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Has my use of topical retinol while pregnant harmed my baby?

By April 24, 2014 - 5:52pm
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Hi there,
I am worried sick right now. I am 12 weeks pregnant, and I just found out that the facial moisturizer/sunscreen I've been using for the last 12 weeks has retinol in it. It is Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer with Accelerated Retinol SA (sustained action), and apparently, the company claims that Retinol SA is distinct from Retinol (and deserved a patent) because of its ability to penetrate the skin and continue to work for 12 hours after its application. I use it on my face, about a quarter size, about 4 times/week. I am so worried that this deeper-penetrating retinol has seeped into my skin, into my bloodstream, to harm my baby and cause birth defects.

Every website I look at says to avoid topical retinol during pregnancy for fear of birth defects. I am sick with worry, and would appreciate the response of a doctor that can tell me if I've caused risk/harm to my growing baby, or not.

Thank you,
~Worried Sick~

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Lana,
I am also in the same situation and I am now 18 weeks. Can you please update some information??

August 5, 2017 - 3:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

Did your baby have birth defects r did the doctor advise you to use different product? I'm pregnant and use same moisturizer.

April 17, 2016 - 11:16am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Lana,

Welcome to EmpowHER, Some research believe that the oral form of retinoids has a higher risk of birth defects. Stressing yourself over this is worst for your baby. If you are concerned about this, you need to discuss this with your doctor or OBGYN. He might suggest having imaging test done such as an ultrasound to know if the baby is growing just fine.  Hope this was helpful?



April 25, 2014 - 3:55am
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