It is a common assumption that natural or organic ingredients are the safer choice during pregnancy, but a review of the medical literature shows that this is not always the case.
Many natural, organically grown substances have been proven in research studies to actually be harmful during pregnancy (see below). Alcohol and nicotine are probably the two most well-known offenders, but there are natural skin care ingredients that should be avoided as well.
A short list of ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy and while breastfeeding includes:
Vitamin A and Retinol (from milk, eggs, and dark green vegetables) in excess amounts are strongly linked to birth defects such as hydrocephaly (enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain); microcephaly (small head); mental retardation; ear and eye abnormalities, cleft lip and palate, and other facial abnormalities and heart defects. Women who took high amounts of Vitamin A also had a higher risk of miscarriage. (references 1-10)
Aloe Vera (from the aloe vera plant) is linked to increased frequency of embryonic death and birth defects. (references 11)
Caffeine (from the coffee bean, cocoa bean, guarana berry, and kola nut) is linked to miscarriages, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and heartbeat abnormalities. (references 12-28)
Salicylic acid (from herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables) is linked to higher rates of fetal malformation and fetal death in animal studies. (references 29-30)
The FDA states their opinion on natural ingredients in the article "Clearing up Cosmetics Confusion" (1998, revised 2000):
"There is no basis in fact or scientific legitimacy to the notion that products containing natural ingredients are good for the skin."
We know that some skincare ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream in small amounts, where they can pass into baby’s circulation. That is why it is important to carefully review the ingredients contained in your skincare products.
The safest skincare ingredients for expectant mothers are those that have been allergy tested and carefully screened through the published medical literature, by looking for any links to harmful effects for developing babies.
The ingredients in Belli products are picky for a purpose. They have been allergy tested and were carefully screened by the founders to try and ensure higher safety standards.
Belli set the new standard for prenatal safety in the cosmetic industry by being the first company in the world to perform safety screening on the ingredients through the MEDLINE, TOXLINE, DART, and TERIS national medical databases. The founders reviewed the results and chose some of the very best ingredients for use in our products.
Our mission at Belli is to offer effective skincare solutions with carefully chosen ingredients to deliver peace of mind.