Is Peppermint Scrub Safe During Pregnancy? – Benefits & Risks

Is Peppermint Scrub Safe During Pregnancy?

Medically reviewed by Macy Tollefson – doula, breastfeeding specialist & prenatal yoga teacher

Body scrubs are a popular way to help soften and smooth dry skin, but you may be wondering: “Is it safe to exfoliate while I’m pregnant?” and, perhaps more importantly, “Is it safe to use a peppermint body scrub?”.

While there are many benefits to exfoliating during pregnancy, there are risks as well. If you are pregnant, it’s so important that you are checking ALL of the ingredients in any products you use on your body or face, to ensure both you and your growing baby safe.

Keep reading to learn about the safety, risks and benefits of and using a peppermint body scrub during pregnancy!

This article is not a substitute for medical advice or consultation.

Is It Safe To Use Body Scrubs During Pregnancy?

Yes, it is generally safe to use body scrubs while you are pregnant. In fact, it can be a great addition to your skin care routine!

Using body scrubs are a great way to nourish dull skin and shed dead skin cells. They can also help prevent stretch marks and keep your skin clean.

While it is possible to safely exfoliate, there are certain chemicals and ingredients you should avoid during pregnancy – including many essential oils.

That’s why it’s so important to choose the right body scrub that is pregnancy-safe and free from ingredients that could be harmful for developing fetus.

Benefits Of Using Body Scrub During Pregnancy

A body scrub provides physical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells safely and effectively. Regular use promotes good blood circulation, and is a great way to help buff and pamper your skin during pregnancy.

Rubbing or massaging our skin can also help with collagen production and improve the skin’s elasticity1. For this reason, using a body scrub on your pregnant belly can help combat stretch marks and give you the glowing, vibrant skin you may be looking for.

Benefits Of Using Body Scrub During Pregnancy

What Are The Risk Of Using Exfoliating Scrubs During Pregnancy?

There are not many risks associated with using a scrub during pregnancy, however over-use CAN damage your skin barrier over time.

Over-exfoliating can quickly lead to dry, sensitive, and irritated skin. If you have any damage on your skin (ex. sunburn, cut, bruise, bug bite etc.), using a body scrub could cause further aggravation and slow down your healing time.

Scrubs containing essential oils or acids will come with their own set of unique health risks, depending on the oil and acid, so be sure to do your research.

Is Peppermint Safe During Pregnancy?

Most experts agree that essential oils are NOT safe to use during the first trimester, and many should continue to be avoided throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding2. In high doses, some pure essential oils are considered toxic, and can be absorbed into your bloodstream and passed on to your baby3.

Many essential oils can cause pregnancy complications, and unfortunately, peppermint oil is no exception. Peppermint oil, in particular, is one of the essential oils that can cause uterine contractions, which would not be safe in the early weeks of pregnancy.

Because of this, the use of peppermint essential oil should be avoided during the first 3 months of pregnancy, but beyond that, it should be ok to use it in scrubs.

The use of any essential oils during pregnancy should be carefully considered. Always consult your doctor before using them.

Is Peppermint Scrub Pregnancy-Safe?

Because a scrub is something that you wash off of your skin, the risk of the peppermint essential oil causing a complication is low. Your skin will not deeply absorb the oils present in the scrub4.

With that being said, if you have very sensitive skin, or you know that you are reactive to peppermint oil, then a peppermint scrub may not be the best choice for you. Peppermint is among some of the more irritating essential oils and can cause skin reactions, if you are prone to sensitivity or redness.

It is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you have any concerns or plan to use a new skincare product during your pregnancy.

Is Peppermint Scrub Pregnancy-Safe

Is Peppermint Foot Scrub Safe In Pregnancy?

A peppermint foot scrub is considered safe to use during pregnancy, for the same reasons mentioned above.

As long as you are washing it off, peppermint oil can provide great relief for tired, achy feet, which many pregnant women experience. Peppermint oil also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which will leave your feet feeling refreshed and smelling great5.

Is Peppermint Essential Oil Beneficial During Pregnancy?

Peppermint oil has been known to help ease the uncomfortable symptoms that pregnancy can bring. Through aromatherapy, it can provide natural remedies for morning sickness, nausea, headaches, and even nasal congestion6.

Topically (including in a body scrub), peppermint oil can also help soothe muscle aches.

What Body Scrubs Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Scrubs that are made up of natural ingredients (organic, if possible) are a great option for a pregnancy-safe exfoliator. Look for ones with a non irritating, hydrating formula, with a gentle texture that won’t be too abrasive on your skin.

Good body scrub ingredients:

  • Coconut oil
  • Organic sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Shea butter

Creating your own homemade sugar scrub is also a great option. That way, you know exactly what you’re putting on your body, and you can add specific ingredients for your unique skin needs.

Using Body Scrub During Pregnancy – Safety Tips

Here are some safety tips about scrubs, that pregnant women should consider:

  • Apply gently

Massage the scrub onto your skin very gently. Remember, your skin is delicate- there’s no need to be harsh!

  • Don’t overdo it

Avoid irritation and skin damage by only using a body scrub 1-2 times a week.

  • Stick to sugar scrubs, if your skin is more sensitive

Sugar scrubs are less abrasive than salt scrubs, and tend to be more moisturizing. They also dissolve quicker, lower your risk of over-exfoliating.

  • Avoid synthetic fragrance and some essential oils

Added fragrance can increase the risk skin irritation. Synthetic fragrances, in particular, often contain harsh chemicals that are not safe for your baby.

If there is essential oil in your scrub, make sure there is a carrier oil (ex. coconut oil, almond oil) present to dilute the potent oils.

Article By Macy Tollefson

Macy Tollefson is a full spectrum doula, breastfeeding specialist and prenatal yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding the modern mama on her journey through the beautiful (and wild) transformation of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Macy envisions a world where every mother has access to the resources she needs, and follows her intuition to make the best decisions about what is right for her and her baby.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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