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Thread: Beauty Products and Pregnancy

  1. #1
    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Default Beauty Products and Pregnancy

    Something for you Frank

    Problem: I'm pregnant and I'm wondering whether or not retinyl palmitate, AHAs and BHA, skin lighteners, and permanent hair dyes are safe to use. My obstetrician has no opinions and all the pregnancy books I've read either don't have information on specific ingredients or say "better safe than sorry" so don't use any of it. Do you have any thoughts on the safety of these ingredients?

    Solution: I want to stress that it is always best to consult your doctor on issues such as this because he or she is the one who is most aware of your personal health and because it's his or her specific field of study. However, I understand that it is frustrating when the doctor you speak to doesn't have an opinion on something you are worried about. The following information is only my viewpoint, and although it is based on research, it is still essential that you review it with your physician.

    The reason most obstetricians have little feedback about what cosmetics to use or not to use is that there is little to no research about this kind of toxicity issue for cosmetic ingredients. If it were me, the only thing I would avoid would be prescription retinoids and maybe products with retinol (because of its distant relation to retinoids), but even that's a stretch. Retinyl palmitate (and the small amounts of it used in cosmetics) is so far removed from the prescription ingredient in Renova and Retin-A that it isn't even worth mentioning.

    AHAs and BHA have no associated toxicity of any kind so they are not even theoretically a problem for any related health issue other than sun exposure and possible skin irritation. The only possible risk with BHA is that it is related to aspirin, and some obstetricians may be concerned about that association and its effect topically. However, I have seen nothing showing this to be a problem for pregnant women.

    Regarding permanent hair dyes, there is limited information about cancer of any kind and nothing about birth defects. I feel there is little to no risk from using hair dyes of any kind, but if you are concerned, the research that is available points to level 3 or permanent black hair dyes. You may want to consider changing to a level 2 dye and staying away from darker shades.

    There is some controversy over hydroquinone, but nothing about fetuses and nothing proven for health risks even for humans. If anything, the only negative aspects have been produced in in-vitro studies or in studies where it is fed to animals. Those who work with hydroquinone (workers handling and making the stuff) actually have been shown to have lower incidences of cancer than the population as a whole (source: Critical Reviews in Toxicology, May 1999, pages 283330)!

    As many a cosmetic chemist and oncologist has said to me, I'm far more worried about alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and second-hand cigarette smoke than anything a woman uses as a cosmetic! The rest is up to you and your physician.

  2. #2
    Gold Member moocow's Avatar
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    That sounds like common sense, and good for that. The only thing I have to say about that - if you use any chemicals on your hair, watch out for your scalp.

    When I was in high school, I had bought some blue hair spray for halloween. I just sprayed streaks into my hair, not even covering it all. I washed it out that night, but for DAYS, I had blue mucus. I'd blow my nose and it would be blue. My tears had a blue tinge. If I coughed, I spit out blue. Obviously, it was a strong dye, but I swear, you get something in your scalp, and it's absorbed into your body, and travels through your mucus.

  3. #3
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    My OB told me not to dye my hair while pregnant, in particular the first trimester. I was like WHA???? No freaking way man. I then went on to ask everyone I know that dyes their hair and has children if they dyed it while pregnant and every one of them had, including one that is a doctor. I swear they just try to freak you out about every little thing in life. It contines after the baby is born unfortunately too....

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Oh sorry Frank, not pregnant and VERY thankful I'm not. This is copied and pasted from a beauty site

    Saw it and thought about you. I sort of had a mini-pregnancy scare around when yours started though that lasted for a few weeks. Mostly being scared by lots of bad timing (missed a pill, sexually active on ovulation day, backup method not so effective when it breaks, and a conservative town that isn't fond of the morning after pill...). Those 2 weeks were a bit stressful until I was positive I wasn't pregnant.
    Last edited by NoDayButToday; November 3rd, 2005 at 05:01 PM.

  5. #5
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_Rizzo View Post
    Lynnie, I bet that's why your daughter won't sit for story time!!!
    Yea, no shit! All those damn toxins from the dye got in her system and she's freaking out at all things 'good'. God damned hair dye.....

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