Jack Studio / Photos.com

Jack Studio / Photos.com

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You’ve already nixed coffee, alcohol, sushi and lunch meat –and now you’re hearing that there are more fun things to avoid while pregnant. Sadly, it’s true. Some ingredients in your cosmetics and body care items can also have adverse effects during pregnancy.

The biggest culprits are phthalates and parabens. While research seems to vary on how harmful these common additives really are, it’s best to avoid them, especially since a study published in JAMA Pediatrics last Fall linked phthlates to a higher risk of preterm birth. Ditto on parabens. Some of them have even been banned from chemical use in the United Kingdom.

Other potentially harmful ingredients to watch out for include diazolidinyl urea (sometimes in mascara), benzoyl peroxide, salicyclic acid, retinoids (especially orally), DHA, hydroquinone, and sulfur.  If you have questions about these or any other ingredients, we recommend talking to your care provider, so you can be confident about their safety.

The great news is that local health stores usually stock plenty of items that are free of phthalate and parabens. More made-for-pregnancy beauty lines are entering the scene, too.

Since harmful chemicals can pop up anywhere from shampoos to nail polish, we think you’ve got a great excuse to buy some newer, safer products. A Sephora shopping spree is plenty of fun.

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