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Ep. 153- Skin Care Products and Breastfeeding: What’s with all the “Warnings”?!

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*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*


Hey, welcome to the Milk Minute Podcast. Welcome. We’re back in the studio bringing you all the best breastfeeding advice. Yeah, I have my period today and I feel like shit. So just, you know, I feel like this every time we record, it’s one of us and I wish we could like block those weeks off on our calendar, but then we’d have like only like two possible weeks a month to record

Yeah. Or we just need to hang out more so we can sync up. We need to sync up. Yeah. Yeah. That way when we’re on our periods, it’s like sweatpants and planning only. Yeah. I have a strictly comfy clothes rule when I’m bleeding. I do, I do. And I like cocoon in comforters. And when my husband tries to come cuddle, I’m like, if you disturb one edge of my cocoon, you will be banished permanently.

Yeah. From this bed. That seems fair to me. It is? No, but he usually just brings me tea and cookies and he’s like, okay, that’s nice. I’ll see you tomorrow. I think this gray weather has just really started to get to me. You know, we’re far enough into winter now that my body’s like, I don’t remember what vitamin D was.

Yeah. Happiness. What are you? And then on my way into the studio this morning, the Arctic wind blew my one chin hair that grows overnight. That is the color of angel wings and finer than a frog hair, and I can’t ever find it myself. It is so wispy and it’s just the one and I need to find it for you.

Yeah. My husband usually finds it eventually, and then it’s like two inches. There’s like one and it’s so long. Can I pluck out your chin hair? I wish you would find it. I would love that. After, right after this episode. Don’t forget, still, I, I would feel like really accomplished if I could do that for you.

I would really love that. So if you have one wispy chin hair, you are not alone. And speaking of stuff that’s on your skin, that’s what we’re talking about today. Oh yeah, it is. So, like one of our FAQs is like, can I use this skincare slash makeup slash hair product while breastfeeding? Yeah, pregnancy gave me such bad acne and now I’m breastfeeding and can I continue this regimen or can I amp it up now that I’m not pregnant and can I use this or can I use that?

And it’s basically every single bottle of anything you put on your body is gonna say not for use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Right. And usually we’re just like, I don’t know, but, and I’m gonna try to answer much more definitively for you today, and you can tell me at the end how successful I am.

Yeah. And please don’t panic and run into your bathroom and start combing through all of the labels. Like if this question has not occurred to you yet, just walk away. You’re probably doing great. It’s fine. But if you are panic reading ingredient labels, this one’s for you. Yeah. Yeah. Or if you actually have like a serious skin situation going on.

Yeah. You know, and you need the big guns. Yeah. Then this is also for you, but we wanted to remind you all that Maureen and I both do consults, and those links are always in the show notes. So if you guys are having issues with breastfeeding or pumping, starting solids or anything to do with feeding your kiddos, we are here for you and we are happy to help.

And let’s thank a patron. Yeah, we’d like to thank Katie Hyde. We’re so happy to have you in our little Patreon family. And yeah, we hope you enjoy all the perks you get through Patreon. If you guys wanna join, don’t forget. It’s just MilkMinutePodcast and your monetary support goes to supporting the podcast.

So, absolutely. It just keeps this ship floating and we appreciate it. So let’s take a minute to thank one of our sponsors, and when we come back, we’re gonna answer all of your burning skin questions. Dun, dun, dun.

Imagine a world where you seek lactation care and it’s easy and someone greets you at the door and they’re nice to you and they give you a hot cup of tea and let you sit on the couch and talk about all the issues, not just the breastfeeding. What a cozy fantasy. Is there anywhere that’s real? Oh, it’s real girl.

It’s real, and I’ve been building it for quite a long time. My business is called Breastfeeding for Busy Moms, and me and every member of my team are trained in our three major tenants, which is accessibility, kindness and personalization. If you wanna book a consult with Heather or anyone else on her team, you should head over to breastfeeding for busy

We do accept some limited insurance and we’d be happy to walk you through it if you wanna give us a call. And that number’s on Google. So go sit on the cozy couch with Heather at breastfeeding for busy moms. Love you guys. Welcome back everybody. Today we are going to actually answer a question from our new patron, Katie Hyde from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Katie says, Thank y’all so much for your podcast. Oh, there’s that little North Carolina coming out. It’s been such a lifesaver for me these past few years, and I recommend it to all of my pregnant and breastfeeding friends. I love the episode you did interviewing Heather’s grandma. So special. One topic I’d be interested in is fertility and breastfeeding.

I’m about to start fertility treatments to have a second baby after miscarrying and having an ectopic pregnancy. I’m still nursing my two and a half year old and I’m not ready to give it up but wasn’t sure if they’ll recommend I stop nursing when I start hormones or after I get pregnant. Given my history.

