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Pregnancy and Cosmetics – Fact and Fiction

By Published On: March 2nd, 2012

As they get bigger and their bodies really begin to change many pregnant women really begin to dislike the way they look – even if everyone around them thinks they look lovely, glowing and healthy.

There are those who say that women who are expecting are being silly to worry about their looks when they have so much else to do but that is very unfair. Everyone wants to look their best and that includes ladies who are expecting.

Like so many other aspects of pregnancy though there are a lot of rumors, old, out of date advice and old wives tales attached to the use of cosmetics and the safety of certain beauty treatments during pregnancy. Some have some validity and there are indeed certain things it is advisable to avoid in the beauty department during certain stages of pregnancy. Here are just some of the things many women will hear about their beauty regimes while they are expecting and the actual fact or fiction behind these pieces of advice.

You Can’t Get a Facial While you are Pregnant

This one is for the most part a myth. There is no harm in getting a basic facial while you are pregnant, in fact its a great way to get an hour or so’s pampering and relaxation as well. Just make sure that your beautician knows that you are pregnant, as your skin is quite possibly more sensitive than usual so she may have to make adjustments to accommodate that fact so that you do not end up red and blotchy.

The one thing you should avoid when it comes to facial skin care are creams and moisturizers that contain Vitamin A. although you do need some Vitamin A during pregnancy too much can cause birth defects. Most of these creams, usually the anti aging ones, contain high levels of Vitamin A that will be absorbed into your body through your skin. When shopping for a moisturizer check the ingredients and stick to lotions that are as pure and natural as possible and keep the same thing in mind when purchasing body lotions as well.

You Cannot Color Your Hair While You are Pregnant

Hair color and pregnancy has been a confused issue since back in the Eighties. Back then it was discovered that a lot of commercial hair dyes contained ingredients that might cause cancer, based on limited research studies. At that point the advice to pregnant women was not to color their hair at all while expecting.

Fast forward twenty plus years and the formulations of hair dye have changed and the bad chemicals are no longer used. The commonly accepted medical advice has changed as well. Nowadays almost all medical professionals agree that dyeing your hair during the second and third trimesters is fine, but just to be on the safe side you should leave your hair au natural for the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy.

Bleaching your hair is another issue that there is some disagreement about. There is no evidence that bleach harms your unborn baby if it is added to your hair but the fumes that bleach give off can be quite dangerous to anyone if you do not color your hair in a very well ventilated area. For that reason many doctors suggest you stick to less harsh semi permanent coloring products while you are pregnant.

You Cannot Get Your Nails Done While Pregnant

The concern about pregnant women going for a manicure is over some of the substances that are in nail polishes and nail glues. Doctors do now say though that a manicure after the first trimester is fine. Actually while you are at the salon indulge yourself in a pedicure as well. Its a wonderful and relaxing experience for a pregnant lady , especially if you are in your third trimester and have not been able to touch your toes for a while!

You Should Wear Less Make Up when You are Pregnant

No one is quite sure how this piece of advice became widespread but it is the cause of a question that doctors and nurses hear a lot – can I still wear lipstick/foundation/eyeshadow now that I am pregnant?

The fact is as long as the cosmetics you choose do not have vitamin A in them you can carry on making up as normal. One of the most important things that helps ensure a healthy pregnancy is a happy Mummy. And as silly as it may sound to the men in their lives most women will agree, sometimes all you need to feel better about the way you look on a bad day -and most pregnant ladies do have those “I hate the way I look” days- is a bit of lipstick and a little mascara!

You Should Not Go Indoor Tanning While Pregnant

This particular piece of advice is actually 100% correct. It is the heat in the tanning bed that is the problem though. Even a few minutes will leave you overheated and that can be bad for baby as your open internal core temperature will increase very quickly. For the same reasons you should also avoid hot tubs and saunas as well.

If you really want to add a golden glow to your skin most doctors allow their pregnant patients to use a sunless tanning lotion as that stains the skin rather than penetrating it. The smell can be pretty nasty though so for that reason you might want to avoid it as your sense of smell is so different when you are expecting.

In the end like many aspects of pregnancy the use of cosmetics and beauty treatments is a personal decision for Mums to be make. If you do have questions about the issue though you should never be afraid to give your gynae or obstetrician a call and ask for their advice.