Is It Safe to Use Nair and Other Hair Removal Creams During Pregnancy?
Never had a problem with stubborn, overgrown, or where-the-heck-did-that-come-from body or facial hair? Good for you! (We only hate you a little.)
But now that you’re expecting, it’s time to embrace the change. Pregnancy does all kind of weird things to your skin and hair, so it’s more likely now than ever that you’ll wake up one morning to new leg/face/body/boob hairs that are discolored, super long, uber-persistent, or just plain there.
While hair removal during pregnancy (or any time!) is certainly not necessary, some people might prefer to keep their body hair in check.
So, are you supposed to shave, like, twice a day? Do you have to pluck these anomalies away one at a time like it’s your day job? Or can you break out the big guns, such as a chemical hair remover like Nair? Here’s how to safely manage all that follicular overgrowth during pregnancy.
What is Nair and how do chemical hair removers work?
Nair is a product that removes body hair without shaving, plucking, or waxing. It’s called a depilatory; depilatories use chemicals (usually some combination of potassium and calcium salts) to break down the keratin bonds each strand of hair is made from. When these bonds break down, the hair becomes soft and weakens enough that you can just wipe it off your skin.
Nair is available in a variety of products and applications for men and women, from leg masks and body lotions to face and bikini creams. They all generally include the same ingredients and work the same way to open your hair shaft and dissolve the hair follicles.
How pregnancy can change body hair growth
All those wild pregnancy hormones are to blame for body hair growth during pregnancy, and estrogen, which increases steeply after conception.
In addition to your hair growing faster during pregnancy, many people also experience texture and oil changes, finding that their hair is frizzier, drier, or greasier. Sometimes hair darkens during pregnancy, and sometimes it pops up in totally new places. Hairy belly? That’s a pregnancy symptom.
If your hair growth has been out of control lately, you can blame your hormones (meanwhile, we won’t blame you if you want to get rid of it, stat).
However, avoid permanent hair removal systems during pregnancy as the hair may be significantly less after pregnancy.
Are chemical hair removers like Nair safe during pregnancy?
Nair says its products are safe for use in pregnant women if they’re used correctly. There’s currently no evidence that they cause any real harm. Often, products that are only applied to the skin and don’t get absorbed into the bloodstream are considered generally safe for use during pregnancy.
Though there are exceptions, always check with your doctor if you aren’t sure.
Most expectant people wonder about using Nair to remove hair on their legs, but if you’re hoping to use it on your bikini area, it’s safe for that, too. All Nair products are made with the same kinds of ingredients, though some are specially formulated to tackle different types of hair (i.e., coarse versus fine) or hair in different areas (like your face versus your legs). No one type of Nair is safer or less safe than another, however.
That said, while Nair isn’t suspected to be harmful to you or your baby, you should keep three things in mind:
- Your skin is usually extra sensitive during pregnancy. The same hormonal changes giving you more hair during pregnancy are also making your skin more prone to allergic reactions. While an allergic reaction would probably only affect the surface of your skin, it could be more severe and harder to treat than usual (since some allergy medications are off-limits during pregnancy).
- Nair stinks. The chemical process involved in breaking down your hair’s keratin is literally a smelly affair, and although this isn’t dangerous, it could be even more offensive to you while you’re pregnant and have the sensitive nose of a bloodhound. Good luck tolerating Nair’s “signature smell” of rotten eggs when you have morning sickness!
- Most people try to avoid any chemicals during the first 3 months of pregnancy, which might be a good time to shave instead of using hair removal creams.
Extra precautions you may want to take during pregnancy
If you’re willing to give Nair a try during pregnancy anyway, it’s a good idea to perform a skin patch test prior to using Nair. If you’ve always ignored this advice pre-pregnancy, think twice about skipping it while you’re expecting (see below for how to do one at home!).
You should also definitely do it with the windows open to increase ventilation. Have some pregnancy-safe moisturizer on hand to soothe away any skin irritation and read the ingredient label to make sure you don’t have known allergies to any of the ingredients.
And once you’ve applied the product, do not leave the product on any longer than the manufacturer recommends to help decrease the likelihood of the body potentially absorbing chemicals.
How to do a skin patch test
Many OTC products like Nair will include instructions for doing a skin patch test to check for allergic reactions.
Yes, this is one extra step that means you can’t jump into using the product the way you want to right away. But trust the insight behind this step, it’s worth it. If you were to have an unforeseen allergic reaction to a product, wouldn’t it be better if that reaction was limited to one small spot on your arm and not all over your face?
We thought so.