Thank you again for everything y’all are doing. This is a great question and we just released an episode about this episode one 50, and we go through a lot of the specific drugs in that episode. But one thing you can do right now is use Facebook and go to the group Breastfeeding Mums Undergoing Fertility Treatment / IVF and that group is just amazing.

And is super, super helpful because a lot of doctors will just automatically say, yes, ween before we do anything else. And that’s great for some folks, but like you said, you wanna keep breastfeeding and you can absolutely undergo fertility treatments while doing that. Okay, so good luck with that Katie.

We would love to hear updates when you have them. We are very invested in our patrons stories. Yes. And actually, just so you know, we have received probably 50 of those questions and emails. So you’re not alone. This is actually a very common thing. Mm-hmm. And we just wanted to normalize that for everybody because that’s a common fear.

You’re not alone in that feeling. Oh, absolutely. Yes. So and we’re super supportive of you. Yes. All right. So I’m just gonna like, Set up a little scenario for you. Here you are, postpartum, breastfeeding, maybe a little high anxiety. Yeah, we’re gonna, we’re gonna admit to that. How’d you know? You know, I, I don’t

Hmm. And you’re going to the store cuz you’re like, I need some new stuff so I can like, feel like myself again. Oh, I wanna feel. Skin glow, you know, I’m gonna get the haircut, great. I’m gonna get a spray tan , I wanna get like a vibrant hair color again. And you know, so you’re like, you’re at the store and you pick up this just delectable leaf, fancy skin cream.

And you turn it around and it says, do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. And you grab another, and another, and another. And they all say that, what is that? So it’s annoying is what it is. It is. And I’m gonna explain what that’s about before we even get into like specific ingredient safety. Yeah.

Okay. The FDA, right. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States. And there are similar groups in other countries. For our international listeners, they require. Anything that has not been specifically evaluated for safety during either breastfeeding or pregnancy. So basically everything. Mm-hmm.

To have that warning. That includes vitamin supplements, medications, skincare products, et cetera. And so now what we have is a statement that is used with such a lack of specificity. Specificity. There you go. That it means nothing helpful to us, right? Because if every single product has that on the label, what does that mean?

Fun fact, the F D A didn’t actually require those warning labels for cosmetics till 2014. Wow. FDA’s crushing it as usual. Whoa. They have had guidance about that kind of thing since like the 1980s when they started requiring that all over-the-counter medications have a warning label. But at that point they agreed that warning labels would not be required for drugs or products that were not like highly absorbed into the body.

So, aka topical things such as toothpaste and lip balm were specifically mentioned. Don’t know why. What? My lip skin doesn’t count. Apparently not. Would if you have really big lips. I found a great article from 1982 in the Washington Post about this. That was just, I mean, it’s just fascinating. I love stuff like that.

Yeah. Hashtag what is skin? Yeah. What is even skin? Skin is our biggest organ guys, and we actually it serves two purposes, right? It protects us and it absorbs things. It’s a semi-permeable membrane, right? Two-way. That are selective and that’s why it’s important for us to talk about because we can absorb things through our skin that can eventually get into our bloodstream.

However, for something to get into your milk, to a point where we can like measure it and be like, this will or will not harm baby. It has to get into your blood in like fairly significant. Yeah. And also it depends how quickly it hits, you know, like there’s gonna be a big difference between a Zofran patch that an anesthesiologist puts behind your ear and you know, like moisturizer dove moisturizer that you put on your skin.

Yeah. And that’s the tricky thing is some, we have some topical products that are made specifically and formulated specifically to increase topical absorption. And then we have some that are not, that are just, you know, random cosmetic products, but also some that might incidentally do that, whether or not they’re formulated that way.

But things like makeup and stuff like aren’t created for your skin to just suck them up. Those are created to sit on your skin and not be sucked up. Yeah, and I guess most people wouldn’t even consider like face products. It’s not like you’re smearing them all over your breasts. Yeah. So I think more often than not, people are like, okay, well is this smelly lotion?

Okay. Mm-hmm, but they’re not thinking about like the retinol they’re putting on their face. Yeah. Yeah. And, but you know what? I, retinol is my number one thing I get asked about, so I did definitely include it today. Good. And I just, before we get into the nitty gritty though, I kind of wanna start with what I’m thinking of as like best practices for safety.

That kind of covered like every product you’re gonna put on your skin, period. Love it. Wait. And should this be for like just general health as well? Yeah. Like some of it, yeah. I mean, aren’t there just like some things we should not be coating ourselves with? Mm-hmm? Yeah. I’m gonna, I’m gonna tell you about this.

Like, regardless of whether or not you’re feeding a human with your body, okay, perfect. Let’s do it. Yeah. Okay. So if you’re putting something on your skin in general, if possible, we’re just gonna say like, don’t put it near your breasts. Right. Don’t put a ton of it on your chest where your baby is gonna lay their little head and, suck whatever is on your skin off of it.

