Ensuring a Safe Pregnancy
Importance of using natural personal care products
Most expecting mothers have the basic pregnancy checklist covered — eating the right food, drinking enough water, keeping caffeine intake in check, and consulting doctors before taking any medication. You go the extra mile to ensure that you and your baby receive the best care possible. However, checking if your personal care products are pregnancy-safe might be missing from your list.
Widespread awareness of health risks posed by chemicals in personal care products is lacking. Unaware of these risks, you may continue using products that have been used for ages even during your pregnancy. However, as your body changes to nurture the little one inside, making choices that are right for the both of you becomes important. One such choice is switching to natural personal care products during pregnancy.
Why use natural products for pregnancy care?
89% of the chemical ingredients in personal care products have not been sufficiently tested. Hence, their long-term effects for you and your baby are largely unknown. Of the chemical ingredients that have been tested, some have shown harmful effects, including skin and eye irritations, dermatitis, hormonal disruptions, respiratory stress, dizziness, headaches, and weakening of the immune system. Some have also been found to cause cancer. You can avoid all these risks by choosing natural products during your pregnancy.
With misleading marketing and product labels, finding natural products can be confusing. However, international certifications such as EWS, Made Safe (Australia & USA) and Paula’s Choice endorse products that are natural and safe to use. They rate each ingredient, helping you select the right products.
How to check if you’re making the right choice?
As an expecting mother, you are in-charge of making the right choice. To ensure that the products you are putting on your skin are indeed natural and safe, be aware of the ingredients that go into making them. Here are some ingredients that go into a variety of personal care products:
Preservatives: Preservatives are used in personal care products to protect them from being contaminated by bacteria, yeast, and molds. This keeps them from getting spoilt and increases their shelf life.
Emulsifiers: In shampoos and soaps, emulsifiers are used for their cleaning properties. They are also used in creams, lotions, and moisturizers to help bind all the ingredients together, and prevent them from breaking down into oil and water. As opposed to artificially derived chemical emulsifiers, opt for products made with emulsifiers such as Catostearyl alcohol, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, and Glyceryl Monostearate, derived from vegetables, coconuts, and other plants.
Conditioning Agents: Conditioning agents are used in hair products to impart manageability, gloss, and antistatic properties to the hair. They are also used in creams and lotions, as a hydration base, to make the skin soft and supple, and prevent chafing, chapping and cracking. Select pregnancy-safe personal care products that use vegetable- and plant-derived ingredients such as Catostearyl alcohol, glyceryl oleate, Sodium PCA, and Xylityl glucoside, as conditioning agents.
Cleansers: Shampoos, soaps, body washes, face washes and a variety of other products use cleansers for their cleaning properties. Instead of using products with chemical cleansers, look out for ingredients such as sugar- and coconut-based cleansers such as Coco-Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside and Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate.
Oils: Oils are widely used in personal care products for their nourishing, moisturizing and hydrating properties. While petroleum-derived oils are widely used in the industry, many innovative personal care products have started incorporating use plant-derived oils such as argon oil, extra virgin olive oil, jojoba oil, essential oils (mandarin, ginger, orange, peppermint and spearmint), sea buckthorn oil, sweet almond oil and wheat germ oil.
Viscosity Agents: Viscosity agents help improve the stability, dispensability and texture of a wide range of products such as creams, lotions, balms, shampoos and conditioners. As opposed to chemical viscosity agents, consider using products with sugar-based viscosity agents such as Xanthum gum.
Products with other natural ingredients such as cocoa butter, aloe vera powder, glycerin, shea butter and pink salt are also becoming popular. These nature-derived ingredients nourish your body and skin, while keeping you and your baby safe from any potential risks.
No hiding behind the label
In today’s world, product labels can be deceptive. Products claim to be organic or natural while including only a small percentage of natural ingredients or with hidden chemical ingredients present. To ensure that the products you are using are safe, use only natural ingredients to have a worry-free pregnancy.