Anyway, here’s how to do a skin patch test:
- Pick a non-obvious area of your skin that’s similar in thickness to the skin you plan to use the product on (i.e., don’t patch test your leg with a facial depilatory, use the spot right under your ear).
- Rub a dime-sized amount of the product onto the selected area, making sure it’s fully absorbed.
- Follow any other package directions for use (like waiting 3 to 10 minutes before wiping hair away and cleansing the skin, if needed).
- Monitor the area for 24 to 48 hours after use. If any reaction occurs, like itching, redness, swelling, or rash, do not use the product again or on a larger area of skin.
Other tips and alternatives
Since there are no official recommendations on using Nair while pregnant, you’ll have to rely on your best judgment.
If you’re especially worried about the exposure to chemicals, you might want to wait until the second or third trimester to use a depilatory. You can also limit your use to once per week, for example, to cut down on the number of times you’re using the product.
If you want to manage your body hair without a depilatory, here are some options that are considered safe methods for hair removal during pregnancy:
- tweezing and plucking
- waxing (if it doesn’t irritate your skin)
However, you should avoid bleaching or laser hair removal during pregnancy; there’s not enough available research about the safety of these methods to recommend them.
When used as directed, Nair is typically a safe option for quick and painless hair removal during pregnancy. It can be used to get rid of hair everywhere from your face to your feet (and everything in between, like *ahem* your bikini line).
Even though it’s generally safe, you might have a hard time using Nair while pregnant if your skin has become especially sensitive to chemical products or your nose just can’t handle the super strong smell.
If you have questions about hair removal during pregnancy, or the product Nair specifically, talk with your doctor.
How to Remove Hair During Pregnancy Safely
You’re admiring your fresh-faced pregnancy glow and newly luxurious locks in the mirror when you notice something not quite as attractive: thick upper lip hair. Yep, while your favorite pregnancy hormones may lead to gorgeous changes to your skin, nails and hair, they can also bring on hair growth in unexpected and unwanted places (like your armpits, bikini line, upper lip and belly).
Luckily, the extra fuzz is only temporary — your hair should return to normal about six months after you give birth. Until then, here’s everything you need to know about safely removing hair while you’re pregnant.
Tweezing and threading
For small hair removal jobs — like shaping up caterpillar eyebrows, removing pesky chin hairs or zapping stray upper lip hairs (all totally normal!) — tweezing and threading are probably your best options.
While you can conveniently tweeze at home, threading (an ancient technique where a loop of thread is rotated across the skin to pluck hair) is best done by a pro. Because neither require any chemicals or medical procedures, both are completely safe during pregnancy.
To remove unwanted hair on larger areas, shave as needed — you’ll probably need to quite a bit more often than usual. Don’t feel self-conscious if you start shaving facial hair as well: A razor can easily take off upper lip hair, chin stubble and hair growing in around the sideburn area. Shaving it off won't make the hair coarser — that’s just a hair removal myth.
Shaving your private area when pregnant may be trickier, especially during the later months when your belly is big and you can’t really see what you’re doing down there. But if you’re careful and patient, you can get it done.
A few pointers to help:
Both manual razors and electric shavers are safe to use, but always use a new blade so you’re less likely to draw blood. And don’t share a razor with your partner, which can up the risk of infections.
When you’re shaving your legs, do so with care (and a lot of nick-protecting shaving gel), since your balance is more likely to be a bit off (plus you’ll be less and less likely to see beyond your growing belly).
One definite no-no: Shaving in the shower, where it’s way too easy to lose your balance — and where a slip-up could be serious. If possible, enlist a willing partner or friend to help you.
Waxing and sugaring
Waxing and sugaring — where a heated sugar mixture is spread on the skin and then lifted off to remove hair — both provide a longer-term solution to unwanted hair and are generally fine if pregnancy hasn’t made your skin too sensitive.
As always, these products should never be used on the nose, ears or nipples; over varicose veins, moles or warts; or on irritated, chapped or sunburned skin.
Avoid waxing areas of the body affected by melasma, aka the mask of pregnancy, or waxing anywhere if you’re using an antibiotic. Check with your doctor before waxing, too, to find out if there is a specific reason it's not recommended for you during pregnancy.
If you get the okay to wax, you can DIY or go to a pro. As long as you follow the directions, home waxing kits are usually considered safe during pregnancy.
Just be gentle and cautious. Waxing while pregnant will be more painful than usual because the increased blood flow to your skin makes it super sensitive.
This is especially true of your pelvic area. A bikini wax or a Brazilian wax will hurt while you’re pregnant. But for many women, the several weeks of not having to worry about pubic hair is worth the 10 to 30 minutes of discomfort.