That would be the easiest scenario here. We’re just avoiding proximity, but of course like there are times we do need to put things on our skin there. We might need to wash. You might have like super dry, flaky skin or some like boo acne and you need to manage it. No problem. The things you wanna really avoid in places that baby could literally touch or ingest it are essential oils, parabens, which are in a lot of fragrances, and formaldehyde.

Which you might be like, I never put formaldehyde on my skin. Wrong. You probably do. You do. and Maureen, I forget what episode it was, but you were going off about formaldehyde and you were like, you guys, formaldehyde’s whole purpose is to keep things dead. It terrifies me also because I’m married into a family of funeral directors.

Oh my god. So I like know far more about formaldehyde than any person should, and probably my level of vigilance about it is like a little too high. But you know, there are some, I think. Okay, so I got my hair keratin straightened one time. Yeah. Way long ago. And it smelled like formaldehyde and I have smelled a dead body before that has been preserved with formaldehyde and it’s a four hour treatment to get your hair done.

The whole time I’m sitting there, I was just like, I am having a problem with this. The whole treatment, I’m being embalmed, I’m being, my head is getting embalmed. I could not stop thinking about it.

It like really took the luster out of the experience for. Not a spa day. Not a spa. They were like, that’ll be $400. And I was like, that feels right because that’s about how much it would cost to embalm a body with the amount of shit that you just put on my hair. Cool. Yeah. I’ll go into more detail about formaldehyde, but it’s used as a preservative in like a lot of makeup products, a lot of different skin products, and it goes under a lot of different names.

So I’m gonna teach you about that a little bit later. But in general, like I just think we shouldn’t be putting parabens and formaldehyde like on our skin if we can avoid it. They’re just not great for you. And it’s one thing if it’s like, oh yes, that one blush I use has something in it.

Cool. No, no problem. But if you look at the ingredients on your products and you realize your body lotion, your face lotion, your face wash, your foundation, your serum, like all has those things, maybe consider how to cut some of that out. Yeah. Just pick a couple things to throw away. Yeah. Because you know the poison is all about the dose.

Right. And I think there we can definitely go way too far into a toxin-free lifestyle black hole that somehow ends up into the, like QAN on alt-right, tread wife space. Yeah. So we’re like not gonna go quite that far. Yeah. So like if you’re put in Fireball in your coffee this morning, maybe just skip the creams. Yeah. On your face.

You know, but you know, like everything in moderation, we are constantly exposed to things that can be considered toxins. We just have to make sure that ha the like amount that we’re exposed to is not actually harmful for us. I like that. Yeah, thanks. If you need to put like a lotion or a wash somewhere on your chest or your breast, just like try to avoid those.

Try to avoid fragrance cuz that can be confusing or toxic to baby. And just like you don’t usually need to wash your nipples. What do you mean by confusing to baby? So specifically for a newborn, right? They use scent as a way to navigate to the breast because we have these wonderful multifunctional glands called the Montgomery glands that secrete fluids that serve to both clean and lubricate the nipples.

And they provide, like, I think of it like a scent trail, which is not exactly what it is, but. That’s hot. Babies know where to go also, frankly. So does your BO. Like babies. Love that. Thank you. Thank you. I don’t love it for me. My husband doesn’t care. My baby doesn’t care, so I just try to get over it. My husband always tells me, I like it when you’re stinky, that means no one else will want you.

He’s actually telling you it’s very attractive to you. Yeah. But also like over, you know, strong sense can be not just like toxic to baby, but overwhelming, confusing. Also like they don’t taste good. Like have you ever licked your skin after putting moisturizer on? It tastes terrible. Maybe you haven’t, but I feel like I’ve done that before.

I feel like I’ve licked somebody else’s skin. Skin, exactly. When they’ve had somebody’s skin after they’ve put like lavender scented lotion and you’re like, that is accurate and disgusting. I’ve licked a couple cologne necks in my day and that’s like, wow. Alcohol bitter. I regret that. Accurate. Anyway, we don’t want your baby to have that experience when they’re trying to breastfeed.

We also don’t want those things like getting in their eyes. Right. Have you ever gotten scented lotion in your eyes? Probably raise my hand. I have. Did that a couple days ago. Raise my hand. I have. I, I’m more inclined to get hair gel in my eye. Oh. Because, you know, I’ll put my gel in in the morning and then I’ll think I’ve washed my hands.

Good. And then I have an eye booger and then I’m like, you know, it’s actually the thing that I do possibly like every other day. I. , like I am obsessed with the Burt’s Bees, like peppermint Chapstick. Like that thing has had a hold on me since 2006 and I don’t know why I can’t quit you. But I’ll put it on and then absent mindedly, like smooth it with a finger.

And then when I like have something in my eye 20 minutes later or whatever, I’ll like touch my eye and then like slowly the burn pills. Oh yes. And then I’m like, no, good. Peppermint and menthol just really has a lot of staying power, doesn’t it? ? It never goes away. It just hangs. She’s doing it right now.

