So much of my life has changed since I found out I was expecting. Aside from my rapidly increasing weight (and waistline) and dwindling wardrobe and food choices, I’ve also been forced out of my old daily beauty routine. And I’m not just talking about giving up mani and pedi sessions for doctor appointments and prenatal classes, or foregoing 8 hours beauty sleep to make time for reading parenting books. I’ve also begun pregnancy-proofing my beauty cabinet, which basically means investing in milder skin care alternatives and tossing those that contain ingredients believed to be harmful for the baby. Trust me, the newsletters your medical provider hands out to you don’t always have this information. So if you’re on the same boat as I am and haven’t had the chance to do this, here are some beauty tips for pregnant women.
What to Stock Up On:
A good sunscreen – This is your best defense against melasma/dark splotches (also known as “pregnancy mask”). For added protection, use makeup products with an SPF of at least 15. My current fave: CoTZ PLUS SPF 58
A belly butter – Once those stretch marks start showing, it will be a lot harder to treat them. So to make sure you don’t get them in the first place, start slathering those vitamin E oils and shea and cocoa butter concoctions even before your baby bump shows. My current fave: Belli Skin Care Elasticity Belly Oil
Bath products designed for babies – If you’re looking for milder shampoo, soap, lotion and body wash alternatives, look no further than baby products! If they’re mild enough for babies, then they’re definitely mild enough for you. Plus, it’s a good way to test these products out before you use them on your child. I’m even using Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths to remove my makeup now.
What to Toss:
Retinol creams – Retinol hasn’t exactly been proven to cause any harm, but most dermatologists and physicians dissuade expectant moms from using retinol-based products.
Nail polishes – Some nail polishes contain phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde—these ingredients have been linked to birth defects. Fortunately, there are nail polish brands that don’t have these in their products, like butter LONDON, Londontown and RGB Cosmetics.
Hydroquinone serums– Not yet tested on animals or humans, best to avoid while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Salicylic acid peels– It’s usually safe at lower concentrations (below 2%), but just to be sure, opt for milder alternatives like glycolic or azelaic acid.