Is it true you can't use alpha-hydrox or retinal while pregnant?

  1. I'm not pregnant - but I use Alpha Hydrox creme on my face every day. It has shaved years off and I love it. I read recently that while your pregnant you can't use these face creams and it freaked me out (even though I'm not pregnant yet). Is this true?

  2. This isn't exactly an answer to your question, but I do know that Accutane is teratogenic (causes birth defects), and the ingredient in Accutane is isotretinoin. So I don't think I would use any product that includes tretinoin or a related ingredient while pregnant.
  3. As Litigatrix said, high doses of Vitamin A and its derivatives (e.g. anything with "tretinoin") can be teratogenic.

    I don't think alpha hydroxy acids are a problem, but you could ask your GYN. I'm not up on cosmeceuticals as much as pharmaceuticals, unfortunately. :supacool:
  4. Yep - it's true - on my list of pregnancy "donts" it lists any thing with alpha hydroxy acid, salicitic acid, or retinol. You can use benzoyl peroxide though if it's like 2% or less I think. Ask your OB, as not all Drs will say the same "dont's"
  5. ^^DARN! I'll be screwed then - no other creme works on my skin.
  6. The retinols are a no-no, that's definite.

    For the alpha-hydroxy acids, see what your doctor says, since as needanotherbag says, different docs have different opinions. The sources I've seen say that they are considered safe in pregnancy; I have actually not seen anything that says they aren't (and have looked a few times, including for about a half an hour just now). Beta-hydroxy acids, which include salicylic acid, are not supposed to be used. General consensus is also that something that stays on your face for a limited time, like a cleanser, can be OK, whereas an overnight cream or something might not be.

    Babycenter has good info on what's safe to use in pregnancy:
  7. I was just told not to use any of those including salycilic acids. However, my Best friend's doctor told her that SAs are fine. That being said, I have eliminated it for the most part, but if I get a bad zit, I will spot treat with Clinique SA blemish treatment. So like it was mentioned above, check with your doctor, but they all say different things.
  8. *sigh* I've stopped using any acne cream... it's neat! lol actually it's not that bad, and totally worth it, you just have to get over the initial horror! :p
  9. I mentioned this in another thread, but what helped my skin more than anything else was the sun. I did a three-week Mediterranean vacation weeks 10-12 and it totally cleared my skin up right when it was at its worst. It got a little bit broken out again about a month later, but that didn't last long and wasn't nearly as bad. You might want to check on some of the phototherapy lights for acne; has one that I was looking at in case mine got bad again.
  10. Check with your OB-GYN first. Or your OB-GYN Coordinator. AHAs and Salicyclic Acid are no-go's for pretty much the whole pregnancy from what I've been told. Which Pro Activ (and that's just because they haven't done any studies of its effect on pregnant women). Clinique products work for me just well as the Neutrogena Pore Refining products. Caveat: Your skin just ain't the same when you're pregnant.
  11. True.... best to avoid!!
  12. Are you sure it's AHAs and not BHAs (which is what salicylic is)? I've seen an awful lot of stuff that says glycolic acid, for example, is considered safe for pregnant women, and haven't been able to find much that mentions AHAs being a concern. Could you point me to some of the sources you've found that say this? Seriously, I'm not trying to challenge you -- totally willing to believe you've seen it. I'm just a research-a-holic and have looked this up repeatedly and have just not seen anything about AHAs being an issue, so I'm wondering how I missed it. Would love to see where it's cited. Thanks a ton!!
  13. Here are three references that OK AHAs, which is why I'm confused. Again, it's really up to your own doc, but there's clearly no blanket warning against them.
    You used to count on the cold weather to give you a break from breakouts, but thanks to your hormones, this winter could be unseasonably oily. And with warm weather ahead, your skin could be in for its slickest season yet.
    simple solution: While many doctors recommend that you stay away from some of the traditional anti-acne treatments (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid), all experts insist that you stay away from vitamin A derivatives (Retin A, Renova, Accutane, Retinols), as this group of ingredients has been linked to birth defects. But alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), particularly glycolic acids, get the green light from all but the most conservative docs. “For women whose skin gets greasier during pregnancy — and it’s a flip of the coin which way a woman will go — I find glycolic acids to be a lifesaver,” says David E. Bank, a Mount Kisco, N.Y., dermatologist. Incorporate these naturally derived, exfoliating skin clearers into your daily routine by choosing an AHA-based wash or toner. Pregnancy Skin Care: Acne and Oil
    If your skin is oily and/or acne prone, you'll probably experience your worst breakouts during the first trimester of pregnancy. The safest way to treat these breakouts is with a product that contains glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, topical erythromycin (prescription only), or witch hazel.
    Generally, most dermatologists don't recommend the use of topical retinoids (such as Retin-A or Differin) or salicylic acid — check product labels for ingredients. While these ingredients haven't been linked with birth defects, when there's no conclusive evidence one way or the other, it's best to err on the side of caution. - see the note at the end
    Salicylic acid
    This mild acid is used to treat certain skin disorders, including acne, and you can find it in a number of skin products, such as cleansers and toners. It can penetrate facial oils to get deep into pores and clean out dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is in the aspirin family, so it can also help reduce inflammation or redness. BHA, or beta hydroxy acid, is a form of salicylic acid and is used in some topical exfoliants to reverse signs of aging.

    But salicylic acid is another no-no for pregnant women. High doses of the acid in its oral form have been shown in studies to cause birth defects and various pregnancy complications.

    Again, doctors are being cautious by recommending that pregnant women avoid the topical use of salicylic acid. Small amounts applied to the skin — such as a salicylic acid-containing toner used once or twice a day — are considered safe, says Johnson.

    But the concern is stronger about face and body peels containing salicylic acid. "This kind of 'soaking' in the ingredient is similar to taking one or more aspirin when pregnant," she explains.

    "More product used equals more absorption into the bloodstream," adds Baumann. Always check with your doctor before having a peel treatment. Better yet, she advises, if you must have a peel, have it done professionally at your dermatologist's office. A dermatologist will know how to do it safely during pregnancy.

    On the label:
    Salicylic acid
    Beta hydroxy acid

    Note: Alpha hydroxy acids, sometimes listed as AHAs, glycolic acid, or lactic acid, are safe.
  14. I'm going with the checklist given to me by my OB/GYN. From what I recall, her take on it was that some studies had said AHAs were fine, others were inconclusive, and others had said they weren't. She said that as a rule her practice didn't recommend using them at all, just because of all the uncertainty. I believe it's really a matter of individual reactions to these products, and since there's enough of a skew in findings most doctors just want to err on the safe side.
  15. That's a good point. I was thinking about what I've done myself, and in my view, while these things may be safe, I opted to minimize exposure during pregnancy as much as I could, balancing that with what my skin is doing, which I think is a good idea for everyone.

    I use an AHA cleanser, which is only on my face for a minute or so, about once a week, and the rest of the time use one that doesn't have AHAs. No salicylic, and no creams that stay on the skin that contain AHAs or BHAs. On occasion, I'll use an enyzme mask for a couple of minutes if things are dire, but overall I've definitely shifted from any sort of everyday anti-aging/anti-blemish routine.