There are several things to worry about during breastfeeding, including the latch, painful nipples, and the amount of milk the infant is really consuming. Your skin and body care regiment may be added to that list. Similar to pregnancy, there are certain chemicals that are “safe” to use during breastfeeding skincare and others that should be avoided. Of course, there is also that ambiguous region

You may wonder whether you can resume using your go-to prescription and over-the-counter treatments for acne, sun protection, skin spots, and other conditions as you start your nursing adventure. Because not all skincare components have been studied in nursing populations, the answers to these issues are not entirely clear-cut.

There are several fundamentals regarding how skincare products might impact breastfeeding that you should be aware of. Here, we look at which formulas are most likely safe to use in your breastfeeding skincare routine and which ones are generally best to avoid.
In order for you to choose your postpartum skincare regimen wisely, we consulted specialists to help us narrow down the “must knows” regarding breastfeeding skincare

Why should nursing mothers adjust their breastfeeding skincare routine?

Expectant moms are inundated with advice on what products they should and shouldn’t use in terms of skincare.

When the baby is finally here, though, many mothers are so worn out that they just grab whatever is in their grasp and pray for the best. But did you know that anything you put on your skin has the potential to enter your bloodstream and be transferred to your unborn child?

Yes, certain substances can go into your circulation and then end up in your breast milk. Because of this, it’s crucial to choose your breastfeeding skincare products carefully!

Skin Changes During Breastfeeding

Your skin may experience some very significant changes during pregnancy and after giving birth. Stretch marks, dilated blood vessels, and melasma may all develop at this time due to hormonal changes in the body. While some people report dryness, others can see newly developed acne.

Stretch marks and melasma are two skin disorders that you could encounter; they are brought on by pregnancy and will go away in the next months.

However, some disorders, including as dry skin and postpartum acne, may be brought on by the hormonal changes that take place during nursing.

The loss of moisture in the skin is a result of reduced estrogen levels when nursing.

You can also notice changes to your breasts especially. Your breasts could feel warm to the touch, your skin might become more sensitive than normal, and you might be more prone to developing dry skin on or around your breasts. Due to poor latching and broken skin, some parents may get bacterial or fungal infections on the nipple when breastfeeding.

Call your healthcare practitioner if you think you are experiencing this.

Ingredients in skin care to avoid during breastfeeding skincare

You are undoubtedly highly conscious of what you put in your body as a nursing mother. Ensure that everything you consume is secure for your child.

The same is true of the skin care products you apply. Many skin care products include substances that, if absorbed via your skin, might be dangerous to your unborn child. The following substances should be avoided when nursing:

1. Retinol

Nowadays, retinol, a vitamin A ancestor, is quite popular. Numerous individuals vouch for its beauty-enhancing properties and may be seen using it in products ranging from face cream to shampoo. However, what exactly is retinol and why is it generating so much buzz?

Retinol is an antioxidant, so it may help shield your skin from the harm that free radicals can do. Additionally, it increases collagen, giving skin a firmer, plumper appearance. Last but not least, retinol may aid to level out skin tone and lessen the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines. Why are people so obsessed?

Retinol, a popular ingredient, is a major no-no for breastfeeding mothers who want to get rid of those dark spots and revitalize weary skin.

Yet why? Retinol is a vitamin, and we all know how beneficial vitamins can be. Retinol cannot be absorbed into the circulation when administered as a topical vitamin, but it may cause significant skin-to-skin irritation, redness, dryness, and itching in babies.

Because of this, it is best to avoid using retinol to your face and neck in your breastfeeding skincare routine.

2. Oxybenzone

Sunscreens include the chemical oxybenzone to block UV rays. Numerous chemical sunscreens and other skincare products include it.

Even if there aren’t enough research on this component, the majority of them imply that it may be detrimental to your nursing infant. Oxybenzone may pass into your breast milk and harm your infant by causing irritation, rashes, and even hives.

They think it can enter the bloodstream, but it’s yet unclear if it presents a danger to breastfed infants.

Therefore, you may have to wait a bit longer if you’re searching for a firm response. You might try switching to a mineral sunscreen in the meantime rather than one that includes oxybenzone.

3. Hydroquinone

Because it may have such dramatic results on the skin, hydroquinone has been dubbed the “Fountain of Youth.” It is a chemical that prevents the skin’s natural pigment, melanin, from being produced.

Hydroquinone may be used to treat a variety of disorders, including vitiligo and melasma, while it is most often used as a bleaching agent to lighten dark patches on the skin.

However, the popularity of hydroquinone is not without debate for women who are expecting or nursing babies! In this regard, hydroquinone is not an exception to the concerns of many moms over the risks of chemical use during nursing.

This is because hydroquinone has the ability to enter the circulation, travel via breastfeeding, and then have an impact on the unborn child.

Additionally, hydroquinone might raise the chance of developing sun sensitivity, which can be harmful for children who are not used to being in the sun. For these reasons, nursing mothers should avoid using hydroquinone in their breastfeeding skincare routine.

Alternative Safe Ingredients for Breastfeeding Skincare

Fortunately, there are more skincare products available that you may use without risk than those you should stay away from. Naturally, this does not absolve you of the need for vigilance, according to Shields. It is advisable to use products with mild, natural components.

A product is probably safe for nursing if the ingredients are simple to understand. For instance, well-known natural substances like vitamin E, coconut oil, olive oil, and almond oil are often safe and may be quite beneficial for the skin. Before starting anything new, be sure to see your dermatologist and pediatrician.

Glycerin, shea butter, and jojoba oil are additional moisturizing components that may be used by nursing moms without any adverse effects. Regarding less “natural” moisturizers, the majority of commercially available cleansers and moisturizers are acceptable to use while nursing. However, it’s better to stick to mild moisturizers and cleansers since postpartum hormones might make your skin more sensitive and inflamed.

Cleansers, moisturizers, toners, and serums all include chemicals or scents that are not absolutely essential. Products that are mild, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free are safe since they do not aggravate the skin more and are bland in nature.

You may want to think about goods containing vitamin C if you’re seeking for anything with preventive and anti-aging properties. Strong antioxidant vitamin C is safe for use during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It minimizes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, brightens, and protects the skin, among many other anti-aging advantages. Many moisturizers and topical serums include vitamin C.

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