Retinol is basically vitamin A and is mostly used as a dietary supplement. Most people take vitamin A supplements to remove their deficiency. Vitamin A can help maintain a youthful glow, removes unwanted acne, and battle wrinkles. Many doctors also suggest taking such supplements for skin care, but can you use retinol while breastfeeding? A straightforward answer is no, but many controversial opinions exist on this topic.
Some people say it is fine to take retinol while breastfeeding, but its amount has to be low. Taking such vitamins in a high concentration can damage your child’s health. Retinol is potent, and it might stay in your bloodstream for more time than usual. Taking it in a small amount might not be dangerous, but you must check your child’s sleeping routine.
On the other hand, using retinol creams have no effects on breastfeeding; you can use them whenever you want. The dangers lie when you ingest retinol and breastfeed your baby before it leaves your body. On average, retinol takes around 24 hours to leave your body, even if you take it in a lower amount. So, to be on the safe side, it is better not to use retinol while breastfeeding.
Benefits of Retinol
Retinol has been commonly used to treat many skin conditions. Some people like to ingest vitamin A supplements, while others use it directly on the skin. Applying it to the skin won’t have the same effects as consuming it, but it will be more beneficial since retinol won’t stay in your blood.
The biggest benefit of retinol is that it can help reduce wrinkles and slow the appearance of fine lines on your skin. Its effects will work on your entire body, making you look younger than usual.
On the other hand, it also helps reduce the signs of stretch marks after delivery. If you use retinol within three months after delivery, it can help reduce the stretch marks significantly. The main reason why women love using this supplement
The small dark flat areas on your skin (sunspots) commonly appear with aging. Moreover, if your skin is exposed to the sun for a long time, be prepared to see sunspots on your skin. A proper dosage of retinol can help reduce these sunspots.
Has your pregnancy period affected your skin and ruined its texture and tone? Retinol is an excellent option to improve the skin tone and its texture in a short time. However, you might need to consume supplements for this, which is not recommended while breastfeeding.
Retinol can also help treat acne and keep your skin hydrated. However, excessive usage can also lead to skin damage and health issues; make sure to use it in the lowest amounts initially and only increase the dosage with your doctor’s consent.
Risks of Retinol While Breastfeeding
Retinol is strong, and it will stay in your blood for a long time. While many suggest it is harmful to your child, there is no proper study on how or what kind of effects it will do on your child. Some studies have claimed that retinol shows birth defects in children if taken during pregnancy. However, for breast milk, it is not sure how much will be transferred to your child.
While using retinol cream is a good option, you must not use it on the parts where the baby can lick. Retinol is hazardous for babies, even in a small amount. Even touching retinol can cause damage to babies.
On the other hand, topical retinol will not harm the baby through breastmilk. Since a very low concentration is absorbed in the blood, it is highly unlikely to impact your baby’s health.
Using topical retinol isn’t harmful to the baby, but there aren’t enough studies that support its harmlessness. It is better to get medical advice before you start using retinol after delivering a baby.
One thing to notice is retinol will show its effects if you use it daily. Taking a dosage accidentally won’t cause any issues; you can continue with breastfeeding. However, if you take one dosage, it is better to stay away from retinol for almost 48 hours before it can completely leave your body.
You can use other skin care products without vitamin A or at very lower doses that won’t require daily intake until you stop breastfeeding your child. It is not that if you don’t use such medication at the initial stages, your body won’t return to its former glory.
How Soon You Should Start Using Retinol After Pregnancy
If you use topical retinol, then using it right after pregnancy is fine but keep the areas covered where you apply the medicine. However, consuming retinol supplements should be great for your baby’s health after you have completed the breastfeeding cycle. Your skin will look dull and saggy, but topical retinol will keep it a bit better than usual. You can take supplements to boost the process, and your skin will look fresh and hydrated in no time.
On the other hand, ensure to use retinol with care as your skin is extra sensitive during and after pregnancy for a couple of weeks. Use it with less amount to see how your body reacts and keep increasing the amount to reach the recommended usage. If you feel any burn or itching after using topical retinol, stop using it and consult your doctor immediately.
Here are some alternatives if you want to use skincare products after pregnancy but don’t want to rely on retinol.
Bakuchiol is an excellent natural skin care ingredient mostly found in the Babchi plant. It is a strong antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals and also helps save it from UAV to avoid photo-aging.
Azelaic acid is perfect for uneven skin tone as it can lighten the dark spots and reduce the size of large pores. Moreover, you can also use it to smoothen the skin and remove the dead cells to make it look fresh.
Vitamin C can help reduce acne and improve collagen production. It also improves skin elasticity, which helps keep your skin firm and healthy.