Pregnant women often avoid certain foods and medications to protect their developing baby, but they may not realize that their skincare products also require attention. Some chemicals can penetrate the skin’s basement membrane and enter the bloodstream, potentially affecting fetal growth. The concentration and potency of skincare ingredients can increase this risk. Pregnant women should be aware of the following products and ingredients.
Sunscreen products- Pregnant women should be careful when choosing sunscreens as some chemical sunscreens may contain organic compounds that can be absorbed by the body and affect fetal growth. They should opt for physical sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on the surface of the skin and do not get absorbed. Sun exposure should also be minimized, especially between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Women should use hats, umbrellas, and sunglasses to block UV rays.
Phthalates – Phthalates are commonly used as carriers in fragranced skincare products. They can mimic natural hormones and affect fetal growth and development, even at low levels. Although some phthalates are safer than others, they are often not listed on labels and are simply listed as “fragrance.” Pregnant women should avoid fragranced skincare products if they are unsure whether they contain phthalates.