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Belli's Ingredient Safety Screening Process

In 2002, Belli Belli products were formulated with a unique safety screening process to avoid ingredients with known links to birth defects or harmful effects while breastfeeding. The founders conducted a comprehensive search of the published medical literature to try and see if an ingredient had known links to a birth defect or other harmful effect during pregnancy or while nursing.

A list of the databases and reference books used include:

MEDLINE is the premiere biomedical database produced by the National Library of Medicine and contains over 16 million articles from 5000 international biomedical journals, from 1950 to the present.

TOXLINE is a comprehensive database produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and contains more than two million records that cover adverse drug reactions, carcinogenesis, drug evaluation, mutagenesis, pollution, pesticides, herbicides, radiation, teratogenesis, and all other aspects of toxicology from pre-1950 to the present.

DART (Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology) is a bibliographic database on the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network, which covers teratology and other aspects of developmental and reproductive toxicology and contains over 100,000 published references.

TERIS (Teratogen Information System) is a database of chemical agent summaries based on a thorough review of published clinical and experimental literature. Each summary includes a risk assessment derived by consensus of an Advisory Board comprising nationally-recognized authorities in clinical teratology.

LACTMED, part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET), is a database of drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant.

REPROTOX is an information system developed by the Reproductive Toxicology Center which contains summaries on the effects of medications, chemicals, infections, and physical agents on pregnancy, reproduction, and development.

Catalog of Teratogenic Agents- Eleventh Edition (Shepard, 2004) is a comprehensive reference work that presents information on teratogenic agents, emphasizing human data and covering pharmaceuticals, chemicals, environmental pollutants, food additives, household products, and viruses. Also included are overviews of recent literature on clinical and experimental teratology, including important Japanese literature not easily available to English-language researchers.

Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation: A Reference Guide to Fetal and Neonatal Risks- Eighth Edition (Briggs et al., 2008) provides practical, reliable information on more than 1,000 drugs that may be used by pregnant and lactating women. The recommendations help readers interpret animal and human pregnancy data to assess potential human risk when there are human data or the human data are limited or not available.

Chemically Induced Birth Defects- Third Edition (Schardein, 2000) addresses over 4100 drugs and chemicals in current use that cause malformations and congenital anomalies in the human fetus-- comprehensively reviewing experimental studies in animals and clinical data on human development, primarily in the organogenesis period.

After analysis of all of the results and studies, the founders tried to exclude any ingredients (contained within the published studies) that were showing evidence of known harmful effects.

If a cosmetic ingredient is red-flagged and excluded that does not mean that it has been proven harmful to humans through normal topical use. However, given the importance of maintaining a healthy environment for fetal development, they chose to try and avoid ingredients with known links to harmful effects during pregnancy and try to replace them with better choices instead.

To minimize exposure risks during pregnancy, physicians around the world are now recommending carefully screened skin care products to patients who are expecting or actively trying to conceive. Belli products have been formulated to offer greater peace of mind.  OBYNs and Dermatologists continue to recommend our products with confidence, knowing they are able to provide luxurious and effective skincare solutions to their patients.


As a result of the unique screening process, here are just a few of the red-flagged ingredients have been excluded from our pregnancy products:

Salicylic acid is linked to higher rates of fetal malformation and fetal death in animal studies. (References 1,2)

Oxybenzone, a chemical sunscreen ingredient, is linked to reduced numbers of live births in animal studies. (Reference 3) It also may have harmful estrogenic effects. (Reference 4)

Glycolic acid, a chemical exfoliant commonly found in facial peels, is linked in animal studies to increased rates of vertebral and rib malformations, decreased fetal weight, and other skeletal malformations. (References 5-7)

Benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient in many over-the-counter acne remedies, is linked to decreased birth weight and decreased testicular weight in animal studies. (Reference 8)

Aloe vera, an organic botanical ingredient known for its wound healing and anti-irritant effects, is linked to increased frequencies of embryonic death and skeletal anomalies in animal studies. (Reference 9)

Rosemary, an organic herbal ingredient known for its anti-oxidant effect, is linked to increased fetal death in animal studies. (Reference 10)