Ah, pregnancy. A time when a woman-with-child is purported to radiate some sort of special glow. A time of fuller-than-ever hair, of thick and resilient nails, of abundance and beauty, right? Not quite.
(Record scratch.) I’m not saying pregnancy isn’t beautiful, or that the “preggo glow” isn’t real. But one of the things I remember most about the two times I was pregnant — and the various years I spent trying to conceive my second daughter — was the effect that pregnancy had on my beauty routine.
I’m not quite sure why I was so surprised. After writing about health and beauty for nearly two decades, I certainly knew that there are a range of foods, activities, and topical skincare ingredients you need to avoid during pregnancy. But I was still startled when I found that many of my favorite medical aesthetic treatments and anti-acne products were suddenly on the no-no list.
One of the biggest things women who are pregnant need to stay away from are topical vitamin A derivatives, such as retinoids like tretinoin, as well as the milder retinol ingredients you can find in tons of products. This is a big loss to many regimens, since retinoids and retinol are both proven, effective anti-aging skin ingredients, able to smooth fine lines and improve skin texture. Trouble is: “They have not been studied on pregnant women so they are not deemed safe,” says Dr. Estee Williams, a dermatologist in New York City. Even worse, she notes, available data that is out there (some from animals, and some from humans) has shown oral ingestion of high doses of vitamin A to be linked to birth defects.
Next up on the no-no list, but likely to be on the shelves of any woman who wants to keep breakouts at bay: salicylic acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid). The effect of the ingredient on pregnant women has not been studied, but some animal studies have raised concerns. Many doctors err on the side of caution, suggesting that you should opt for other acne-fighting ingredients. Talk to your doctor to see what may be right for you.
There also are procedures outside of the medicine cabinet that should take a backseat for a while, such as laser hair removal, certain chemical peels, super-hot infrared sauna sessions, and other light or laser-based skin treatments. And similarly, Dr. Yoon-Soo Cindy Bae, a dermatologist with the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York®, adds that injectable wrinkle reducers and fillers are also in the no-fly zone. Again, this is because they have simply not been tested on pregnant women. (The ethical implications of such studies would be too massive to undertake.)
Obviously, it’s only a 40-week timeout — that is, if you don’t include nursing. (During this time, most of the pregnancy no-no’s remain the same because of potential harm to baby via contaminated breast milk.) But for some women, that’s still an unexpected blow. They might feel a bit sheepish to admit it bothers them, especially while doing something as monumental as growing a human.
Source: By Liz Krieger. 5/06/19, SPOTLYTE™ by Allergan™. Allergan™ is a vendor of The Vein Center Laser Treatment & MedSpa. To read the entire story click here.