May 1, 2018

Shilpi Agarwal, M.D. & Belli Beauty Tips For Choosing The Right Ingredients

Shilpi Agarwal, M.D

Shilpi Agarwal, M.D

Shilpi Agarwal, M.D. is a medical advisor to Belli Beauty, a line of skin care products specifically formulated to exclude ingredients that studies show to have even remote connections to birth defects, miscarriage, etc. The board-certified family medicine practitioner is also a self-described beauty junkie and ingredients nerd.

According to Dr. Agarwal, you don’t have to give up premium, luxurious skin care products. It’s just a matter of choosing the right ingredients and excluding others.  Here are a few of her tips:

  • Be picky for a purpose. Look for products with no phthalates, paraben preservatives, artificial dyes and fragrances.
  • Avoid retinoids. Oral retinoids have been associated with birth defects, and while there’s no hard proof that topical ones are harmful, most doctors agree it is best to err on the side of caution.
  • Re-think your acne products. Common acne fighting ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are no-no’s during pregnancy and lactation. The irony, of course, is that pregnancy causes many women (even those who have never had acne) to break out. Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash uses lactic acid, an ingredient that occurs naturally in the body.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen, but avoid chemical-based versions. Look for one that offers mineral-based broad spectrum UVB and UVA protection, like Belli’s Pure Radiance Facial Sunscreen. It also hydrates the skin, so it helps you downsize your beauty regimen.
  • A mani/pedi is a great way to pamper yourself during pregnancy, but insist on polishes that are “triple-free,” or that contain no DBP, toluene, or formaldehyde.
  • When in doubt, consult your ob/gyn as to which skin care and cosmetic ingredients are safe for you and baby during this important time.


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