Pregnancy Beauty Routine – What’s Safe and What’s Not?

There are so many do’s and don’ts in pregnancy. Here, we clarify some of those associated with your pregnancy beauty routine.

Day-to-day Hair & Make Up

You should be able to continue with your standard daily beauty routine of hair and make up, but be aware of any face creams that have retinol on the ingredient list, as this is very high in Vitamin A and not compatible with pregnancy.


By all means, take yourself off for a massage to ease those aches and pains of pregnancy, but make sure you tell your masseuse that you are pregnant so they can only use essential oils that are safe in pregnancy. Particular oils to avoid in pregnancy are cinnamon oil, nutmeg, rosemary, basil, cedar, jasmine, sage, peppermint and juniper berry. Using a therapist qualified in pregnancy massage will often mean they will have a table that can accommodate your bump so you can comfortably lie face down.

Hair Colouring

When colouring hair, experts say that the time the colour is on and the amount of associated chemicals that enter the blood stream are minimal so doesn’t pose any real risk. If you are worried about it, wait until you are in your second trimester or opt for foils where the colour doesn’t actually touch your scalp. Ensure any colourants are applied in a well ventilated environment.

Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is not safe in pregnancy, but waxing is entirely safe. Your body naturally produces more hair during pregnancy, hence the reason for the thick glossy locks on your head, but the down side is that it makes body hair removal more of a job. You may find that your skin is more sensitive so waxing may hurt more when you are pregnant – but you don’t need to worry about waxing harming your baby.


Salon spray tans and home tanning application kits are considered to be safe in pregnancy. The active ingredient in fake tan (DHA) is non-toxic. DHA does not penetrate the outer layer of the skin, so is not absorbed into the blood stream, which makes it perfectly fine to use whilst pregnant.

However, there is no definitive research around the inhalation of DHA, so avoid a spray tan in the first trimester and use a mask and other protective devices (such as nasal filters, lip balm, ear plugs and under garments) to protect you from tan mist entering your mucus membranes or airways.

Sun beds are definitely not safe. Aside from the unsafe levels of UV rays, it is dangerous in pregnancy to have an elevated body temperature. So if you’re feeling a bit pale, stick to a spray tan later in pregnancy, or home application.

Teeth Whitening

The key ingredient used in teeth whitening is peroxide and there are very few studies in to its effects on pregnant women and their babies. So err on the side of caution and avoid teeth whitening while pregnant. Save this one until after your baby is born, when you can do it and know there is no risk to your baby.

Manicure & Pedicure

The active ingredients in nail polish are formaldehyde and toluene. Regular exposure in large quantities can be dangerous; however, painting your nails during pregnancy every couple of weeks should not cause any problems. If you are going for a manicure or pedicure ensure that the salon is well ventilated and you don’t visit too frequently. If it really bothers you, use a formaldehyde and toluene free nail polish and an acetone-free remover.

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