Safe Skin Care for Moms-to-Be

Safe Skin Care for Moms-to-Be
28 Aug 2015

Congratulations Moms-to-Be on your journey of becoming a mother! As an expectant mother, you want your child to be healthy. This means being mindful of the food you eat and what you apply on your skin. Here are a few skincare tips for what to use, and to avoid using on your skin while pregnant.

1) SUNSCREEN: The beach calls even when you are pregnant, but be sure to use your sunscreen. Products with sunscreen are safe for pregnant women.

2) ACNE PRODUCTS: Many women break out during their first trimester of pregnancy due to hormones. It is important to avoid all acne products because of the chemicals. If you must use a face wash, use one that has less than 2% salicylic acid in it. Other product ingredients tested to be safe to use during pregnancy are benzoyl peroxide or azelaic. However, be sure to check with your doctor before using any products during pregnancy.

3) SOY PRODUCTS: Soy is known to even-out the skin tone, but not cholasma (mask of pregnancy) due to elevated hormones. Unfortunately, soy makes the dark patches a lot darker. So avoid soy moisturizers till after you give birth. 

4) HAIR REMOVERS (depilatories): Hopefully you’ve been avoiding hair removal lotions before now. It is definitely a no-no during pregnancy. Depilatories contain the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate, which are known to breakdown the keratin (protein) structure of hair. While there is no scientific proof that hair removers can cause damage to an unborn baby, it is best to stick with shaving, waxing, or threading. If you must use depilatories, consult with your doctor first.

5) MAKE UP: Avoid cosmetics that contain retinol or salicylic acid (found in some makeup for acne-prone skin), because it stays on your face longer and will seep into the skin. Many makeup products are marked “noncomedogenic” or “nonacenegenic”, meaning they are oil-free and don’t clog pores, these are safe and will not affect the health of your baby.

6) RETINOIDS: Also known as Vitamin A, retinoids are used for anti-aging and preventing/reducing wrinkles. Pregnant women should avoid this product because high doses of Vitamin A can be harmful to your unborn child.

7) HYDROQUINONE: It might be tempting to get rid of mask of pregnancy with a little bit of Hydroquinone, but this is one of the top ingredients to avoid at all cost during pregnancy. If you read our article titled “Is Beauty Really Only Skin Deep? Exploring The Skin Bleaching Epidemic In Africa” you’ll remember the adverse effects of hydroquinone. Here’s a recap: Hydroquinone and mercury are the main ingredients used for skin bleaching. It lightens by killing off the pigment and collagen in your skin(collagen is needed to have a healthy, glowing skin). The amount available over-the-counter in the U.S. is only 2%. However, the Food and Drug Administration is working on banning it from being purchased over the counter. Europe and some African countries have all banned the ingredient too.

Moms-to-be, the bottom line is that it is best to avoid products ingredients listed above. When in doubt, consult with your doctor or esthetician.

What skin care products have you used during pregnancy that worked for you?


Oby Nwaogbe

Oby Nwaogbe has spent her career in communications as a television producer and news reporter covering stories that appeal to an international audience. In addition to other assignments, she is a U.S. correspondent for, Nigeria’s most exciting news and entertainment channel based in Lagos. In 2006, Oby founded her video production company, OBONE Productions, LLC providing multimedia and production services to both national and international clients. A licensed esthetician, she started Traveling Chix Mobile Spa, LLC to educate clients on the importance of being healthy from the inside out. Oby holds a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism and Sociology from Howard University.

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