Can your beauty regime harm your fertility?

You’ve probably heard an endless list of things that can harm your fertility – from keeping your mobile in your pocket to cycling – but there’s some more we need to add to the list.

For one, the multitasking, age-defying, skincare revolution: retinol. 

Retinol – for all its qualities – is to be avoided like the plague if you're trying to get pregnant and while most fertility warnings are more cautious, this one is a steadfast no-no. 

Why is retinol bad?

Because retinol comes from vitamin A. This particular vitamin is to be avoided if you’re trying to or already are pregnant as it can be very harmful to a growing baby. Systemic retinoids (ingested through your mouth) are known to cause birth defects and experts recommend not taking supplements or eating foods which contain high levels of vitamin A as they can cause birth defects. 

“Okay, hold up. There’s a big difference between eating something and putting it on your face.”

You’re absolutely right. However, most experts agree that the risks retinol poses to foetal development are so great that it’s better to avoid using it, even on your skin. 

How do I keep my skin nice?

Vitamin C can do many of the same things retinol can without any harm to foetal development

  • boosts collagen production
  • fights hyperpigmentation
  • protects against environmental skin damage
  • treats and prevents skin ageing women

Hyaluronic acid is a great moisturising product that also is considered safe to use during pregnancy. 

  • reduces signs of ageing
  • hydrates skin 

AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid) is safe to use during pregnancy up to a concentration of 10% with a pH of more than 3.5

  • reduces hyperpigmentation
  • provides gentle chemical exfoliation
  • improves texture

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