Q&A: Can I use hair removal cream during pregnancy?

Along with a blooming belly comes crazy hair growth and now you’re wondering if you can tame the sprouting strands the same way you always have, with hair removal cream.

Wowsers – is anyone else getting hair sprouting everywhere? I usually use hair removal cream (I think I’m going to need a tonne!) but thought I’d check if we can still use it in pregnancy?

Layla, Mum's Grapevine group member

Midwife and child health nurse Andrea Fallon from Wholehearted Family Health says to tread carefully.

“The active ingredient in hair removal cream is usually a form of thioglycolic acid,” she explained to Mum’s Grapevine. “While there are no known significant health effects of this chemical and it is unlikely to cause a problem in small amounts, there are also very few studies available to show whether it is safe in pregnancy.

“The thioglycolic acid removes hair via a chemical reaction with the disulfide bonds in the hair. It can cause mild to moderate skin irritation in the process. Given that these ingredients are aggressive enough to react chemically, and no human studies have been done to look at safety in pregnancy, I would suggest taking the precaution of either avoiding their use or using them sparingly during pregnancy.”

Don’t worry, your crazy hair growth will settle down after giving birth. Most new mums find their unwanted hair disappears after pregnancy. Read all about postpartum hair loss here.