However, there are some skin care ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy , and you should make skincare routine adjustments for pregnancy . As a beauty blogger and a pediatrician in my “real” life, I get a lot of questions from readers about what skincare to use during pregnancy. Sleep is a precious commodity during pregnancy, and you shouldn’t be losing it over your choice of facial cleanser! I've pulled together a list of pregnancy friendly skincare lines using my criteria for pregnancy safe skincare . Check here for a list of pregnancy safe skin care products from regular skincare lines. Get Belli Skincare here. Mama Mio has created a group of products designed to help your body bounce back during pregnancy and after delivery. But it is their pregnancy facial products that should really be in the spotlight. This line was developed by an Obstetrician for use during pregnancy and features stretch mark creams and acne treatments. Pretty Mommies was started by a real mom who was frustrated with the lack of products on the market to treat her skin during pregnancy and nursing. Get Pretty Mommies here. These skincare products are vegan and mostly organic, relying on plant extracts for their active ingredients. Get Novena Maternity here. I used the Belly Butter throughout my pregnancy, and I still reach for it to help soothe my eczema flares. Get Mustela here.
Smoking endangers you and your baby. Most of these chemicals cross the placenta and can get into your baby’s body. Your bloodstream absorbs alcohol quickly and passes it on to the baby. Taking medicine may be safer for your baby (and you) than stopping it. If you have environmental allergies, the following medications are considered safe during pregnancy: Your hairdresser should use the most natural products available and provide a well-ventilated area for you. Because your hair may temporarily change during pregnancy, you should know that you might not achieve the desired result. Dogs – Overall, dogs do not pose any health risks for you and your developing baby while you are pregnant. Take your bird to the veterinarian for a health exam; tell the vet that you are pregnant. The final decision should be made between you and your healthcare provider. Can you provide me with a list of all the things I should avoid as well as what I should take during my pregnancy?
Most pregnant women know that what they put (or don't put) in their bodies is important to the well-being of their growing baby, whether it's the right kind of protein, too much caffeine, or certain types of fish. Most of us slather on oceans of lotions every day, but we don't think about what might be passing the skin barrier and being absorbed into our bodies. The more powerful and targeted products get, the more we need to be careful about what we have in our skin-care regimens during pregnancy.
It's important to shelf the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) while pregnant or breastfeeding. Found in many topical exfoliants, cleansers and toners, this popular acid is mainly used to treat problem skin with acne. The biggest concern is when the skin is exposed to the acid in a peel. The saturation means more product is used, meaning more is absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream. Essential oils are sometimes considered one of the most effective “natural” defenses against acne, amongst other treatable skin conditions. Topical use of specific essential oils work very well against the bacteria that cause pimples to form and decongesting the pores - getting rid of congestion that causes acne. Improper use can lead to nausea, headaches, even burning the skin. To execute safe, effective treatments during pregnancy it is important understand the proper dilutions of essential oils. Tea tree, lavender and lemongrass essential oils are all antibacterial solutions to help rid the skin of acne and/or inflammation, however caution must be taken. Lavendar is one of the safest essential oils to use, as it’s calming and rids the skin of irritations; it speeds up healing and is regularly used to treat wounds, burns and acne lesions. Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid and other alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA's) are safe to use during pregnancy, and will help keep the skin smooth and hydrated, refining your pores. Benzoyl peroxide is a topical solution compound that has been given the green light by physicians and OBs for many years to treat acne during pregnancy. Benzoyl Peroxide of a small percentage (2.5% - 5%) is absorbed into the skin.
Avoid it in the first trimester and onwards by refusing store receipts when you can. Accutane: This retinoid (or vitamin A derivative) taken orally for severe acne is known to cause birth defects of the brain and heart. You should also avoid applying any topical retinoid products, including Avage, Differin, Renova, Retin-A, retinols, retinyl palmitate and Tazorac. Tetracycline: This antibiotic acne treatment has been shown to cross the placenta, potentially staining the developing baby's teeth and impairing skeletal growth. Topical Salicylic Acid: This beta hydroxy acid that's used on acne-prone skin has not been shown to be harmful, but when taken orally, salicylic acid (aka aspirin) has been associated with birth defects and bleeding later in pregnancy. You should avoid using products with this ingredient.
