Most women want to look attractive while their body goes through the changes of pregnancy. Permanent makeup might save time or a tattoo might commemorate the occasion. Coloring the hair makes one feel good. Obviously research cant be done on pregnant women. Some treatments are assumed safe but some are risky during pregnancy. So what beauty treatments are safe for pregnant women?
5 Pregnant Beauty Treatments Dos and Don’ts
I attempt to dive in a little deeper on this topic today. Several treatments are discussed below.
1. Getting Permanent Makeup and Tattoos During Pregnancy
There is no data definitely advising against tattooing during pregnancy. Many professional organizations won’t do the procedure on pregnant women during the first 2 trimesters. Some will only do it with a note from the OB in the 3rd trimester. Pigment uptake from the upper layer of skin is minimal but the FDA doesn’t control the pigments. Some people have had allergic reactions. The numbing cream does absorb, as does any injectable anesthetic.
Having gotten a couple of tattoos myself when I WASN’T pregnant, I know how the ink works on the skin. Personally, I prefer to have them done when not pregnant.
Although the risks of hepatitis or other infectious needle diseases have diminished with clean salons and trained practitioners, any broken skin can become infected or heal with a keloid scar. The bottom line is to wait until after the baby is born. A tattoo or permanent eyeliner or brows can be performed while breastfeeding- again, if you are inclined.
2. Laser Hair Removal During Pregnancy
Removing body hair by laser requires a good part of the body being numbed with a potent topical anesthetic easily absorbed into the system. Caution with topical anesthetics that can be absorbed into the bloodstream is advisable. Most laser hair removal spas put the program on hold once the woman is pregnant. You may find this in the contract of most national companies. Shaving the area is preferable until after the baby is born.
3. Intense Pulse Light (IPL), Skin peels, and Facials While Pregnant?
Facial skin is especially affected by hormonal changes during pregnancy. The skin may darken or spot or become dry or oily. Moisturizing facials are relaxing and can be done every few weeks to keep the skin supple. Ask if the ingredients are appropriate for pregnant women. Beware of assuming “natural” is safe. Glycolic acid is a natural alpha hydroxy acid that can diminish fine lines and slough off superficial layers of skin. Most likely it cannot be absorbed deeper with a single layer of a low percent glycolic peel, but like other retinol products such as tretinoin or Retin-A (vitamin A derivatives), it is better to wait until no longer pregnant. Lactating mothers too should read the ingredients on facial products.
Any peel containing salicylic (from the aspirin family) or lactic acid is contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding per most dermatologists. They are drugs with side effects and warnings.
Salicylic acid can pass through breast milk and is a category C drug (not recommended for pregnant, lactating women).
Lactic acid is category B (no studies on pregnant, lactating women).
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Similarly, avoid pigment-lightening products with hydroquinone, a category C drug (e.g.Obagi system). IPL is best after childbirth. At that time it can help alleviate any brown spots or red capillaries remaining post-delivery.
Microdermabrasion remains an option.
4. Manicures and Pedicures while Pregnant
Fumes can cause nausea in a salon that isn’t well ventilated. Acrylic nails may be contraindicated due to the exposure of solvents but the amount is so tiny per Dr. Holmes, Chief of Teratology, at Harvard University. Painting the nails and toes is fine. Some years ago there were reports of staph infections due to Pedi spa baths not being properly disinfected. For that reason, spa pedicures might be cautioned against in unknown places. Pedicures in a plastic tub already filled with water may be preferred to the plumbing fixtures running through questionably cleaned pipes in an unknown place.
5. Hair Coloring and Hair Procedures During Pregnancy
The Organization of Teratology states that a low level of hair dye or perm solution can be absorbed but shouldn’t be a problem. If there is a concern, then waiting for the 2nd or 3rd trimester is advised. Consider all the celebrities who had babies and kept their salon color, if looking for assurance. Hair extensions, without glue, are an option. Keratin or Japanese smoothing procedures should be postponed due to the potential of formaldehyde or other chemicals, despite the great results.
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For every pregnant woman advised against a procedure, someone has had it done without sequela. A rule of thumb might be to err on the side of caution. Ask your OB provider if in any doubt.
You only have to wait nine months.
Good luck 🙂
With love, Vinma