Beauty Products to Avoid during Pregnancy Days

Pregnancy is a wonderful and joyful experience in a woman’s life. When the news comes out the first thing we get is a list of dos and don’ts. We often follow the list because we don’t want to harm the little one at any cost. But is it the same when it comes to beauty?  There are some beauty products that may harm your younger ones’ growth. Here is a small introduction to beauty products to Avoid during pregnancy days to keep your baby safe and healthy.


Hormonal changes taking place in a pregnant woman’s body can lead to many physical changes as well and there are times when it throws our normal skin balance hay. People can deal with everything but when it comes to skincare products, we are more than a bit lost. According to Dr. Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science, it is very important to look at the beauty products we are using, because there are a variety of ingredients that could have harmful effects on the mother as well as the younger one. 

Here is a list of some ingredients in beauty products to avoid during pregnancy. 


It may be listed on ingredient labels as retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, and isotretinoin. It is a derivative of vitamin A and it is important to consume an adequate amount of vitamin A for a baby’s development. However, some studies have shown that excess consumption of vitamin A leads to birth defects. Whether taken as an oral pill or applied tropically, excessive intake causes malformations of the baby’s head, heart, brain, and spinal cord. 

Salicylic acid 

It is common to have acne problems during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and increased androgen levels. Salicylic acid is an ingredient commonly found in cleansers, toners, and exfoliants. Taking oral salicylic acid during late pregnancy may increase the risk of intracranial bleeding in the fetus. 

beauty products to avoid during pregnancy

Tetracyclines are used in a wide variety of conditions such as acne and Lyme disease. These are antibiotics that should be avoided during the last half of pregnancy as they can cause permanent tooth discoloration later in the baby’s life. Tetracyclines not only affect calcification (hardening) of the bones and teeth but also causes reduced growth of bones. 


A skin lightening agent; abstain from hydroquinone, Idrochinone, and quinol/1-4 dihydroxy benzene/1-4 hydroxy benzene.  As pregnancy brings on dark spots and melasma we are tempted to use skin-lightening agents. Hydroquinone is mainly present in skin-lightening agents. Due to its high absorption rate which is 35 to 45 %, it is highly recommended to avoid the use of hydroquinone during pregnancy. As the presence of a high amount of any chemical in the bloodstream may not be good for the fetus. 

Formaldehyde and toluene 

Present in personal care products such as chemicals that are used in hair straightening treatments, nail polish and eyelash glue, etc. It is a known carcinogen that is a cancer-causing chemical. Its spontaneous absorption leads to congenital malformations and premature birth. It is advisable to seek out products that are formaldehyde-free, especially during pregnancy. 

beauty products to avoid during pregnancy

The trio of phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene is known as the toxic trio. These are mainly present in nail polish. Phthalates have been linked to everything from high blood pressure to ADHD to diabetes. Recent studies have shown that prenatal phthalate exposure may affect fetal development. 

Essential oils 

These are often used in beauty products and marked as safe to use and do not follow strict labeling instructions. Many people use essential oils as a natural alternative to beauty products. However essential oils can be extremely harmful if not used appropriately. Commonly used essential oils are tea tree oil and rosemary oil. According to Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas Tea tree oil is very potent and toxic. Its adverse effects include dermatitis, drug reactions, a blistering disease called linear IgA, and estrogenic effects. Pregnant women need to be extra careful as hormonal changes may lead to premature contractions. Rosemary oil can raise blood pressure and high doses may cause uterine contractions. 

beauty products to avoid during pregnancy
Aluminum chloride 

It is a common ingredient in deodorants and antiperspirants labeled as aluminum chloride hexahydrate and aluminum chlorohydrate. It affects the cells that produce sweat and is in FDA pregnancy category C, which means you must avoid products with this ingredient in your maternity days. 

Chemical sunscreens  

Sunscreens may contain possible hormone disruptors like oxybenzone or avobenzone, which can interfere with a baby’s nervous system development. 


It is used in spray and self-tanners. This chemical reacts with the dead layers of skin and adds color in such a way that we think it is safer than sun tanning. DHA is unhealthy for mothers as well as the younger one as it is not absorbed by the body but can be inhaled during application. 

beauty products to avoid during pregnancy
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 

Commonly present in almost all shampoo and soap as it acts as a foaming agent. This chemical has a penetrating power and our body is not able to break this chemical down. If it enters the body can cause issues with the nervous system, kidney, and liver function. If ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. 

The above list is based on common research done. However, it is difficult to figure out which beauty products are safer to use during pregnancy, and therefore, it is recommended to take your doctor’s advice before using any product. This will help in protecting the baby’s health and have a safer pregnancy. 

Benefits of natural skincare ingredients

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