Pregnancy and the use of essential oils in aromatherapy. There are some divided ideas on the dangers of certain essential oils used in aromatherapy during pregnancy, but since this time should be a time to enjoy and to prepare for the upcoming birth of your child, it would be wise to rather give some essential oils a miss. Some essential oils are however not toxic, but have emmenagogue action, which is to help to promote and regulate the menstrual flow (periods), and should be avoided during pregnancy.
These color changes are triggered by hormones that increase the production of melanin in the skin. All of these tips are not only safe, but highly encouraged throughout your pregnancy to make sure that you and your little one are getting all the primp and pamper you deserve! You may get that pregnancy glow or you may develop more oily and acne-prone skin. Our Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser is an excellent first step to removing oils and impurities on the skin. For a moisturizer, we recommend topping this skin care routine off with our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Skin . They are not recommended for use undiluted directly on the skin, however. Are Annmarie Skin Care Products Safe During Pregnancy? Common questions we’ve received from our customers are either regarding the white willow bark in our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily/Acne Prone Skin or the use of essential oils throughout. Are you more cautious with your skin care products now that you’re pregnant? Your Perfectly Pampered Pregnancy: Beauty, Health, and Lifestyle Advice for the Modern Mother-to-Be.
Choosing safer beauty products is easier when you learn which ingredients are best to avoid during pregnancy. The ingredients below that are suggested to avoid during pregnancy are commonly found in a variety of beauty products and are known or are suspected of being able to make their way through the placenta into the fetus. Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy and Why. Look for the many companies that offer phathalate free products, avoid products with "fragrance" on the label and find one of the new phathalate free nail polishes. While we are on the subject of nail products toulenes is another ingredient used in these products you might want to avoid during pregnancy. There is the possibility the chemicals in these products can be absorbed into the skin making this something else that is best to avoid during pregnancy. I hesitate to include essential oils in a list of ingredients to avoid during pregnancy because there are some essential oils that are particularly useful for pregnancy skin care. According to Safe Fetus (a database that provides information on the safety of medications taken during pregnancy and while breast feeding) benzoyl peroxide found in many products used to treat acne is rated a Category C meaning that: To avoid during pregnancy any concerns about lead in lipsticks by choosing from the many natural lipsticks available that will keep you looking pretty and feeling safe. If you are using products made by some of the major manufacturers this is probably true. The safety of ingredients used in our skin care products is being questioned and even less is known about the ability of these ingredients to make it through to the fetus or the effects they may have. You will find some of them listed on this page for pregnancy skin care .
Pregnancy Friendly Skin Care Products. To create that list of 8 maternity oriented skin care lines that are safe, I went through the ingredients in a ton of skin care lines to find the ones that fit my criteria for pregnancy safe skincare . There are also a lot of great products that are pregnancy friendly, but not necessarily from a full pregnancy skin care line. There are a lot of really great skin care lines in those big box stores, and many of their products are pregnancy friendly!
See How Your Life Affects Your Skin. How to Keep Your Skin Beautiful. Exercise benefits every part of your body - including your largest organ, the skin. Getting 7-8 hours a night will keep your body and skin in top shape. It matters how you sleep, too - rest your face on the pillow in the same position for years, and you'll get wrinkles where the skin is pressed against the pillow. How Pregnancy Changes Your Skin. Acne is another common skin problem, caused by the extra hormones in your Read More. Acne is another common skin problem, caused by the extra hormones in your body. As your time in the sun goes up, so does your risk of skin cancer. As you age, your skin changes. Caffeine in coffee and tea is dehydrating, so it may cause your skin to dry out. Simply put, smoking is bad for your skin: It's second only to the sun in causing premature wrinkles and dry skin.
While soy-based lotions and facial products are generally safe to use, "Soy can make the ' mask of pregnancy ' (dark splotches on facial skin) worse, as can oil of bergamot, which is in many organic products," she says. Soy has estrogenic effects, which can make those dark patches, also known as melasma or chloasma , worse, Baumann explains. "The 'active soy' found in some product lines is okay, however, because the estrogenic components have been taken out." If you have dark skin or melasma, avoid these products, or choose 'active soy' products instead. If you're dealing with pregnancy-induced acne, a dermatologist can likely give you a safe topical antibiotic, advises Baumann. But if you prefer to avoid yet another doctor appointment, Baumann recommends using a facial wash that contains no more than 2 percent salicylic acid (look for the percentage on the product label).
