Beauty And The Bump
It’s not that I’m particularly vain – three years of travel has beaten most of that out of me – it’s more that the career in beauty editing had armed me with enough information to know that for the next nine months (or more, if I breastfed… which I still am), I would be throwing out any romantic (read: “delusional”) ideas I might have about looking like I’m in my 20s. That’s because, basically anything that might help me in that department (Botox, retinal) are big, fat no-nos on the pregnancy front. As Dr. Melissa Doft, double-board certified plastic surgeon can attest, “two ingredients which pregnant women should avoid are retinals (used for anti-aging and acne) and hydroquinolone (a skin lightener). There have been four cases in the published literature in which topical retinal use lead to fetal retinoid syndrome (mental and physical birth defects). Hydroquinolone is not recommended because it has a very high absorbency rate, although it has not been linked to congenital malformations, it has not been well studied.” And that, is exactly the problem: there simply haven’t been enough studies on enough ingredients to know what exactly is harmful and what isn’t, because understandably, no one is willing to play guinea pig with a pregnant woman. “Most things we really do not know if they are safe; we just try to avoid what is not absolutely necessary,” says Dr. Doft.