About This Guide
I put this guide together as I was researching about personal care products for myself during my pregnancy. I am hoping it will help you learn about what you should avoid beauty and personal care wise and know what is safe and okay. There are things that are best to just avoid such as going to the nail salon and getting your nails done, as the ingredients in most nail polishes are harmful to you and baby. Along with getting your nails done there are ingredients in many mainstream personal care products that should be avoided during pregnancy.
Keep reading so you can make the best possible choices in deciding which personal care products to keep and which products to replace.
I will plan to continually update this post as I gain new information, and try out new products.
*Disclaimer: There are links to posts with recommended products that contain affiliate links. Please keep in mind I’m not a medical professional – please consult with yours before using any products you may be questioning or nervous about when pregnant or breastfeeding!
Why Do We Need Safer Personal Care Products During Pregnancy?
The main reason is because most personal care products contain ingredients that are harmful to our baby’s development, can cause defects and some can even cause miscarriages.
For example there was an article called Popular Shampoos and Soaps Could Cause Cancer that 98 shampoos, soaps and other personal care products contained high levels of a cancer-causing ingredient called cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA). Cocamide DEA is also linked to miscarriages. The article also links to a list of the cocamide DEA tainted personal care products.
The chemicals in the products we use, get absorbed into our bloodstream and eventually make there way to our baby’s umbilical chord.
“Chemical exposures in the womb or during infancy can be dramatically more harmful than exposures later in life. Substantial scientific evidence demonstrates that children face amplified risks from their body burden of pollution; the findings are particularly strong for many of the chemicals found in this study, including mercury, PCBs and dioxins. Children’s vulnerability derives from both rapid development and incomplete defense systems.” –BODY BURDEN: THE POLLUTION IN NEWBORNS Environmental Working Group, July 14, 2005
On top of your baby’s potential harm, you could develop sensitives or allergies to certain ingredients. As you may have heard our bodies do weird things during pregnancy.
These are all reasons why it is best that you invest in some new personal care products, that are healthier and safer for you and your little one.
What About Personal Care Products While Breastfeeding?
You need to continue with the safer products if you decide to breastfeed. Anything that gets absorbed into your skin or your blood stream will end up in your milk supply and then into your little baby.
Changing Personal Care Products ~ My Story
Found Out I Needed to Change My Personal Care Products
I didn’t know what to expect or the steps I needed to take when I first found out I was pregnant. This was my first pregnancy and I was definitely a newbie… technically I still am. The first thing I did after announcing my pregnancy to my unprepared husband, was tell my mom. She was so excited to find out she was going to be a grandmother. Especially as this was to be her first grandchild. My mom who is also a nurse was the one to tell me I needed to switch up the products I was using.
At first I was thinking I just need to change my shampoo, conditioner, body wash and moisturizer, not realizing how many products encompass all the personal care products I was using.
Then I found I needed to change my sunscreen, my deodorant, no more perfume, no more makeup, and no bath bombs…. tear. I got a couple at the mall, from Lush for the first time and couldn’t use them.
I Didn’t Really Know Much About The Ingredients I Should Avoid
I knew I should stay away from my acne products with salicylic acid, products with parabens, phthalates, GMO, and try to go organic or natural, as was feasible.
However, I didn’t realize that there were so many more ingredients that should be avoided than the ones I just mentioned, which could affect my baby’s development and myself. Which when pregnant our bodies become a bit more sensitive it seems.
What I Have Learned About Personal Care Products
Recently I have been going more in-depth with studying about what is okay and what should be avoided. I have learned so much in a little amount of time and it’s been a bit discouraging. Even the products I thought were healthy and safe (maybe they said they were organic or natural with a lot of the crap missing from their ingredient list), still had harmful chemicals that could hurt my baby.
It was already annoying enough trying to find products to replace the chemically laden ones I had. Now I had to replace almost all those “natural” (notice quotations) products I had recently bought.
What Is the Difference Between Natural and Organic?
