A touch of makeup or a spritz of perfume can be the perfect pick-me-up when you're pregnant and want to feel extra pampered. But are the products you're using safe for you and your baby?
According to the Campaign For Safe Cosmetics, "American women use [an average of] 12 personal care products a day," meaning they're "likely to be exposed daily to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone."
A growing number of studies have shown that common chemicals in everyday personal care products, such as shampoo, makeup and moisturizers, are associated with developmental, reproductive and behavioral disorders, hormone disruption and cancer.
Making simple and easy changes to your beauty routine will go a long way in helping detoxify your pregnancy.
1. Switch to sulfate-free haircare products.
Products with sulfates have the risk of being contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and nitrosamines, two known carcinogens. Opt for a natural, sulfate-free haircare routine that uses natural ingredients like coconut-derived soaps (they're high performing and lather wonderfully).
2. Use 100% natural sunscreen.
Safe sun protection is especially important for pregnant women. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, a woman's skin becomes extremely sensitive to the sun, which can lead to hyperpigmentation and/or malasma. However, many ingredients in drugstore sunscreens may be harmful to use during pregnancy, so choosing the right kind of sun protection is critical.
Protect your skin by using a broad-spectrum, 100% natural sunscreen that is rated SPF 30 or higher. Look for physical sun blockers like zinc-oxide as the primary ingredient.
3. Treat acne naturally.
Your body is doing some hard work and going through a dramatic physical transformation during pregnancy. For many women, this can result in acne. Treat it naturally by washing your face twice daily to keep your pores from clogging, minimizing your dairy and sugar intake, exercising to help detoxify your skin and using natural makeup products.
4. Opt for aluminum-free deodorant.
Many pregnant women report an increase in body odor during pregnancy and a heightened sense of smell (which can also give the impression of increased body odor). Most over the counter antiperspirants and deodorants contain aluminum, which studies have been linked to developmental defects such as behavioral and neurological issues. Combat body odor safely and naturally by using an aluminum-free deodorant.
5. Moisturize twice daily to keep stretch marks at bay.
Dry, itchy skin is a common discomfort during pregnancy as not only bellies, but hips, thighs and breasts expand and stretch the skin. Moisturize twice a day with products that use organic and natural butters and plant oils. These natural ingredients have powerful moisture retention and healing properties to keep your skin soft and nourished!
6. Drink water.
Beauty comes from the inside and out, so drink up! In addition to supporting your skin's health, drinking water will maintain hydration and help promote your energy levels and positive mood. It'll also keep skin hydrated and help prevent those pesky stretch marks.
7. Ditch the nail polish.
Many nail polishes contain potentially harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, all of which have been linked to cancer and developmental disorders. Ditch the polish and buff your nails for shine. If you can't part with your weekly mani/pedi, use pregnancy-safe nail polish brands that are "five-free," meaning formulated without dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor.
8. Skip the hair dye.
The question of coloring your hair when pregnant has been a debate among mothers and medical experts for years. Hair dyes contain questionable chemicals that can be absorbed into the skin or inhaled, including coal tar, ammonia and PPD. For these nine months, embrace you natural hair color and get creative with fun hairstyles.
9. Make sure your perfume is safe.
Fragrances can contain a slew of chemicals that you want to avoid during pregnancy, including phthalates and musk. However, that doesn't mean that you have to forgo spritzing your skin with a scent. Use an all-natural perfume that's crafted from steam-distilled essential oils and doesn't contain parabens, phthalates, synthetics, propylene glycol or dyes.
Photo Credit: Getty Images