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Mothers, Retinol Might Be Hurting Your Unborn And Breastfeeding Babies, Here’s Why

Mothers, Retinol Might Be Hurting Your Unborn And Breastfeeding Babies, Here’s Why

Retinol is like your neighborhood Alpha Male—he’d go to any degree to protect you, and prove his prowess to the (in this case—skincare) world. Think about it—from guzzling wrinkles, scavenging for lines, and preying on dullness, Retinol does it all—and more. Like every other alpha, though, you might realise that can-do-all Retinol is not all that clean. Retinol’s…toxic (sometimes). I decided to connect with Dr Madhuri Agarwal, Founder And Director, Yavana Aesthetics, to tell me more about Retinol’s toxic traits, and, apparently, it’s a no-no (shakes head vigorously) for pregnant and lactating mothers. Don’t treat this lightly. Here’s what she had to say about the topic.

Even Retinol, The Gold Standard In Anti-Ageing, Has Red Flags

Why is Retinol not recommended during pregnancy?

Retinol must be avoided during pregnancy, and by mothers who are lactating. A couple of studies attest to the fact that it can cause birth-defects and spinal-cord abnormalities in a developing foetus, and it has been linked to concerns such as premature deliveries and miscarriages too.

What about during breastfeeding?

Retinol must be avoided during breastfeeding too—as it can be absorbed by the baby, and cause developmental problems similar to the ones caused during pregnancy. While there are no definitive studies proving or disproving the negative effects of retinol in breastfeeding, it is advisable to avoid it.

How long after pregnancy or breastfeeding can someone start using Retinol?

If you’re not breastfeeding after pregnancy, you can start using Retinol immediately. If you’re breastfeeding, start only after you’ve stopped breastfeeding completely. It is recommended to consult your dermatologist before starting Retinol.

Does this include all retinoids—or just Retinol?

This includes all forms of retinoids. Retinol is a derivative of retinoid—the working principle, mechanism of action, and effects of all types of retinoid are the same, and that’s why all retinoids and derivatives ought to be avoided at this point of time.

Are there any alternatives that do the same job as Retinol?

While retinol is the gold-standard in anti-ageing, and has its own USP, there are other alternatives, with similar benefits, that can used safely during this period of time.

  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has the advantage of added UV protection in pregnancy.
  • Azelaic Acid is a versatile ingredient that can treat acne, blemishes, and dark spots in pregnancy.
  • Glycolic Acid is another agent that can be used in pregnancy as a chemical exfoliant and skin-rejuvenation.
  • Peptides are a naturally-occurring and integral part of our skin, and can be safely used during pregnancy.

And that was our scoop on Retinol.

Featured Image: Unsplash

14 Jun 2022

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