I feel so blessed that living in Wilmington has brought me so much knowledge through the connections I’ve and the people I have met here. So much so that I have been using many of these products since long before I ever got pregnant. Upon moving to this special city, I was connected with two people in particular who both educated me on important topics and inspired me to make some big changes in my lifestyle and products I was using. I first met Jayna Crittenden and Emily Popson through doing some photography for their brands at the time which was so much fun because these ladies are AWESOME! Jayna owns and runs an all-natural and organic cleaning product company called Squeak, and Emily runs an online community/platform/e-commerce site called Pop of Health. Many of the products I have listed below I have gotten through them!
But naturally, when I found out I was pregnant, it only increased my desire to live a “toxin-free,” cleaner lifestyle. I felt so grateful that I felt super educated on this topic right off the bat because of these friends, and that I was already so confident many of the things I was using on a regular basis. It’s so nice to know that I am decreasing my exposure to things like PEG’s, Sulfates, BPA, and many, many other harmful chemicals + hormone disrupters. Making big changes in all of your products from skincare to makeup to cleaning supplies can seem very daunting at first. But it is actually INSANE how awful SO many of the ingredients are in the products we use every single day, especially the things we put directly on our skin! How it is still allowed in our country is mine baffling…but that’s a story for another day. But to keep from being overwhelmed, my recommendation would be to make safer swaps one step at a time, and prioritize the things you use most on a daily basis! I started with cleaning products, then slowly started cleaning up my skincare, makeup, etc. These are things we should ALL be doing, pregnant or not! But I think if there’s any motivation to finally drop any excuses and take the first step toward bettering your health– it’s getting pregnant!!! As my friend Emily has stated, “reducing our exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals is JUST as important as diet and supplementation Without lifestyle changes you may be adding fuel to the very fire you are trying to put out.”
Here is a list of some of my favorite products that I feel great about using when pregnant AND post-pregnancy, especially with a baby living in our household. 🙂
This was something I had put off “swapping” out the longest because I had an entire vanity full of expensive makeup that I already knew and loved. However, this was definitely one of those things that I finally decided to make a change as soon as I found out I was pregnant. And so far I have been LOVING every single product that I have purchased! I’ve swapped out my foundation, concealer, mascara, brow gel, eyeliner, lip gloss, and blush since those are the things I use most often. I’ve also been using their sunscreen and adaptive moisture lotion (HELLO, GAME CHANGERS).
There is a whole list of ingredients your doctor will tell you to avoid in your products while pregnant. But my thought is that if those things can potentially be harmful during pregnancy, doesn’t that mean they’re probably harmful ALL the time? What I love about Beautycounter products is that they are CLEAN and upfront about their ingredients. They carry everything from skincare to haircare to makeup, and even sunscreen + men’s products too!
Beautycounter puts out a “NEVER” list, meaning that they promise that their products will never contain any of the following harmful ingredients:
– Benzalkonium Chloride: A disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.
– Butylatedhydroxy Anisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene: Synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
– Coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients: A byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo.
– Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): A chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers.
– Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA): Surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.
– Formaldehyde: Used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
– Hydroquinone: A skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams.
– Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone: Chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body wash.
– Oxybenzone: Sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer.
– Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others): A class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
– Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others): A class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.
– Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds): PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.
– Retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate): Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). Data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may result in adverse health consequences like lesions and photosensitization. FDA, Norwegian and German health agencies have raised a concern that daily skin application of vitamin A creams may contribute to excessive vitamin A intake for pregnant women and other populations.
– Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
– Synthetic flavor or fragrance: An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.
– Toluene: A volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. Found in: nail polish.
– Triclosan and Triclocarban: Antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.
Unfortunately, I guarantee that if you read the back of most of the products in your makeup bag, they’re bound to include several of these ingredients. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you will never have any of that crap in what you’re putting on your skin every day ever again?
Ritual Prenatal Vitamins
There is so much that I love about these vitamins! First off, they smell and actually taste amazing. Each bottle has a lemon tab inside so it gives the capsules a citrusy flavor, unlike many vitamins that have a yucky, fishy smell and aftertaste to them. This especially comes in handy during that first trimester nausea-filled days and getting anything down is hard, nevermind something that tastes gross! Ritual is a subscription-based vitamin, so it is sent to your door each month! This is so nice because it’s one less thing to have to put on your grocery list…especially cause pregnancy brain, duh. You get free shipping and can cancel any time!