Makeup, Skin Care and Pregnancy. It’s not a surprise that pregnancy changes a lot about your body, but many women simply don’t think about how their skincare and makeup routines may change in pregnancy. Since the hormones that affect the body also change the complexion, you should consider reviving your makeup as you progress through pregnancy. Keep Your Makeup in Pregnancy Routine Simple. If you find that the glow of pregnancy is only radiating blotchy skin, or chloasma (the mask of pregnancy), you can alter that somewhat with makeup. Also find something that works well with your skin tone to avoid having your face a different color than your body. If you’re experiencing acne or oily skin from pregnancy, you may want to switch tactics when it comes to makeup. You may find that your tried and true essentials simply aren’t cutting it because of the changes in your skin in pregnancy. Also be sure to remove any makeup that you wear - sleeping in makeup is a great way to promote acne or other complications of your skin. If you find that your skin is dry , even on your face, consider a nice moisturizer. Your skin may be more sensitive during pregnancy. You should also watch out for certain chemicals in makeup because your skin absorbs chemicals from everything.
Below you will find a list of ingredients found in common skin care products that you will need to avoid during pregnancy. The first thing you need to watch for when looking at skin care products are Retinoids. The following are ingredients containing retinoids that you should watch for on skin care product labels: Retinyl Linoleate, Differin, Tazorac, Avage, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Retin-A, Retinoic Acid and Renova. However, this doesn’t mean you should go out and start taking acne medications or using acne creams as many of the active ingredients in these medications can be harmful to your baby. Now, while it seems that you may not be able to use any skin care products during pregnancy, there are actually some out there that contain safe ingredients. You can use skin care products that include have the following ingredients: Glycolic Acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) or Lactic Acid as all of these are safe to use during pregnancy or while nursing.
Talk with your doctor or dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in treating skin problems) about how you can help prevent acne and if treatment would help you. Too much washing or scrubbing the skin harshly can make acne worse. You and your dermatologist can decide whether this medicine is right for you based on the pros and cons. This can lead to infection, worsen your acne, and cause scarring. If you have scarring, your dermatologist may suggest surgery to help heal acne lesions and remove scarring. How can I help prevent acne and acne scars? You can help prevent acne flare-ups and scars by taking good care of your skin: Harsh scrubbing of the skin may make acne worse. This can cause acne scars. Talk with your doctor about what treatment methods can help your acne. Is rosacea the same as acne? Women with rosacea don't have the same lesions as seen with common acne.
But certain cosmetics have been found to contain chemicals that can seep through the skin and have adverse effects on unborn children. Most products are safe to use, but there are a few ingredients expectant mothers should watch out for. Hydroquinone is a chemical found in skin-whitening ingredients that is also used to depigment the skin while treating conditions such as chloasma and melasma. Studies have not found the use of the product to be associated with birth defects, but because 35 to 45 percent of the ingredient is absorbed when applied to the skin - a much higher amount than other ingredients - Motherisk.org, a safe pregnancy program at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, recommends staying away from it if expecting a child. Phthalates are a chemical used in a variety of products including air fresheners, detergents and cleaning products. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that phthalates are often not listed on product packaging because a loophole in the law allows manufacturers to add them to fragrances without letting consumers know. Part of the aspirin family, salicylic acid is used to treat skin disorders such as acne and can be found in products including cleansers and toners. While small amounts used topically in skin-care products are thought to be safe, high doses taken orally have been shown in studies to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications. Most cosmetics, including sunscreens, hair removers and makeup, are safe for pregnant women to use, as long as they don’t contain retinoids or hydroquinone.
