Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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To be on the safe side, most doctors advise against coloring your hair, especially in the first trimester. Dye can be absorbed into the scalp, explains dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Instead, try henna or chemical-free dyes. As for highlights, precision application that avoids the scalp makes them safe as well.
Our pick: Aubrey Organics Color Me Natural, $12, safely covers gray, enhances natural tones and conditions hair without toxic chemicals.
While makeup is a glow enhancer, most acne medications contain ingredients that can ingredients that can cause birth defects, so do not use topical retinoid products, including Avage, Differin, Renova, Retin-A, retinols, retinyl palmitate and Tazorac. Oral medications, such as Accutane and tetracycline, should be avoided, as should over-the-counter acne creams with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. As for sun protection, it’s not only safe but essential: Pregnant women face the same sun-exposure risks as others, plus UV-exacerbated melasma (the “mask of pregnancy”), says David E. Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Use a UVA- and UVB-shielding, SPF 15+ product every morning.
Our pick: Josie Maran Argan Protect SPF 40+ Natural Daily Sun Protection, $32, is PABA- and chemical-free.
For some women, the quickest path to sensuality is a spritz of scent. Some conventional perfumes contain phthalates, which could be harmful to you and your baby. (“Fragrance” in the ingredient list could indicate the presence of these chemicals.) Instead, opt for organic or essential oil-based scents. In addition, your skin may be extra sensitive during pregnancy, and your favorite perfume may suddenly smell too strong or even odious to you. So first determine whether you still like it and, if so, test a spritz on your wrist.
Our pick: The soothing notes of mimosa, neroli and chamomile in Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Les Petites, $42 for 2 ounces, won’t offend sensitive noses.