Are Beauty Treatments Safe During Pregnancy?

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You May be Wondering About beauty Treatments

You may be wondering if the beauty treatments you received before pregnancy are still safe to do once you become pregnant. While some treatments should be put off until after the baby arrives, there are plenty of things you can still do to feel and look your best.

Body Hair Removal

Hormones in the mother-to-be can cause hair to grow in areas where it normally doesn’t, such as the face or chest. While laser hair removal may be safe during pregnancy, it is best to wait until the baby is born before trying a permanent solution. Normally, hair growth returns to normal by six months after delivery. Hair removal creams are not recommended as there is not enough research to conclude the ingredients in the products are safe for a developing fetus. Your best choices for hair removal are shaving, waxing or using tweezers.

Hair Dyes

Nine months can seem a long time to forgo your usual hair coloring routine, but there are options that can help you keep your color looking bright, without harming your baby. Permanent hair dyes contain certain chemicals that can be absorbed into the blood stream if allowed to touch the skin. Some dyes contain ammonia, which releases fumes that can be harmful to the developing baby. If you must use a permanent dye, most physicians recommend waiting until after the first trimester or better yet, waiting until after the baby is born. A better alternative is by using henna, highlights or a semi-permanent dye. Always sit in a well-ventilated room and avoid having the color directly touch your scalp.


The items in your make-up bag may not be as safe as you think. Any product you put on your skin can be absorbed into the blood stream. Phthalates are found in many cosmetics and should be avoided during pregnancy. One study found a link between genital abnormalities in baby boys and phthalates. It has also been linked to birth defects and liver disease in animal testing.

Facial Products

Do not use acne creams that contain salicylic acid. There is not enough research to conclude salicylic acid is safe to use during pregnancy. You should also avoid alpha-hydroxy acid and anything that contains vitamin A, such as Retin-A. Studies have shown that Accutane, which contains a vitamin-A derivative, can cause birth defects. Oral antibiotics for acne, such as tetracycline, can inhibit bone growth in a fetus. Benzoyl peroxide is probably safe to use; however, only apply it in small amounts and avoid using it daily.

Spa Treatments

Pregnant women can benefit from receiving a little pampering and relaxation at the spa. A prenatal massage is wonderful for the expectant mom, but only if it is done by a professional. The mom-to-be should avoid laying flat on her back during the massage. Essential oils should never be used directly on the skin. You should also avoid facials, tanning beds and permanent cosmetics during pregnancy. Manicures and pedicures are OK, as long as they are done with sterile tools in a well-ventilated room.

Teeth Whitening

There is not enough research to conclude teeth whitening products are safe during pregnancy, so moms should wait until after the baby is born. The chemicals in the products can actually worsen symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis (bleeding, swollen gums). The best way to keep your mouth healthy is by brushing, flossing, eating well and visiting your dentist regularly.

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Hair treatments during pregnancy. (2007, April). Retrieved from

Skin conditions during pregnancy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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