The sun emits not only harsh heat but also UV rays that can harm the skin in many ways. Prolonged exposure can cause a number of problems, even skin cancer. The best way to avoid these adverse effects is to slather sunscreen on your face before you head out.
When you are pregnant, however, you need to be careful when applying sunscreen. You might not notice it, but it can have ingredients that can do more harm than good. It can put you at risk, as well as your baby. This makes it important to be wise in choosing which sunscreen to use.
Clueless on which sunscreen is safe for pregnancy? If you have no idea on what to buy and use, keep on reading the rest of this post and we will let you know some of the top options that you might want to take into consideration.
- Why You Should Use a Sunscreen?
- Are Baby-Safe Sunscreens Also Pregnancy-Safe?
- What is SPF?
- What Ingredients Should You Avoid?
- How to Protect your Skin from the Sun?
- The Right Way to Use a Sunscreen?
- Our Top Picks for Pregnancy Sunscreen
- Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen
- Maelove Sheer Mineral Zinc Sunscreen
- Raw Elements Eco Formula 30+ Sunscreen
- Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
- Noodle & Boo Baby Mud Sunscreen
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Mineral Sunscreen Stick
- Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream
- Nurture My Body Organic Sunscreen
- Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen
- Peak Sunscreen
- TotLogic Reef Safe Natural Sunscreen
- Beauty by Earth Mineral Sunscreen
- All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter
Why You Should Use a Sunscreen?
Pregnant or not, a sunscreen is one of the things ignored by many people in their skincare routine, especially when hitting the beach. Even if you want to have a golden tan, prolonged exposure to the heat of the sun does not only make you darker, but it can also damage the skin and can have serious health consequences.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a sunscreen will help in the prevention of skin cancer. Along with the hormonal changes that are experienced during pregnancy, you need more protection from the harsh heat of the sun to keep you looking at your best.
If you think that sunscreens are only for beach trips, you are definitely wrong. It is recommended that you wear sunscreen every day when you are going out, especially when the sun is at its peak.
Are Baby-Safe Sunscreens Also Pregnancy-Safe?
If you are having a hard time deciding which sunscreen is safe to be used during pregnancy, one of the things that you should do is to look for one that is labeled as baby safe. So, to answer the question, yes, pregnant women can use a sunscreen with a special formulation to be safe for babies.
Zinc and titanium are two of the most common ingredients that you can find in baby sunscreens. They sit on the surface of the skin, but they are not absorbed, which is why they are safe.
What is SPF?
As you try to narrow down the options for pregnancy-safe sunscreen, one of the words that you will frequently encounter is SPF. It stands for Sun Protection Factor. In its simplest sense, SPF refers to the measurement of the protection that the sunscreen is able to provide from the UVB rays. These rays can contribute to sunburn and skin cancer, which is why the skin needs protection from such. However, it does not measure protection from UVA rays.
Fr pregnant women, or for any other user, a safe bet would be a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. If the SPF is higher than 50, it does not actually make that much of a difference at all. This means that SPF 30 to 50 will be more than enough.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid?
As a pregnant woman, you should be meticulous with the skincare products that you are using, including body wash, shampoo, conditioner soap, and lotion, among others. The chemicals can be absorbed by the skin, which can put you and your baby at risk. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the ingredients that are present in your sunscreen.
Among others, one of the ingredients that should not be present in your sunscreen is oxybenzone. It has been linked to low birth weight, allergies, hormone disruption, and cellular damage. Other chemicals to avoid include para-aminobenzoic acid, octocrylene, retinyl palmitate, and homosalate.
Similar to other skincare products that are used during pregnancy, it should also be free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates, among others. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium oxide since they are safer. Aloe vera, shea butter, and essential oils are also often added for a calming effect in natural and pregnancy-safe sunscreens.
How to Protect your Skin from the Sun?
The use of a pregnancy-safe sunscreen is just the first line of defense from the harsh UV rays. If you want maximum protection, here are some of the best things that you can do:
- Drink lots of water to replenish the fluids that are lost when sweating. Hydration will also help to keep you cool during the hot weather.
- The right clothing will also be important. Wear glasses and hats to protect the face from the sun.
