Using Perfume and Deodorant during Pregnancy


Being “odour-free” is part of maintaining good personal hygiene. But the regular commercial perfumes and deodorants may not be entirely appropriate to use during pregnancy. The commercial deodorants and perfumes usually contain toxins and chemicals. These harmful chemicals can penetrate the skin through minor skin abrasions or may get absorbed by the skin when applied during pregnancy possibly leading to complications.

The extent of the exposure to these toxic chemicals also matter. Normally perfumes and deodorants are applied every day and remain on the skin for a long time. Moreover, pregnant women normally develop a heightened sense of smell and may become sensitive to certain smells and aromas. Therefore, applying strong deodorants and perfumes during pregnancy can trigger nausea, headaches.

Is It Safe to Use Deodorant and Perfumes during Pregnancy?

Yes, it is normally considered safe to use deodorants and perfumes during pregnancy. Most doctors are of the view that the chemicals contained in the deodorants and perfumes do not infiltrate the skin but stay on the skin’s surface. Even if there are minor cuts on the skin, not enough of the toxins may pass into the body to cause any substantial damage to the mother or the fetus.

However, one needs to be wary of deodorants and perfumes that may trigger an allergic reaction during pregnancy. Ideally, deodorants and perfumes which are organic and contain all-natural ingredients should be preferred when pregnant. In case of any doubt regarding a particular ingredient, it is wise to consult a doctor first before using the product.

What Perfumes or Deodorants You Should Avoid?

Although the use of perfumes or deodorants is usually considered safe during pregnancy, there may be some that you can still avoid. They are:

  • Refrain from using camphor, aniseed, pennyroyal, birch, wintergreen, sage essential oils while pregnant.
  • Avoid using perfumes or deodorants that contain harmful chemicals such as silica, parabens, BHA, sodium lauryl sulfate, coal tars, petroleum by-products, propylene glycol, triclosan, polyethene/pegs, formaldehyde during pregnancy.
  • Select an aluminium free deodorant or perfume. Studies have linked aluminium-based compounds to a higher risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, gene instability, breast cancer.
  • Choose unscented perfumes and deodorants instead of the fragrant ones. Fragrances usually, have hormone-disrupting phthalates as an ingredient. Sometimes, phthalates may not be listed on the label of the product. Even deodorants claiming to be phthalate-free may contain unknown phthalate substitutes that can cause potential harm during pregnancy.

What Amount of Perfumes or Deodorants You Should Use?

During pregnancy, it is wise to follow the norm – Better safe than sorry! It is safer to limit the number of deodorants and perfumes that you apply every day when pregnant. Avoid excessive use of deodorants and perfumes during pregnancy especially if you are indulging in scented lotions and creams as well. It is best to stick to the minimal use of perfumed products. Avoid experimenting with new products. You can try using safer essential oils like citrus oil instead of the fragrant deodorants and perfumes.


Some Safe Natural Fragrances You Should Try

Natural fragrances may not work like conventional perfumes and deodorants. But the longer you use natural fragrances, the better they may work. Natural fragrances are available in jars, sprays, roll-ons, sticks. Some of the ingredients that may make the best natural deodorant for pregnancy can be:

  • Coconut Lime
  • Cinnamon
  • Balsam
  • Cucumber Melon
  • Passion Fruit
  • Cranberry
  • Green Tea
  • Hibiscus
  • Cocoa butter
  • Mango butter
  • Juniper
  • Tea tree oil
  • Lichen oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Fig
  • Peach
  • Lemon Mint Leaf
  • Lilac
  • Raspberry
  • Cherry
  • Chamomile oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Sandalwood
  • Rose
  • Spearmint
  • Ylang-ylang
  • Geranium
  • Honey Apple
  • Frankincense
  • Pink Amber

When You Should Consult The Doctor?

You may like to consult the doctor if you experience any of the following listed reactions after using a deodorant or perfume:

Also, discuss with the doctor your possible triggers or allergies if any and based on your medical history your doctor can suggest a pregnancy safe deodorant for you.

It is always sensible to be safe, and thus, using perfumes and deodorants in minute quantities during pregnancy may be a better idea. It is also important to check out the label on the products before buying them.

You can opt for mild fragrances instead of strong ones when pregnant. Furthermore, during pregnancy, you may like to switch over to natural fragrances which are devoid of detrimental chemicals to avoid any likely health issues.

Also Read : Nail Polish during Pregnancy