Is Petrolatum Safe During Pregnancy

Is Petrolatum Safe During Pregnancy?

When it comes to the safety of petrolatum during pregnancy, it is important to understand that petrolatum is considered a relatively low-toxicity petrolatum skin protectant. This means it is safe to use during pregnancy according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it is not expected to be absorbed into the body through the skin.

Potential Risks

Despite petrolatum being considered generally safe to use during pregnancy, there are some potential risks that should be taken into consideration. Petrolatum products may contain potentially unwanted ingredients such as hormone disruptors and petroleum byproducts which can be absorbed through the skin and potentially have an effect on pregnant women.

Alternative Products

Fortunately, there are a range of alternative skin protectants that can be used instead of petrolatum during pregnancy. For example:

  • Olive oil, coconut oil and shea butter are natural and safe options for moisturizing your skin

  • Beeswax products such as balm and candles are another natural option to protect and hydrate the skin
  • Specialized petroleum free products, such as petrolatum free diaper rash creams and skin barrier creams, are generally safe to use for pregnant women


In conclusion, although petrolatum is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy, there are potential risks associated with it and, as such, it is advisable to speak with your doctor and use alternative skin protectants when possible.

Petrolatum Safety During Pregnancy

Understanding Petrolatum

Petrolatum, also known as mineral oil, is a form of petroleum that has been refined to form a colorless and odorless jelly-like substance. It’s commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products such as skin lotions and products marketed to protect, moisturize, and soften skin.

Petroleum During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are often advised to take extra precautions when it comes to their health and beauty products, and this applies to petrolatum as well. The safety of petrolatum during pregnancy has not been extensively studied, but there are some concerns regarding petroleum’s potential to irritate the skin or be absorbed into the bloodstream.

What The Research Says

A few studies have examined the effects of petrolatum on pregnant women and their babies. One study found a link between the use of petrolatum and an increased risk of fetal malformation. Another study found that the use of petrolatum during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of preterm birth. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential risks associated with the use of petrolatum during pregnancy, it’s best for pregnant women to err on the side of caution and avoid using it during this time.

Alternative Options

Fortunately, there are plenty of other effective and safe alternatives to petrolatum products. The following list represents some of the best options available:

  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is a natural plant-based oil that’s great for locking moisture in the skin, and it’s safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Shea Butter – Shea butter is a rich and moisturizing natural emollient that’s beneficial for pregnant women and their growing babies.
  • Jojoba Oil – Jojoba is a natural non-comedogenic oil that helps keep skin hydrated and protected from external factors.
  • Olive Oil – Olive oil is a natural oil derived from olives that is rich in antioxidants and skin-healthy fatty acids.
  • Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is a natural plant-based gel that helps soothe, moisturize, and protect the skin.

Final Thoughts

While the safety of petrolatum during pregnancy has not been extensively studied, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid using it. Fortunately, there are plenty of other effective and safe alternatives that can be used instead. Pregnant women should prioritize natural and plant-based options, such as coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera.

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