Sunday, July 25, 2021

Which beauty products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Shahnaz Husain


“You’re pregnant” are a few beautiful words that can make a woman dance with joy. The nine months of pregnancy are referred to as the most beautiful in every woman’s life.
As soon as you find out you’re expecting, your whole world changes. And that might include your skincare line-up, too.
Those nine months of waiting for your new baby are full of wonder and joy, but can also spring a few unpleasant surprises on your face and body. Pregnant women face many skin issues such as frequent breakouts of acne, itchy skin, and pigmentation that are caused by hormonal changes. Research suggests that some ingredients in your regular beauty products can be potentially harmful to your health and your baby’s health as well. Certain ingredients can be absorbed into your body, and therefore, your baby’s body, too.
Some ingredients are unsuitable to use while carrying a child; put simply, some ingredients and/or treatments can penetrate into your bloodstream, having a systemic effect on the body; which may pose a threat to a developing fetus, and others have to be avoided postpartum since they can pass into breastmilk.
While all women respond differently to skincare ingredients depending on individual factors like skin type and sensitivities, there are some hard and fast rules about what to avoid during pregnancy.
Many ingredients can be absorbed by the skin and can cause an accumulation in our system. This is of particular danger when we consider certain stages in a woman’s life and one of the most important is pregnancy. The pregnant woman should be aware of the ingredients that can harm her and her unborn child. Chemicals in many cosmetics harm the skin and scalp. Chemicals disrupt the pH balance (acid-alkaline balance) of the skin and scalp, cause allergies, itching, rashes and eruptions. As already mentioned, they also cause a build-up of toxins in the system over a period of time and damage internal organs. Medical experts say that daily application of certain ingredients and even some perfumes in cosmetics can lead to skin sensitivity and allergic reactions, which may need heavy medication and even steroids that pregnant women cannot take.Fragrances are mostly made of harmful chemicals like aldehydes, benzene derivatives, parabens, and other chemicals that are linked to cancer and nervous system issues. They can cause irritation and redness to the skin. Hence, use a fragrance-free beauty product.
Mineral oil is a very common ingredient in skin care cosmetics. As we know, mineral oil is derived from petroleum. It may not cause any immediate reaction, but over a period of time, it can give rise to allergic reactions and irritation. Camphor, peppermint extract, and mint oil should be avoided during pregnancy, especially for those late in pregnancy or those with an increased risk of miscarriage.
We must use natural oils and moisturisers, like aloe vera, honey, flowers, date etc on skin during pregnency . Aloe Vera is a powerful natural moisturizer and seals off loss of moisture. It also softens dead skin cells and helps their removal, leaving the skin smoother and brighter. In fact, it helps the normal functions of the skin by improving its capacity to retain moisture. The Aloe Vera gel or juice can also be applied directly on the skin to moisturise it and relieve dryness, without any harmful effects.
Parabens are chemical preservatives used in the cosmetic industry. Recently, there has been a great deal of research concerning parabens and their harmful effects. The controversy is that the chemical structure of parabens actually mimics the estrogen hormone and may increase the risk of cancer and reproductive problems in women. It is absorbed by the skin and repeated use of parabens can cause a build- up in the body lead to allergic reactions and health issues. They are toxic to a certain extent and are considered harmful to the environment too, as they can accumulate. The concern is also with skin irritation and skin sensitivity. Many cosmetic companies are opting for Paraben-free cosmetic products now a days .
The pregnant woman should also see that there is no mercury in the products she is using. Mercury is a fast bleaching agent. It can damage the skin and can damage internal organs. Now a days various herbal cosmetic companies use natural ingredients like saffron, turmeric, almonds, bearberry, carrot seed, powder of pearls, etc., in anti-blemish and creams to remove tan.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a skin bleaching agent. It can cause skin irritation on the area where it is used. In high concentrate, it can even cause burns. The pregnant woman should avoid using chemical skin bleaches. Many natural ingredients, like lemon, turmeric, ripe papaya, yogurt, cucumber and saffron can help to remove tan and lighten skin colour.
Although we are talking of skin care ingredients, we need to consider chemical hair dyes. The scalp is an extension of the skin and can also absorb harmful ingredients. Chemical hair dyes contain coal tar, ammonia and other ingredients that not cause an accumulation of toxins in the system, but can also lead to severe allergic reactions and even damage internal organs. Ammonia is chemical dyes can also cause damage to the scalp and even the hair. Therefore, the pregnant woman should stay away from chemical dyes. Natural colours that are 100% free from chemicals are available. we must prefer natural hair colour which contains blackish brown, brown and burgundy colours.If you wish to get your hair coloured, opt for a no-ammonia formula. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available.
Today we can look at nature with enlightened eyes, and make herbal and organic choices for skin and hair care, as well as make-up.
The author is an international fame beauty expert and is called herbal queen of India