Shockingly Toxic Beauty Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

Pregnant woman belly over black background. (Photo: Agnieszka_M/Getty Images)

Shockingly Toxic Beauty Ingredients Pregnant Women Should Avoid

Get the mythical pregnancy glow without putting your unborn child at risk.

Published September 18, 2017

On a mission to stunt like prego Beyoncé? Everyday beauty products you're using to preserve that pregnancy glow may be putting your unborn child at risk. Seemingly harmless products on your bathroom counter like soap, nail polish and lotion could contain toxic ingredients. By paying close attention to the list of active ingredients, you could potentially save your child from birth defects, development issues and more.

Here are the ingredients that raise red flags:

  1. Parabens

    Where are they?

    Body lotion, shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, foundation and pomade.

    Glow Images/Getty Images
    (Photo: Glow Images/Getty Images)

    Why are they dangerous?

    They mimic estrogen, which regulates the female reproductive system. In 2015, the European Union banned the use of parabens in children’s products.

  2. Phthalates (aka Fragrance)

    Where are they?

    Nail polish, synthetic fragrance and hairspray.

    Close-up of a woman having her manicure done
    (Photo: George Doyle/Getty Images)

    Why are they dangerous?

    Phthalates can interfere with normal hormone functions.

  3. Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)

    Where are they?

    Mascara, hair dyes, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, pharmaceuticals, shampoo and lotion.

    African American woman applying moisturizer
    (Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images)

    Why are they dangerous?

    Ethanolamines may be related to organ system toxicity and some forms of cancer. One study indicates that a mothers' exposure to DEA could permanently alter child memory function and brain development.

  4. BHA and BHT

    Where are they?

    Eye shadow, lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, blush and face powder.

    (Photo: Barry Yee/Getty Images)

    Why are they dangerous?

    These preservatives can disrupt hormones, potentially leading to developmental problems.

  5. Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A)

    Where are they?

    Moisturizers, anti-aging skin care and Accutane.

    female hand applying moisturiser
    (Photo: Getty Images)

    Why is it dangerous?

    Retinoids may be good for collagen production, but  high doses of this type of vitamin A while carrying has been shown to possibly cause birth defects. Accutane, an oral retinoid prescribed for acne, is a big culprit.


    Where is it?

    Sunscreen, moisturizer and aftershave.

    Shot of a young woman shaving her legshttp://
    (Photo: People Images/Getty Images)

    Why is it dangerous?

    Oxybenzone mimics estrogen in the body and studies have linked it to endometriosis and allergic reactions. Traces of oxybenzone have been found in mothers’ breast milk.    


    Where is it?


    Shaving cream, antibacterial liquid soap, soap bars and toothpaste.

    Portrait of a happy and attractive young woman brushing her teeth
    (Photo: People Images/Getty Images)

    Why is it dangerous?

    Strong evidence identitfies triclosan as an endocrine disruptor that can cause hormonal imbalances and could lead to birth defects or cancer.

  8. Hydroquinone or Gluthathione

    Where are they?

    Skin lightening creams.    

    (Photo: Glow Images/Getty Images)

    Why are they dangerous?

    It's easily absorbed by the skin and overall dangerous for your growing fetus.

  9. Diazolidinyl Urea (Formaldehyde)

    Where is it?

    Sunscreen, lotion, conditioner and shampoo.

    (Photo: Stockbyte/Getty Images)

    Why is it dangerous?

    This commonly used preservative releases formaldehyde, a carcinogen, into products.

  10. 1,4-Dioxane (PEG or Sodium Laureth Sulfate)

    Where is it?

    Bubble bath, shampoo, liquid soap and hair relaxers.

    Cleansing products
    (Photo: Kurt Wilson/Getty Images)

    Why is it dangerous?

    The International Agency on Research for Cancer classifies 1,4-dioxane as a probable human carcinogen.

    *Beware, it's not listed as an active ingredient because it’s considered an incidental ingredient.

Written by Christine Forbes

(Photo: Agnieszka_M/Getty Images)


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