Using Perfumes and Deodorants during Pregnancy - Is It Safe?

Using Perfume and Deodorant during Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

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. They usually contain toxins and chemicals, which can penetrate the skin through minor skin abrasions or get absorbed by the skin when applied during pregnancy, possibly leading to complications.

The extent of the exposure to these toxic chemicals also matter. Usually, 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 fragrances. Therefore, applying strong deodorants and perfumes during pregnancy can trigger nausea, headaches. But, in the phase when an expectant mother doesn’t experience nausea anymore, is it still safe to use deodorant and perfume? Let’s find out!

Is It Safe to Use Deodorants 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, use natural perfumes rather than chemical-laden ones, as some strong chemicals can be absorbed by the skin, even if there are no cuts.

However, one needs to be wary of deodorants and perfumes that may trigger an allergic reaction during pregnancy. Ideally, those that are organic and contain all-natural ingredients should be preferred when pregnant. We have provided some ingredients that you should avoid completely in the article below. However, if you have queries, it is wise to consult a doctor first before using the product.

What Perfumes or Deodorants Should You Avoid?

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

  • 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, and 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.

With pregnancy come limitations. Most things, including deodorants and perfumes, should also be limited. Of course, you may speak to your medical practitioner to know if it is safe for you to use them, but when the expert does permit it, you may want to still limit its use. Some ways to limit fragrances are mentioned below.

What Amount of Perfumes or Deodorants Should You 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 aromatic products. Avoid experimenting with new products. You can try using safer essential oils like diluted citrus oil instead of the fragrant deodorants and perfumes.

Read below to know some more safe essential oils you can consider using during your pregnancy instead of 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, or sticks. Some of the ingredients that make the best natural deodorant women can use during pregnancy are:

  • 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

Ensure you go for a trustable brand when choosing perfumed and deodorants with safe ingredients too. But, remember that even organic fragrances can cause issues, such as the ones given below, indicating that you need to make another visit to the doctor.

When Should You 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 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 minimal 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 also opt for mild fragrances instead of strong ones. 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

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