Wearing makeup when pregnant could cause your child to grow up overweight

makeup pregnancy
(Image credit: Getty Images/EyeEm)

New research suggests that wearing makeup when pregnant could have negative effects.

Scientists in Germany have argued that when a baby is in the womb, its development can be disrupted by chemicals such as butyl paraben, which disrupts hormones.

Butyl paraben is used as a preservative in makeup due to its antibacterial properties, so many of the products we use contain it.

The scientists don't believe that modern lifestyles and increased calorie intake are enough to explain obesity, and that chemicals could be having an effect on babies before they're born.

To further examine this, Dr Tobias Polte and his team of researchers measured the levels of butyl paraben in the urine of over 600 expectant mothers. They were asked which cosmetics they'd used up until the 34th week of pregnancy.

Products mums were asked to declare included body lotions, toothpaste, perfumes as well as makeup. Researchers found higher concentrations of butyl paraben in the urine of those who had used cosmetics.


Credit: Getty Images

Read more: Are you ‘skinny fat’ – and what are the risks?

Testing took place between 2006 and 2008, and the weight and height of their children were taken annually up until they were eight-years-old.

The study found that children of women who had used cosmetics containing butyl paraben were more likely to be overweight in the first eight years of their lives. Interestingly, this particularly affected girls.


Credit: Getty Images

The report read, 'Our results strongly suggest that prenatal exposure to BuP increases overweight development in the offspring.'

As a result of this, experts are now advising expectant mothers to avoid products which contain the chemical butyl paraben.

Dr Alex Polyakov of the University of Melbourne said it would be "advisable for pregnant women to avoid cosmetics that contain parabens".

He added, "Complete avoidance is not possible as its use is so widespread, but avoiding non-essential exposure seems an easily achievable goal."

Lucy Buglass
Digital Writer

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer for What's on TV, Goodto.com, and Woman&Home. After finishing her degree in Film Studies at Oxford Brookes University she moved to London to begin her career. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases.