Frequently Asked Questions

Aren’t all products that say “natural” ok for pregnant women to use?  

Not only are some all natural products not recommended for pregnant or nursing women due to contraindications during pregnancy, but the term “natural” is also being frequently misused! It is very common for brands to only list their natural ingredients but to completely omit the dangerous chemicals also found in their products. Unfortunately, this is incredibly misleading to consumers; you believe you’re using something that is safe for you and your baby but in reality you’re not.

Pretty Mommies is different. We hold ourselves to a higher standard and ONLY used natural ingredients, right down to the emulsifiers (which hold the ingredients together) and surfactants (which help with spreadability). We are also completely transparent with our ingredient list.  Each ingredient — along with the skin care benefit and, in most cases, dietary benefit — is listed on our website, so you know exactly what you are putting on your skin.

Many skin care lines are changing their formulations to be paraben free by using a popular inexpensive preservative – Phenoxyethanol.  Phenoxyethanol appears to be acceptable to other cosmetic companies and is also used by other maternity lines. Why did Pretty Mommies decide not to use it?  

Simple. Back in 2008, the FDA gave this warning against Phenoxyethanol:

“Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It can also depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea.”

Most importantly, they named a pregnancy cream in the warning.  Knowing this information and deciding to use this ingredient anyway would go against our mission and everything we are trying to promote – Safe Maternity Skin Care.  Remember, the FDA does not regulate cosmetics and they also continue to allow Phenoxyethanol in products; so the fact they made this warning was a very big deal to us.

Do natural products work as well as their chemical counterparts?  

Natural skin care products used to be perceived as lines that smell good and feel good – but show no measurable results.  Today we know this is completely untrue. There are many key and active topical, natural ingredients that have amazing skin care benefits. Pretty Mommies put in years of research finding the perfect synergistic blend of active ingredients. We worked with top cosmetic chemists to ensure not only safe but also highly effective products. We initially launched as a safe replacement skin care system for expecting women, sold and recommended by physicians, so our products had to work. (For more information about the science behind Pretty Mommies, please click here.)

I’m not digesting anything; why is it important to have natural ingredients just for my skin?

Here’s a great analogy about synthetic vs. natural that should resonate with you:

We all know that a diet of whole natural foods provides rich vitamins and nutrients and results in amazing health benefits. But a diet loaded with processed food makes us lethargic, weak and generally sick. A healthy diet not only affects your physical well-being but you also see benefits in your hair, nails and skin. So let’s apply the same logic to topical products. Wouldn’t using natural nutrients and vitamins in our skin care products have the same impact and results topically as it would digestively? And wouldn’t that mean skin care products that contain synthetic fillers also have similar results as processed food? Of course. So if you refuse to eat processed food, you probably want to treat your skin with the same care as you treat your digestive system.

It’s only going on my skin; how can that be dangerous to me and my baby?  

Skin is our largest organ and what we apply to it is absorbed into our bloodstream – and that means it gets to your baby, too. In fact, that quick absorption is why more and more drugs are being dispensed topically, from hormones to pain management. It’s also why before Pretty Mommies was an option, doctors were not recommending skin care products to their pregnant patients.

Many cosmetic companies claim that the toxins in their ingredients are way below harmful levels. So aren’t they safe to use?

That statement may be true, but nobody goes on to explain the bioaccumulative effects of toxic ingredients. Bioaccumulation is the accumulation of a substance, such as a toxic chemical, in various tissues of a living organism. So these ingredients store in your body and reach toxic levels over time. The first 100 times you use that product you are probably fine, but what happens after 200 applications, 300, and so on?

More and more, toxins are being discovered in many common synthetic cosmetic ingredients. That’s why consumers are demanding natural products. In fact, chemical ingredients that have long been used to treat certain skin conditions and considered beneficial are now showing long-term effects of damage to the skin. A perfect example of this is hydroquinone. Hydroquinone can be found in many prescription skin care lines and it can be effective, at first, at lightening the hyperpigmentation that occurs as a result of sun damage and hormones. (Of course, this is completely off limits during pregnancy due to developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ toxicity, neurotoxicity and many other potential dangers.) But hydroquinone was never indicated for long-term use because extensive exposure to this chemical can cause a condition called Ochronosis. When Ochronosis occurs the skin becomes permanently darker in color and thicker than normal. Furthermore, since hydroquinone causes frequent irritation and inflammation to the skin, it can accelerate the aging process.

What is the most dangerous topical ingredient that pregnant women are being exposed to?  

Unfortunately, there are many harmful ingredients found in products that expecting women use daily, but we made sure to avoid them:  formaldehyde, phthalates, dimethicones, parabens, etc. Many consumers have heard about the dangers associated with these common cosmetic ingredients, however, based on our research, we feel Oxybenzone might be the most alarming — and not many people know about it. Oxybenzone, or a derivative of it, is found in almost all mainstream sunscreens today. Organizations like the Environmental Working Group have been on a long mission to change the regulations and use of this ingredient. We find it particularly alarming to expecting women because it is a synthetic estrogen and hormone disruptor.When you’re pregnant you do not want to use anything that causes estrogenic effects because it is dangerous to the fetus. In addition, a recent study came out from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center stating that women who had high levels of estrogen during pregnancy increased the chance of their daughter developing breast cancer.

Bottom line, Pretty Mommies is a safe and highly effective skin care line designed specifically for pregnant and nursing women.  Our simple three step system covers all the bases of a complete and comprehensive skin care regimen.