During pregnancy, the body and skin undergo numerous changes and become more sensitive. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to the composition of the cosmetic products applied to the skin during this period, including shower gels. Here are some tips for choosing a shower gel when you're pregnant.
Which shower gel should be used during pregnancy?
- Why should we pay attention to the shower gel used during pregnancy?
- How to choose your shower gel during pregnancy?
- Advice for using shower gel during pregnancy
Why should we pay attention to the shower gel used during pregnancy?
The composition of cosmetic skincare products should be closely monitored during pregnancy to minimize risks. During this period, the skin is naturally put to the test, as it is stretched due to morphological changes that occur. This makes it vulnerable to irritations and skin reactions. Therefore, it is important not to further aggravate it by using gentle skincare products.
Furthermore, some shower gels contain substances that are not recommended for use by pregnant women. This is particularly the case for the following ingredients, which Typology has banned from its products.
|Proven percutaneous penetration, suspected endocrine disruptor, potential skin irritant, suspected carcinogen
|Suspected endocrine disruptor, potential skin irritant, potential allergen
|Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles
|Suspected percutaneous penetration, potential carcinogen (by inhalation), suspected mutagen
|Suspected Endocrine Disruptor
These ingredients have been suspected to be endocrine disruptors or mutagenic agents. Let's recall that, according to the definition by the World Health Organization (WHO), "an endocrine disruptor is a substance or a mixture of substances, which alters the functions of the endocrine system and thereby induces harmful effects in an intact organism, its offspring, or within (sub)-populations". The use of a skincare product containing an endocrine disruptor is thus strongly discouraged during pregnancy. A mutagenic agent, on the other hand, is capable of causing mutations in DNA. While some are harmless and go unnoticed, others prove to be quite dangerous.
How to choose your shower gel during pregnancy?
To choose a shower gel that the skin can tolerate during pregnancy, one can refer to the list of ingredients, also known as the INCI list, that make it up. The first instinct is to opt for a cleansing care product that contains no endocrine disruptors or mutagenic agents. Also, ensure that your shower gel does not contain any essential oils, as a precautionary principle.
Indeed, some are neurotoxic and can cause nausea and spasms. Moreover, it is said that they could be mutagenic and teratogenic, meaning they could increase the risk of malformations in the embryo and could cause mutations in the DNA. However, there are not enough scientific studies to make a definitive conclusion. Furthermore, one should avoid skincare products containing fragrances, as some can be photosensitizing and may promote the appearance of pigmented spots, the infamous pregnancy mask.
Another factor to consider when choosing a shower gel is skin sensitivity. Skin can become more delicate during pregnancy, reacting to allergens that it previously tolerated well a few months ago. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid all skincare products containing allergens or irritating active ingredients. Lastly, it is often recommended for pregnant women to choose a shower gel with a so-called neutral pH. Traditional shower gels usually have a pH around 10, making them basic. However, the skin's pH is typically around 5.5 due to the hydrolipidic film, which forms an acidic protective veil that prevents bacteria from penetrating. To avoid damaging this crucial skin barrier, it is recommended to use a neutral cleansing product that closely matches the skin's pH.
Advice for using shower gel during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the skin is delicate and we strive to avoid sensitizing it further. That's why, even when using gentle cleansing products, it's advised not to scrub too vigorously, as this could "strip" the hydrolipidic film on the skin's surface. Additionally, it's recommended for pregnant women to use lukewarm water when rinsing, as water that's too hot or too cold can potentially irritate the skin.
Tip : during pregnancy, women often suffer from lower back pain. To alleviate this, they are advised to take a bath. This indeed helps to relax the back muscles and makes one feel lighter.
EINARSON A. & al. Safety of skin care products during pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician (2011).