That said, doing your own bikini or Brazilian wax while pregnant may not be a good idea. Not only will you have to get yourself in some weird (and probably uncomfortable) positions, but you'll probably have a harder time seeing — and reaching — the area as your baby bump grows. A professional salon wax or sugar wax may be the better hair removal option for your bikini line during pregnancy.
Make sure the salon you choose is clean; the technician should wear gloves and use a new spatula between applications to prevent sharing germs.
Before things start, let your esthetician know you’re pregnant so she knows to be extra gentle. Ask her to test wax on a small area of your skin to see if it reacts differently to waxing while pregnant. And use a soothing antiseptic lotion pre- and post-waxing to decrease irritation, lessen any redness and help prevent infection.
Though sugar may seem more natural than wax, it can also cause the same skin irritations and infections — so proceed with the same precautions as waxing.
Skincare Ingredients: What's Safe?
Hair removal creams and lotions
Although hair removal creams, gels, lotions, aerosols and roll-ons may seem like an easy option, the science is still out on whether they’re safe during pregnancy.
These products contain the active ingredients barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate, which cause the hair to dissolve into a jelly-like mass that can be wiped away from the skin.
The chemicals have a distinct odor, which is at least very unpleasant and in rare cases has been known to cause an allergic reaction. So while there’s no evidence proving depilatory creams are harmful to developing babies, it’s probably best to skip them until after you give birth.
If you feel you must use them, get the okay from your doctor first and make sure to apply on a well-ventilated area after testing the product on a small patch of skin.
While you may have masked unwanted hair growth with bleach in the past, you should avoid this hair removal method during pregnancy. Since it’s applied directly to your skin, there’s a chance you absorb some of the chemicals and possibly pass them on to your unborn child.
Also, the many different skin changes during pregnancy can make your skin more sensitive and prone to irritation. The new acne on your face or heat rash in other areas, for example, would likely not react well to bleaching. Temporary skin color changes, like melasma and linea nigra (the dark line that runs from the navel to the pubic area), may make bleached hair more noticeable anyway.
Since no reliable studies have determined whether bleach is safe or not during pregnancy, it’s best to skip this option until your bundle of joy arrives.
Laser hair removal and electrolysis
With laser hair removal, laser light targets the pigment in hair, damaging the hair follicle to stop future growth. With electrolysis, a metal probe is inserted into the shaft where a hair grows, passing an electric current through your skin to destroy the follicle.
Bottom line: Since no reliable studies have been done to determine if either laser hair removal or electrolysis are safe for pregnant women, it’s best to wait on these methods until after giving birth.Although the extra fuzziness you experience while you’re expecting can be annoying (and embarrassing when it shows up in certain places), the good news is there are several options for safe hair removal during pregnancy. And remember that your new hairiness is fleeting. Things should return to normal when your baby is about 6 months old.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You're Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
- What to Expect When You're Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- WhatToExpect.com, Pregnancy Nail and Hair Growth, October 2019.
- WhatToExpect.com, Skin Changes During Pregnancy, November 2020.
- WhatToExpect.com, Melasma (Mask of Pregnancy), November 2019.
- WhatToExpect.com, Heat Rash During Pregnancy, October 2019.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Skin Conditions During Pregnancy, June 2020.
- Mayo Clinic, Laser Hair Removal, May 2020.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association, Hair Removal: How to Shave.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association, 7 Ways to Prevent Injury While Trimming Pubic Hair.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association, Melasma: Tips for Managing.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association, 7 Ways to Remove Unwanted Hair.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association, Hair Removal: How to Wax.
Question: Using veet for removing private part hairs is safe during pregnancy
Question:Using indian toilet is safe during pregnancy time? Which is more beneficial? I felt some pain in my private part while using indian toilet . Whats the reason?
Answer: Congratulations for pregnancy dear if there s no complication as low lying placenta, bleeding ,pain or short cervix then u should avoid using indian toilet .otherwise in normal pregnancy u can use indian toliet nd due to physical changes vaginal pain s common in pregnancy take rest ,avoid carry heavy things ,give warm compres to ur belly too .if u have too much vaginal pain consult to ur dr nd take medicine as ur dr suggest u. Take care happy pregnancy dear nd
»Read All Answers
Question:Is it safe private part wax during pregnancy
Answer: Arey no no dear, don't do. Neither waxing nor hair removal Cream is safe. Only shaving is fine with a brand new fresh razor.
»Read All Answers
Question:Using razor at private part is safe in pregnancy?
Answer: It should be new one and don't share it with another person and be careful while shaving the hair
»Read All Answers
Is it safe to use hair removal creams during pregnancy?