She’s touching her mouth and her eye. I have a really funny story about that. Do we have time? We have time. I’ll make time. Okay. So I, if you guys dunno, I went to Oberlin College. If there are fellow OBs out there, you will know this story of, or the, the circumstances surrounding it.

So I lived in a co-op, a cooperative living housing situation and it was it, the co-op was called Harkness and it was kind of notorious for being like the hippie crunchy co-op. I mean, they all were, but this was like deep crunchy . And the way this building was designed for no good reason, it had Roman showers, big open shower rooms. Were you showered altogether?

There was a privacy sign. You could like switch if you wanted privacy, but like, we just frequently showered together as like 19 year old kids. And my friend, of course, our shower was stalked with Dr. Bronner’s because, Anyway, that, that just tracks somebody put a peppermint Dr. Bronner’s in there. Oh no.

And they did not dilute it. Okay. We had a protocol about diluting that and it was not followed. Oh God. And I was in the shower with my friend and she grabbed it and she wore glasses. So she like, wasn’t looking, didn’t know, just grabbed it and put it on her hands and started rubbing with Undiluted peppermint, Dr. Bronner’s. Oh.

Within a minute was like screeching because her armpits and her nipples were on fire. Oh my gosh. That’s awful. Dilute your Dr. Bronner’s. Thank God she didn’t get it down to her labia. Not yet. I mean, thank God most of us don’t wash like inside of our vaginas. Don’t do that, everybody. Oh God.

Anyway, that was fun. Peppermint is really strong, guys. Peppermint’s. Very, yeah, because your body’s like, is it cold or hot? I don’t know. Both. Both, both. Awful. Anyway. Thank God that wasn’t me. Yeah. Oh God. You’re like, sucks for you. What do you even do to fix? She’s watching like washing my hair. You need like a neutralizer.

You just kinda have to like wait for it to go away. Know. Awful. I think we just laughed about it and alternately while she screamed, you know, as you do . Anyway on that note, yeah. Oh, I wanted to mention quick two since we’ve been mostly talking skin products, but we’re gonna kind of what we’re talking about covers also things like hair dye, shampoos, conditioners, perms, hair treatments, et cetera.

Frankly, I spent a long time looking into this, and I have yet to come across a hair product or treatment that is contraindicated while lactating. What about Nair? Also fine. Oh, okay. Yeah. So don’t stress about those. Okay. Try not to stress about it. You’re gonna stress this stuff. I do have a near story for later.

Oh, I’d love those. Okay. , go. . But what should we worry about? You know, we get dms like every day in emails of questions about this kind of stuff. So I wanted to hit the FAQs, like the things that were just constantly asked about, and then also the things that I think we should be a little cautious about whether or not people know that yet.

Can we just start with peppermint? Yes. Because every single year around Christmas, I get panicked. Panicked, absolutely panicked, utter panicked messages. Can I have the Starbucks peppermint mocha or will it dry up my supply? What about the Peppermint Chapstick? What about peppermint gum? What? And I’m like, oh my God.

Because there is a lactation consultant in town. Mm-hmm. God bless her. Bless her heart, who tells people that if they chew peppermint gum, it’ll ruin their milk supply. I swear. And then it’s, it trickles down into other things. So like, you know, icy hot and like, oh, I’m gonna start working out again, and my muscles are super sore.

Can I use Icy Hot? Go ahead. Let, let’s hear it. Yeah. Okay. So peppermint and menthol. Cause menthol’s a derivative of peppermint there, Okay. Using it topically or ingesting like normal amounts of it, right? Like a drink, gum, whatever, will not hurt your supply or baby. Okay? So icy hot, fine, peppermint, Dr. Bronner’s dilute it, but fine.

You know, peppermint essential oil also dilute that cuz it will burden your skin but not hurt your milk supply and it will not hurt your baby unless you put it directly on their. Or in their body. It’s fine. Chew your peppermint gum. I drank peppermint tea like literally every day for a month postpartum.

It’s fine. Like if you wanted to try and dry up your milk with peppermint tea, I would not expect you to tell me anything had happened till you’d had like 12 cups of tea. Oh, and even then experiment. That was wet. Yeah. Okay. And even then I would be like, wow. Really. It really worked. I, I think that some people are probably more sensitive to this as usual, but I think in general, I would be shocked if somebody was like, I chew a stick of peppermint gum and my milk dried up.

I’d be like, what? That’s in your head. Love. Really? We need to. What else happened? Probably today. We need to explore some other things. Yeah. So don’t worry about it. Okay? Okay. Use your Peppermint ChapStick. I will also continue to use it every day and burn my eyeballs with it , I will put icy hot on my glutes, cuz yes, I’m going for best butt 2023.

