Are essential oils okay to use during pregnancy? Should I avoid skin care products with essential oils in them while I’m pregnant? These are common questions asked by future mothers who are all about the natural, non-synthetic life but also scared due to common rumors of essential oils.
Let me take a stab at this and try to break a common misconception. To start, there is no hard evidence or study done to say essential oils are harmful during pregnancy. So where does this rumor and worry come from? Many essential oils come with a warning on their labels, “If pregnant, ask a doctor before use.” This definitely sounds scary and I can see why women, who are usually in the “better safe than sorry” mode during pregnancy, would avoid essential oils altogether.
And what if you actually go to a doctor, what will they say? Well I can tell you from my time at medical school that we learned a whopping 1 lesson about essential oils in the unorthodox/alternative medicine section and their effects on pregnancy was not mentioned. Now, I’m not saying doctors are unreliable. They are doctors not because they know everything, but because they have the ability to figure things out. Even if it is a simple Google search, doctors have the ability to know how a drug or procedure works because that is what they are trained to do. However, when it comes to essential oils, there is no study to show exactly how the essential oil would work in the body of a pregnant person. At this point, it makes sense that a doctor will always air on the side of caution because it’s safer for everyone. They will either advise you against it or make a plan with you to start with a small dose and gradually increase it after seeing how your body reacts.
So where does this warning label come from? Well, many essential oils are known to have special properties like anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and astringent effects. These properties are what makes essential oils so amazing in the world of natural skin care. However, I’ll focus in on one example to exemplify where the warning labels come from. Let’s take essential oils with astringent properties.
This means that the oil has the ability to constrict body tissue such as the pores on your skin as well as blood vessels. Examples of essential oils with this property include, myrtle, juniper, rose, rosemary, and ginger. This is why these oils are amazing when it comes to reducing redness on your face. But, you can also see why speculations can be made when it comes to pregnancy. It is natural for a question like, “What if the oils constrict the blood vessels of my baby?” to arise. Since there are no studies done on essential oils with pregnant women, any manufacturer would just plop on the ‘go see a doctor sign’ to get a law suit off their hand.
With all this said, let’s target the real question at hand. Are essential oils safe to use during pregnancy? When it comes to skin care products, especially facial products, yes. Most skin care products advertise the essential oils they have in their products in an attempt to give them an edge on the market. However, what most people do not know is that essential oils usually make up less than 1% of the products. This is not a bad thing because if there were any more than that, people would complain about how oily a product is. But with such little amount, the oils will barely penetrate the skin. Unless you are bathing in essential oils every day, the chances of the essential oil being absorbed into the skin, then into the blood stream, surviving cleaning and filtration by liver, making to the baby’s blood stream, and still being concentrated enough to have any effect is quite unlikely. Now when it comes to drinking essential oils, I’m no expert. You might want to go find a tea expert of some sort for that.
So if you’re pregnant, hopefully I was able to get a little worry off your back. You already have enough on your plate so don’t let going natural for cosmetics be another thing you have to change. In fact, the aroma of essential oils like lavender is said to soothe nausea for some women. Our three products from our ClearLee Clear Skin Set have lavender essential oils in them. So maybe they will even help you out with some aromatherapy on top of giving great skincare. If you have any questions, comments, or stories of how essential oils helped you or someone you know, please share below! Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next time.