Beauty Treatments During Pregnancy: What You Can and Shouldn’t Do

pregnant beauty treatments

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Pregnancy ushers in a whole new slew of changes, as everything your put on your skin and in your body doesn't simply affect you but also the baby growing inside you. While some modifications to your diet and lifestyle may seem obvious, unfortunately the same can't be said when discussing your beauty routine–and searching for the answers on the internet are bound to send you down a rabbit hole of responses on baby forums. Adjusting your routine and the treatments you opt for while you're expecting can seem daunting, so we turned to the experts and rounded up a comprehensive guide for all moms-to-be.

Coloring your hair:

“So first and foremost always ask your doctor about coloring your hair. Every pregnancy is different and so is every doctor. In your first trimester stick to root sprays if you can. Typically once you hit your second trimester you’re good to go! I always recommend doing a demi permanent base color to blend grays while pregnant or an ammonia free permanent color if you must cover them completely. Highlights are always a safe route to go while pregnant because they do not process on the scalp.” — Nikki Lee, co-owner of 901 Salon and Garnier ambassador

Laser hair removal:

“At Ideal Image the safety of our guests is our utmost concern. All our treatments including Laser Hair Removal are administered by licensed Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners, a requirement of the highest standard of care within Ideal Image.While it is likely harmless, there just isn’t enough evidence to ensure that Laser Hair Removal is safe for the developing fetus. Therefore, we do not offer this treatment to expectant mothers.” — Dr. Garrett Gause, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Ideal Image, (The Advanced MedSpa with over 130 locations in the US and Canada)

Botox & Fillers:

“As a mother of two girls, I've gone through all of these searches and as a physician, I can tell you, definitively, not to do anything while you're pregnant or breastfeeding. The reason for that is because we just don't have enough information as to what happens when someone gets pregnant. We don't have enough information about what botox does, we also don't know for sure what happens when somebody is breast-feeding, so the best approach is to put the safety of your child and your safety first and to avoid any injectibles while you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

The reason why these recommendations are in place is because there are zero clinical studies to indicate whether it's safe or not. Ethically nobody is ever gonna study and compare what happens when somebody is pregnant and injecting botox vs. not injecting botox. At the end of the day we just don't know, so it's best to avoid any injectibles.” — Dr. Irene Gladstein

Gel manicures:

“In general, it is perfectly safe to receive gel manicures and/or acrylic nails while pregnant. I know many Nail Artists who continued to do nails in a salon throughout their pregnancy with no issues. There are really no 'health' risks but as every person is different keep in mind that pregnancy can heighten the sensitivity to different ingredients. If sensitivity or allergic reaction occurs stop that service. My recommendation when having your nails done, pregnant or not, is to only visit a well-ventilated salon with licensed Nail tech/s that use sterilized or disposable implements and are well trained in the service you are getting.

There have been concerns of using the UV lamp used in gel and gel polish services in regards to overexposure to UV-A. These claims have not been supported and here is a quote I just pulled from the FDA website: “To date, the FDA has not received any reports of burns or skin cancer attributed to these lamps.” — Tom Bachik, Celebrity Manicurist and Global Brand Ambassador for OPI


“As long as the pregnancy is complication free, prenatal massage should be given a try (past the first trimester and approved by the doctor). It helps to soothe muscles that are moving and growing as the baby grows. It also reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and swelling in the later months. When booking a prenatal, it's helpful to let the spa know you're pregnant and to tell them how far along you are. Not all therapists are trained or comfortable with prenatal massage and, if you don't notify the spa, there's a chance you could end up with a therapist who does not perform prenatal and end up leaving more stressed than when you entered.

When pregnant I would advise to avoid treatments that involve heat and hot stones. Avoid aromatherapy as well due to new sensitivities that may arise while pregnant.

Guerlain Spa’s Pre-Natal Therapy massage is 60 minutes and “Belly Friendly” therapists can offer comfort and cooling through a side-lying massage with specialized product application. It aims to help prevent stretch marks and maintain firm, smooth skin while your trained therapist addresses specific areas of swelling and aches.” – Sarah Corrales, senior massage therapist at the Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel

Spray Tans:

“It's best to wait until after the first trimester to spray tan, unless your doctor says it's okay. If you feel like you use it constantly, all the time, you can sign a disclaimer. Once you're past three months, the worse thing you're doing is putting toxins in your body, which you're doing with hair dye, makeup, quite a lot of things.

A spray-tan doesn't go into the bloodstream because it only hits the top layer of the epidermis where the skin sheds off in 10 days, so that's why it's totally safe.

It's actually exactly the same if you were to apply self-tanning products at home. Since your body is changing and your pigment is changing, it's best to do a patch test to ensure you don't get a reaction.” — Sophie Evans, St. Tropez skin-finishing expert