- Avoid going out from 10 am to 4 pm. The sun rays are at their peak within such time period, which is why it is best to be indoors.
- More than the right sunscreen, you also have to choose the right body lotion. It should not only moisturize the skin, but it should also be able to offer a layer of protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
- Be careful when you are around sand or water. The surface can reflect the rays of the sun and can cause significant damage to the skin, especially with long-term exposure.
- There are also medications that will make sun exposure worse for the skin, such as blood pressure medicines and anti-inflammatories. It is best to consult with a medical professional.
The Right Way to Use a Sunscreen?
It is not enough that you have a good sunscreen. You need to know how to use it right. That being said, here are some of the things that you should keep in mind:
- Do not spray the sunscreen. It is better is you use one that can be evenly applied on the body, making sure that the skin is covered appropriately. Personally, I would say that creams are better.
- Try it out in a small portion of your wrist. This is the best way to test possible allergic reaction. If the wrist turns red, swollen, or itchy, among other adverse effects, take it as a sign that you should look for another sunscreen.
- Apply the sunscreen in an open and well-ventilated area, especially if it is in the form of a spray.
- Know when to apply. Check the instructions from the manufacturer. In most cases, however, it is recommended that you apply it at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
- Go beyond the face. Do not forget that your lips will also need sun protection. Look for a lip balm that can also offer protection from UV rays. All bare skin will need sunscreen, especially the back and the arms.
- Be sure to apply more than enough sunscreen. In the case of adults, at least an ounce of sunscreen is needed to cover the whole body. If you apply an amount that is too little, the sunscreen will be ineffective in offering the protection that you skin needs.
- You should also know when you need to reapply sunscreen. Most manufacturers would recommend that you do so once every two hours, especially if you are swimming.
- Wear sunscreen all the time, not only when you are at the beach or when the sun is in its full glory. Even when the sun is out, a sunscreen is an essential.
Our Top Picks for Pregnancy Sunscreen
Here are some of the products that you might want to include on your list of options, as well as the reasons why they are great.
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
With an EWG rating of 1 since 2010, this is definitely a product that you have to consider. In case you do not know, EWG or Environmental Working Group is a US-based environmental organization that assesses toxic chemicals that are possibly present in products.
When you look at the ingredients, you won’t see anything that could be harmful to both would-be moms and babies. Its formulation does not include nano zinc oxide. It contains aloe leaf juice and hyaluronic acid. Both of these ingredients can moisturize and soothe the skin while protecting from the harmful sun rays.
Another thing that makes this a good pregnancy sunscreen is the fact that it is water-resistant, which makes it stay on the skin for a longer time to offer the protection that your face needs.
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen
A good trick when looking for a sunscreen to use during pregnancy is to look for one that is labeled as baby-safe. When it is safe for babies, it is also safe for pregnant women as this means that it has a gentle formulation. This holds true in the case of this sunscreen from Neutrogena.
With SPF 50, this contains zinc oxide that has been naturally-sourced. This is unlike in the case of other products that can possibly contain toxic chemicals.
This product comes with Pure Screen technology, which has been exclusively developed by the manufacturer. The latter is the one that provides the face with a shield of protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Maelove Sheer Mineral Zinc Sunscreen
This is a vegan and natural sunscreen, which is why you can have peace of mind in using it even during pregnancy. It has a natural formulation, making it free of parabens, fragrances, and synthetic dyes, among other toxic ingredients.
The sunscreen contains Vitamins C and E, which can boost the health of the skin to make you glow. It also contains algae extract.
Another excellent reason to choose this product is the fact that it is multipurpose. More than just being a sunscreen, it also primes and prepares your skin for the application of makeup.
Raw Elements Eco Formula 30+ Sunscreen
For sun protection sans the toxic ingredients, this is another sunscreen that you might want to take into consideration. It is made of all-natural and organic ingredients, which can provide you with the assurance that this is indeed pregnancy-safe. It is non-GMO. It does not contain fragrances, preservatives, and chemicals.
