If you're pregnant, especially a first-time mom, you're about to be slammed with a ton of information. First and foremost, congratulations! Pregnancy used to be considered a "condition" of sorts that would limit you from doing a lot of your normal routine and favorite activities; however, there are many safer ways to continue life as usual. This includes dying your hair. No worries, blondie! You can stay blonde.
Dying your hair: There's definitely a rhyme and reason to the rumor about avoiding hair dye while you're pregnant. Your baby is exposed to any type of chemical to which you expose yourself. When you use hair dye, it makes contact with your scalp, seeps into your pores and blood vessels and ends up streaming throughout the body, eventually making its way to the placenta. You don't have to stop, though, just proceed with caution. There are safer options available:
- Low or no ammonia
- Low or no peroxide
- Highlights versus all over color
- Splurge on a salon visit with higher quality products
- Organic or pure ingredients: Morocco Method Henna Hair Dye, Herbatint, Color Me Natural by Aubrey
Skin care: Like hair care, skin care works the same way — topical treatments make contact with your skin, go through your pores and into the blood vessels. Even though your face wash doesn't remain on your face for more than a few seconds, it's enough to be absorbed by your body. The chemicals found in regular face wash, anti-wrinkle and aging creams and acne treatment are pretty harsh and can interfere with your baby's development. Here are the ingredients you need to stop using now:
- Oral Retinoids: for wrinkles and anti-aging; high dose of Vitamin A can hurt baby's development (read more on Vitamin A here)
- Salicylic Acid: oral and topical treatments are best avoided because it has a similar affect to aspirin, which can cause pregnancy complications and birth defects (read more here)
- Soy: lotions and creams with soy in it are not harmful to the baby, but can make mom's skin darker in blotches. This is also known as the "mask of pregnancy." Avoid soy products if you already have darker skin or melasma.
- Acne Relief: this can be frustrating since your pregnancy might be the cause of your acne. You'll want to avoid BHA, Differin, beta hydroxy acid, tretenoin and all retinoids that are to be left on your face, like masks and gels.
Instead of products containing the above ingredients, you can try more natural lines like the ones listed below, including products with glycolic acid (Category N, not rated):
- Cetaphil, $11
- Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47, $17
- Origins Checks and Balances™ Frothy face wash for oily skin, $9
- Origins Clean Energy™ face wash(for dry skin), $29
- Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash, $22
>> Read more: 13 Ways to Tighten Your Skin After Pregnancy
Makeup: Like skin care, the makeup you put on your face doesn't just sit on the surface. Some cosmetic companies include retinol or acne-fighting ingredients within the makeup itself, like a two-in-one. This is awesome except for when you're pregnant! Check the ingredient list to make sure it doesn't contain salicylic acid, retinoids, BHA or other beta hydroxy acids. Mineral or natural lines work really well for expecting mamas. Try some of these:
- bareMinerals complexion Rescue, $25
- Lush Emotional Brilliance foundations and tints, up to $18.95
- Juice Beauty® Glowing Cheek Color, $16
Waxes: The only stipulation with waxes is your increased blood volume and flow. This simply means your nerve endings are more sensitive, so when you receive a wax, you're going to feel it more. The wax itself, though, is safe because it is not absorbed by the skin. You want to double check with your esthetician about the heat and be aware of any possible skin irritation that arises due to your changing body. If your'e looking at hair removal creams, you need avoid products with barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate to be on the safe side.
Sunless Tanning: Tanning beds are out of the question. You can choose what you want to do when you're not pregnant, but tanning beds can deliver harmful rays from the UVA light and raise your temperature. Both are dangerous to you and your developing baby. Spray tans should be avoided due to the fumes created by the aerosol spray itself. For creams and lotions, go for it! (via BabyCenter)
When in doubt, ask your doctor!