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Pregnancy and Skin Care – Safety Considerations


During pregnancy there are safety considerations worth heeding in order to protect the health and stability of the fetus.  Where the use of the essential oils of plants is concerned, there has been some confusion and some misleading information. 

The beauty of working with plants is that when chosen properly specific plants have an extensive range of benefits.  it is as likely for one plant to assist dry skin as it is to assist oily skin to find its proper balance while at the same time be beneficial for normal skin.   As unusual as this may seem, this is just one of the magical secrets of the world of plants. 

Additionally, a plant that is known for its sebum balancing properties may also specialize in toning, softening or improving the circulation of the skin.  When working with plants one steps into a rich world of natural phenomena.  Tuning in to how plants work synergistically is both a valuable art and a science.

There are many diverse species of plants which support of our health.  We use them in a variety of ways – from the vegetables that we eat to the oils that use in cooking and in skin care products. Each plant has specific and diverse properties. Used appropriately plants are safe and exceptionally beneficial to our health.

For a selection of safe products to use during pregnancy view Garden of Eve's Expectantly Lovely product line of face care, hand and body care - for both mother and baby at: Safe Pregnancy Skin Care

Pre- pregnancy and pregnancy is a special time to honor the health of a new life.  Proper selection and use of herbs and flowers can enhance the health and strength of mother and fetus. Some plants’ functions are considered to be contrary to the optimal support of life during this precious time. Herbal plants are specialized foods. It is important to respect the specific functions of each herb.

Some herbs are emmenagogues. Their specialized functions are to promote and regulate menstruation and to care for imbalances of the female reproductive system.  There is confusion that  all emmenagogues  bring on menstruation and/or are abortafacients.  Actually, emmenagogues are a class of herbs that function to balance the female reproductive system in a variety of ways. This can be easing pain and cramps during menses, regulating lack of menses, too frequent menses and excessive mucous during menses. Only some emmenagogue herbs are contraindicated during pregnancy.  An emmenagogue herb that serves to relax and ease cramps may not necessarily be cautioned for use during pregnancy.  It may not prevent conception, cause an abortion or cause other harm.

There are also herbs that are abortifacients.  Note that according to world renowned aromatherapy expert Salvatore Battaglia there is no clear evidence that essential oils are abortifacient.  Rather, these are essential oils that are toxic and are not likely to be recommended for use.  It is important to understand that emmenagogue herbs are not necessarily abortifacient.  The properties of the essential oil of an herb may differ from the properties the whole herb as some constituents are separated during distillation.

Essential oils should be used with the understanding that they are concentrated and readily absorbed. Because a fetus is more delicate than a grown person, skin care formulations for use during pregnancy should be less concentrated than for usual use.

Unfortunately the internet is a “fair- ground” for misinformation based on inconclusive studies and unsubstantiated data.  In this way the internet is a two-edged sword. Misconstruing the functions of some essential oils of herbs has caused confusion among people attempting to be responsible about self educating.  Categorizing all emmenagogue herbs as contraindicated during pregnancy is an example of such inaccuracy.

Most consumers cannot put the time toward following references of statements to check their validity. More so most internet articles do not cite references or the references are difficult to track. As a consumer it is important to look for articles with references that can be tracked. Qualify whether you consider the source to be trustworthy.

Essential oils safe for use during pregnancy:

Bergamot, Virginia Cedar, Roman and Moroccan Chamomile, Elemi, Fir, Helichrysum, Lavender Angustifolia, Neroli, Sweet Myrrh – Oppapanax, Patchouli, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Spruce, Ylang Ylang.

NOTE: Article: Setting the Record Straight Lavender is Not Estrogengenic It is safe for use during Pregnancy.

All Garden of Eve Expectantly Lovely Line products are recommended by Organic Baby University and Baby Planner University.
And score (0-1) the lowest possible hazard risk on the campaign for safe cosmetics' skin deep database.

Facial Cleansing Nectar ; Facial Cleanse or Mask ; Eve's Mud Party

Face Cream:
Expectantly Lovely Face Cream;  Expectantly Lovely Face Cream -no scent

Facial Toner:
Expectantly Lovely Facial Toner

Eye Cream:
Replenish Eye Cream-no scent

Light & Lovely Lavender ; Light & Lovely- no scent
Outdoor FUN Hand & Body Cream
Vist out Kits and Gifts Page for Sampler Kits and Larger Kits


Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy:

Ajowan, Allspice, Anise, Angelica, Balsam Peru, Basil, Bay Laurel, Benzoin, Bitter Almond, Cajeput, Camphor, Cassia, Cedar Atlas,  Carrot seed, Celery seed, Blue Chamomile (German), Cinnamon Bark & Leaf, Cistus, Clary Sage (OK during labor), Clove, Comphrey, Corn Mint, Cumin, Cypress, Dill, Douglas Fir, Eucalyptus, Lemon Eucalyptus, Fennel, Galbanum, Grapefruit, Hyssop,  Jasmine Grandiflora (OK during labor), Juniper, Labdanum, Spike Lavender, Lavender Latifolia, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Marjoram, melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh gum, Nutmeg, Oak Mosss, Oregano, Parsley seed, Penny Royal, Peppermint (and during breast feeding) , Rue, Sassafras, Savin, Scotch Pine, Rose Damascena, Bulgarian Rose, Chinese Rosa Rugosa, Rosemary, Sage, Winter Savory, Spikenard, St. John’s Wort, Tangerine, Tansy, Tarragon, Thuja, Thyme, Valerian, Wintergreen, Wormwood, Yarrow – Blue & Green.
There are varying opinions on the safety of certain plants. Those plants I have listed in the section of plants that are cautioned.  As a point of information, I cannot leave this subject without mention that these are the essential oils that most Aromatherapy “authors” (i.e. as opposed to expert aromatherapy practitioners) caution for use during pregnancy.  However, it is the belief of world renowned aromatherapy expert Martin Watt, that “NO essential oils that are used externally are proven as harmful to a developing foetus.”   Having said that, realize that every person’s situation is different. Ultimately we all make our choices based on information and intuition. 

ALSO - Learn about the importance of using only Whole Form ingredients vs. isolated ingredients (and synthetic ingredients) in this article: What is a Truly Natural Product?

Salvatore Battaglia-The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, Brisbane, Australia 2003,                                                     
International Center for Holistic Aromatherapy pp 442-445,103,105.                                                                                                
Simon Mills and Kerry Bone -The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety, Churchill Livingstone 2004, pp 89-103,309,493.

Author, Eve Stahl, is a Health Consultant, Herbalist and Skin Care expert. She specializes in using nature’s plants to enhance the health of people and to protect the health of our planet. To achieve this purpose she has created Garden of Eve Skin Care products for sensitive skin and all skin types. You can visit her company at: www.gardenofeveskincare.com Prospective Affiliates visit: www.gardenofeveskincare.com

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