy, watch out for these ingredients in any of your cosmetic products and stay away from it. You can consult your dermatologist to suggest specific alternatives for each of them.

Vitamin A: An oral intake of sufficient amount of vitamin A can work wonders for your skin. Creams and pills that contain retinoids, a synthetic form of vitamin A, help fight acne and psoriasis and treat skin disorders, premature aging, and warts. However, the use of retinoids during pregnancy can adversely affect fetal development. (8)

Vitamin K: Vitamin K, is one of the major ingredients in any skin lightening cream. It also aids the clotting of blood. During pregnancy, you are prone to developing clots. Hence, it is advisable to not let the vitamin K in cosmetic products penetrate the skin and reach the bloodstream and cause fetal complications.

Centella Asiatica: It is an effective treatment for stretch marks. However, Centella Asiatica increases sensitivity to the sun rays and can cause a rash in pregnant women. Its oral intake has a narcotic-like effect and can even result in miscarriage. (9)

A Word of Caution

If you love to look glamorous during pregnancy by using cosmetics, please remember the following points:

  • Protect your growing fetus by limiting your exposure to chemicals like lead and mercury, especially in the first trimester.
  • Nail polish, hair dyes, artificial nails and hair permanents all contain harmful chemicals. Though there are no conclusive evidences on the ill effects of these chemicals on the fetus, it is wise to either completely avoid the use of chemicals during pregnancy or use it in well-ventilated rooms.(10)

A proactive skin care regime is all that you need to keep your skin youthful and glowing, not just during pregnancy but throughout life. But for that, you need not always embrace chemicals. Go organic!

Hope you liked our post on is it safe to wear makeup during pregnancy. Did you completely stop wearing makeup while pregnant? Did you find a natural style statement? Share your experience and tips with other moms here!

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