Now that you have a baby on board, it may be time to reevaluate your beauty routine.  Keep in mind that many of the so-called "beauty" products you'll find on store shelves may actually be harmful to you, your baby and the planet.  Here's how to pamper yourself with eco-savvy style.

  • Use a little less: Be conscious of the amount of each product that you use each day. Do you consistently squeeze a huge dollop of styling product into your hand only to wash most of it away? Make an effort to use a little less to make your beauty products go further. It will save you money and minimize the amount of chemicals that eventually wash down the drain.
  • Be kind to animals: You don’t have to be a vegetarian to realize that animal testing is unnecessary, unethical and just plain cruel. Look for products labeled with the “Leaping Bunny,” the symbol created by the The Coalition For Consumer Information On Cosmetics to label products that are cruelty-free and have not been tested on animals.
  • Go oil-free: You probably already know that the consumption of fossil fuels is not so great for the planet. But you may not realize that petroleum is also used for a number of products in your bathroom vanity. Petroleum derivates are used in products like lip balm, lotions and lubricants, as well as the plastics used in sanitary products. Keep your beauty routine petroleum free and pass on products that use petroleum or its derivatives (paraffin oil, propylene glycol and ethylene) and look for alternatives such as beeswax, cocoa butter and vegetable oils.
  • Avoid aerosols: The chemicals used in aerosols are no longer a hazard to the ozone layer, but these chemicals have been replaced with petroleum propellants whose production creates the greenhouse gases that lead to global warming. Choose non-aerosol or pump style products for your personal care routine.
  • Skip the chemical cocktail: Dubious chemical ingredients such as phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and mercury are used to create many of the personal care products you find on store shelves. By themselves, each of these chemicals may pose a threat to both human and environmental health. No one truly knows what effect that will have when they combine in the body or in the environment.  Minimize the number of chemicals you put on and in your body each day.
  • Read the labels: How can you make sure that the beauty products you use are healthy for you, your growing baby and the environment? Read the labels. You don’t have to be a scientist to know which ingredients to look for, and which to avoid on your personal care products … if you can pronounce the ingredient and you wouldn’t be afraid to eat it, than it is more than likely safe to use on your skin. By contrast, if it sounds like a toxic chemical, than it probably is. Put that product down and move on to another.

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.