If you’re expecting a baby, you’ve probably been given a list of do’s and don’ts from your family and friends detailing all the things you should avoid during your pregnancy. But does any of those list tell you about the toxins in your seemingly harmless skincare and cosmetics? We didn’t think so.

Fret not, because here is a list of chemical ingredients found in your beauty products that are potentially dangerous to you and your baby. You can thank us later 😉

1. Paraben

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. It is commonly found in body lotion, shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, and many more. According to Tata Harper, paraben has the ability to mimic estrogen, a hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics.

2. Toluene

You may not know this, but most mainstream nail polishes contain toluene – a suspected carcinogen, along with phthalates and formaldehyde. Known as the “toxic trio”, they form a potent combination of toxins that all expecting mommies should avoid at all times.

Source: The Gloss
3. Formaldehyde

Formaldehydes are commonly found in hair straightening treatments, nail polishes, and eyelash glue, sunscreen lotion, and more. The US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as “known to be a human carcinogen”. While formaldehyde may not appear on the ingredient list, look out for diazolidinyl urea – a commonly used preservative that releases formaldehyde into products.

4. Aluminum chloride hexahydrate

Aluminum chloride hexahydrate is one of the main ingredients found in antiperspirants. It affects the cells that produce sweat and is in FDA pregnancy category C, which means “to avoid”. So be sure to switch to simple deodorants or natural alternatives!

5. Ammonia

There’s a reason why many advise women to not dye their hair during pregnancy. In case you didn’t know, most hair dye formulas contain ammonia – a substance that can irritate the skin and lungs. But if you’re expecting and still want to look fabulous, experts suggest expectant mommies to steer clear of hair coloring for the first 12 weeks as the fetus is forming integral body parts and organs.

6. BHA and BHT

Pop Sugar explained that these chemicals are used as preservatives in cosmetics and can act as hormone disruptors. There’s also evidence that they could lead to developmental problems, making pregnant women and infants especially vulnerable.

Source: Mimi Ikonn
7. Tazorac

Tazorac is a vitamin A–derived formulation and is prescription only. The two chemicals reside in category X – a substance known to cause birth defects. It is most commonly used to treat acne, psoriasis, and to reduce skin wrinkling as well as liver spots.

8. Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA)

Ethanolamines, which often show up on labels as MEA, DEA, TEA, triethanolamine, or diethanolamine, may be linked to organ system toxicity and some cancers. In fact, the EU bans DEA in cosmetics.

9. Thioglycolic acid

According to MNN (Mother Nature Network), Thioglycolic acid is the active ingredient found in most hair removal creams or depilatories. Although there are no studies about the effect that this chemical has on a growing baby, the EU limits the amount of thioglycolic acid that can be used in products to only 5 percent. It can also be labeled acetyl mercaptan, mercaptoacetate, mercaptoacetic acid, and thiovanic acid.

10. Hydroquinone

This chemical is a skin-lightening agent used to treat conditions such as chloasma and melasma. It falls into category C and studies have shown that as much as 45 percent of this medication is absorbed into the skin after topical application.

Sources: Fit Pregnancy, MNN, Pop Sugar.

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