If there’s one time in a woman’s life when she’s most likely to start using organic skin care products, it’s during pregnancy.
We are often asked whether it’s necessary to go entirely organic with skin care products during pregnancy, which ingredients should be avoided and which of our products are recommended for use during pregnancy.
To answer the first question, we believe it’s best to minimise exposure to potentially toxic chemicals during pregnancy. With any topical product, there is always a risk that some of the ingredients (even small amounts) will be absorbed into the mother’s bloodstream and cross into the placenta. That’s why during pregnancy, especially the first three months when the baby’s brain and vital organs are developing, it’s important for women to avoid exposure to chemicals with links to birth defects.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), publishers of the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database which gives in-depth information about chemicals, suggest cutting out non-essential personal care products and choosing fragrance-free products with the fewest ingredients possible.
We believe choosing certified skin care products during pregnancy is the safest option, as you can be assured you won't be applying products to your skin that contain potentially harmful preservatives and fragrances.
Doctors won't necessarily tell you to go completely organic, but they will tell you which skin care ingredients you should definitely avoid.The following have either been linked to birth defects, or the jury is out as to their safety during pregnancy, so they are best avoided:
- Oxybenzone (sunscreens)
- Glycolic acid (chemical exfoliants)
- Benzoyl peroxide (acne products)
- Nanoparticles (sunscreens)
- Retinoids/retin A/vitamin A (anti-aging and acne products)
- Hydroxy acids (anti-aging and acne products)
- Dihydroxyacetone (sunless tanners)
- Hydroquinone (skin lightening)
- Kojic acid (skin lightening)
- Benzoyl peroxide (acne)
- Xenoestrogens (chemicals that can mimic our reproductive hormones and interfere with reproductive health e.g. phthalates, parabens, BPA).
WHAT ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS?
Throughout both my pregnancies I was making my skin care products alongside a friend, who was also pregnant. Every day we handled ‘neat’ essential oils and whilst we didn’t rub them on our bellies, we did inhale them and come into close contact with them.
We both went on to give birth to normal, healthy babies.
Some of the essential oils often contraindicated during pregnancy include: basil, cedarwood, clary sage (in our Roll On Deodorant), coriander, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, marjoram, oregano, myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Whilst essential oils are undoubtedly potent, they are incorporated in our products in synergistic blends, that are less than one per cent of the total formulation. That means the amount is MINISCULE in comparison to the total percentage of the overall product.
We use all essential oils responsibly and in safe levels however, all products should be used at your own discretion. The products in our range that I would suggest avoiding in the first trimester are:
- Vital A Elixir – vitamin A
- Botanique Parfum No. 1 – jasmine
- Bioactive Body Elixir – sweet fennel
- Botanique Deodorant – clary sage
During pregnancy, take time to really look after yourself. Eat organically if you can, cut back on the naughty stuff and take those nine months out to really nurture yourself and focus on your health and the health of your growing baby.
If you are looking to make the switch, we recommend starting with hair and body care products first as they cover a greater surface area and used everyday. Another hero product that we highly recommend for all skin types and concerns is our Marigold Hydrating Creme that is enriched with Vitamin E, CoQ10 and Gotu Kola that have soothing and calming properties.