Is Vitamin A In Skincare Safe During Pregnancy?

Vitamin A is hugely important for both pregnant women and their growing babies.

The good news is that most healthy women eating varied, balanced diets will have adequate levels and don’t need to modify their diet to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin A to stay healthy and give their babies what they need to develop.

There are, however, concerns about having too much vitamin A in pregnancy. The official medical line on vitamin A consumption in pregnancy is that:

“High intakes of preformed vitamin A in pregnant women can cause birth defects in their babies.”[1]

This advice is based on studies that have shown that high levels of retinoids (which are derived from vitamin A) in the diet can have teratogenic effects on their baby, which in simple language means there is a risk of abnormal development if the mother has too much vitamin A in her system.

Although it is actually quite unlikely that most healthy pregnant women would be overdoing the amounts of vitamin in their diet, the current advice is to avoid foods that are high in vitamin A (such as liver), not to take supplements - such as fish oil - with high amounts of preformed vitamin A (or its derivative retinol) in them or take oral retinol as an acne treatment.[2]


Because they’ve quite rightly been monitoring the amounts of vitamin A in their diet, our customers are sometimes concerned that the provitamin A that occurs naturally in rosehip oil might not be safe to use in pregnancy and are worried about whether they should use our Rosehip Scar Oil on their stretch marks.

The main thing to remember is that there are two types of vitamin A:

  • Preformed vitamin A (also called retinol) is used directly by the body and is found in animal products like eggs, milk, and liver.
  • Provitamin A carotenoids are found in fruits and vegetables, and your body converts this type into retinol. Cosmetics, fortified foods, medicines and supplements that have high levels of added synthesized retinol (not plant-based provitamin A) are the the ones it is sensible to avoid during pregnancy.[3]
The studies that found links between retinoids and birth defects concerned preformed vitamin A, not plant-derived provitamin A.

The studies that suggested a link between retinoids and birth defects were specifically looking at Vitamin A which was ingested, not topically applied. Although the skin does absorb a lot of both nutrients and toxins through its surface the levels of retinoids that would reach the baby via the mother’s bloodstream and then cross the placenta with daily applications of rosehip oil would not be anywhere near the maximum safe advisory dietary levels recommended by health authorities.

Applying rosehip oil on your skin during pregnancy is extremely unlikely to pose the same risk to a developing baby as consuming preformed vitamin A through diet or supplementation.

Recommended Product:
Rosehip Scar Oil

Rosehip Scar Oil is an ultra-intense, totally natural moisturising oil, made with some really wonderful skin-nourishing ingredients. It’s particularly suitable for use on scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, dehydrated or ageing skin, because it’s so rich in pure, cold-pressed rosehip oil, a gem of an ingredient.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Please note that Balmonds are not medical professionals; if you have any concerns about using this product during pregnancy please seek advice from your GP or health practitioner. Rosehip Scar Oil can be used on stretch marks after your baby has been born; this is an excellent time to work on conditioning your skin and giving it the very best of natural care.

[3] “Rosehip oil contains provitamin A (mostly beta-Carotene). It has been wrongly said to contain retinol (vitamin A) which is a vitamin solely made by animals from provitamin A. It does however contain levels (up to .357 ml/L) of tretinoin or all-trans retinoic acid, a vitamin A acid that retinol converts to.”

tips and advice

← Older Post Newer Post →


Join to get special offers, free giveaways, and once-in-a-lifetime deals.