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May 2018

A Safe Guide to Personal Care Products and Makeup During Pregnancy


avoiding chemicals in makeup and personal care products during pregnancy

Did you know that only 11% of the estimated 10,000 personal care ingredients used by US manufacturers have been tested for safety?  This is the reason for the internal vetting process we use for every product we sell at Bump Boxes.  A staple in everyone’s beauty routine is facial cleansers, lotions and makeup, and we’ve listed our top chemicals that you need to look out for below.

Personal Care Products and Makeup During Pregnancy…What Should I Look Out For?

Lead – Lead is most commonly found in 60% of lipsticks, foundation, nail colors and, surprisingly, whitening toothpaste.  Lead is a developmental neurotoxin and should be avoided.  It has also been linked to miscarriage and reduced fertility.  Make sure you go a natural route for these products to avoid it.

Triclosan – Triclosan is typically found as an antibacterial agent in hand soaps and toothpaste.  In studies on rats, they found that it actually causes birth defects.  In addition, once absorbed it stays in your system for a period of time and this chemical has been found in 75% of Americans.  It’s been linked to low birth weight, endocrine disruption, fetal nervous system damage and reproductive abnormalities just to name a few.  Regular soap and water work just as well so avoid this if you can.

Oxybenzone – Oxybenzone is most commonly found in sunscreens and can lead to a low birth weight.  It’s easily absorbed through the skin and is found in roughly 80% of the sunscreens on the market today.  Make sure you opt for a oxybenzone free sunscreen.

BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – BHA and BHT are commonly used as a preservative in cosmetic products.  They are possible carcinogens and haven’t undergone pre-market testing by the FDA so it’s best to avoid them.

Coal Tar – Coal Tar is most commonly found in cosmetics and hair dyes.  There are concerns that it is carcinogenic and potential neurotoxic, so it’s best to avoid this if possible!

Parabens – Parabens are a common preservative in cosmetics, and roughly 75%-90% of cosmetics contain Parabens!  Parabens have been linked to hormone disruption, breast cancer and reduced fertility.  For pregnancy, hormone disruption is extremely scary because it can affect the development of your little one, especially during crucial developmental milestones in the first trimester!

Phthalates – Phthalates are more commonly found in scents and perfumes.  When you start to think about it, almost every product you use contains perfumes and scents, from laundry detergent to your shampoo.  Phthalates have been linked to birth defects and endometriosis, along with endocrine disruption.  To make things even more difficult, fragrances are protected by trade secret laws so manufacturers don’t have to disclose them.  We have checked with our suppliers to ensure their fragrances are natural (mostly using essential oils), so if you shop at Bump Boxes you won’t need to worry.

Formaldehyde, DEA (dithanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine) – Formaldehyde is most frequently found in shampoos (look for DMDM hydantoin on the label), hair gels, certain hair treatments and nail polish.  It’s been known to cause cancer so it’s best to avoid it if possible.

Toluene – Toluene is most commonly found in nail polish (that paint thinner smell…yes, that’s toluene).  Breathing it in can be harmful to your nervous system and cause symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.  In addition, it has also been linked to birth defects and developmental issues in children.

Retinoids/Retin A/Salycylic acid – For these, it’s best to avoid during pregnancy.  Studies have shown that high amounts of vitamin A and salicylic acid have resulted in birth defects and other various pregnancy complications so it’s best to avoid them.

BPA – BPA isn’t typically found in cosmetics directly, but it has been found in packaging and can leach into products (especially when the product has been sitting out in the sun or exposed to heat).  BPA has been linked to reproductive disorders and cardiovascular issues just to name a few.  Be aware of the packaging of your products to stay safe.

This gives you an idea of what you should be looking for during your everyday beauty regimen when you’re pregnant.  Who knew that makeup during pregnancy could be such a risk?!  There are other products you should be avoiding as well that aren’t included in this list (hair remover creams, petroleum products, etc).  A great source for a healthy pregnancy can be found at Healthy Child Healthy World.

<3 Christine

Posted in: Beauty and Skincare, Environmental Toxins, Pregnancy, What to Avoid During Pregnancy

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