Are Cosmetics Safe To Use If You Are A Breastfeeding Mum?

Sarmistha Neogy
·5-min read

When you are breastfeeding, there are several dos and don’ts that get added to your list. You are cautious about what you eat, drink, and even what you apply to your face.

This is especially true for cosmetics that claim to lighten skin tone. In fact, whitening products while breastfeeding can be harmful for you and your baby. But why is this? Let’s find out.

Why You Must STOP Using Whitening Products While Breastfeeding

using whitening products while breastfeeding
using whitening products while breastfeeding

Before you try out any new product, always check the list of ingredients on it to avoid any complications. | Image courtesy: Stock

For the first six months of your baby’s life, breast milk is the only source of nutrition. So while it passes on nutrition to your baby. It can also pass harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, chemical and lead, to your baby. This can cause serious health problems in your baby including preterm birth.

Now, most whitening products have ingredients that are harmful for you and your baby. So, before you try out any new product, always check the list of ingredients on it to avoid any complications. Here are some common ingredients included in whitening products.

Hydroquinone

Most whitening products contain hydroquinone, an ingredient that prevents pigmentation. In Europe, it is a forbidden cosmetic ingredient, but its still used because of its effective skin-whitening properties.

Hydroquinone can cause irritation or uneven bleaching of the skin. According to estimates, our skin absorbs about 35 to 45 percent of hydroquinone, during application. So, it is best to minimise its use during pregnancy.

Mercury salts

Mercury is another ingredient found in some skin lightening soaps and creams. Mercury salts prevent the formation of melanin, thus giving a lighter skin tone. But, products which contain mercury are unsafe and could be harmful to health.

Some of the adverse effects of using products containing mercury salt can be-

  • skin rashes

  • kidney damage

  • skin discolouration

  • reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections

In some whitening products, sometimes, mercury may is listed under different names. So, check for anything that includes the words “calomel”, “mercuric”, “mercurous” or “mercurio.”

Remember, every skin type is different. What may suit your friend’s skin type, may not suitable for you. So take necessary precautions before using whitening products while breastfeeding.

8 Precautions To Take While Using Cosmetics During Breastfeeding

using whitening products while breastfeeding
using whitening products while breastfeeding

If you are a breastfeeding mum, always opt for clean products. Image courtesy: Pixabay

In your entire pregnancy and nursing phase, you need to concentrate on having a nutritious diet to help your baby grow. Keeping this in mind, you need to be careful before using whitening products while breastfeeding. Here’s how you can take care

1. Learn about the common ingredients

It is always better to do a little bit of research. Once you know of the common ingredients in whitening products, it will be helpful for you to look for the harmful ones. When you find the ingredients, that are safe and suits your skin, go for it.

2. Don’t experiment

You should never go for products that do not list out their ingredients. In this way, you will never come to know if they are suitable for your skin or not. Don’t experiment with new products to avoid the risk of getting any allergies or exposing your skin to any new ingredients.

3. Limit the use of cosmetic and beauty products

Try to limit using whitening products while breastfeeding. There is no harm in doing so. Some products may contain ingredients that may not be healthy for your baby. So try to limit the use of cosmetics and artificial products as much as you can.

4. Use ‘safe’ products

Choose products that are safe for mothers. Go with recommendations and genuine reviews. Lactating phase is very crucial for mums as breastmilk is the only source of food for their little ones. Any harmful product can affect the supply of your milk. So, always go with products that are reputed in the market.

5. Don’t apply them to your breasts

If you are using any whitening products on your body, don’t use them on your breasts and nipples. Since you are lactating, they can pass on to your baby’s system.

6. Wash your hands after using the products

Wash your hands after using any of the whitening products. And don’t touch your baby after that. Your child’s skin is sensitive and may be allergic to the ingredients in the product.

7. Check the label

Most brands usually mention in their label if it is not safe for pregnant or nursing mums. So, check the label to know if using whitening products while breastfeeding would be a safe option.

8. Always do a patch test

using whitening products while breastfeeding
using whitening products while breastfeeding

A patch test can tell you if the product is suitable for you. | Image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

When you are trying out a product, it is recommended to always do a patch test on a small area before using the product on the face. Even if you have used the product before pregnancy, you should still do the patch test.

If you find any allergy or reaction on your skin, immediately stop using it. These precautions will come in handy, especially before using whitening products while breastfeeding.

While we understand that you may want to get back to your normal routine. But, remember, you need to be careful now for your little one. After the breastfeeding phase is over, you will get enough time to try out new products and follow all the beauty trends. Till then, stay safe and healthy!

ALSO READ:

Breastfeeding And Beauty Treatments: A Comprehensive Safety Guide

18 Cosmetic Products In Singapore Contain High Levels Of Mercury And Other Potent Ingredients, Says HSA

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