Home > Pregnancy & Newborns > Your Body > Taking Care of You and Your Baby While You're Pregnant. Taking Care of You and Your Baby While You're Pregnant. After you find out you are pregnant, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will probably start by talking to you about your medical history and how you have been feeling. You will be weighed and have your blood pressure taken. Other tests may be needed if you or your baby are at risk for any problems. Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should gain. This will give you enough calcium for you and your baby. Unless you have problems in your pregnancy, you should get regular exercise. Talk to your doctor about any special conditions that you may have. Rest and put your feet up as much as you can. Call your doctor if you have:
It seems easy to imagine that if you are pregnant (or are trying to get pregnant) that you should probably start taking those prenatals and avoid the pregnancy no-no items like alcohol, tobacco, etc. The truth is that there are ingredients in your night cream and acne spot treatment that have not been proven safe for use during pregnancy, or even worse, have been linked to birth defects. Personally, I am going the conservative route and avoiding ingredients that have not been proven to be safe in pregnancy. Ellen Marmur, whose book Simple Skin Beauty I wrote about a few days ago, says "be on the safe side and ask your ob/gyn about anything that you think might be harmful." I also want to add that even if you've been reassured that something is safe, if it makes you uncomfortable, just avoid it. There are so many products on the market now, it should be easy to avoid an ingredient. While Retin A and over the counter retinoids are not as strongly linked to birth defects as Accutane, they are all the same class of drug and as such are on pretty much every MD's list of no-no ingredients. The retinoids are Vitamin A derivatives, and I've seen quite a few lists advising to avoid topical Vitamin A as well, so it's made my list. • All Hydroxy Acids: From citric acid to salicylic acid, pretty much all of the hydroxy acids either are not safe or simply don't have enough information to say "sure, go crazy and rub this all over you." So, the official word is that all of they hydroxy acids, alpha and beta, have pregnancy categories that recommend avoidance, with 1 exception. I've seen a few books that say Glycolic Acid is fine, and there are many physicians that tell this to their patients. Both are also considered safe for pregnancy and breast feeding. Much is the same for any Hyaluronic Acid that you apply to the surface of the skin. Be aware that if you're allergic to sulfa drugs you should avoid this ingredient, but I've seen it as the active ingredient in many "pregnancy safe" acne treatments and is probably fine. I also looked up each drug in the book Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation , which is even more complete. • Hydroquinone: While there is no data on Hydroquinone in humans, and no studies have found the levels achieved with topical use, hydroquinone is likely safe to use during nursing.
You find out you're pregnant, and immediately the awareness of what goes in and on your body peaks. You want to do everything you can to protect and nourish the precious life growing inside of you. Since skin products are often chemically formulated, when they are absorbed into the body, their harshness can pose a danger to your baby's development. Your body goes through many hormonal changes during pregnancy, and common skin problems often surface as a result. Healthy skin starts on the inside and is reflected on the outside. Fresh foods and plenty of water help to detoxify the body and nourish the skin. Some skin problems worsen during pregnancy due to stress, and that stress shows up on your skin. Vitamin E products sometimes use a combination of essential oils and alcohol, which can make stretch marks pinker. Sadick, "Stretch marks can be reduced in severity by staying away from hot showers and the application of a moisturizer while the skin is still wet before drying." From the belly down to the soles of the feet, red and itchy skin is often a concern during pregnancy. Gramlich recommends products that contain chamomile and cucumber. These ingredients help calm and cool the skin and reduce inflammation. They are safe enough to use twice a day, when you wash your face in the morning and evening. Use gentle cleansers that are not harsh on the skin. For example, you can often see the symptoms of Reye's syndrome from being exposed to products that use too much salicylic acid.
Now that you're pregnant, you may notice a sudden flare-up of acne breakouts, even if your skin has been relatively clear for years. Maybe pregnancy is causing you to developing acne for the first time - ever. Whether or not you decide to treat acne during your pregnancy depends on your skin, your situation, and your obstetrician's advice. Talk with Your OB and Dermatologist Before Starting Any Treatment. Before starting any acne treatment, even over-the-counter acne products , talk to your obstetrician. Mild acne may not need any special treatment at all, and your doctor might suggest waiting until the baby is born before starting a treatment. If your acne is worsening, if you have been battling breakouts since before your pregnancy, or your acne is severe , you may feel the need for an acne treatment medication. Your obstetrician and dermatologist must be part of your acne treatment team during this time, because they can guide you to the safest, best acne treatments for you. While the treatments below are considered safe to use during pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor before using any acne medications. But it's one of the most widely recommended acne treatment medications and most physicians consider it safe to use during pregnancy. You and your doctor will have to weigh the pros and cons of this medication and decide if it's right for your situation. It's not the most effective acne treatment, though, and is most often prescribed along with another acne treatment. Many acne treatment medications can harm a developing fetus and must be avoided during pregnancy. Let your dermatologist know you are pregnant before being treated for acne. Always talk to your doctor before using any acne treatment medication while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Your skin begins to age when you are only in your mid-20s, though you may not see it. You may want to ask a dermatologist now how you can get smoother, softer skin, whatever your age. If you have sensitive skin, talk to your dermatologist about how to avoid irritation. It protects and improves your skin. If you have dry skin, you may need to put it on more than just once a day. If you have acne or sensitive skin, talk to your doctor. Some studies suggest that nutrients can improve and protect your skin. You don't need a salon facial for good skin care, but it may make your skin look smoother for a while. It ages your skin and encourages wrinkling. Stress can make your skin more sensitive and worsen breakouts.
