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Are Manicures Safe During Pregnancy?

With Mother's Day weekend behind us, it is the perfect time to remember and appreciate all of the impactful women in our lives. Pregnancy, albeit a beautiful part of motherhood, can be a minefield of misinformation that generates more fear than enjoyment. Pampering one's self during pregnancy should be relaxing, fun, and celebratory!

Is it actually safe to use nail polish during pregnancy?

A recent Baby 2 Body (April 2022) article touches on what to consider so women during pregnancy can feel comfortable getting their summer manicure.

During pregnancy, medical professionals tend to recommend using all natural skin care products or avoiding certain foods with heavy metals that can be absorbed my the body and negatively impact the fetus. Studies have shown chemicals in conventional nail polish can be absorbed into the body just the same. Although there is not enough research to demonstrate if the level of absorption is more harmful for pregnant women, inhaling chemicals in poorly ventilated salons are not recommended. That being said, here are some specific chemicals to avoid, particularly for expecting mothers:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP: chemical added to nail polish to make it more flexible; it has been linked to increased asthma or eczema risk and in-utero development issues

  • Formaldehyde: chemical is used as a nail hardener; it is an irritant and has been shown to frequently cause nausea, skin problems, eye irritation; linked to cancer in extreme cases

  • Toluene: keeps the polish smooth while applying; linked to symptoms of dizziness, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation; research linking this chemical to birth defects and developmental problems

Is it safe to get a professional manicure during pregnancy?

Firstly, read labels! 3-Free labels do not contain DBP, Formaldehyde, and Toluene, but when in doubt...ask your nail technician.

There are three main things to consider when deciding on where to get a professional manicure (while pregnant and in general):

  • Hygiene: thorough disinfection processes include a sterile liquid wash, mask protocol, gloves, and proper disinfection/replacement of tools

  • Ventilation: good air circulation is essential, even in non toxic salons!

  • Skin sensitivity: be cautious of the products being used on your hands knowing that hormonal shifts can create more sensitivity

Is it safe to get gel nails or acrylic nails while I am pregnant?

The most important thing to consider, besides the points listed above, is to avoid acetone that comes from getting acrylic nails. In addition to weakening the nails and nail bed, the fumes can cause dizziness and nausea.

Most importantly...

Find a salon where you feel comfortable to ask questions, feel cared for, and know what is in the products. At 7am, we have our customers fill out a personal questionaire so we can cater the experience to each individual - expecting mothers included! (:


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