12 Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
Keep your baby safe—without sacrificing beautiful skin
We're sure you've got the basic pregnancy no-nos covered—you forgo wine with dinner, you check with your doc before taking any medication, you've said sayonara to sushi—but when it comes to the ingredients in your skincare and makeup, you're probably more than a little lost. We don't blame you. Ingredient lists can be daunting, so we did the research and simplified it for you.
Skip these for the next nine months (and a little longer if you're breastfeeding) to avoid potential risks.
- Aluminum chloride hexahydrate: Found in antiperspirant; check for aluminum chloride hexahydrate and aluminium chlorohydrate.
- Beta hydroxy acids: Salicylic acid, 3-hydroxypropionic acid, trethocanic acid and tropic acid.
- Chemical sunscreens: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, oxtinoxate, menthyl anthranilate and oxtocrylene.
- Diethanolamine (DEA): Found in hair and body products; stay clear of diethanolamine, oleamide DEA, lauramide DEA and cocamide DEA.
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): Found in spray self-tanners; could be harmful if inhaled.
- Formaldehyde: Found in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes and eyelash glue; look for formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).
- Hydroquinone: A lightening agent; abstain from hydroquinone, idrochinone and quinol/1-4 dihydroxy benzene/1-4 hydroxy benzene.
- Parabens: Keep away from propyl, butyl, isopropyl, isobutyl and methyl parabens.
- Phthalates: Found in products with synthetic fragrances and nail polishes; avoid diethyl and dibutyl especially.
- Retinol: Vitamin A, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin. (Here are some retinol alternatives.)
- Thioglycolic acid: Found in chemical hair removers; can also be labeled acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid and thiovanic acid.
- Toluene: Found in nail polishes; skip methylbenzene, toluol and antisal 1a.