Every mom dreams of a mythical land – a land where everything is natural and devoid of anything that may have a negative effect on her baby. Yes, the 21st Century, with its technological or informational interventions, has made several options easily available; but reflexively accepting something just because it is labeled ‘natural’ isn’t right. Is it?
You should be extra cautious during the nine months of your pregnancy because you don’t want anything to interfere with your baby’s development. You check before eating or drinking anything. The same should apply to your skincare routine. But you’re probably a little lost.
That’s what we are here for. As an ongoing series, we will translate the science for you and help you make a Natural, Safe & Informed choice for you and your family.
Why switch to Natural & Toxin Free Products?
Harmful chemicals in personal care products can have long-lasting effects on you and your baby’s health. Found in various shampoos, moisturizers, lotions, and makeup products, these toxins can disrupt your endocrinal system and cause a hormone imbalance. They can also interfere with your baby’s development, causing neurological and immunity disruptions, among other problems. To ensure that you are making the right choices for you and your baby, you need to be a little extra vigilant. You should be conscious about the safety of, and the ingredients used in, the products you use.
Check the Product Labels Closely
Most of us assume that a regulatory framework monitors what manufacturers use in personal care products. Some of us shift to ‘natural’ or ‘toxin free’ products, thinking that will keep us safe. To make sure that you are choosing products that are right, it is important that you carefully read all ingredients used in your personal care products.
What are Parabens and why watch out for it?
Parabens are used to increase shelf life of products. Found in moisturizers, lotions, body butter, foundations, and lipsticks, amongst other makeup products, parabens are used as a cosmetic preservative to help prevent the growth of bacteria; which can spoil the product.
If the product you are using contains methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, it has parabens.
Why should you avoid Parabens?
Parabens tend to mimic estrogen and have been linked to breast cancer and reproductive problem risks. Studies also claim how Parabens can get absorbed into your body and be easily passed on to your developing baby. They can cause developmental, neurological, and immune disruptions in your baby’s health. They can also disturb your endocrinal system, affecting your baby’s thyroid levels before and after birth.
What are Mineral Oils and why watch out for it?
Also known as liquid petroleum, paraffin oil, and white mineral oil, mineral oil is an odorless & colorless by-product of petroleum which is related but not identical to petroleum jelly. Nowhere is its use more debated, than in the cosmetics industry. Found in creams, lotions, ointments, lip balms, and lipsticks, mineral oils help reduce moisture loss by forming a physical barrier over your skin.
If the product you are using contains Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly, Mineral Oil, White Petrolatum (refined and safe for use), white oil, paraffin oil, liquid paraffin, paraffinum liquidum (Latin), and liquid petroleum, then it has mineral oil.
Why should you avoid Mineral Oil?
Mineral Oil is comedogenic, which means it clogs pores, thereby, increasing the risk of acne & blackheads. Studies also claim how mildly treated mineral oils are known to be human carcinogens. Truth be told, it does not do anything beneficial for the skin – does not lend any hydration that actually goes into the skin. It simply sits on the surface of the skin preventing moisture loss.
What are Sulfates and why watch out for it?
Sulfate is a broader term used to refer to synthetic sulfate-based chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These chemicals are used as emulsifiers – for mixing all the ingredients properly and surfactants/foaming agents – for creating lather & cleaning purposes. Sulfates are commonly used in shampoos, toothpastes, mouthwashes, body washes, soaps, detergents, and more.
If the product you are using contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Ammonia (Laureth) Sulphate (ALS, TEA Lauryeth Sulfate (TEA), Sodium Myreth Sulphate (SMS, then it has sulfates.
Why should you avoid Sulfates?
Given your skin’s heightened sensitivity during pregnancy, Sulfates can be harmful. The highest risk of using products with sulfates is irritation to your eyes, skin, mouth, as well as lungs. It also clogs pores and causes acne. It can cause eczema and dry your hair out. Some studies also link sulfates to hormone imbalance, which can be harmful to your health during pregnancy.
What are Pthalates and why watch out for it?
Did you know that Phthalates is a family of industrial chemicals used to soften PVC plastic? It is also used as a solvent in cosmetics; so that the products get easily absorbed into your skin. They’re found in soaps, shampoos, nail polish, moisturisers, conventional perfume, hair spray, food packaging, plastic wrap, detergents, glue, lubricants, milk containers, dairy products and some spices.
If the product you are using contains DBP (dibutyl phthalate) DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate) DiNP (diisononyl phthalate) DEP (diethyl phthalate) BBzP (benzyl butyl phthalate) DEHP (di 2-ethylhexl phthalate) DiDP (diisodecyl phthalate) DnHP (di-n-hexyl phthalate) DMP (dimethyl phthalate) DnOP (di-n-octylphthalate) Bisphenol A (BPA) is another plasticizer, then it has Pthalates.
Why should you avoid Pthalates?
Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can disturb the delicate balance of the hormones in your body during pregnancy. Continued exposure to them can increase the odds of preterm delivery, risking the health of both mother and baby. Young boys, from the womb on up, can have significant reproductive development issues, including abnormal testicular development. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that sick infants have high exposure levels to this reproductive toxicant.
What are Phenoxyethanol and why watch out for it?
A glycol ether, Phenoxyethanol is a new darling in the cosmetic industry. It is used a preservative in products and a stabilizer soaps as well as perfumes. It helps in limiting bacterial growth. It is mostly found in moisturizer, eye shadow, foundation, sunscreen, conditioner, mascara, eye liner, shampoo, lip gloss, concealer, body wash, hand cream, hair color, hair spray, lip balm, lotion, and more.
If the product you are using contains Phenoxyethanol, 2-hydroxyethyl phenyl ether, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Euxyl K® 400 (mixture of Phenoxyethanol and 1,2-dibromo-2,4-dicyanobutane), PhE, then it has Phenoxyethanol. Phenoxyethanol can also be used as a fragrance, and in some cases, manufacturers simply list it as “fragrance” on the product label.
Why should you avoid Phenoxyethanol?
It is believed to cause damage to the brain cells and central nervous system if used in large quantities. Exposure to phenoxyethanol has also been linked to allergic reactions ranging from eczema to severe, inflammation in the lungs and eyes. Infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol can acutely affect nervous system function.
Other Harmful Chemicals
A few other harmful chemicals in personal care products to watch out for are Retinoids, Ammonia, DHA, DEA, Toluene, Oxybenzone, Fragrance, Parfum, Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxtinoxate, Menthyl anthranilate, Oxtocrylene, Hydroquinone, Hydroxy acids & Salicylic acid, Depilatories, and Formaldehyde. These are found in a variety of personal care products, such as anti-aging creams, nail polish, and treatments for acne, pigmentation, sun damage, as well as hair straightening. Exposure to these during pregnancy can badly impact you and your baby’s health, and it’s best to avoid them completely.
Ensure Toxin Free Pregnancy Care Products
To ensure that your personal care products are safe, always check the ingredients.
We, at The Moms Co., make this easier for you by listing all our ingredients on the product label. Displaying zero tolerance for harmful chemicals, a ‘What’s Out’ section for each product on our website details the toxins we avoid.
Certifications and safety ratings can also help you find products that are safe to use. With stringent guidelines and quality checks, these ensure that certified products are free of any harmful chemicals. Pregnancy skin care Products at The Moms Co. are Australian-Certified Toxin-Free™, Made Safe™ and Australian Allergy Certified™. Positive ratings from Paula’s Choice, EWG, Safe Cosmetics (Australia& USA), and Whole Food Premium Skincare for ingredients we use also assure the safety of our products.
Still have questions on toxins? Feel free to ask us.