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The importance to choose natural ingredients in personal care products when pregnant, so learn to recognize what you’re putting on your skin.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body; it's an excellent impermeable barrier that acts as a shield for the body. Finding skin care products without ingredients of concern can sometimes be challenging. All mothers-to-be deserve to feel pampered without seeing concerning ingredients in their everyday products and those of their baby. Becoming more aware of how your skin care products can affect you and your baby’s health, and which ingredients you should avoid for your pregnancy will put your mind at ease as your beautiful newborn grows.

7 Personal Care Ingredients to Watch Out for When Pregnant

Next time you head out to buy your beauty and skincare products, take the time to read the product labels carefully. Here is a list of 7 ingredient groups to steer clear from:

1. Formaldehyde

DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl urea and Quaternium-15 are ingredients releasing formaldehyde, an internationally recognized cancer-causing contaminant used as a preservative in skin care products.

2. Retinoids

Derived from Vitamin A and known for their anti-aging properties. According to EWG, some U.S. government scientists have proven that this substance accelerates the development of cancerous lesions on sun-exposed skin. Avoid ingredients such as Retinol, Retinyl Acetate, Retinal, Retinyl Retinoate, Retinyl linoleate and Retinyl palmitate, as well as Vitamin A.

3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

All ingredients ending up with "-eth" (eg. ceteareth, laureth-4, laureth-23 ...) are contaminated by carcinogens. They are the result of a reaction with oxide ethylene, a synthetic substance recognized as carcinogenic, and contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a potential carcinogen despite monitoring and regulation. This substance is generally found in shower gels and shampoos.

4. PEG and PPG

Like Sodium Laureth Sulfate, these ingredients are contaminated with carcinogens from a reaction with ethylene oxide. Be on the lookout for terminologies such as PPG-20, 30, 80..., PEG-20, 30, 80...and Polysorbate-20, 30, 80…

5. Nitrosamines

Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) are ingredients that may release nitrosamine, an impurity found in many cosmetics.

6. BHA, BHT, Phthalates and Triclosan

Beta hydroxy/salicylic acid (BHA), Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Phthalates and Triclosan are all endocrine disruptors that can mimic our hormones. Small amounts could be absorbed through the skin and affect the baby’s endocrine system. However, all these substances are covered by regulations that take into account the risk of exposure. Precautions for use, and even bans, have been introduced as a result.

7. Parabens

All ingredients including some “paraben” are preservatives that present evidence of causing hormonal imbalances. Be careful with the mention “Paraben-Free”: It is often replaced with Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) or Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), equally disturbing ingredients for their human skin toxicant properties. Before purchasing your skin-care products, read product labels carefully and avoid purchasing products containing ingredients of concern. If you’re concerned about what you’re actually putting on your skin, we recommend checking out the EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database. It features the ingredients used in most personal care products on the market with a toxicity rating for each one, so you can make better informed decisions for you and your baby’s well-being. According to EWG

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