Wish me luck. I’m excited. I’m, I’m doing so many squats. I’ll vote for your ass, Heather. Thank you. No, it’s just, I’m voting it against myself. Oh, okay. You know, so it will be a better butt than last year. It’s gotta already be. It’s gotta be. Looks great. Thank you.

I tell all my patients who are brand new parents to put a list of soothing techniques on the refrigerator so they can both remember what they’ve already tried for soothing baby. I like to put a Happi Tummi on that list. It’s a natural herbal wrap that soothes and relieves pain instantly and it so fuzzy.

It’s so great. It helps baby sleep at night, resolves colic gas or constipation, and it’s great because it has cute animal on the front for when they’re doing tummy time, which provides gentle pressure to help them get their toots out. And you know what? They’re not just for babies. They have them for teens and adults too.

Hmm. So if you’re struggling with those period pains, get your herbal warm, Happi Tummi wrap today by going to And if you love us, enter promo code MILKMINUTE10 for 10% off. That’s Milk Minute 10 for 10% off your Happi Tummi. Thank you so much for supporting the show.

Heather, when you were nursing Heidi, did you get thirsty every single time? Every single time I sat down to nurse, it was like the Sahara Desert had taken up residents in my mouth. Same. And my go-to drink right now is Liquid iv. Oh, me too. Liquid IV makes your water work harder cuz it has a hydration multiplier in it.

That’s great tasting. Non gmo. And it actually has cellular transport technology that delivers hydration to the bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water. You can also get their immune support blend, energy blend, or even one that helps with your sleep health. My personal favorite is Lemon Lime, and I think it actually makes me drink water two times faster, which is always handy when you have a screaming baby in the room.

I really like the Tangerine. And if you wanna try that today, you can go to the link in our show notes and use our discount code milk underscore minute for 15% off your order. That’s Milk underscore Minute for 15% off your Liquid IV today. Happy drinking.

Oh, well on the subject of like fragrances and flavors lavender, I get asked, this one gets me lavender’s actually a little bit complicated because there is a grain of truth that people misinterpret. Which is usual, like a lot of people know, just enough truth to get things wrong, and that’s not necessarily your fault.

Or to fear monger on the internet for more shares and likes and comments. So I’m gonna help you with this one. Why would we even bring this up? Okay. Lavender oil has estrogenic and anti-androgenic activity and concerns have been raised about exposing babies, particularly male babies, to too much of this in their infancy.

Now, why? Why concerned? In three cases of pre-pubertal boys, that doesn’t seem like a real word, but pubertal. It is pubertal. There were reports of gynecomastia, a k a man boobs, a k, a male breast tissue growth caused by hormonal in balance. Now, these boys were all using grooming products containing lavender.

So wait back up. Yeah. Probably is pretty rare that prepubescent boys are using any grooming products at all. At all. . I mean, I, I think as far as I could understand, in the case it was like Johnson and Johnson’s lavender bedtime shampoo, like things like that. Got it. Yeah. And like the lavender magnesium lotion and the things we put on our little kids to relax them and get them to go to fuck those sleep.

Okay. So in all three cases, the gynecomastia resolved after the products were discontinued. Hmm. However, this is a very small number of reports compared to the enormous amount of babies who are exposed to Lavender skincare products. You don’t see Johnson and Johnson taking their lavender bath wash off the market, do you?

No, not that I’d really trust them to anyway, if it right was a problem. So the relevance of these findings has been questioned, right? Like, was this due to the lavender products? Was there an preexisting hormonal imbalance that was like, exacerbated? Because like literally hundreds of millions of children use those products and don’t have this issue.

No further testing has been reported to confirm or refute the finding. And also there’s a lot of little boys out there that just have that already to have that issue. Yeah. Chunky boobs. Yeah. You know, and it’s fine. And little babies have their cute little boobies sometimes cuz they’re so chubby. And I, I mean it’s like, what do you measure it by?

Yeah. So my ruling and what I’ve read from infant risk and LactMed, whatever is that kind of, regardless of those reports, you wouldn’t wanna put something smelling like lavender on your boobs or breastfeeding anyway because of the things we mentioned before, right? Fragrance. We don’t want to get on baby or inside baby, otherwise we are not concerned.

Great. Yep. The next one, can I do this one? Vitamin C. So Vitamin C is a friend of mine because I have very greasy skin. You guys I know. Very greasy. See it all the time. I love it. Shiny. It’s so shiny. I just look like you could take one of those pampered Chef scrapers and just scrape it down into a George Foreman grease collector at the bottom of my chin,

I also. Really red skin. So vitamin C is fine. Mm-hmm, it is a water soluble vitamin, so it goes in and out and it is safe to use with lactation. It’s safe to eat, it’s safe to put on your skin. And it’s often used to replace retinol products. Yes. And so it’ll help with like brightening your skin and it will also help with that oil.

