As a pregnant mama, how important is what you put on your skin? It’s easy to understand why we should keep our homes healthy, and choose organically grown foods, but just how important is it to avoid synthetic ingredients in body care products? Between environmental pollutants, pesticides in food and contaminants in water, the toxin load our bodies bear is worrying.
We know about transdermal patches, used to deliver medicine through the skin. But lotions or perfumes can also act as a means to deliver active ingredients transdermally. If something is rubbed into the skin and isn’t washed off, depending on many factors including molecular weight and size, certain substances are more or less likely to enter the bloodstream. Oils like almond or olive oil, that are often used in organic skin care, usually have a higher molecular weight, and so do not penetrate and are perfect for lubricating the skin. Essential oils, on the other hand (or elbow) have a low enough molecular weight to be able to deliver some of the herbal
properties into the bloodstream. Which can be extremely beneficial, but it’s also important to note that not all essential oils are safe for pregnancy.
More troubling, though, is that synthetic fragrances and preservatives, which have very worrying data about safety, are easily absorbed too. Artificial fragrance can disrupt normal hormonal function and can even contain formaldehyde. Parabens and other artificial preservatives can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system, leading to breast cancer, early puberty and reproductive issues. So what can a pregnant mama do? Be extra careful what they are slathering, and know what’s going on, because what goes ON your pregnant body can go IN your unborn baby.
For more on transdermal absorption, please read Skin Care Products – How Much Gets In?