Q: Is it safe to get facials during pregnancy?
A: A basic facial is a fine way to pamper yourself and relax during pregnancy, but be sure to let your aesthetician know that you're pregnant, since your skin is likely to be more sensitive now. You should also steer clear of chemical facials or peels, which may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your baby. And remind your aesthetician not to use products that contain retinol or Retin-A, since these vitamin A derivatives have been linked to birth defects. Try a vitamin C serum instead, which offers similar exfoliating benefits, but is a much safer alternative for pregnant women. In addition, you should skip any component of the facial that may raise your body temperature significantly, like a body wrap (though a hot towel around your face is fine). Not only can this make you uncomfortable, but a rise in body temperature during pregnancy (above 102 degrees) has been associated with miscarriage and birth defects, especially in the first trimester. --Stacey Stapleton