When I found I was pregnant I already knew there would be sacrifices - my weekend bottle of wine, soft garlic and herb cheese, sushi and limits on caffeine. Then, as I was browsing the baby websites, my thinking went onto my beauty regime, being an aromatherapist I knew already there was certain oils I would need to avoid but what about what I do everyday?
Here is the lowdown, beauty wise, of what sacrifices might have to be made.
These will be presented with their Latin names in ingredients list so it is recommended to invest some time in researching them. Essential oils used correctly can bring benefits to tired limbs, stress, and general well being. It is recommended to avoid in the first trimester until baby is more established. I could easily write a whole entry on essential oils in pregnancy alone but I found the helpful people at Baby Centre sum it up better.
For someone who has dark hair and greys, this was my biggest panic as I regally have to dye it to keep it one colour. There is no compulsive evidence that hair dye can affect your baby, personally I waited until the first 3 months had passed and has my first scan until I dyed. The chemicals in the dye are miniscule and a high amount would need to be ingested to affect. It is paramount that you do a skin test before using as your hair and skin changes with pregnancy, this can mean things you were fine with before can make you allergic.
For those who feel the need to stil get some colour while waiting for baby there is good news, you can still tan. There is however a bit caution over the spray tan as you can breathe in the molecules and not enough research have been done on the safety of this. Always do a patch test before using as I said above you become more sensitive to products. Sunbeds
Most of the varnishes these days are free of the two chemical that could cause defeats if used consistently (we are talking more nail technicians who work round them everyday); Formaldehyde (Varnish hardener) and Toluene (helps varnish to glide on smoother). There are also restrictions in place on how much of these ingredients are in the products so the risk is still small. I use Essie and OPI, which both do not use these.
Removing Nail Varnish
Acetone can be used in pregnancy, same as varnish, it is when it is used in high volumes that it can become harmful. There is acetone free versions that is also more gentle on nails if you are concerned.
Fake Nails (Gel and acrylic)
You will find in pregnancy that you're nails will grow faster and be stronger than before and you may not feel the need to have extensions out on. However, if you do choose to, they are safe as long as it is in a well ventilated area and be aware that there could be sensitivity. If you work with them everyday, you may need to have a risk assessment and not work on extensions until you have finished bread feeding as prolonged exposure does not benefit baby.
With gel nails, whether you are pregnant or not, a key ingredient that is still used and can cause harm to lungs, skin and eyes is methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA). These are being replaced but some budget salons still use and need to be avoided.
You should inform your therapist that you are pregnant (many salons will not preform while in the first trimester), they should do a skin patch test of wax to make sure that you not allergic. You will find that your hair will grow quicker and there will be more of it (sorry dark haired people - this is very true as I know being one of you); you wil also find it more painful than before. With waxing it is not a full no, but it is a proceed with caution.
For at home kits you will need the approval of your midwife or doctor, personally I would avoid due to the chemicals in them. I consulted the Dentists at my work place and it was a clear No from all of them. I know that currently my gums and teeth are very sensitive and would not even consider having anything near them than a toothbrush at the moment.
For all the research I have done I have gathered the following points:
- Your skin and teeth are more sensitive during pregnancy due to the change of hormones.
- While most products are safe, extreme caution should be used before use.
- Where possible patch test 24-48 hours before use.
- Follow the manufactures instructions closely.
- If ever in doubt, don't use it.