Although a woman may not have reactions to ingredients in skin-care products prior to being pregnant, she needs to consider all the potentially harmful ingredients in the products during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Read the labels carefully to avoid skin-care ingredients that shouldn't be used while breastfeeding or when pregnant. Petroleum Products May Irritate Baby. A breastfeeding mother should avoid petroleum-based ingredients, because they can irritate sensitive baby skin. Formaldehyde can cause serious allergies and allergic reactions in the breastfeeding baby. Some technical names used to indicate the presence of formaldehyde include hydroxymethylglycinate, DMDM-hydantoin and methenesmine.
Q: I am 6 months pregnant and my husband gifted me one of the best skin brightener. The most active ingredients of skin brighteners are glutathione, potent steroids and hydroquinone. In spite of the potential threat, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies remain active in their marketing of skin lightening products towards pregnant women to address melasma. Darkening of the skin is caused by a shift of hormones, and melanin deposits appear on the face. Although there is a very small rate of pregnant women who do not get any skin discolorations at all, melasma and linea nigra are normal and expected during pregnancy. Skin lightening products are widely campaigned all over the world as a solution to skin darkening problems. This is seen futile in pregnant women because in most cases skin discoloration eventually fades after pregnancy, and sometimes the lightened regions appear lighter than the rest of the skin. Common side effects of skin lightening products are skin irritation, further skin discoloration , edema, and crust formation on the skin. However, dermatologists advise against breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women using skin lightening products without consulting their pediatrician or first. Hormonal changes are inevitable, and the risks associated with skin brighteners outweigh the advantages. Wanting a fairer, more even skin tone is a choice of beauty, but during pregnancy your priority is the health and wellness of yourself and your unborn child. Even doctors strongly advise applying skin lightening creams during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so just resist the urge and wait until after giving birth before considering the idea. Unless you are 101% sure that the cream you are about to use is medically proven and tested safe, stay away from using skin lightening potions and creams.
I have been so overwhelmed with what I should and should not use during pregnancy. By cheryl_arguin Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 06:57 PM Report as inappropriate. Am I the only one who really, really hates it when people say "Preg-O"? By Little Bunny Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 10:01 AM Report as inappropriate. By Erica F 123 Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 11:55 AM Report as inappropriate. By cheerio9551 Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 10:08 PM Report as inappropriate. By nicky22 Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 08:37 PM Report as inappropriate. By Lamexicana1 Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 04:58 PM Report as inappropriate. By Nin Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM Report as inappropriate. By charlize_adrienne Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 06:32 PM Report as inappropriate. By beautybody Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM Report as inappropriate. I'm sure some products are better than others to use, but are people using that much of a certain product that it could be absorbed by the body that fast?
Where’s the advice on problematic chemicals found in plastics, cleaning products and cosmetics, for example? THE FACTS: Certain chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to reduced fertility, birth defects, increased risk of breast cancer, asthma, and hormone disruption. Read the label to avoid chemicals like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, and oxybenzone. THE FACTS: Bisphenol-A (BPA) is commonly found in can liners, plastic products and coated on paper receipts. THE FACTS: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), known as the poison plastic, is found in plastic products from toys and cookware to shower curtains. Keep Chemicals Out of the House. Take of your shoes before entering your house to avoid tracking in oils and chemicals from the street outside. THE FACTS: Paint can contain volatile organic compounds (or VOCs) which have been linked to cancer and respiratory irritation. THE FACTS: Fruits and vegetables can contain harmful pesticides linked to birth defects and reproductive harm. THE FACTS: Some hair and nail salon treatments can contain chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, and other nasties that are linked to birth defects, reproductive problems and even cancer. There is so much new stuff to learn and know during pregnancy, and you can only do the best that you can do given your individual circumstances.
The vast majority of these lotions and products are safe to use since they have low absorption rates. Avoid the use of oral retinoids during pregnancy. Whether salicylic acid is safe during pregnancy depends somewhat on how you use it, the p H balance, the strength, and the quantity you use (Bozzo, Chua-Gocheco, Einarson 2011). Use some caution and consult your midwife, doctor or a dermatologist to determine if the way you are using your product containing salicylic acid and the chemical makeup of it are safe for pregnancy. While soy-based lotions and facial products are generally safe to use, but may make common pregnancy skin changes like the mask of pregnancy (dark splotches on facial skin) worse. And as your mom always told you: Don't forget the sunscreen. Sunscreens, including those with ingredients that penetrate the skin, are considered safe. You can use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as they are good sunscreens and do not penetrate your skin. These are safe and will not affect the health of your baby. These products use ingredients that primarily sit on top of the skin and don't cause irritation for most people.