So, Yeah, I’m down with the vitamin C. That feels crunchy, nutty to me. You know, as long as it’s not laced with something else that is questionable. I mean, we just have no evidence that it would be harmful at this point, really internally or externally. You, if you take too much internally, you just pee it out, right?

Just like vitamin B. Yeah. So it’s not a big deal. If you love your vitamin C serum, go for it. I wanna see you glow. Okay. You glow, boo boo . But on that note, because a lot of people have been scared off retinol, let’s talk about it. Vitamin A. Retinol is vitamin A, which has confused me because I am not a skincare product person.

I don’t know why I did this episode either. Why did you make me do this? You picked it. I don’t know. Yeah, those are the same thing, which was a surprise to me. Yeah. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. Yes. So you can get overloaded with it because your body doesn’t get rid of it like it does a water soluble vitamin that you just pee out.

That’s kind of hence the whole root of the concern with retinol. Right? Hangs around. Can we use retinol? The, the answer is murky, so let’s, let’s walk through it. Infant risk recommends against internal retinol use because, so like oral retinol, because it’s secreted into human milk and it’s fat soluble, and it is possible to have liver damage from an overdose of retinol.

So daily internal doses. This is not skincare externally, this is internal, which some acne treatments, I guess do like Accutane, right? So you wanna avoid doses of over 3000 micrograms daily. I do not know what the usual Accutane dosage is. Yes, it’s probably a billion. Yeah, I’m pretty sure. Cuz I did two rounds of Accutane and it, I think what it does, and this is what it felt like inside my body, that it brings your organs as close to failure as possible.

I, without actually failing them. Yeah. And every orifice of your whole body is so dry and you’re just bleeding just everywhere. I’m so sorry. That sounds, I got cavities for the first time in my life. No, it was not cool. Oh, and, and my zits came back. I don’t, so no. Okay, so just know that number. If you’re looking at oral retinol treatments, 3000 micrograms daily is the absolute limit while breastfeeding, however, I was trolling the infant risk forums, right?

Because none of these official like citations for the medications had anything to do with topical use. And I did thankfully find a nice little thread that address this topic and basically absorption topically is super minimal and it’s, as far as we know, safe, all breastfeeding. There’s no study on it.

You guys know the drill. Use your retinol serum. It’s okay. I’m not worried about it. What about if you’re lactating, but you’re also pregnant? Because the vitamin A I, I would say, Me personally. Mm-hmm. If I’m just lactating, I’d use the serum. Yeah. If I’m pregnant, especially in the early trimester, I would probably avoid it if you can, just because it does have some birth defects, neurogenic risks.

Yeah. So it’s considered a teratogen. It can cause birth defect. It would be smart to avoid it generally while pregnant, however, . Like we said, topical absorption is minimal. Right. But like, if you’re the person that has already given up sushi mm-hmm and Jimmy Johns and like, just give up the serum too.

Just give up the serum. Like during, if you’re running on that anxiety, don’t worry. You’re not actually like developing a fetus anymore. You don’t have to worry about birth defects. Right. You’re good. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Next. Salicylic acid. Ah, ye adolescent friend in every single face wash at the grocery store.

Yeah. So here’s the thing. Yeah. Very, very common ingredient in anti-acne treatments as well as wart and corn removal products, which I did not know. Oh my God. Have you ever had a corn? Nope, I have. It’s so weird. I don’t know. Yeah, they’re very painful. I bet. Doesn’t seem nice. I’ve seen pictures of. So interestingly, we do absorb a lot of this.

We can absorb up to 25% of the dose from topical administration, which is high for no skin absorption. So for that reason, infant risk specifically does not recommend long-term use. LactMed doesn’t recommend, just recommends like avoiding direct contact with. But this kind of goes all in the realm of when we’re talking about aspirin and acetyl acid, it’s, it’s in that little family of acids where there is a theoretical concern about Ray syndrome for baby.

That’s like maybe not that well backed up, but if infant wrist says it’s fine for short-term use, like I feel pretty confident in that. And of course they probably don’t define short term. I don’t think they do. But usually short term is like less than three months. Yes. Less than three months. Usually we’re talking about a couple weeks of use.

Okay. So like if you have a zit on your face and you wanna use a salicylic acid patch, yeah. Use it, but maybe don’t. Do the whole face every, yeah. Or every day. Or maybe don’t use like in, like if you’re one of those people who has like body acne, maybe don’t use salicylic acid body wash every day. Mm.

Mm-hmm, you know? Okay. Yeah. So just like think about, you don’t have to cut this out completely, but think about minimizing use. Right. Okay. This is an interesting one that I just, had never heard of this in. Shocker Oxybenzone, which is an ingredient in sunscreen. Ooh. And there is some evidence it can cause fetal issues in pregnancy.

What? And yeah, I know. And it’s unclear if there’s any risk in breastfeeding. But I did wanna mention it because of that. It’s probably okay while breastfeeding, but the replacement ingredient in other sunscreens is just zinc oxide, and it’s not that hard to avoid. I’m going to take a wild stab here and say that it’s the thing that they put in there to make it disappear on your skin, probably. Instead of like the zinc that’s just white and it sits.

