What products cannot be used during pregnancy and while nursing?
As a precaution, we recommend consulting with your physician about any skincare questions you have during pregnancy. However as a general rule, most skin-care products such as cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens that do not contain over-the-counter ingredients are fine for use throughout your pregnancy and while you're breastfeeding. The following is a list of ingredients to avoid:
- Benzoyl peroxide is an excellent ingredient to control acne and is considered safe in low concentrations (5% or less) when you're pregnant.
- Salicylic acid (BHA) is a superior exfoliant for skin, and the small percentages used in skincare (2% or lower) are OK to use while pregnant.
- Hydroquinone has not been tested on animals or humans regarding its use during pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid using products that contain hydroquinone during pregnancy or while you’re breastfeeding. The same is true for the brightening ingredient arbutin and derivatives such as alpha-arbutin because both break down to hydroquinone on skin. Instead, look to brightening products that contain 5% or greater concentrations of niacinamide and various forms of vitamin C.
- Avoid over-the-counter products with retinol due to its relation to prescription retinoids.
- Sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone. Due to a potential link to a congenital disorder known as Hirschsprung’s Disease.
Please read Skincare During Pregnancy article for additional information.