Some over-the-counter skin care products have gained massive popularity among pregnant women over the last few years. With this rise in popularity, individuals, especially pregnant women, have become more conscious and concerned about the ingredients in their makeup and skincare products. One such over-the-counter skin care product is Bio-Oil, which has thousands of positive reviews thanks to its ability to keep the skin supple and hydrated. But there are question marks over some ingredients used in the formula and their effectiveness in reducing the appearance of scars or stretch marks.
Below, we have discussed the benefits, safety, and possible risks of using Bio-Oil while pregnant.
What Is Bio-Oil?
The oil is actually derived following a process called pyrolysis of biomass. That’s why it’s termed as Bio-Oil. A powerful blend of botanical extracts and supercharged vitamins has made the oil popular among pregnant women. Along with vitamins A and E, Bio-Oil also utilizes some plant-based essential oils that can work wonders for pregnant skin. These include calendula, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile oils.
Touted as a game-changer for some common skin issues among pregnant women, such as pregnancy scars and stretch marks, regular use of Bio-Oil has shown some proven skin benefits.
Skin Elasticity: Prgencany brings rapid weight gain making the skin prone to scars and stretch marks. Bio-Oil promotes skin elasticity, thereby dramatically minimizing the possibility of stretch marks formulation.
Hydration: Among many bodily changes, dry skin during pregnancy is very common. No matter what skincare routine you choose during pregnancy, you need to keep your skin hydrated. Thanks to all the plant-based oils in the formula, Bio-Oil can help keep your skin moisturized. Even the American Pregnancy Association recommends using Bio-Oil to combat pregnancy-related skin dryness and itching.
Skin Protection and Soothing Effects: As mentioned earlier, Bio-Oil is rich in skin-friendly ingredients like vitamins A and E. Thanks to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these ingredients, regular use of Bio-Oil can help maintain healthy and young skin.
Bio-Oil During Pregnancy: Safety Concerns and Risks
Despite the hype around Bio-Oil as a magic formula for pregnancy stretch marks, there is little to no evidence about its effectiveness among the scientific community. Categorized as Type C by the FDA, the safety of Bio-Oil ingredients for pregnant women is still very much unknown.
The main concern is the Retinyl-Palmitate in it. According to the Regulation of the European Parliament and Council on Cosmetic Products, it doesn’t contain high enough quantities to do any harm to the fetus. Also, the amount absorbed through your skin and passes into the bloodstream is minimal.
However, Bio-Oil may also include some of the following.
BHT: A known human immune toxicant or allergen
Parfum: Artificial fragrances like this combine a high concentration of essential oils
Amyl Cinnamal: Another well-known toxicant to the immune system in humans
Benzyl Salicylate: UV absorber
As always, we advise consulting a healthcare provider if you have questions about using Bio-Oil or other skin care products during pregnancy.
Advice for using Bio-Oil Skincare Oil in pregnancy?
You can start using Bio-oil from your first trimester. But don’t expect quick results. For old stretch marks, it will take some time to see improvements. However, every skin is unique and the results may vary. For best results, the manufacturer Bio-Oil recommends using it twice daily for a minimum of three months.
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Like most body oils, Bio-oil also leaves sticky stains on your clothes and bedding. We recommend wearing old clothes and used bedding if you plan to apply it at night. Also, be careful using it on skin that might be exposed to the sun. It might cause burning sensations.
Safe and Cheaper Bio-Oil Alternatives
The purpose of Bi-Oil is to keep the skin moisturized and well-hydrated all the time. You know what? Any good oil can do just that. Even there are safer and cheaper alternatives to Bio-Oil. Check out some options below that we highly recommend.
Jojoba Oil: Ideal for dry, itchy skin while pregnant, Jojoba Oil is a potent moisturizer that nourishes and moisturizes the skin at the same time. Unlike Bio-Oil, Jojoba oils are usually fragrance-free or lightly scented.
Vitamin E Oil: Also present in Bio-Oil, vitamin E oil possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect and calm dry skin during pregnancy.
Sweet Almond Oil: Also a pregnancy-safe antioxidant, Sweet Almond Oil offers skin soothing and moisturizing benefits. That means it can be used to prevent or reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil or Cocoa Butter Therapy Oil: With versatile uses and skin benefits, Coconut oil is undoubtedly an excellent option for the discerning mommy-to-be. As a natural moisturizer, it helps retain skin moisture keeping it supple and hydrated.
You can’t be 100% sure of what is safe or not while pregnant. So stop losing your sleep over this never-ending conundrum. Like other pregnancy skincare products, you can also use bio-oil to pamper your skin by following proper guidelines from your OB/GYN.
However, many expecting moms try safer alternatives to keep the top layers of skin more supple and comfy. Some even prefer to limit the use of skincare and makeup products during pregnancy. Whatever you choose to do, remember that stretch marks will fade away eventually.