The chemicals in hair removal creams work on the structural ingredient of your hair, called keratin. The creams cause your hair to break and separate from your skin. To mask the distinctive smell of the chemicals, strong fragrances are used.
The fragrances and the hair-removing chemicals may irritate your skin, or trigger an allergic reaction. This may be more likely to happen during pregnancy because your skin can be more sensitive.
For this reason, you may want to consider other methods of hair removal, such as tweezing, waxing, epilating and shaving. However, you may find these just as uncomfortable.
You may find your hair growthincreases during pregnancy. There may be more under your arms, in your pubic area, on your legs, your tummy and possibly on your face. This extra hair growth is triggered by hormone changes. It should return to normal within six months after you've had your baby.
If you do choose to use hair removal creams in pregnancy, follow these safety steps:
- Read the manufacturer's instructions on the packet carefully before applying the cream.
- Don't use the cream on broken skin or on your face.
- Use a product especially formulated for sensitive skin.
- Always do a patch test on a small area of skin before you use the cream, even if you used the product before you were pregnant.
- Keep the room well aired. Hair-removing cream has a strong smell that you may find unpleasant, particularly if you're feeling queasy.
- Don't keep the cream on your skin any longer than is necessary. Use a clock to time how long the cream is on your skin. Leave it on for the minimum time suggested on the instructions.
Watch our video to see five other pregnancy beauty dos and don'ts.
ReferencesThis article was written using the following sources:
Bozzo P, Chua-Gocheco A, Einarson A. 2011. Safety of skin care products during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 57(6):665-7 www.cfp.ca/content/57/6/665.full.pdf [pdf file, accessed May 2013]
Nussbaum R and Benedetto AV. 2006. Cosmetic aspects of pregnancy. Clinics in Dermatology 24:133-141
Olsen E.A. 1999. Methods of hair removal. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 40(2):143-155
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While pregnant veet
Is it safe to use hair removal creams in pregnancy?
In a nutshell
Yes, hair removal creams are safe but you could be more sensitive to them when pregnant
The expert’s view
You might find that your body hair grows faster now that you are pregnant, and that you are having to constantly keep on top of removing it from your legs and underarms, or even your top lip!
If your preferred method of hair removal is by using a depilatory cream, then you might worry about the ingredients and whether they are safe for you and your unborn baby.
The good news is that they are, so if using one of these creams is your usual choice, there is no need to stop.
The products work simply by altering the hair protein called keratin, which breaks the hair, allowing it to be wiped away or rinsed off with the product.
Do bear in mind…
There is a but with hair removing creams – although products like Veet and Nair are safe, the fragrances and chemicals they are made up of may irritate your skin, or trigger an allergic reaction, as you can have heightened sensitivity to skincare products during pregnancy.
You might also find the smell of them a bit overpowering once you are pregnant, too, as the fragrances used to mask the smell of the chemicals are quite strong, so, it’s wise to have good ventilation in the room to avoid waves of nausea sweeping over you at an inopportune moment!
Using them safely
Always follow the advice on the packaging or advice leaflet of the product, and do not exceed application time, or use it on a part of the body it was not intended for. The expert advice generally is:
* ALWAYS do a patch test on a small area of skin first
* Don’t use the cream on broken skin
* Make sure you follow the instructions carefully
* Make sure you use a product especially formulated for sensitive skin
You could also try waxing or some types of electrolysis during pregnancy for hair removal if you have become sensitive to your usual cream.
Mums on our forum say
“I used hair removing cream several times when pregnant with my DS. It is fine to use however I did find that my skin was a bit more sensitive than usual with it. So just made sure I washed it off more quickly!” Bliss
“I’ve used it and it was fine but did a patch test first just to be sure I didn’t have a reaction.” MummyR2B
*TMI warning – this next post may not be suitable if you’re feeling a touch squeamish…
“Must just tell you all about my Veet disaster! Trying to sort myself out, I thought this was the easiest option. However with a huge bump blocking my view, I managed to get it on to my labia resulting in it swelling to twice the size, walking like John Wayne and having to sit in a cold bath to soothe myself. Thankfully the swelling has gone down now. My OH thought it was the funniest thing he had ever heard until i showed him the damage. Seriously I looked bigger than him!” loumurph
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Last Updated on
You can expect your body to undergo many changes in terms of shape, size and appearance during pregnancy. You may enjoy the pregnancy glow, but the increase in hair growth may cause some discomfort. Many women consider using a hair removal cream to get rid of excess hair while pregnant because it’s convenient. Hair removal creams may have been a part of your grooming kit for years, but while pregnant, you must be wondering if you should use them during pregnancy. While pregnant, you have to tread carefully with anything and everything you do. Let’s find out if you should use hair removal creams during pregnancy!
