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Are cosmetics that contain plant/fruit extracts safe to use topically while pregnant?

 I know some plant/fruit extracts are apparently unsafe to take orally when pregnant, but what about moisturisers/cosmetics which contain plant/fruit extracts that are applied topically? 

I have a sunscreen, foundation, concealer and eyelash gel (and maybe other stuff) containing various extracts and not sure if these are safe. If they were unsuitable for pregnant women, would it state so on the label? 

Bit unsure as for example I know salicylic acid is not supposed to be used during pregnancy, but I'm sure I've seen skin products containing salicylic acid which have nothing on their labels to say don't use if pregnant. 

Does all this depend on quantities of product used?

I'm in the UK, if that makes any difference?

Thank you for any replies! I know I've asked a couple of pregnancy related questions, but want to be prepared!


  • I understand your frustrations! My baby is now 8 months old, and boy when I was pregnant my head could have exploded with all of the concerns out there. My personal feeling is that for most things, nobody is willing to test anything on pregnant women and/or babies, so the standard answer tends to veer towards "just to be safe, avoid it." Here is a helpful article from Paula's Choice:

    I admit to using Salicylic Acid while pregnant in the low dosage mentioned, but now that I'm nursing I've seen a dermatologist for out of control acne and they're playing it safe and refuse to prescribe me any of the good stuff. Good luck! 
  • Thanks very much indeed :) Really helpful link!
  • Fruit and plant extracts are natural ingredients and are safe to use even if in cosmetics. Pregnant women should readily use these natural cosmetics.
  • Darlene: PLEASE don't make the mistake of assuming just because an ingredient is natural that means it's good for you. (And likewise just because an ingredient is synthetic doesn't mean it's bad for you. You have to assess the safety of each ingredient regardless of its source.)

    In this case, you just told Kitster she can safely use plant extracts while she's pregnant. Yet Willowbark extract, which comes from a plant, contains salicylic acid which she says is NOT supposed to be used during pregnancy. Therefore, you have just told her to use an ingredient which may not be safe. 

    I don't mean to pick on you - I'm just trying to make the point that you need to look at the merits of each ingredient and not just fall for the old "natural = good; synthetic = bad."
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