10 Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy and Beyond

10 Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy and beyong

Pregnancy is a time of joy, anticipation, and taking extra care of yourself. While you’re nurturing new life, it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is completely different however it is essential to be mindful of what you put on your skin. When it comes to your journey, you might be one of those lucky Mamas out there who has that ‘pregnancy glow’ we all dream of, or you might be experiencing pregnancy-related skin issues such as hormonal acne, melasma, or extreme dryness.  

Either way, it’s important that you’re educated on the ingredients that are in the skincare products you use. Your skin is your largest organ, so it’s important to understand that any topical products that you apply to your body and face will also be absorbed into the bloodstream.


 Many skincare products contain ingredients that may not be suitable during pregnancy due to potential risks to you and your baby's health. Understanding which ingredients to avoid can help you make informed choices while still maintaining your skin.

Here’s a guide to some common skincare ingredients to steer clear of during pregnancy:

1. Retinoids/Vitamin A:

Known for their anti-aging properties, retinoids are powerful derivatives of vitamin A. However, high doses of vitamin A can lead to birth defects. Opt for gentler alternatives like vitamin C or peptides to support your skin's health during pregnancy. Try our Rejuvenating HY C Serum instead.

Also labelled as: Adapalene, antixerophthalmic vitamin, axerophtholum, beta-carotene, biosterol, dehydroretinol, isotretinoin, retinal, Retin-A, retinaldehyde, retinol, retinol acetate, retinoic acid, retinol palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, tazaroten,tretinoin, 3-Dehydroretinol

2. Salicylic Acid:

Often found in acne treatments and exfoliants, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) known for its ability to unclog pores. Research is conflicting however some concentrations may pose a risk during pregnancy. Choose gentler exfoliation methods like fruit enzymes or lactic acid like our AHA Enzyme Exfoliant.

Also labelled as: White willow bark extract, 2-Hydroxybenzoic Acid. 

3. Hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent commonly used to treat hyperpigmentation. However, its safety during pregnancy is questionable. To address dark spots and melasma safely, opt for products containing ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, or linoleic acid (found in Hemp Seed Oil) like in our Rejuvenating HY C Serum.

Also labelled as: Arctuvin, Dihydroquinone, Quinol.

4. Formaldehyde:

Found in some nail polishes, hair treatments, and skincare products, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and should be avoided during pregnancy. Check product labels for formaldehyde-releasing agents like DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, or quaternium-15.

Also labelled as:  DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, or quaternium-15.

5. Chemical Sunscreens:

Certain chemical sunscreens contain ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which may disrupt hormone levels and potentially harm fetal development. Look for mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad-spectrum protection without the risk.

Also labelled as: Avobenzone, homosalate, menthyl anthranilate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone.

6. Phthalates:

Phthalates are commonly used as fragrance ingredients and plasticisers in skincare products. Studies suggest that exposure to phthalates during pregnancy may interfere with hormone production and fetal development. Choose fragrance-free or naturally fragranced products and look for phthalate-free alternatives like our entire range.

Also labelled as: DBP (dibutyl phthalate), DINP (diisononyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate), DMP (dimethyl phthalate), BBP (benzyl butyl phthalate), DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate), DIDP (diisodecyl phthalate).

7. Parabens:

Parabens are synthetic preservatives used to prolong the shelf life of skincare products. While the research on parabens' effects during pregnancy is inconclusive, many prefer to avoid them due to their potential hormone-disrupting properties. Opt for products labeled "paraben-free" or those preserved with natural alternatives like vitamin E or grapefruit seed extract like the Bohemian Skin Range.

tylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, phenoxyethanol.

8. Aloe Vera:

Research is conflicting however it's essential to be cautious with aloe vera during pregnancy. Some in vitro and animal studies suggest that topical aloe vera in large amounts may have adverse effects. To be safe, it's best to avoid it as there are so many wonderful alternatives in skincare like coconut water and Hemp Seed Oil. 

Also labelled as: Aloe, aloe barbadensis, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, aloe barbandesis gel, aloe vera gel, chirukattali extract.

9. Synthetic Fragrances:

Fragrances can contain a multitude of undisclosed chemicals, some of which may be harmful or irritating, especially during pregnancy when sensitivities are heightened. Opt for fragrance-free or naturally scented products to reduce the risk of adverse reactions.

Also labelled as: Butoxyethanol, fragrance, parfum, perfume.

10. Benzoyl Peroxide:

Commonly used in acne treatments, benzoyl peroxide may be absorbed into the bloodstream and could potentially affect fetal development. While research on its safety during pregnancy is limited, it's advisable to explore alternative acne-fighting ingredients that are considered safer for use during pregnancy like lactic acid which is an active ingredient in our Spot Assist.

Also labelled as: Benzoperoxide, dibenzoyl peroxide.

During pregnancy, prioritising the health and safety of both you and your baby is paramount. By avoiding these potentially harmful ingredients and opting for clean, pregnancy-safe skincare alternatives, you can maintain your skin's health and radiance while embracing the beauty of this transformative journey.

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it's always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before introducing any new skincare products into your routine. Here's to a radiant, healthy pregnancy glow!
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