Can You Use Hair Removal Cream in Pregnancy?
Yes, you can use hair removal creams during pregnancy as they are safe. However, their application may irritate your skin while pregnant, as, during pregnancy, a woman’s skin is highly sensitive to external products. Hair removal creams, also known as depilatories, are directly applied to the skin. It is best to evaluate the safety of the product to ensure it does not affect you or your baby in a direct or indirect manner.
Reasons for Increased Hair Growth During Pregnancy
The following are the common reasons for increased hair growth during pregnancy:
- During the first trimester, there is an increase in the level of androgen in the body, which leads to enhanced hair growth. Also, since hair fall is at a reduced rate, hair feels fuller and thicker in volume.
- Doctors prescribe vitamin supplements to women during pregnancy which causes faster hair growth. The latent hair follicles come alive due to the presence of the hormone called progesterone. This hormone is also responsible for lesser hair fall and thicker hair.
- Prolonged periods of good sleep and larger meals contribute to reduced stress levels in the pregnant woman’s body. This leads to a faster pace of hair growth.
- The excess production of androgen during pregnancy can cause the growth of hair on other parts of the body too. Hair growth on the arms, legs, stomach, face and at times nipples can lead to discomfort.
- Women with longer hair are likely to experience changes in thickness and hair texture. Body hair will disappear within 6 to 7 months of childbirth.
Benefits of Using Hair Removal Cream While Pregnant
As compared to waxing, shaving, and epilating, using hair removal creams to remove excess hair is more convenient and simple. These creams are easy to apply and are hassle-free to use. During pregnancy, the frequency of hair growth is higher and thicker. One of the reasons why pregnant women prefer using hair removal creams as compared to other methods is that it reduces the growth frequency.
The process of hair removal cream proves to be a quick and pain-free affair as against waxing and this finds favour with pregnant women. During pregnancy, some women may get anxious about their appearance and their growing body. While a woman cannot and should not bother about her growing body (it’s accomodating the baby, after all), but she is likely to get concerned about excess hair growth, which can be tackled with using hair removal creams.
How Does Hair Removal Cream Work?
Hair removal creams consist of chemicals known to work on keratin which is the structural ingredient of the hair. When the cream is applied, it causes the hair to break and detach from the skin. Manufacturers of hair removal cream use powerful masking fragrances to eliminate the chemical smell. You may experience an allergic reaction or skin irritation due to these fragrances and chemicals.
Chemicals Used in Hair Removal Creams
Barium sulfide powder and calcium thioglycolate are commonly used ingredients in a majority of hair removal creams. Hair removal creams from top brands also contain harsh chemicals. The keratin in the hair is broken down by these chemicals which separate the hair from the skin. And in order to achieve a smooth touch, you may have to apply the cream twice. Now you know about the chemicals, make sure you check with your doctor before using a hair removal cream.
Safety Measures for Using Hair Removal Cream When Pregnant
Before using hair removal creams on your body during pregnancy, follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Do not use the cream to remove facial hair or on broken skin.
- Check the ingredients of the cream you are about to use if you are unsure about it.
- Read any special notes/directions and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the tube or packet before using the cream.
- When it comes to hair removal creams, pick a product that is suitable for sensitive skin. When in doubt, check with your doctor.
- Apply a tiny patch on the arm before using it on other parts of your body. Do this even if you have used the cream prior to your pregnancy.
- While using the cream, make sure the room is properly ventilated as the strong smell can leave you feeling light-headed and nauseous.
- The manufacturers of the hair removal creams recommend that the cream should be left on the skin for a specific period. Follow this strictly and use a timer if needed.
- Hair removing creams with a strong smell can cause headaches or vomiting. It is best to check the powerful smells before you buy one.
- As an alert mother-to-be, speak to your doctor about using creams that will not harm your baby in any manner. This is important during the first trimester when the foetus is undergoing a lot of changes.
Although pregnancy is the most beautiful and rewarding phase of your life, it is important to treat it with caution and care. You will want to socialise and go out with your partner for which you will want to look your best. You should deal with the excessive hair growth in the same manner as other pregnancy-related changes. Don’t let it worry you. You are strong and beautiful and soon you will have a baby. Think about your baby, and you will look and feel radiant!
Also Read: Hair Loss During Pregnancy – Causes & Prevention
Rutuja ChitnisSours: https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/using-hair-removal-cream-during-pregnancy-is-it-safe/
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