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6 Pregnancy Skincare Don’ts

How to make your skincare regimen safe for baby too.

6 Pregnancy Skincare Don’ts

Now that you’ve announced your pregnancy, everyone -- from your OBGYN to your pushy neighbor -- is going to tell you about all the things you can no longer do, all the products you should no longer use, and how different your life will be. Wait, wasn’t this supposed to be a cause for celebration?! And who’s going to tell you about safe replacements for your old beauty stand-bys?! Don’t worry: as a clean beauty blogger and now that I’m in my second “clean” pregnancy, I can tell you with confidence that making the switch to pregnancy-safe skincare products is actually easier than you may think. Here are 6 pregnancy skincare don’ts, along with safe, effective replacements that are so good, you may never want to switch back.

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  1. Synthetic Fragrance. I tell readers and friends all the time: if there is one thing you need to swap out for the natural version, it is fragrance. Synthetic fragrance contains phthalates, which are known endocrine (hormone) disruptors, along with hundreds of other chemicals that won’t be listed on the ingredient label because of trade secret laws. They are toxic to fetuses and can even cause birth defects. It’s just not worth the risk. Look for perfume, shampoo, body lotion and other skincare essentials that lists fragrance as 100% natural or organic, from essentials oils. For personal fragrance, I love Lurk Perfume Oils, which contain a sophisticated blend of essential oils with an organic jojoba oil base.

  1. Nail Polish. Conventional nail polish contains chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, and miscarriage. Gel polish is even worse! Look for polishes that are at least 5-Free (free of Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor). And do not overlook the base coat counts, as it is the product that sits directly on the nail. TenOverTen makes high quality, long-lasting 8-Free Nail Polish - it doesn’t contain dibutyl phthalate (dbp), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, or triphenyl phosphate (tphp). I never visit town without stopping into one of their four NYC locations for the best mani-pedi in town.

  1. Self Tanner. I know I’m not the only one who feels a million times skinnier with *a little* color while pregnant. Though conventional self tanner has come a long way in terms of effectiveness, it still leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to safety. Synthetic DHA, (dihydroxyacetone) parabens, penetration enhancers like Propylene Glycol, dyes and synthetic fragrance make this a no-no while pregnant, and spray tans only increase the risks due to the inhalation factor. So look for self tanners made with natural DHA, (derived from sugar beets) and natural, plant-based butters and oils. Suntegrity Self Tanner contains Vegetan® (an eco-certified source of DHA from sugar beets), which provides a natural golden tan while organic butters and oils provide deep hydration that leave the skin feeling incredibly silky and smooth. It never streaks and provides just the right amount of color.

  1. Retinol. Oral retinoids like isotretinoin (the main ingredient in Accutane) have been linked to premature birth, miscarriage and birth defects. While no studies definitively link topical use of retinoids to any dangers, we all know that what we put on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. So better safe than sorry, right? Look for AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) like lactic or glycolic acid,which are effective exfoliants that also stimulate production of natural ceramides and hyaluronic acid to prevent moisture loss. I used Luzern Absolut Au Vin religiously during my last pregnancy. This moisturizing serum contains lactic and malic acids to exfoliate and unclog pores, revealing fresh, glowing skin and minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

  1. Salicylic Acid. Again, when taken orally, salicin (or the synthetic version, acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin) is linked to miscarriage, placental abruption, and heart and lung problems in unborn babies. For this reason, you should avoid topical prescription-strength salicylic acid during pregnancy. Instead, look for products that contain Willow Bark Extract, which is completely natural and gentler than its synthetic counterpart. What’s our pick at Bare Beauty? True Botanicals CLEAR Cellular Repair Serum at night, which has really kept any hormonal acne at bay during my last pregnancy. Hyaluronic Acid and bio-active marine ingredients improve barrier function and moisture retention, while Black Willow Bark Extract and Olive Leaf Extract prevent blemishes.

  1. Conventional Facials. If you are going to open your pores up with steam and leave products on the skin for a prolonged period of time, they should be as clean and nontoxic as possible. Unfortunately, many spas still use products that aren’t truly natural. When someone is massaging your face, you should be falling asleep, not worrying about the safety of the products he or she is using! The Golden Hour (And A Half) Facial at CAP Beauty uses all Tata Harper products, which are totally nontoxic and utterly luxurious. You’ll leave with a lifted, toned, glowing visage.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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