And you could rub it for 10 years because makes it highly absorbable. Yeah. Highly absorbable. Mm-hmm, that’s the thing. Mm-hmm, that’s the problem. Right. I, I’m gonna have to go home and check because I use the expensive one, the blue lizard on my kids and myself, and that one’s supposed to be the best one for children.

Yeah. So I’m dying to know now if that’s in there. I think I use a CeraVe sunscreen. Because that’s like pretty clean product. I use their face wash. Yeah. I use their lotion on my face. I don’t actually wash my face. I know. I was gonna say what, which is like a. It feels like a, like a, a like confession. I have like not washed my face like ever.

I mean, I like rinse it, but what I don’t use, it’s so dry. I don’t use so funny. Oh my God. If only like, this is me moisturized and I like still have a couple dry patches on my face. That’s insane. Anyway. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know what, what it is about my face. Okay. On that note preservation of skin, let’s talk about formaldehyde.

They’re gonna have to use so much formaldehyde on my dead body cuz I’m so oily. I can ask my father-in-law about it for you. Please do I need to know, maybe I should just get cremated. So when I probably told this before, my husband grew up in a funeral home, right? And my father-in-law does the cremation.

He’s the funeral director. My mother-in-law is a cosmetologist, and she, this is just like my girl. She would do hair and makeup and as per usual, you know we don’t have a lot of childcare happening. And so around the time that my husband was preschool age, you know, his brother was in school. My mother-in-law would just take him to work with her.

Oh my God. And his job was to paint blush on the toes of the dead people. What, and you know what he did instead, Heather? What? He drew? Smiley faces on them, on the toes. And there are like dozens of people who are buried with smiley faces on their clothes. That’s actually amazing. It’s very funny. I wish. I hope, I hope that that is what happens to my toes when I die.

I also hope so. It sounds fantastic. And my son went to stay with them for a couple weeks and my mother-in-law took him to work with her. He did not paint smiley faces on their toes. Yeah, it’s like the kiss of death . But I’m actually like, it’s nice that my family’s not like uncomfortable with death, actually.

Yeah, that’s kind of cool. That’s good. I I’ve been rewatching Seinfeld. Yeah. From the beginning. And one of Jerry’s standups on in the episode I just watched was, we don’t really understand dead people. Do we? Proof of this is that we give them a pillow in the casket and we put them in a tuxedo. Where are they going?

Are they going to work or are they going to take a nap? What do they need the pillow? Did you ever watch Six Feet Under? No. Oh, you have to watch it. It’s a really good show. It’s an HBO series about a family who lives in it who has a funeral home. It’s great. It’s hilarious. If you really like dead people.

I actually, my it’s a good, good opening line. Yeah. Well, I mean, some people are into it. There’s a book called Stiff Written by, it’s like is this, is this part of our romance novel talk, Heather? It’s not actually, it’s written by this woman who is a hilarious medical writer. Oh, like cool medical, you know, funny haha.

Mm-hmm. But she also handles corpses for a living. And then she talks about all the ways you can use corpses. Like they use them in crash test dummies. Oh. The, just, I’m telling you, if you need a good about dead people. That’s how the book sticks. I’ll read that book, the, it looks amazing, so I’m gonna go get it.

That sounds great. Yeah. Well, you should also watch six feet Under. It’s funny. Okay. Okay, . Anyway, so on that note formaldehyde it is in a lot of skincare products. It’s often, it’s, so the reason is it’s says it’s a preservative. It’s usually called a couple of things. Formaldehyde releasing preservative, formin, foric.

Ale Hyde. Merde Mer Die. Bless you, Jesus Louise. It has a lot of names. Okay. Those are not all of them. Just the ones I could possibly pronounce. Anyway, so here’s the thing though. It’s a substance that we already know is hazardous, right? We already know that this could harm us, and how much we absorb through the skin in these kind of products is very question.

Right. And like I said, the poison is all about the dose. So if you have one, like if your favorite foundation has formula in. It’s, it’s probably okay. But if you look at all your products and you realize they all have formaldehyde releasing preservatives, I think you should reconsider that just for your own personal health and safety.

Will it harm your baby? Probably not. Infant risk says there are no data suggesting untoward side effects in nursing infants as a result of ingesting milk from mothers with minimal environmental exposure. That’s great. And also just want to paint a little scenario here, because if your foundation is, one of those contained formaldehyde.

Mm-hmm. And you have a baby like I had that literally just licked my entire face all day long. We’re gonna think about something else, probably. We’re gonna maybe think about something different. Yeah. Because I actually had to stop wearing makeup. Mm-hmm, because anytime I held my daughter, she’d wanna latch onto my cheek and she would just, I, she still does.

