Are cosmetics safe in pregnancy?

  • Li H & al.
  • Sci Rep
  • 29 May 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Heavy use of cosmetics during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for small for gestational age (SGA) in neonates.

Why this matters

  • 60%-80% of pregnant women use cosmetics, including facial creams and cleansers, mascara, foundation, eye shadow, and eyeliner.
  • Cosmetics often have chemicals that are not required to be listed in the ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, and benzophenone.
  • Registry-based studies show an association between cosmetics and low birth weight and infertility.

Key results

  • There was no difference between risks for preterm labor, low birth weight, or macrosomia between cosmetic users and nonusers.
  • Cosmetic users had a 23% increased risk for SGA: aOR, 1.23 (95% CI, 1.04-1.44).
  • A positive dose response was found for cosmetic use and SGA.

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study.
  • Pregnant women were recruited from several hospitals and prenatal centers in China between 2016 and 2017.
  • Cohort was divided into cosmetic users (n=5058) and nonusers (n=4652).
  • Funding: National Center for Women and Children’s Health, China CDC.

Limitations

  • Subject to recall bias.
  • Pathophysiology and specific chemicals associated with findings are unknown.
  • Specific to the Chinese context.