Pregnancies offer a host of worries for expectant mothers. For nine months, the developing fetus is subject to everything that absorbs into its mother’s body. Her diet, environment and lifestyle all affect every stage of natal development; common knowledge dictates that what she eats, drinks and is exposed to all contribute to the health of her child. The same can be said of what she puts onto her skin.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and first line of defense against disease and the environment. Alhough it has developed defenses against external insults—such as melanin in response to UV radiation—the skin is permeable and as such, it absorbs chemicals, vitamins and minerals, among other materials. In fact, pharmaceutical companies have leveraged this exposure route, devising patches to deliver nicotine and birth control into the consumer’s bloodstream.