So, I mean, I was gonna say like she’s four years old. Sounds like Heidi now. . She is so moist. You know, so just, you know, think about your baby and your exposure and make the best choice for your family. Yeah. Okay. Well the last one I wanted to talk about is one that I have concerns about. Okay. Hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone, I think it’s how we say it. It’s a skin lightning agent and it is definitely falling out of favor in skin products, but it is still in a lot of them. Topical hydroquinone has not been studied during breastfeeding, however the things that like infant risk and LactMed say about it is that although it’s not technically contraindicated during breastfeeding, a lot of experts feel like long-term use is just difficult to justify in a nursing mother.

If it’s used, if you feel like you have to use a product with this in it we just highly recommend that you make sure baby doesn’t touch it. They don’t come in direct contact with it, and that baby does not ingest the product from your skin. And I feel like this is how we determine the safety of a lot of medications with lactation.

Is it a medication that you would give baby directly? Yeah. Like Tylenol. Tylenol is a medication we give baby directly. So therefore if the mom has taken it and it’s going through the milk, oh, because it’s something that we would give the baby anyway. Right? But this is something they’re saying we would definitely not give to baby.

Mm-hmm, we would definitely not put on baby skin. So, because we don’t know how much is absorbed, we can’t say that it’s safe, but we can say it’s probably not even safe for you at high levels. So, and so that’s out of all like, and I looked at many more ingredients than are in this list friends. Out of all of those, the formaldehyde and hydroquinone were the two that had red flags for me.

Okay. So, yeah, other than that, Should people be paranoid? That’s what they really wanna know. I don’t think we should. I think it is worth looking at ingredients, labels for things that you use daily or that you are going to use in very close proximity to baby, skin and mouth. Other stuff like, don’t dye your hair, don’t worry about it.

Right. Get your nails done. Go get a perm. Go get your nails done. Although now there’s concerns about those UV lights for your skin and stuff with Really? Oh, it’s, yeah. I haven’t seen that. It’s not for baby. Just for, just for you. Yeah. Sorry. Be careful. It’s hard to be beautiful. It’s dangerous. It’s Beauty is dangerous.

It’s okay. We still live longer than men. Yeah, exactly. So it’s fine. But you know, just. If it’s something you’re gonna get once in a while, I would not even let that worry enter your head. If it’s something that you’re using often you’re using on your chest, breasts, neck area, I would consider safety. And just fyi, we are gonna do a separate episode for injectables like Botox and filler and lasers.

Yeah, and the laser treatment. Like all the stuff that you’d be going like to a doctor or like a professional facility for. We’re gonna tackle that another time cause it’s a little more complicated. Yeah. Okay. Well, I think that was a really good list, and I think that gives people a good jumping off point.

And I wanna take a quick minute to thank one of our sponsors before we get to our favorite segment of the show. The award in the alcove. Yay.

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It is the only thing I use to transport my breast milk to and from work while I’m working. It’s got a sleek and beautiful design, lots of great colors, high quality materials and manufacturing. Ceres Chill also has other products that you might wanna check out too. My personal favorite is the Milkstache.

They have a great nipple shield that actually changes colors and it’s not clear like all the other. And you know how we feel about that. If you want to have your very own Ceres Chiller, please go to the link in our show notes and use code MILKMINUTE15 at checkout. That’s Milk Minute 15 for 15% off your Ceres Chill Products.


Welcome back everybody. We have a very, very good award today. Okay, I’m ready. Hit me with it. Okay. This award goes to Jeanie Lynn Scarberry. And Jeanie says, I just wanna say, you guys are absolutely amazing. None of my family had ever breastfed and weren’t very supportive, but because of all the podcasts and this group at my disposal, I successfully made it to three years of breastfeeding.

Yay. I love that. Jeanie, that’s amazing. Three years. Yeah, that’s about how long we’ve been doing this podcast. We’re almost out three years. That’s crazy. Oh, that’s so good. I love, I love when you guys let us know things like this. It gives us a lot of like motivation to keep making stuff. Yeah, same. What award should we give Jeanie?

Maybe the Terrific Trio. Aw, the Terrific Trio Award. I love it. Congrats Jeanie. We’re super proud of you. And thank you so much for sharing your win. Yeah, absolutely. And if you guys want to send us awards, you can send us a message or join our Patreon and let us know there cuz we would like to award you.

You deserve it. Well, thank you so much for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute podcast. The way that we change this big system we are stuck in and is not meant to serve us, is by educating ourselves and our friends and spreading the word and spreading only good cream on your face. If you found value in the episode that we made for you today, you can hop over to minute podcast and support us for as little as 25 cents an episode or write us a review on Apple because that always helps to make our education more visible to others.

Yeah. And I just wanna remind you that you don’t have to worry that much. Yeah. Don’t stress. Yeah, you’re good. Okay. Love ya. Bye. Lather up.


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