Is retinol safe for expectant mothers?

When you become pregnant, there is such an extensive list of do’s and don’ts that will leave your head reeling. While you spend a lot of time thinking what to not put in your body for the sake of the little one growing inside you, it is easy to overlook what not to put ON your body.

Most women indulge in face creams and lotions every day with little consideration of what really gets absorbed by the skin into the body. While these lotions and potions aren’t a problem in itself, certain substances can be harmful to your baby. So you might have heard that using retinol during pregnancy is not safe, but is it true? We find out.

RELATED: 10 Chinese taboos for pregnant women

What is Retinol?

First of all, it is important to mention that there is a difference between retinol and retinoid. Retinol is another name for Vitamin A, which is essential for skin and cell regeneration. Your body creates retinol from sources of beta carotene found naturally in food, whereas retinoid are the chemical derivative of Vitamin A. Retinoid are commonly used in beauty treatments and anti-wrinkling creams because of the potent antioxidant properties. The retinoid in beauty creams are loosely referred to Retinol as well.

RELATED: Why you need to be taking your prenatal vitamins

Why should retinol during pregnancy be avoided?

Studies have found that this retinol during pregnancy to be harmful, and can lead to birth defects in your baby. Oral doses are considered to be especially dangerous when you are expecting. It is still unknown why high amounts of retinol poses a threat to your unborn baby, but there is a strong correlation between it and birth defects that includes size abnormalities and mental retardation.

Because the substance gets absorbed into the blood stream through your skin, experts advice that you should steer clear from retinol during pregnancy.

RELATED: 16 medications NOT to take while pregnant

Find out what the best advice is on retinol on the next page…