Pregnancy and Hair Care

A pregnant woman seeks advice about which beauty products are safe to use.

Beauty Queen

Staying Pretty – Safely – While Pregnant

Dear Beauty Queen:  Help, I’m pregnant, and I’m scared to use all of my old skin care products-like Retin A. But I want to use something because I’m afraid
after nine months, I’ll have aged nine YEARS! What can I use that’s safe?

Beauty Queen: Now that’s a great question … As a fellow mother-to-be (39 weeks and counting!), I had the very same concerns, and just so you know, the same rules apply when you’re breastfeeding, so you may be looking at a revised skin-care regimen for up to a YEAR and nine months.

First off, put the Retin-A away NOW. Yes, it works wonders, but not when you’re pregnant (or nursing). Another ingredient you’ll want to avoid is salicylic acid (which is found in some acne treatments). As a rule of thumb, if you’re using any product that requires a prescription or has one of those “Drug Facts” labels on the back of the bottle, check with your OB before continuing use.

Personally, I made a pledge to use only “natural” or “organic” products when I became pregnant, since there is some controversy surrounding the use of some other common skin-care ingredients such as parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate (especially when pregnant). And in today’s day and age, these cleaner, more “green” products are very easy to come by, even at the drugstore.

My advice would be to scale back your skin-care regimen to a gentle cleanser, eye cream, moisturizer and SPF 30. The most common skin-care issues during pregnancy are hormonally based breakouts and the development of excess pigment or dark patches on the face. If pimples becomeproblematic, Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick is a great natural spot treatment. For dark patches or pigment, try Caudalie’s VinoperfectRadiance Serum morning and night. The good news is, pigment changes can beminimized by avoiding sun exposure, so don’t go another day without usinga SPF 30 that has titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as the active ingredients (since I’d err on the side of caution and avoid chemical sunscreens-you know, the ones you can’t pronounce.)

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