Not all sunscreens are safe during pregnancy.
As you double-check your food content, prepare for the arrival of your baby and follow the changes in your body, it is also important to keep an eye out for safe sunscreens.
Here’s the deal,
We actually understand the need to protect your skin from the sun.
However, some of the chemicals in regular sunscreen may be harmful to your little one.
In this article, you’d find answers to every question you have about sunscreens in pregnancy. In addition, there’s even a list of 10 safe pregnancy sunscreens for you!
Table of contents
- Is Sunscreen Really Safe?
- What Are The Types of Sunscreen?
- 10 Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreens
- 1. Best Natural Sunscreen
- 2. Best Makeup with SPF
- 3. Best Cooling Sunscreen
- 4. Best Sunscreen for Dark Skin Tones
- 5. Best Spray Sunscreen
- 6. Best Sunscreen for Oily, Breakout-Prone Skin
- 7. Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin
- 8. Best Sunscreen for Use Under Makeup
- 9. Best Moisturiser Sunscreen
- 10. Best Stick Application Sunscreen
Is Sunscreen Really Safe?
The American Academy of Dermatology and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists actually recommend using sunscreen during pregnancy.
This is really important because sunscreen shields your skin from burns, premature aging, and even skin cancer. The college also advises pregnant women to apply sunscreen in order to reduce or prevent melasma (dark spots on the skin).
Nevertheless, not every type of sunscreen is safe in pregnancy.
What Are The Types of Sunscreen?
1. Chemical Sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens contain carbon-based compounds like octinoxate, avobenzone, and others. These compounds work by creating a chemical reaction that changes ultraviolet rays (UV rays) into heat and then releases the heat from the skin.
However, this process is not safe in pregnancy.
Sometimes, oxybenzone may get absorbed into the bloodstream. If this adulterated blood gets to the developing baby, he/she may suffer from birth defects or developmental problems like coronary heart disease.
2. Physical/Mineral Sunscreen
This type of sunscreen contains active mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide titanium dioxide. These ingredients act by sitting on the surface of the skin and deflecting the damaging UV rays away.
Thankfully, physical sunscreen is safe to use during pregnancy because the major ingredients (zinc oxide and titanium oxide) are mineral-based and body-friendly.
In fact, if any sunscreen does not contain either or both of these ingredients, don’t buy it.
To make the choice easier for you, here’s our list of pregnancy-safe sunscreens:
10 Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreens
1. Best Natural Sunscreen
Sun Guardian Oceanic Glacial Water Day Créme SPF 30
This product contains zinc oxide which shields your skin from sun damage, blue light, and air pollution. It melts into the skin leaving a matte and blurring finish and at the same time, reduces redness and availability of pores.
In addition, it contains minerals and marine nutrients which promote skin hydration. It is also rich in soothing aloe and calendula which calms the skin and protects it from the effect of ultraviolet and blue light.
Finally, it is 100% natural.
2. Best Makeup with SPF
Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
This formula is made with a blend of hyaluronic acids, plant-based squalene, and niacinamide. It tones and softens fine lines and dries down to a natural finish on your skin.
The Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 also creates a natural barrier that protects your skin from UV rays. Furthermore, it is silicone-free, fragrance-free, chemical screen-free, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and safe for sensitive skin.
3. Best Cooling Sunscreen
Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
This sunscreen is lightweight and deeply hydrating. It protects even the most sensitive screen. It helps calm and cool sun-stressed skin and provides a dewy finish.
4. Best Sunscreen for Dark Skin Tones
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Just as the name implies, Black Girl Sunscreen is made for dark skin beauties.
It protects your skin from the sun and doubles as a moisturizing lotion. This product contains avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, and sunflower oil.
5. Best Spray Sunscreen
Sun Bum Mineral Spray Sunscreen SPF 30
It is a zinc-based mineral collection. And unlike other zinc-based sunscreens, this is easy to apply. Most moms-to-be agree that the Sun Bum Mineral Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 is soothing and very effective. In addition, the mineral contents would leave your skin feeling better than ever.
6. Best Sunscreen for Oily, Breakout-Prone Skin
Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Gentle Lotion
It is a gentle and non-greasy sunscreen lotion that leaves your skin soothed and protected. It contains a powerful antioxidant complex that protects your skin from free radicals.
Like every other item on this list, this product is 100% mineral.
7. Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin
EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44
This sunscreen restores moisture to dry skin and provides powerful protection from sun rays. It is oil-free and feels weightless on the skin.The EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 is ideal for women of all skin types and it can be used at any time of the day.
8. Best Sunscreen for Use Under Makeup
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid is recommended for all skin types, including sensitive skins. It has a fast-absorbing and non-whitening texture that leaves a matte finish on your skin.
9. Best Moisturiser Sunscreen
ACURE Radically Rejuvenating SPF Day Cream
This product prevents sunburns, decreases the risk of skin cancer, and prevents early skin aging caused by the sun. It contains zinc oxide, vitamin C, ferulic acid, and turmeric.
10. Best Stick Application Sunscreen
Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50
It contains organic shea butter, avocado and jojoba oils. This sunscreen is fragrance-free and good for sensitive skin.
When he/she comes, your baby can also use this sunscreen.
Sunscreens protect your skin from sun burns, early aging, and skin cancer. However, you need to make sure the product you choose is safe to use during pregnancy.
While expecting, you should use only sunscreens that are rich in zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
Thankfully, the list above has all the info you need to make the right choice.
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Susie Suh, Christine Pham, Janellen Smith, and Natasha Atanaskova Mesinkovska (2020). The Banned Sunscreen Ingredients and Their Impact on Human Health: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Dermatology 59(9): 1033–1042. Accessed on 7th July, 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7648445/
Joanna A.Ruszkiewicz, Adi Pinkas, Beatriz Ferrer, Tanara V.Peres, Aristides Tsatsakis, Michael Aschnera (2017). Neurotoxic effect of active ingredients in sunscreen products, a contemporary review. Toxicology Reports. Accessed on 7th July, 2021 from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxrep.2017.05.006