10 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

December 07, 2019 6 min read 0 Comments

10 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, changes in hormones and nutrient needs will cause changes in our diet, medications and body, which is totally natural and normal!  Most of us know to avoid eating undercooked or raw foods, and to not drink alcohol, but what about all our skin care and beauty related items? 

Did you know exposures to certain ingredients in our skin care could be unsafe during pregnancy? To reduce the risk of birth defects, or complications during pregnancy it’s best to be double check the ingredients in our beauty and self care routine.  


First and foremost, there is no ABSOLUTE rule for what to CUT OUT during pregnancy. It all depends on how conservative you want to be. I know for most moms, with their first child, they tend to be super careful, and then afterwards, they continue life as normal. It’s all up to you and what you’re comfortable with. For example, I still drink coffee every day, I still workout, I still eat deli sandwiches and I’ve had a salmon roll here or there. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.


What we are presenting here is the for the most conservative and careful of moms. You are most likely not going to harm your baby if you use any of these ingredients once, but perhaps with repeated and most concentrated of exposure, there could be some side effects. Additionally, be careful of where the research comes from, as many ingredients have not been extensively studied in pregnant women but have been instead studied in internal form in mice. So take advice with a grain of salt! All Banish products are pregnancy safe for the most conservative of mamas to be. 


Personally, I have always been using Banish products since I started Banish, so I didn’t need to cut anything out! How convenient! Because I’m naturally allergic to anything with a lot of chemicals, I didn’t need to cut out or change much in my skincare and beauty routine. For skincare, I always have used Banish, which is convenient that I didn’t need to purchase a whole new line of products. For bodycare, I did stop using any lotion except for the Banish vitamin C creme mixed with Banish oil. For extensively dry parts on my body, I used the Fighter Gel. I do not get my hair colored, so I didn’t need to worry about that. If you do color your hair, try a more gentle solution or try henna. Ask your doctor what kind of hair coloring treatments are safe. The only new product I needed to incorporate was deodorant. Technically there hasn’t been any studies that prove deodorants will cause harm to the baby-but for piece of my own mind, I switched to Jason Naturals and Lavanilla deodorant. 

Skincare Products I Used During My Pregnancy

Banish products helped me with nausea and dizziness:

I use the All Clear Mint Cleanser twice a day, and this was a godsend when I had nausea. I would wash my face with cold water+All Clear Mint Cleanser and it made me feel less dizzy and nauseous. 


Banish products helped with dry skin and stretch marks:

Then I noticed my skin becoming more dry, so I would use the Banish oil, Vitamin C Creme, and Banish Elixir regularly on my face. I would also spray the elixir on my face while working, to keep my skin extra hydrated.  I also would mix all three products and use on my belly area after a shower to keep my tummy hydrated and to prevent stretch marks. Vitamin C is perfectly safe to use during pregnancy, and I need all the collagen building help I can get!


Banish products helped with pregnancy melasma and pimples:

I also noticed my skin started developing melasma (red patches) and some small bump like pimples. Nothing super cystic though. I used the activated charcoal clay masque mixed with the elixir to clear out any congestion in the skin.


Banish Fighter Gel helped with Eczema:

I’ve had eczema in the past two years, but it got significantly worse during pregnancy. Some people say it’s a sign of pregnancy! I use the Banish Fighter gel once in the morning and one time before I go to bed to prevent itching and inflammation. The antiseptic properties of the fighter gel helped with all the cuts and scabs from the scratching. 


Check the list of ingredients to stop using during pregnancy and read your labels to see if you need to put a hiatus on them.

ingredients to avoid during pregnancy infographic


Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Retin-A
  • Hydroquinone
  • Fragrance
  • BPA
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates
  • Tetracycline
  • Chemical Sunscreens

Acne ingredients to avoid while pregnant 

Many common acne ingredients and treatments can be harmful during pregnancy 

Acne  ingredients to avoid during pregnancy are: 

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Topical Retinoids, tretinoin, or Retin-A
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Tetracycline

  1. Benzoyl Peroxide - has a low risk of affecting the fetus during pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid it or talk to your doctor before using products that contain benzoyl peroxide.  This ingredient is commonly found in acne treating products like cleansers or spot treatments for acne.Trysulfur containing products to help with acne instead like thefighter gel.


  1. Salicylic Acid - Saliccylic acid is to be avoided because it is similar to aspirin -which can cause birth defects.  There’s less risk if it’s used in a less than 2% concentration, but to avoid the risk altogether, you can find an alternative like lactic or glycolic acid which are safe for pregnancy.  Thepumpkin enzyme masque from Banish is recommended because it uses glycolic acid and doesn’t contain salicylic acid. 

  1. Retin A or topicalTretinoin is advised to be avoided because there are studies showing birth defects when taking it’s sister drug, isotretinoin or accutane.  Although the risk is lower, its a risk that you might as well avoid. The risk of birth defects is larger if topical tretinoin is applied during the first trimester or if absorption is increased due to larger amounts applied , or if applied over broken skin.  Because of the documented negative effects, it’s recommended to avoid Retin-a or tretinoin during pregnancy. 

  1. Tetracycline is a common antibiotic and can be prescribed as an acne treatment either orally, or in a topical cream. Use of tetracycline during pregnancy can causetoxic effects on the developing baby.  If you are currently taking it for a condition and found out you are pregnant, inform your doctor right away for an alternative treatment.  

  1. Hydroquinone - A skin lightening agent, this is classified under category C meaning it’s not known to be safe during pregnancy. Other names for hydroquinone include: idrochinone and quinol/1-4 dihydroxy benzene/1-4 hydroxy benzene.  Instead you can use skincare withVitamin C like the Banish Oil to provide the brightening effect and reduce hyperpigmentation.

  1. Fragrance - the concern with perfumes is that the ingredients aren’t required to be listed in them, and some potent perfumes may contain phthalates which can disrupt hormones causing issues with development of the fetus.  If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it on your body!  

  1. Phthalates - found in perfumes, or in other beauty products to help make them shelf stable, as mentioned above phthalates are hormone distrupting. 

  1. Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde should be avoided as much as possible. Exposure is linked to miscarraige, premature birth, and congenital malformations.  This ingredient is commonly found most often in nail polish, or in hair care products. If visiting a salon, opt for one that is well ventilated and ask for formaldehyde free products to minimize risk of exposure to this chemical. 

  1. Chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone or avobenzene may disrupt hormones and interfere with neurological development during pregnancy.  Sunscreen is important to protect the skin from UV damage, so stick with mineral based sunblocks with active ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. 

  1. BPA - BPA is found in plastics, cans, and sometimes receipts. A recent study suggests exposure to low levels can causechanges in brain developementAnd in another study,  blood analysis revealed that the human mothers exposed to higher levels of BPA, and their infants, showed signs of oxidative stress.   Not only that, but skincare ingredients also enhance the absorption of BPA, making it’s negative effects worse. It’s best to limit exposure by choosing BPA free products to limit exposure to it.   Thankfully,  banish products are all packaged in glass jars and  BPA free. 


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