Friday, February 18, 2011

What Every Mother Needs To Know...

Annette Rubin, President of Belli Pregnancy Safe Skincare for Mother and Baby, answers our questions on best products for expecting mommies and their babies and what really makes a product baby-safe...

If you have kids, are pregnant or ever plan to be pregnant, READ THIS in its entirety!

How did you start Belli? 
While pregnant with my first son Jackson, I recognized a gap in the beauty industry—there were no medically sound products that specifically addressed the unique skin care concerns of pregnancy. Passionate about meeting this need, I asked my family practitioner husband, Jason Rubin, M.D., to review the published medical literature looking for which ingredients were safest for the growing baby. Together, we combined our knowledge into luxurious products that pamper and comfort the expectant mom. 

What separates Belli from the other motherhood skincare ranges on the market?  
Belli Pregnancy has set the new standard for prenatal safety in the industry, as the only skin care line in the world to perform ongoing teratology screening of each ingredient.
What do expecting mothers need to know about their skincare?  
It is a common assumption that natural or organic ingredients are the safer choice during pregnancy, but a review of the medical literature shows that this is not true.
Many natural, organically grown substances have been proven in research studies to actually be harmful during pregnancy.  Alcohol and nicotine are probably the two most well-known offenders, but there are natural skin care ingredients that should be avoided as well.  A short list includes:
    •    Vitamin A and Retinol
    •    Aloe Vera
    •    Caffeine
    •    Salicylic acid
The FDA states their opinion on natural ingredients in the article "Clearing up Cosmetics Confusion" (1998, revised 2000)
 "There is no basis in fact or scientific legitimacy to the notion that products containing natural ingredients are good for the skin."  

We know that some skincare ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream in small amounts, where they can pass into baby’s circulation.  But the FDA doesn’t require cosmetic companies to review the published teratology data (the likelihood of a chemical causing a birth defect) before selling a product.  They don’t even require allergy testing.
Their baby care? 
Most people have heard the negative buzz around  Phthalates.  Phthalates are synthetic chemicals used to soften PVC plastic and make it more flexible.  They are often used in toys and baby products.  They’re also sometimes used in personal care products such as nail polish, perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics.
 At Belli we believe the bigger story is really around xenoestrogens. Recent studies have shown that phthalates are also xenoestrogens—chemicals which can mimic the effect of estrogen on the body.  This is especially important with children, who depend on normal levels of circulating hormones for healthy development. Research has shown that exposure to xenoestrogenens in male infants can cause abnormalities of their reproductive system and in females it’s linked to contributing to early onset puberty.
Skin care companies are required to list their ingredients on the packaging, but they don’t have to disclose the exact ingredients used in any synthetic fragrances.  The experts at Belli have long known about the risks of xenoestrogens and have used that information to help formulate products.
Belli’s list of “red flagged” estrogenic ingredients includes phthalates, paraben preservatives (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben), lavender oil, tea tree oil, and the chemical UV sunscreens (benzophenone, oxybenzone, octyl-methoxycinnamate, PABA).
Belli also avoids using plastics in their packaging which are known to contain xenoestrogens such as BPA (bisphenol A) and PVC.  You can tell which type of plastic is used by looking at the recycle code on the bottom of the bottle, which has a number with a triangle around it:  number 7 (sometimes contains BPA) and number 3 (PVC).
We expose ourselves to hundreds of chemicals each day whose safety is not fully understood.  Though we’re each willing to live with certain risks in life, it’s only natural that we should choose a higher safety standard for our children.  Mothers can feel confident knowing that the Belli Baby collection is completely free of phthalates and other xenoestrogens. 

Must-have product(s) for mommy's?
I have 3 favorite products I recommend for all moms:
Elasticity Belly Oil-- it’s a beautiful blend of pure plant extracts that nourish and moisturize the skin while aiding in the prevention of stretchmarks.  Clinical research shows that with once daily application of Elasticity Belly Oil will reduce your chance of getting stretchmarks by 39% and if you do get marks it will lessen the severity of them. 

I also recommend Anti-chloasma Facial Sunscreen spf 25—it’s a full spectrum mineral based sun block that is lightly tinted and perfect for all skin types and tones.   Chloasma is also known as the mask-of-pregnancy and affects nearly 75% of all pregnant women and women on birth control pills. The best way to keep your skin free of dark pigmented spots on your face is protect it daily with a spf.

Belli also makes a beautiful face wash—Acne Cleansing Facial Wash that features lactic acid which is an effective exfoliatant that won’t irritate your skin and also has lemon cucumber for a fresh clean complexion.  Perfect for anyone battling hormonal breakouts.
Must-have product(s) for babies? 
I believe in 3 basics for tending to babies skin Belli’s Calm Me Hair & Body Wash to gently cleanse skin, Belli’s Nourish Me Enriched Lotion to moisturize skin and Belli’s Protect Me Diaper Rash Cream for any skin irritation in the diaper area.

Celebrity Clients?
Our friends at Petite Tresor, a super chic baby boutique in West Hollywood sell Belli and they have reported that Halle Berry has purchased the Belli baby products for Nahla, Kate Moss purchased Stretchmark Minimizing Cream and Rebecca Romijn used Belli’s Elasticity Belly Oil during her pregnancy.  It’s also been reported that Brad Pitt was spotted purchasing a Belli Pregnancy gift set.


Anonymous said...

According to the Mayo Clinic, aloe vera is safe when applied topically:

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Although topical (skin) use of aloe is unlikely to be harmful during pregnancy or breastfeeding, oral (by mouth) use is not recommended due to theoretical stimulation of uterine contractions. It is not known whether active ingredients of aloe may be present in breast milk. The dried juice of aloe leaves should not be consumed by breastfeeding mothers.

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