Oct 11
Prohibited Ingredients for Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women

Prohibited Ingredients for Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but it's also a time when things get confusing. Many restrictions must be adhered to by pregnant women, ranging from not smoking, drinking alcohol, or even eating sushi. Not to mention the issue of which beauty products can and should not be used during pregnancy.

The U.S. Food and Drugs Association (FDA) categorizes drugs and chemicals in four categories, ranging from the safest to the most dangerous: A, B, C, D, and X. Generally, only categories A and B are considered safe to use during pregnancy, but to know which ingredients are also found in beauty products can be a challenge in itself. To that end, we have summarized a number of cosmetic ingredients that should be avoided by pregnant women, the following:


  • Mercury is a dangerous content and should not be present in beauty products, even when not pregnant. Mercury can have an impact on damage to the nervous system and impaired fetal development.
  • Retinoids (Retin-A, Renova, Retinol, and retinyl palmitate): Found in prescription acne medications and anti-aging beauty products. Retinoids and all their derivatives (retinaldehyde, differin, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and isotretinoin) fall into category C (in fact safe but risky), but should still be avoided. Tazorac and Accutane, other versions of retinoid derivatives, fall into category X (contraindications and should be avoided).
  • Vitamin A is needed for fetal development in the womb, but excessive intake can lead to serious birth defects and liver poisoning. Doctors will generally advise their patients not to plan for pregnancy while using retinoid-containing products, and if you become pregnant while using retinoids, discontinue use as soon as possible.
  • Benzoyl peroxide Found in nonreceptic acne medications. Benzoyl peroxide is in category C. Benzoyl peroxide can be absorbed through the skin as much as 5 percent at the time of application. Although there has been no research on the dangers of using benzoyl peroxide in humans, it would be better if pregnant women avoid the use of this ingredient.
  • Tetracycline is a common antibiotic found in acne and Lyme disease medications. Tetracycline falls into category D. Other drugs include doxycycline and minocycline. A number of studies have found that the use of tetracycline during pregnancy can damage the liver of pregnant women and cause a change in the color of the baby during its growth period. Common alternative antibiotics prescribed to pregnant women include amoxicillin or erythromycin.
  • Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) It is also in category C. It is found in beauty products to help relieve acne, oily skin, and remove dead skin cells (exfoliation), including salicyclic acid, 3-hydroxypropionic acid, trethocanic acid, and tropic acid.
  • Salicyclic acid,when taken orally ( taken), can cause pregnancy complications and even birth defects. Topical use of the skin of the body or face is much riskier for pregnant women because this active ingredient will be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Immediately visit the nearest emergency department if you experience symptoms of salicyclic acid poisoning such as: dizziness, a lightheaded head, rapid breathing, or ringing ears.
  • Hydroquinone (including idrochinone, quinol, 1-4 dihydroxy benzene, 1-4 hydroxy benzene) is category C and commonly found in face whitening creams. During pregnancy, it's normal for your skin to darken or appear tanned spots on the face due to hormonal changes. However, it is mandatory for you to avoid using any beauty products that contain hydroquinone.
  • Aluminum chloride hexahydrate Found in some deodorants. This includes aluminum chlorohydrate. Aluminum chloride hexahydrate falls into category C.
  • Formalin These include quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol). Formalin can increase the risk of miscarriage or fertility disorders. The classification of formaldehyde on the FDA list has yet to be determined, but the use of these chemicals should still be limited, especially for pregnant women. Formalin is commonly found in some gel nail polishes, hair straightening products, and eyelash glue.
  • Toluene Methylbenzene, toluol and antisal 1a. Toulene is commonly found in nail polish.
  • Phthalates It belongs to category C, commonly found in some synthetic perfumes and nail polishes. Phthalates, toluene, and formalin are known as "trio of toxins" that should be avoided altogether, especially during pregnancy.
  • Paraben These include propyl, butyl, isopropyl, isobutyl and methyl parabens. Commonly found in some body care products, shampoos, soaps, and cosmetics.
  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) is a supportive composition in skin tone darkening products aka self-tanning. DHA is a chemical that reacts to the body's dead skin layer, adds color, and is considered safer than sunbathing. Even so, DHA can be inhaled by the body during the spraying process.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) Commonly found in some hair and body care products. Avoid diethanolamine, oleamide DEA, lauramide DEA, and cocamide DEA.
  • Thioglycolic acid It is commonly found in some chemical wax liquids to pluck feathers. Avoid acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid, and thiovanic acid.
  • Benzophenone-3 (Oxybenzone) is also present in some sunscreens and has activities like the hormone estrogen, which can also cause hormonal imbalances.
  • Soy or soy is a phytoestrogen that can aggravate dark patches in pregnant women.
  • Considering the many chemicals contained in sunscreen, you should choose sunscreen products with levels of the active mineral ingredients titanium dioxide and / or zinc oxide are lighter.
  • PABA or Para Amino Benzoic Acid is usually found in sunscreen products. Products that contain PABA can cause hormonal balance to be disrupted and make the skin darker.
  • Rhodamin is commonly found in makeup with striking colors. This dye is off limits to cosmetics because it is actually a dye for textiles. The use of rhodamin in cosmetics can cause skin cancer in the mother and disability in the fetus.