The importance to choose natural ingredients in personal care products when pregnant ATTITUDE
July 18, 2023The importance to choose natural ingredients in personal care products when pregnant

We all know maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is crucial to the well-being of pregnant women and their growing babies.

Most women strive to achieve the balance of protein, fatty acids as well as fruits and veggies in their diet; they monitor their caffeine and sugar intake; but do they have the knowledge about what they use on their body? Having a skincare ritual you trust is a good way to ensure your peace of mind during pregnancy.

Learn to recognize what you’re putting on your skin

Our skin is the largest organ of our body; it's an excellent impermeable barrier that acts as a shield for the body. Many women use a substantial amount of beauty and skin care products on a daily basis. it's an excellent impermeable barrier that acts as a shield for the body.


It's stressful enough knowing which ingredients to eat, so how do you determine which product or ingredient to trust without being a specialist? Although some skin care products are known to be safe for you and your baby, many contain ingredients derived from possibly harmful chemicals. Most of the time, these ingredients are not listed on labels as they are found as contaminants or indirect ingredients, and are thus legally tolerated.

Finding skin care products without ingredients of concern can sometimes be challenging. All mothers-to-be deserve to feel pampered without seeing concerning ingredients in their everyday products and those of their baby. Becoming more aware of how your skin care products can affect you and your baby’s health, and which ingredients you should avoid for your pregnancy will put your mind at ease as your beautiful newborn grows.

What science says?

Scientists have found ingredients such as phthalates and fragrance components in human tissues. In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an organization that specializes in research and advocacy in toxic chemicals, researchers found traces of 287 industrial chemicals, pollutants and consumer products in the umbilical cord blood of 10 American babies.

Of the 287 chemicals detected, 180 were found to be cancer-causing, 217 toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 were found to cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests - That’s pretty astounding!

Another study conducted by EWG citing scientific evidence accumulated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine concluded that certain health and reproductive issues such as infertility, low birth weights, preterm births, certain cancers, and birth defects were linked to toxic chemicals found in cosmetics and other personal care products.

The Consequences of Long-Term Exposure on Your Baby

Although many chemicals found in cosmetics don’t cause noticeable or immediate signs of toxicity, prolonged exposure to chemicals and contaminants can affect our health and well-being over time. The impact on health all depends on the amount, frequency, length of exposition, and type of chemical itself to which you and your baby are exposed.

Moreover, your genetic, resistance level and your physiognomy will also have an influence. Considering so many variables, it is obviously quite difficult for researchers to predict the exact effect on your health or your baby’s. Children's immature bodies and organs are still developing in the mother’s womb, and as a consequence they’re less able to process and eliminate chemical substances, making them more susceptible to potential developmental defects.


7 Personal Care Ingredients to Watch Out for When Pregnant

Next time you head out to buy your beauty and skincare products, take the time to read the product labels carefully. Here is a list of 7 ingredient groups to steer clear from:

1. Formaldehyde

DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl urea and Quaternium-15 are ingredients releasing formaldehyde, an internationally recognized cancer-causing contaminant used as a preservative in skin care products.

2. Retinoids

Derived from Vitamin A and known for their anti-aging properties. According to EWG, some U.S. government scientists have proven that this substance accelerates the development of cancerous lesions on sun-exposed skin. Avoid ingredients such as Retinol, Retinyl Acetate, Retinal, Retinyl Retinoate, Retinyl linoleate and Retinyl palmitate, as well as Vitamin A.

3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

All ingredients ending up with "-eth" (eg. ceteareth, laureth-4, laureth-23 ...) are contaminated by carcinogens. They are the result of a reaction with oxide ethylene, a synthetic substance recognized as carcinogenic, and contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potential carcinogen despite monitoring and regulation. This substance is generally found in shower gels and shampoos.

4. PEG and PPG

Like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, these ingredients are contaminated with carcinogens from a reaction with ethylene oxide. Be on the lookout for terminologies such as PPG-20, 30, 80..., PEG-20, 30, 80...and Polysorbate-20, 30, 80…

5. Nitrosamines

Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) are ingredients that may release nitrosamine, an impurity found in many cosmetics.

6. BHA, BHT, Phthalates and Triclosan

Beta hydroxy/salicylic acid (BHA), Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Phthalates and Triclosan are all endocrine disruptors that can mimic our hormones. Small amounts could be absorbed through the skin and affect the baby’s endocrine system. However, all these substances are covered by regulations that take into account the risk of exposure. Precautions for use, and even bans, have been introduced as a result.

7. Parabens

All ingredients including some “paraben” are preservatives that present evidence of causing hormonal imbalances. Be careful with the mention “Paraben-Free”: It is often replaced with Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) or Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), equally disturbing ingredients for their human skin toxicant properties. Before purchasing your skin-care products, read product labels carefully and avoid purchasing products containing ingredients of concern.

If you’re concerned about what you’re actually putting on your skin, we recommend checking out the EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. It features the ingredients used in most personal care products on the market with a toxicity rating for each one, so you can make better informed decisions for you and your baby’s well-being. According to EWG

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Written by Team ATTITUDE