Best Face Forward: Safe Beauty Products for Pregnancy and Nursing. And while some products are not safe to use in pregnancy, the good news is there are plenty of alternatives and plenty of products that are safe to use. These lotions and sprays stay mostly on the surface of the skin with only minimal absorption, which makes them safe for you to use during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding. Acne, a common complaint for many expecting women, is an unfortunate and common side effect of the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy. Steer clear of products that cover more surface area or sit on the skin for longer time periods—they are more likely to be absorbed into your skin. Leslie Baumann, Ph D, the author of The Skin Type Solution and a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami, says a facial cleanser for acne that has two percent or less salicylic acid is safe for use. Most experts agree that pregnant and nursing women should avoid products containing retinoids. When used according to the instructions on the package, hair removes and depilatories (such as Nair or Neet) are safe for women to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding—a relief to many women, since shaving during pregnancy can be especially difficult. As with anything that is applied to the skin, especially in large doses, DEET can be absorbed through your skin and enter the bloodstream. Products containing soy are generally safe to use, but “Soy can make the ‘mask of pregnancy’ (dark splotches on facial skin) worse, as can oil of bergamot, which is in many organic products,” says Dr.
Get your free personalized pregnancy and baby newsletter. We will use your information to send you our newsletters, coupons and special offers, and we share your information with our partners. Here's why your pregnancy complexion looks worse than it did in middle school, along with what you can do about it. Acne — those rashy, pimply bumps that tend to flare up just when you have a big meeting or wedding on your calendar — can appear on your face (of course), hairline, neck, breasts, and, yes, your butt. And your body is also retaining more fluids , which contain toxins that can lead to zits. Your best offense is a good defense: Prevent flare-ups and scars by taking good care of your skin during pregnancy . And keep your pillowcases, towels and any hats you wear regularly clean as well. As your mother always warned you (and this time she’s right), these tactics will only make zits last longer and can cause scars. Many medicines used to treat acne (including those that are safe to use during pregnancy) can make you more prone to sunburn. And while the sun may help dry out your acne lesions, that help doesn’t come without a price: Too much sun not only increases your risk of skin cancer and causes early aging of the skin, it can also bring on other blotches during pregnancy. Serious breakouts in adults are sometimes tackled with such strong-arm products as Accutane, Retin-A, and other topical retinoids (tretinoin, isotretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene) — which are all completely off-limits until after you deliver and wean, since they can be absorbed through the skin into your breast milk and your — and your baby’s — bloodstream.
The role of the topical retinoids in these cases remains controversial, 15 – 18 as 2 prospective studies that examined use during the first trimester of pregnancy with 96 and 106 women did not find an increased risk of major malformations or evidence of retinoid embryopathy. 19 , 20 However, until data on larger cohorts are collected, women should not be encouraged to use topical retinoids during pregnancy. 2 , 3 No studies on the use of this preparation in pregnant patients have been published; however, systemic effects on a pregnant woman and her child would not be expected and therefore use of this product during pregnancy would not be of concern. 26 No studies have been conducted in pregnancy on topical use; however, as such a relatively small proportion is absorbed through the skin, it is unlikely to pose any risk to a developing baby. 27 Studies examining the use of glycolic acid in human pregnancy have not been conducted; however, using topical glycolic acid during pregnancy should not be of concern, as only a minimal amount is expected to be absorbed systemically. 9 A single study has been published involving the use of hydroquinone during pregnancy with no increase in adverse events; however, the sample size of pregnant women was small. These products contain dihydroxyacetone in concentrations ranging from 1% to 15%, and when applied topically, systemic levels are minimal (0.5%) 12 ; therefore, use during pregnancy would not be of concern. When addressing issues of hair removal, or reducing the appearance of hair, various topical agents are available, such as depilatory and hair-bleaching creams. In addition, although they might permeate the skin, the systemic absorption of these ions is minimal and therefore they do not increase serum levels and would not be considered a problem for use during pregnancy. Apart from hydroquinone (which is absorbed systemically in fairly substantial amounts and should be used very sparingly) and topical retinoids (owing to the troubling case reports), skin care products are not expected to increase the risk of malformations or other adverse effects on the developing fetus.