I also love that you can actually SEE what’s inside each capsule and they have their ingredients transparently listed out on their website. They’re vegan, gluten and allergen-free, non-GMO, and have no dyes or synthetic fillers. It’s the best feeling knowing I am giving my body and my baby exactly what it needs every single day! Ritual also has a women’s daily line and one for women 50+ too. Yay for companies made for women and run by women!
Ritual happens to also be a sponsor of our podcast, so you can CLICK HERE to get 10% off your first 3 months of your subscription! Who doesn’t love a good deal?!
Glass/Silicone Drinkware – BKR + Joco Cups
Phew, being pregnant THE THIRST NEVER ENDS! It is SO SO important to stay hydrated throughout the day which is why I am obsessed with my glass BKR bottle. It holds an entire liter, so even though I still have to fill it up frequently throughout the day, it’s way less than I’d need to with a 16oz water bottle! You’re probably wondering what this has to do with being pregnancy “safe,” though, right? Well, drinking from plastic is something we should be avoiding all of the time. The harmful chemicals within plastic can seep through whatever it is we might be drinking from them. This happens especially when it is heated: think drinking hot liquids out of travel plastic coffee cups or to-go cups from Starbucks. This is why I feel much safer drinking from a glass in general. Not only is it decreasing our toxic exposure, but it is also saving that plastic from being dumped into our oceans and/or into our landfills. Which then ends up in the crops we eat, the animals that eat from them, and the fish in our seas. Again, I could go on about this, but if you are interested in learning more about this just go follow Pop of Health on Instagram! Emily also came onto our podcast last year and talked ALL about our exposure to toxins–you can listen to that here (HIGHLY recommend it, this was one of our most downloaded episodes ever!)
I adore these Joco coffee cups especially because they feel nice to drink out of, not to mention they are plain adorable! I have a 12oz one pictured here and a 16oz one that’s currently living in my car so I don’t forget it! Another plus is that when you bring your own cup to most coffee shops, they will actually give you a discount! Again, deals on deals. 😉
You can purchase BKR bottles and Joco Cups at PopofHealth.com and you can also purchase BKR water bottles at my favorite local yoga studio– E.Motion! (I may be a little biased since I teach there, but it’s the best!)
Squeak Cleaning Products
As soon as I started doing some of the photography for this amazing brand, I was HOOKED! These products smell IN-CRE-DI-BLE and work amazingly too! Squeak is so safe that they list their ingredients on the front of the label. All their products are free from fragrance (besides essential oils that make them smell even better than any fragrance ever would), stabilizers, bleach, surfactants, and more. Ever wonder why your cleaning products make you gag and cough? Yeah, that’s never a good sign! It’s probably because the average household cleaner contains 62 toxic chemicals that we’re straight up breathing in when we use them–YUCK. Using Squeak makes me EXCITED to clean because of how fresh and amazing it smells. And I love knowing that I could spray them around food, my dog, and my future baby without having to worry about any potential harm. And even though I’d still like to steer clear of our child getting into our cabinets, I feel so much safer knowing that if he or she ever did they would never come in contact with anything worrisome.
I love using their All Perp cleaner every day on our kitchen countertops, the All Perp with Tea Tree for our bathrooms, the Too Legit Grit for our shower and kitchen sink, their In The Clear for any glass, and floor cleaner for obvious purposes. I have quite literally switched out all of my cleaning products and will never use another brand again! You can shop Jayna’s amazing line directly from her website, but Squeak can also be found on Amazon and lots of local Wilmington places as well!
Snowberry Youth Renewing Serum
Snowberry Skincare reached out to me since they are a company out of New Zealand and are beginning to branch into the United States. I checked out their ingredients before agreeing to try out any product, and I really liked what I saw. There are no nasties and no fragrance in any of their products. This particular product is a face serum that I have been using every day and night, and I have noticed a significant difference in my skin within a few weeks. It feels SO hydrated and smooth, which I am even more impressed by since I have been dealing with dry skin due to pregnancy and the winter weather. Their products include no DEA or MEA ingredients, artificial colors, silicones, volatile alcohols, propylene, butylene glycols, and more.
Peppermint Essential Oil
This is a must for the nausea and headaches you will inevitably endure during pregnancy! It’s tough when you can’t take any ibuprofen, so I have turned to using essential oils and it has honestly worked like a charm. Whenever I got nauseous or have a headache (those are still occurring), I will drop a few drops onto the wall or floor when I take a hot shower. Or, I will dilute a few drops and rub them directly on my temples. Sometimes I mix it with lavender as well for an even more calming effect. I got my Peppermint Oil from my parent’s shop– Savory Spice linked here.