Using Makeup During Pregnancy, Safe for the Little One?

Using Makeup During Pregnancy, Safe for the Little One

Cosmetics or makeup is one of the ways women enhance their appearance. Generally, women feel more confident when using makeup. However, during pregnancy, many worry that using makeup might affect the condition of the fetus and the mother.

Can Pregnant Women Use Makeup, But…

During pregnancy, there are many things to consider for expectant mothers. Apart from food and vitamin intake, pregnant women also need to pay attention to skincare and makeup they use.

If you enjoyed using makeup before getting pregnant, you should pay attention to the cosmetic ingredients, especially those safe for pregnant women.

Basically, pregnant women are allowed to use makeup during pregnancy. However, not all cosmetics contain ingredients safe for pregnant women.

This is because some cosmetics contain harsh chemicals that could be harmful to the body. Additionally, inappropriate chemical components can lead to cosmetic allergies, potentially endangering the fetus in the womb.

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Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t use cosmetics at all. It’s permitted but also crucial to pay attention to the composition of the products.

This also applies to women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). There are no limitations on using makeup as long as the composition is safe for the skin and the body.

Cosmetic Ingredients Unsafe for Pregnant Women

There are several cosmetic ingredients that pregnant women need to be cautious about due to their safety concerns. If you find any of these chemical substances in cosmetics, it’s advisable to avoid them as they can be harmful to both pregnant women and the fetus.

1. Mercury

Mercury is one of the chemical substances that are hazardous to the body, whether the woman is pregnant or not. Mercury is often found in facial care products and cosmetics. It’s typically claimed that mercury can brighten the complexion. Exposure to mercury can lead to impacts such as brain damage, vision problems, and hearing problems in the fetus. This is why pregnant women need to avoid foods and cosmetics containing mercury.

2. Hydroquinone

In addition to mercury, another chemical that pregnant women should avoid is hydroquinone. Similar to mercury, this chemical is used for skin whitening. Although its use in cosmetic and makeup products is not prohibited, pregnant women are advised to steer clear of it. According to research published in the Canadian Family Physician journal, hydroquinone can affect the development of the fetus and the pregnant mother.

3. Phthalates

If you’re pregnant and you find cosmetics or skincare products containing phthalates, it’s best to avoid them. Phthalates are one of the chemical substances that are unsafe for pregnant women. They are usually present in products like powder, moisturizers, nail polish, and perfumes. Phthalates can influence hormone levels in the pregnant woman’s body, disrupting the development of the fetus. The dangers of phthalate exposure can lead to the risk of birth defects and low birth weight.

4. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde, also known as formalin, is a chemical substance found in cosmetics such as mascara, eyelash glue, nail polish, and hair-straightening products. Pregnant women should avoid using skincare and cosmetic products containing formaldehyde, as it can cause fertility issues, increase the risk of fetal problems, and even miscarriage.

5. Toluene

Toluene is a chemical substance found in makeup and cosmetics. This chemical is hazardous to pregnant women as well as non-pregnant women because it’s believed to be a carcinogen that can trigger cancer risks. It’s usually found in cosmetics like nail polish.

6. Parabens

Parabens are a type of preservative used in cosmetic products to extend their shelf life and prevent bacterial growth. This chemical needs to be avoided by pregnant women. Parabens are commonly found in cosmetic products such as masks, facial scrubs, and moisturizers. The risks associated with this chemical can lead to the fetus experiencing birth defects, premature birth, and even miscarriage.

Safe Makeup Tips for Pregnant Women For pregnant women

who want to use makeup, here are several tips that can be followed. You can enhance your face with a naturally beautiful makeup look.

1. Facial Cleanser

During pregnancy, the face can become oilier due to hormonal changes that lead to excessive oil production. Therefore, pregnant women are advised to cleanse their faces using a facial cleanser that is safe for all skin types. It’s recommended to avoid washing the face more than twice a day as it can cause dryness.

2. Use Moisturizer

Dry skin is a common issue often experienced by pregnant women. It’s advisable to use a facial moisturizer if you want to keep the skin more hydrated, but pay attention to the content of the moisturizer. Avoid moisturizers containing retinol as this content can disrupt fetal development and is not recommended for pregnant women.

3. Sunscreen

Using sunscreen is essential if you have outdoor mobility. Sunscreen plays a role in protecting the face from sunlight. Additionally, it prevents the appearance of dark spots on the face. Make sure the sunscreen doesn’t contain oxybenzone, as this content can affect the baby’s birth weight.

4. Powder

If you want to achieve a natural makeup look, simply use a thin layer of powder. Choose a powder color that matches your natural skin tone or is similar to it. Avoid using powders containing phthalates as they are dangerous for pregnant women.

5. Lipstick

If you want your face to appear brighter and more natural, you can use lipstick in soft colors like pink, light brown, or other shades. To prevent dry lips, it’s recommended to apply moisturizer first.

It’s best to avoid using lipsticks containing retinyl palmitate, lead, and tocopheryl acetate, which are harmful substances that should be avoided by pregnant women. Applying makeup during pregnancy or while undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not a problem. Just make sure to pay attention to the contents of the cosmetics or skincare products used!


  • Donald, J.M., et al. (1991). Reproductive and developmental toxicity of toluene: a review. Environ Health Perspect. 1991 Aug; 94: 237–244. 
  • Amiri, A., et al. (2015). Formaldehyde exposure during pregnancy. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2015 May-Jun;40(3):180-5. 
  • Bozzo, P., et al. (2011). Safety of skin care products during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2011 Jun; 57(6): 665–667. 
  • Harvard Medical School. Something else to avoid in pregnancy: Phthalates. 
  • Qian, Y., et al. (2020). The Endocrine Disruption of Prenatal Phthalate Exposure in Mother and Offspring. Front Public Health. 2020; 8: 366.



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