Is it safe to use self-tanning lotions during pregnancy?
Yes. The ingredients in self-tanning lotions, creams, and foams are harmless.
Stay away from spray tans. If inhaled, the fumes could enter your bloodstream and affect your developing baby.
Avoid tanning beds. They increase your risk of melanoma, which can spread to the placenta and affect your baby.
Is it safe to get a manicure or pedicure while I'm pregnant?
Yes. Go to a salon that follows recommended practices for hygiene. Ask that your cuticles – which protect the nail bed from bacteria and fungus – not be cut or pushed back.
There's no evidence that the brief exposure to chemicals and fumes in the salon are harmful to your baby. But the smells may make some moms-to-be nauseous.
Is it safe to have electrolysis during pregnancy?
Yes, if you stick with thermolysis. This type of electrolysis doesn't involve an electric current, so it's the preferred process during pregnancy.
In the third trimester, avoid electrolysis (your skin will feel extra tender).
Is it safe to get a bikini wax when I'm pregnant?
Yes, it's safe.
But because you have more blood flowing to your skin now – especially in your pubic area – you'll probably be more sensitive to anything that tugs or pulls, so that bikini wax is likely to be more painful than usual. You're also more likely to have some broken blood vessels (harmless but visible) after the waxing.
There are no studies to suggest that using creams or depilatories for hair removal is unsafe, either, but the active ingredients have not been well studied. If you decide to use these products, I recommend doing so in a well-ventilated area.
Is it safe to get a facial when I'm pregnant?
Yes, a standard facial should be fine.
You don't want to do anything involving extensive heat that your body can't get rid of – like a body wrap – because that can be dangerous to your baby. (Raising your internal core temperature too high in the first trimester can cause birth defects.) But steaming your face or wrapping just your face in a hot towel is okay.
There are some facial treatments and topical facial products that I'd suggest you avoid while you're pregnant, to be on the safe side. Chemical peels and topical retinoids might be better left for after your baby arrives, for example.
Other safety tips for facials:
Mention that you're pregnant when making your appointment and ask whether the aesthetician has experience doing facials on pregnant women.
When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to let the person doing your facial know you're pregnant so that modifications can be made, if necessary.
If you have any questions about the safety of a treatment, ask your doctor.
Is it safe to bleach my teeth during pregnancy?
We don't have any evidence that bleaching or whitening your teeth during pregnancy poses any risks to you or your baby.
However, since there isn't enough data to tell us for sure whether it's safe, healthcare providers recommend that you wait until after pregnancy and breastfeeding to have your teeth bleached by the dentist or to use over-the-counter teeth bleaching or whitening products.
The carbamide peroxide in these products reacts with water to become hydrogen peroxide. This oxidation process can be harmful to tissues and cells, especially during pregnancy when your gums are more sensitive than usual. We don't know whether this is a risk to you or your baby, so it's best to hold off on using these products.
It's fine to use whitening toothpastes during pregnancy. These products contain a much lower level of bleaching agent and are not thought to be any risk during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. You can also avoid staining your teeth by not drinking coffee, tea, and dark fruit juices such as grape juice.