Did you know that what you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream in less than 27 seconds? That means the ingredients in your skincare products are absorbed into your blood stream at a faster rate than what you eat!
Paraben-free. Sulfate-free. No mineral oil.
You might’ve seen these buzz words scattered over your skincare products. More and more people are becoming aware that these synthetic ingredients could be toxic (and potentially harmful to a developing baby).
Scientific studies are still under way but ingredients like parabens have been linked to some cancers and have been found in breast tumors. Sulfates have a degenerative effect on your body (they break down cell membranes) and have been found in heart, brain and lung tissue. Mineral oil deposits have also been found deep inside the body, and have even been found in the milk samples of nursing mothers. Their link to cancer is still being investigated.
To be honest, I didn’t care too much about what was going on my skin until my first pregnancy. Suddenly, I became aware that everything I ate or drank, everything I put on my skin and everything that I inhaled or surrounded myself with, was somehow being passed onto my baby to some degree.
That’s when I started reading the ingredients on my skincare products and found a cocktail of petrochemicals and parabens I didn’t want to be absorbing.
Why does it matter?
A human being will grow at his or her fastest rate inside the womb. Over 1 million new cells are formed every 4 minutes. All it takes during this phase is an excessive dose of a harmful chemical or toxin and your baby’s development could be at risk.
This is definitely not written to alarm you but to encourage you to be mindful about the products you put on your skin over the 9 months that you are pregnant.
The troubling thing with the beauty industry is that skincare companies aren’t lawfully obligated to list certain chemicals they put their products. In fact, sometimes they don’t even need to list all the ingredients they use. For example, the word “fragrance” on a bottle could mean up 5000 different concoctions including synthetic, preservative, or allergy-provoking substances that you might want to know about.
Plus, some companies intentionally use fragrance to mask the smell of certain chemicals they use so the consumer has no idea just how toxic it really is.
What do I use?
Now, in my second pregnancy, I've discovered fantastic products that are free from synthetic ingredients that could harm my baby’s development. One brand that I’ve discovered is True Botanicals. I love their stuff because they deliver real results and they use only pregnancy-safe ingredients.
In fact, True Botanicals is the first company I’ve come across that has the pregnant woman in mind. They've designed a special range (called the Hydrate collection) and they don’t use anything that pregnant women can’t put onto their skin.
The icing on the cake is that their products actually work. My skin feels softer and has more of an even skin tone in the last 6 weeks that I’ve been using their products. Despite having acne-prone skin and being worried I would break out during this pregnancy, I haven’t had one pimple.
My next concern was anti-ageing and they’ve proved themselves there. Fine lines on my forehead have disappeared in the recent weeks that I’ve used their face oil and serum. My skin feels hydrated and well-nourished. Just this morning, I was told that I look ten years younger than my actual age (I’m not sure how I feel about that) – but hey, I’ll take it!
What can you do?
First up, have a read of the ingredients in your cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers. Have a look for key words that mean parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals have been used. To make it easier, there’s a quick list below.
Next up, I’d encourage you to look for safer options in whatever products that have more of the synthetic ingredients you don’t want. If price is an issue, swap out one product at a time. Natural skincare is becoming more mainstream so it’s becoming more and more affordable to the average woman. Drug store brands I love include Aveeno and the Nutragena Naturals line.
Try before you buy. If you’re not convinced that natural skincare will work for you, I encourage you to be open minded and try it out first. Some brands like True Botanicals sell samples of their products which you can try out for a few days to see for yourself.
I'd love to hear from you. What are some natural skincare products that you've tried and loved? Feel free to email me or comment below! x