3 Cosmetic Ingredients that you must avoid during Pregnancy – by Dr. Neelima Mantri

3 Cosmetic Ingredients that you must avoid during Pregnancy – by Dr. Neelima Mantri
0 5 September 2018

Whatever you put in your body directly affects the well-being of your child. And that is why the diet is deemed out to be the most important factor during pregnancy. It’s not just about what you put inside but it is also about what you put on your skin too.
Perplexed? Yes, you read that right.
Skin absorbs almost 50% of what you put on it. So are you sure they are safe? Most of them might be safe in normal conditions but pregnancy is a special condition, isn’t it?
The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy throw your body out of its balance and that’ll surely show up on the outside. This may allure you to stack-up your shelf with lot cosmetics onto your skin, but we advise you to stay put. Not all the cosmetics are your friends now, few of them do more harm than good.
But it’s not the cosmetics that you must avoid but the harmful ingredients they are made of. So, avoiding the cosmetics with certain ingredients can help you avoid any potential complications.

Here is the list of ingredients that you must be wary of before using them:


Retinoid is a type of Vitamin A that is widely used to treat acne and is known for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties. When taken orally, these retinoids are found to induce Fetal Retinoid Syndrome i.e. characteristic pattern of mental and physical birth defects that results from maternal use of retinoids during pregnancy.
Pregnancy prevention programs are implemented for a woman who uses retinoids. Though the potential side effects of topical application are still being studied, the research available today is controversial and doctors suggest to stay away from the cosmetic products containing retinoids. It is an FDA Category C ingredient which means that its effect cannot be ruled out.
Listed on ingredient label as retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, and isotretinoin.


Hydroquinone is the typically used as a skin lightening agent to improve complexion, treat conditions like melasma or vitiligo. It is also category C ingredient and usage of Hydroquinone is proven to cause birth defects in animals and the not conclusive in humans due to limited research. Almost 45% of this ingredient is absorbed by the skin making it a considerable risk for both pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Almost all the skin lightening agents contain Hydroquinone, so it is in best interest of you and your child to stay away from these agents.


Almost all of us are subjected to parabens through our daily shampoos. Though it is the general ingredient that is not harmful to the rest, it can pose a risk to the pregnant women. Journal of Epidemiology has published a research paper that proves the possibility of parabens disrupting the growth of boys during fetal development and first years of life and now a lot of ongoing research claims the same. Fortunately, you can easily get rid of parabens through control measures, there are a lot of paraben-free shampoos available in the market, for starters.

That is almost it, though there are others as well, these three ingredients pose the maximum threat as far as cosmetic ingredients are concerned. So next time you shop, do check the ingredients list before you make the decision.