5 Natural Ingredients In Beauty Products Pregnant Women Should Stay Away From

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Do you check labels on beauty products before you buy or use a product? Checking food labels is one thing, but for some of us, reading the list of ingredients on the products we use for our hair, skin and nails, isn't even a thought. But what about when you're pregnant? Should you be reading the labels then? And if so, what should you be looking for? It's not just chemicals you have to worry about, as there are some natural ingredients to avoid in beauty products during pregnancy, too. If you're wondering what to avoid, keep reading.

The thought of sacrificing your beauty routine for nine months might seem like the end of the world, but luckily, there are plenty of safe and clean all-natural beauty products for pregnant moms out there. And better yet, they're pretty fabulous. Take Earth Mama Organics, which makes a deodorant that legit works in scents like calming lavender and bright citrus (among other items), or Hatch Mama Beauty, which offers upscale, clean beauty products for moms-to-be like a belly sheet mask. With options like these, there's no reason you need to sacrifice your self-care routine in the name of pregnancy. But how can you tell what's safe? The following natural ingredients should most likely be avoided for the next 9 months... and maybe even through breastfeeding.

1. Essential Oils

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They might be organic and sourced from the earth, but essential oils are "not assessed by the FDA," as an article in Vogue pointed out. Essential oils are highly concentrated and should always be used with caution in individuals with sensitive skin, but pregnant women in particular should avoid oils such as tee tree and rosemary because they can cause uterine contractions, the article warned.

2. High Concentrations Of Vitamin A

Popular skin products such as retinoids and isotretinoin (also known as Accutane) are actually high doses of vitamin A. Vitamins are good, right? Usually, but using products that contain powerful concentrations of vitamin A can result in birth defects, according to the Birth Injury Guide website.

3. Pennyroyal

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More like Penny Dreadful. As WebMD explained, pennyroyal is an herb used in teas, perfumes, soap, oils, and other products that can cause miscarriage (in fact, if you Google "pennyroyal," among the phrases that pop up is "pennyroyal abortion").

4. Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are products that contain soy, and are often used in anti-aging beauty products. A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecological International found that phytoestrogens such as soy, which are believed to interrupt estrogen levels in women, were found in amniotic fluid, while another study published in Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology suggested that exposure to these compounds may pose a risk to certain groups, particularly infants and the unborn.

5. Willow Bark

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It's considered to be nature's aspirin, according to an article on Health Line, but willow bark is also considered to be unsafe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as WebMD reported, because it can thin the blood and interfere with clotting, among other things. It's often used as a skin exfoliant by brands like Burt's Bees, so be sure to look for it on labels.

While the dangers of harmful chemicals may be obvious, natural ingredients may be easier to overlook. It's important to read all labels for any product and when in doubt check with your doctor, especially when it comes to anything you ingest, apply to the skin or can inhale. Don't worry, pregnant mamas, you can still get your beauty on... just exercise a little caution.