Skin Care Ingredients that are Unsafe for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful things a mother can do for her child. Not only does it provide vital nutrients and antibodies, but it also creates a special bond between mother and child. However, breastfeeding mothers need to be extra careful about the skincare products they use, as some ingredients can be passed through breastmilk to the baby. Here’s an in-depth look at the top three ingredients to avoid while breastfeeding.
If you are like me, you have experienced the benefits of retinoids on your skin. So why are retinoids so dangerous for breastfeeding moms? The answer lies in how these compounds are metabolized by the body. When taken orally (by mouth), retinoids undergo first-pass metabolism in the liver. This means that a significant portion of the compound is broken down before it ever reaches the bloodstream. However, when applied topically (to the skin), retinoids bypass first-pass metabolism and enter the bloodstream directly. This makes topical retinoids much more potent than oral ones—and much more dangerous for pregnant and breastfeeding women. While there are still many studies being conducted on the effects of retinoids while breastfeeding, we do know that they can cause birth defects and issues to an unborn fetus. With that information, doctors recommend you continue to avoid retinoids while nursing.
Chemical sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone and Octinoxate should be avoided while breastfeeding. Oxybenzone is a synthetic compound that belongs to the class of chemicals known as benzophenones. It is used in sunscreen, cosmetics, and some types of plastics. Oxybenzone can be passed through breast milk to your baby. It has been linked to endocrine disruption, developmental toxicity, and cellular damage. Studies have shown that oxybenzone can interfere with hormone production and disrupt the endocrine system. This can lead to developmental problems in babies and children. Oxybenzone has also been shown to damage cells and DNA. This can lead to health problems later in life.
Octinoxate is a chemical compound that is also commonly used in sunscreen, cosmetics, and other personal care products. It is an organic compound that absorbs ultraviolet light. Octinoxate is also known by its chemical name, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate. Octinoxate is considered to be a human health hazard because it can disrupt hormones in the body. This chemical has been linked to thyroid problems, early onset puberty, and reduced fertility. Studies have also shown that octinoxate can cause developmental and reproductive toxicity in animals. In addition, octinoxate has been classified as a “maternal and fetal toxicant” by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). This means that this harmful ingredient can pass through the placenta and enter the bloodstream of unborn babies and can easily be passed to baby through breastmilk. It’s easy to see why both of these chemicals should be avoided while nursing.
Salicylic acid (in amounts greater than 2%)
Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in skincare products, particularly those designed for acne-prone skin. It works by exfoliating the skin and unclogging pores, which helps to reduce breakouts. However, it can also be passed through breastmilk to the baby, which can cause serious side effects.
Some of the potential side effects of salicylic acid exposure in infants include:
· gastrointestinal bleeding
· kidney damage
· liver damage
· central nervous system depression
In short, salicylic acid is simply too risky to use while breastfeeding. There are plenty of other safe and effective acne treatments out there that don’t pose any risk to your baby, so there’s no need to take any chances.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s important to be mindful of the ingredients in your skincare products. While you may have to make some minor changes, remember that it is only temporary and the benefits you are providing to your baby through nursing are so beneficial!