I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
For the first few months of my pregnancy, I was very ill; like Kate Middleton-style hyperemesis gravidarum ill. Basically, that means 24-hour morning sickness (such a misnomer). For six months, I was on my couch watching the clouds go by through the window every day, in between bathroom episodes.
I was understandably very stressed out at the time. At a first trimester office visit with my obstetrician, I was told that I had to just deal with my constant vomiting until the second trimester (it lasted way longer than that). I made it home from the appointment just in time to aim right for the toilet.
After that bout of “morning” sickness ended, I leaned over and… ALL OF MY SKINCARE PRODUCTS ARE OPEN, FACE DOWN IN THE SINK!
My paraben-phobic husband had dumped every one of my precious, well-thought-out beauty purchases, and they were dripping down the drain like last night’s leftovers. Even my La Mer! ($300 a jar, dude!)
I called my loving, caring, lucky-to-still-be-alive spouse on the phone with my Regan MacNeil voice:
“Why are my products draining in our sink? WHY?!”
He told me to calm down and not stress out the baby. But he knew he made a HUGE mistake. This was years and hundreds of dollars worth of research and cosmetics, literally down the drain. HOW COULD HE?
After I calmed down, he sent me information about parabens, phthalates and Retin-A.
I’m a few years removed from this incident, and I can now calmly say that he had a valid point--he just had a crappy way of making it. That whole acting-without-communicating-first thing we learned in our Pre-Cana classes hadn’t sunk in, I guess.
My beloved Retin-A, the fantastic anti-aging vitamin A derivative, hasn’t been proven safe while pregnant.
And it’s important to know, if you don't already, that there are preservatives and emulsifiers such as parabens and phthalates that some believe to be carcinogenic and harmful to an unborn child, and for that matter, to us as well.
This is all, of course, inconclusive. But they banned these substances in Scandinavia, and there’s just something about those Viking descendants that make me feel safe in their hands. From education reform to GMOs to domestic fiscal policy, they seem to on the cutting edge. I’m sold!
And I figure, we go to such great lengths to omit certain cheeses, tuna, shellfish, caffeine and alcohol when pregnant out of sheer anxiety, we might as well approach beauty products with similar caution.
So I came to the conclusion that it’s reasonable to suck it up and play it extra-safe for nine months of my life. And, you know what? I found some great products that I still use now.
For my face, I used Live-Live Bee Yummy Skin Food. It sinks right in, isn’t greasy, and keeps my skin soft and moisturized the whole day. They use the same ingredients that the ancient Egyptians used to preserve mummies, like propolis and bee pollen. And its royal jelly is acts as a natural collagen enhancer.
For my body, I went with the same brand's coconut oil. I put it on after a shower and let it seep into my skin and enjoy the 1980s tanning oil smell. And you can cook with it too! Like I’ve tried…
A face peel I was obsessed with while pregnant and now is REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask (it was called Glycolactic Skin Renewal Mask when I was pregnant). When used once a week, it reduces fine lines and pore size, and it makes your skin feel so soft that you won’t be able to tell the difference between your cheek and your baby’s butt.
As for my makeup kit, thankfully, this was not included in the sink dumping. (I’d be an incarcerated widow.) Instead of buying all new products, I just used what I already had sparingly. And to be honest, I was so sick I was lucky to put a layer of gloss on my lips.
So, if you also have an ingredient-paranoid significant other, listen to the concerns and make a decision for yourself.
Or print this out for them and highlight the following: INSTEAD OF DUMPING MY BEAUTY PRODUCTS DOWN THE DRAIN, PUT THEM IN THE FRIDGE.