12 Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy


Is it your first pregnancy? Congratulations! If it is, you must be dealing with tons of do’s and don’ts from your gynecologist and experienced women around you! They would give you all the minute details on all the vitamins to take, sleeping postures, foods to eat, and so on. The basics would already have been covered. There are also many pregnancy apps. They cover all the pregnancy-related instructions. I, personally am a fan of these apps. Just like AT&T Customer service address all my queries, these apps have been a great help since my 2nd baby.

You already know you have to stay hydrated, get plenty of exercise and sleep, and so on. However, I will be focusing on something different. Your skin care.

There is a whole range of products, which are essential to our skincare regimen. However, there is little knowledge available on which of these products have safe ingredients in your special condition. Skincare products and cosmetics contain tons of different products. Not all of them are safe to use during pregnancy.

Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

Let’s know which cosmetic ingredients can be harmful to you. I have made a comprehensive list for you to take benefit from.

12 Ingredients in Skincare Products and Cosmetics, Which You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

  1. Retinoids
  2. Hydroquinone
  3. Tetracycline
  4. Phthalates
  5. Toluene
  6. Formaldehyde
  7. Ammonia
  8. Thioglycolic Acid
  9. Dihydroxyacetone
  10. Botulinum Toxin a.k.a. Botox
  11. Parabens
  12. Chemical Sunscreens

Let’s know these ingredients better.


For women suffering from acne and aging, Accutane and Retin-A are quite popular. They are often an essential part of anti-aging and acne prescriptions. Retinoids are found in these medications. You can find them listed as retinyl palmitate, retinoic acid, retinaldehyde, tretinoin, adapalene, isotretinoin, and tazarotene. Be cautious because there’s a proven link about the mentioned ingredients with a high risk of birth defects.


It is a skin-brightening and lightening agent, especially used in conditions like melisma and chloasma. Pregnancy is not the time to treat the dark patches on your skin. So, even if you were using it before pregnancy, you need to stop using it. You can’t use it until the baby is born. Topical application of this ingredient causes 45% of absorption in the skin. Too much chemical in the bloodstream, while you have a fetus, is risky.


Medications and products, which contain minocycline and doxycycline are in this category. Basically, tetracyclines are antibiotics. They need to be avoided while pregnant. Studies indicate that these ingredients can discolor the baby’s teeth and damage the woman’s liver. Get a prescription of safe-to-use antibiotics from your healthcare expert if you need it.


These ingredients are usually found in perfumes and nail polishes. Avoid ingredients like DBP, BzBP, DMP, DEP, benzyl butyl phthalate, diethyl, and dibutyl. There are many potential health risks involved especially related to diabetes and ADHD. New studies indicate the connection of these ingredients with abnormal development of the fetus and prenatal phthalate exposure.


Stay away from any nail polish that contains toluol, methylbenzene, or antisal 1a in the ingredient list. These are considered to be carcinogenic ingredients and are also labeled as ‘toxic trio’. You especially need to avoid these chemicals in pregnancy.


You can find it in the ingredient list as formaldehyde, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM), quaternium-15, hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, diazolidinyl urea, and bromopol. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogenic agent. It can be found in hair straightening products, nail polishes, lash glue, and so on. Avoid it.


Ammonia is an essential ingredient of hair dye formulas. You should be careful about dying your hair in pregnancy. But, if you really have, make sure you use ammonia-free products. Ammonia can damage the lungs and irritate skin. Get your hands on one of the ammonia-free hair dyes. They are easily available in the market.

Thioglycolic Acid

It is usually found in hair removal creams. It can be listed as mercaptoacetate, acetyl mercaptan, thiovanic acid, and mercaptoacetic acid. While there isn’t any concrete proof of its damaging effects in pregnancy, it is better to avoid it. Because these chemicals are intense.


Also mentioned as DHA, this ingredient is spray tanners. Used for skin tanning, you may inhale the product while applying it. This could prove to be unhealthy for you and baby. Avoid tanning sprays when you are pregnant.

Botulinum Toxin a.k.a. Botox

While Botox perks up your favorite features, you must not use it when you are expecting. We don’t have any evidence of its bad effects during pregnancy. But since it is a chemical, it’s good to avoid it during pregnancy. After all, it’s just nine months!


Stay away from butyl, propyl, isopropyl, methyl, and isobutyl parabens.

Chemical Sunscreens

Avoid sunscreens that include intense chemicals like avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, octocrylene, oxtinoxate, oxybenzone, oxtocrylene, and menthyl anthranilate.

I have tried to enlighten you about the ingredients to avoid during your special nine months. I hope this was as satisfying as your Spectrum customer support. Well, that may not be an accurate comparison, but it is close enough! Now you know how to care for your skin. But remember to start taking care of your skin as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.

Happy pregnancy! And may you have a glowing skin throughout!


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