What to avoid and what to use when you are pregnant? Essential oils can be very effective for skin care because they are strong antioxidants and promote healing and tissue regeneration (anti-aging). They are one of nature’s best anti-inflammatories and are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal as well. While most essential oils commonly used in natural skin care products are safe for pregnancy, some are not recommended.
As a general guide, avoid essential oils that are referred to in herbology and Chinese medicine as “moving”oils. These oils may stimulate circulation and give you more energy but they are counter-indicated for pregnancy. Moving oils are used during labor to promote childbirth or after childbirth to help the over stretched tissues tighten and bounce back.
Reading the ingredients before selecting a skin care product is highly recommended. Here are some guidelines for what to avoid and what to look for while you are pregnant:
1) Avoid “moving”and warming SPICE oils often found in skin care such as Rosemary, Coriander and Basil.
2) Oils used for oily skin or acne like – Eucalyptus or Cedarwood – are also too “moving” and should be avoided during pregnancy. Instead, look for products that use oils from citrus fruits (orange, mandarin orange, bergamot) or Petitgrain. Citrus oils are highly recommended during pregnancy for their immediate and unique affect on mood—uplifting without stimulating. Note: avoid citrus oils when sunbathing as they increase your sensitivity to the suns rays.
3) Hormonal balancing oils that are often found in skin care are not recommended during pregnancy. Choose products with geranium and avoid those with clary sage, marjoram, myrrh, fennel and anise. However, save clary sage for the time of delivery or to promote lactation.
4) Above all, the oils that are best suited for skin care during pregnancy are the cooling, calming oils that are about growth, beauty and transformation while promoting happiness, relaxation, sleep, and a calm state of mind. Those are the attributes of essential oils that come from flowers petals such as rose, neroli, lavender, Roman chamomile and Ylang Ylang. Note: Products that use Jasmine, one of nature’s best anti-depressants, are better used during childbirth. For body oil, the uplifting effect of Palmarosa and Patchouli and the relaxing effect of Sandalwood are recommended.
5) Low percentage of essential oils in the formulation (2% or less) is also important. Avoid overpowering scents. Be careful to choose products without synthetic fragrance (if you see “fragrance”in the list of ingredients you are getting a synthetic). You may see a product that lists essential oils that also includes synthetic fragrance. Always select products made with organic and wild-crafted ingredients whenever possible.
6) And what is recommended during pregnancy will also be suitable while caring for the newborn. Note: Rose is especially good for bonding between mother and child.
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