If you're pregnant, you may be dutifully avoiding alcohol, seafood, soft cheese and Iron Maiden concerts. But have you thought about the potentially toxic stuff you could be putting on your face and body every day? If the answer is yes, good on you! If the answer is no, it's never too late to get informed and make fresh choices about your beauty products, especially while you're pregnant.
You might be amazed to hear that the average woman uses 12 beauty products per day, which can add up to roughly 120 different ingredients, and up to 70 percent of what we use is absorbed into our skin.
Many women now opt for the natural non-toxic beauty option as a matter of course – I have been for some time now – but sometimes it can take a life change as monumental as pregnancy to bring about a rethink of our beauty cabinets. Feel you need help? Don't fear, following is a summary of not-so-good ingredients plus some natural and non-toxic beauty product suggestions to get you started.
There are a number of ingredients that you might want to avoid in your products, though far be it from me to get preachy about it. Here's a summary of the main ones: parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, sodium lauryl sulphates, artificial colours and artificial fragrances
You can find out more about these ingredients and check the safety of your cosmetics and body care products at Cosmeticsdatabase.org. This cosmetic safety database is a useful tool, cross-referencing beauty product ingredient listings with more than 50 toxicity and regulatory databases. The database gives a safety rating against the product or ingredient that you've searched for.
Sound like hard work? It needn't be. To start you off with the basics in your beauty routine, here are some non-toxic cleanser and moisturiser product suggestions from The Ultimate Chemical-free Beauty Cabinet, at Greenmystyle.com, the eco fashion & beauty website.
The Ultimate Chemical-free Beauty Cabinet recommends natural products that are clear of the above risky ingredients and instead full of skin-loving ingredients like vitamin E, Aloe Vera, natural antioxidants and oils like argan that nourish, repair and hydrate. These include:
- Pai Skincare Avocado and Jojoba Skin Cream for normal skins (£22). Avocado is rich in vitamins A, D and E as well as deep penetrating oils, which hydrate, nourish and soften the skin. Jojoba helps keep skin soft and supple
- Elizabeth's Daughter Intensive Moisturiser (£26) ideal for sensitive or extra dry skins as it's packed with argan oil, Omega fatty acids and natural vitamin C
- Elemental Herbology (£35.23, available at Space NK) does a summer and winter range of skincare - the moisturiser is free of all the things you don't want to put on your face, with a really comforting texture (says the writer).
You will want to opt for oil-based formulas, rather than alcohol-based which can be drying. Highlighted natural products are:
- The award-winning The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser (£29.95) packed with intensive skin cleansers that leave skin incredibly soft (it's been tested)
- The best-selling Spiezia Cleansing Balm (£21.55) that oozes essential oils and lasts for months (again, another one that has been tried by the writer)
- The renowned Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser (from £12.50).