Natural products are not regulated. The product just has to contain some percentage of natural ingredient, but then the rest of it can contain unwanted chemicals. I would suggest getting familiar with ingredients you want to avoid and then be reading your product labels. There are also ingredient names that sound synthetic but are actually natural. Now I have seen natural products that are 100% natural ingredients which are few and far between so be checking those labels.
On the other hand organic means that ingredients are organically farmed which is regulated by the FDA. However a product only has to contain a certain amount of organic matter to be labeled as “organic” and this amount can vary from state to state. If the product is USDA Certified Organic this is ideal as it means the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.
Using Skin Deep Cosmetic Database| EWG To Find Safe Products.
The EWG stands for, the Environmental Working Group. They rate personal care products for hazard levels… 1 being the least hazardous and 10 being the most hazardous.
I came up with a list of safe personal care products which I will share with you that are low on the EWG scale 1-2. Most of these products I recommend are EWG Verified as well.
“EWG VERIFIED™ recognizes products that meet EWG’s strictest standards for your health. This means none of EWG’s chemicals of concern. This means full transparency. This means a mark you can trust. It means EWG approved. -EWG”
The only products I currently own that are low on the EWG Hazard Scale are Tom’s Toothpaste and SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Oil. At least I got those two right.
What I Hope This Guide Does For You
It is so over whelming trying to find safe products you can use while you’re pregnant. I hope you can use this as a resource to help you get on the road to a healthier pregnancy and a less stressful one as that.
I went all out with finding safe products for use during pregnancy which include: hair care products, skin care products, makeup, nail care, oral care, and fragrances.
The products I am recommending I have not personally tried out yet other than the two I mentioned above. The reason I am recommending them is because I know based on ingredients and the EWG rating they are considered healthy and safe. I am planning on revamping all my current products I’m using and will be switching to these.
I will be honest I don’t know how well they work… or how much we will like them, but I at least know they are safer than what I am using now. I will come back and comment on products regularly as I use them.
Keep reading so you can learn what ingredients you want to avoid. I also included essential oils you want to avoid that could be harmful during pregnancy.
If you want to skip these and go to recommended products, then head to the bottom. I have links to my recommended products based on which personal care products you are looking for.
Personal Care Product Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
I have put together a list of ingredients that are harmful to your baby.
I have included:
- Ingredient name
- The EWG rating for the ingredient for the ones in the database
- Product Type that may contain the ingredient
For a closer up look at the Ingredients to Avoid Chart I have included a PDF File.
Keep scrolling down after this list to view essential oils you should be avoiding.
Essential Oils To Avoid During Pregnancy
When we think of essential oils, I feel that we tend to think of natural, healthy and safe. Used properly essential oils can be very beneficial to your health. Though there are some oils that are okay to use during pregnancy, there are also many that you should avoid during pregnancy. According to my research it is best to avoid essential oils during the first trimester all together. I have listed below what essential oils you should avoid during your pregnancy.
Why do you want to avoid these essential oils? They can cause contractions, birth defects, and even miscarriages.
Make sure that any products you are interested in you double check that it doesn’t have any oils that could be harmful to the pregnancy. Be sure to looking over this list of essential oils to avoid.
Recommended Safe Personal Care Products
Now you have seen products you own that may have harmful chemicals or ingredients. You know what ingredients to look out and avoid when you are shopping for new personal care products. And if you are interested in essential oils you see which ones not to use during your pregnancy.
If you want to make your life easier when you are shopping for new personal care products, you can check out these posts. I have listed personal care products in all different categories. Take a look below. Hopefully you find it to be a useful resource.
Like I said before I will review products as I try them as I am in the process of getting new products as well. Have fun! 🙂
I’d Like To Hear From You!
What has been your most challenging pregnancy symptom or symptoms so far?
For me it would be leg cramps in the middle of the night. I have to get up and walk it off and it is super painful! Also now dealing with heartburn and acid re-flux.