Aside from the non-nano zinc oxide that is used in this sunscreen, it contains the following non-active ingredients: Vitamin E, rosemary oil extract, beeswax, mango butter, hemp seed oil, coffee bean, black tea, green tea, and sunflower oil.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
This is a very water-resistant sunscreen that stays on the skin for at least 80 minutes. What makes it safe form pregnant women is the fact that it contains ingredients that are 100% vegetarian. There are no synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and parabens. It has not also undergone animal testing.
Instead of using toxic chemicals that are harmful during pregnancy, this sunscreen contains chamomile, aloe vera, and green tea. These ingredients do not only provide a protective barrier but also has a soothing effect.
Noodle & Boo Baby Mud Sunscreen
This is another sunscreen that is formulated for babies, yet excellent even for pregnant women. This mineral sunscreen can be used for the face and the body. It is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.
Similar to their other products, the manufacturer takes pride in using safe and natural ingredients, with an effectiveness that is backed with science. It does not contain parabens, sulfates, triclosan, formaldehyde donors, and GMOs, among other potentially harsh ingredients.
Aside from zinc oxide, the sunscreen also contains aloe vera, which is known for its natural soothing and cooling ability.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
With 10% zinc oxide and 5% titanium oxide, this is another sunscreen that you might want to consider using if you are pregnant. It does not contain a toxic formulation that can be possibly absorbed by the skin. In fact, it is free of chemicals, fragrances, and parabens. It has a gentle formulation that is safe for babies, and hence, also safe for pregnant women.
One thing that makes it unique and better than many others is the smart bottle technology. With the latter, the bottle will instantly turn pink when it is exposed to harmful UVA rays.
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Mineral Sunscreen Stick
This sunscreen is in the form of a stick, which will glide smoothly on the face of your baby. If it is gentle enough for babies, it would be safe to say that it won’t pose any harm as well when it is used during pregnancy.
One of the things that give this product a positive reputation on the market is the Mineral Block Technology. This is made with the use of ingredients that are naturally-sourced, which should be more than enough to provide you with peace of mind. It is also free of fragrances and oils.
Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream
This is a zinc oxide mineral sunscreen that is safe for both babies and pregnant women. It does not contain octinoxate and oxybenzone, among other chemicals that can put you at risk. Instead, it uses a powerful blend of natural ingredients, which include Vitamin E, beeswax, and sunflower oil, which are great for moisturizing the skin.
Another thing that makes this an exceptional choice is that it is safe even for coral reefs. Even if you go swimming in the ocean, you can be confident that it does not harm the environment.
Nurture My Body Organic Sunscreen
Closing our list is another sunscreen that is specially-formulated for babies, but effective even for pregnant women. It is 100% certified organic. It is also fragrance-free. Instead of toxic chemicals, this sunscreen is made of eight gentle and soothing ingredients.
Some of the main ingredients of the sunscreen include Vitamin E, shea butter, and jojoba oil. They are great not only for blocking the harmful rays of the sun but for also soothing the skin to minimize irritation as a result of too much heat.
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen
Made of 100% natural mineral sunscreen actives, this is another option that can be used by pregnant women without anything to worry about. It soothes and moisturizes the skin, more than just offering protection from the harsh UV rays. It is also worth noting that it is for people with extra sensitive skin.
Looking at the ingredients used in the product, you can be confident that it is going to be non-toxic. For instance, it has no nano particles. It is also free of fragrances and toxic chemicals. It has coconut, but no other nuts are present. It is also hypoallergenic.
One of the reasons why this is a well-loved product is the fact that it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. There is no need to reapply frequently while still being confident that your face remains protected.
This is also an eco-friendly sunscreen, which is why it is good not only for you but for the environment as well.
To make it pregnancy-safe, it has non-toxic formulation. It is also unscented, which is perfect for those who might easily get irritated with a strong odor.
TotLogic Reef Safe Natural Sunscreen
This is a sunscreen that is made with the use of natural ingredients, which will provide you with the confidence that it is going to be an impressive choice for sun protection during pregnancy. It is biodegradable and won’t damage the reefs. The plant-based formulation of this sunscreen gives it an edge over others within the competitive landscape.
It contains antioxidants and botanicals, which will make it great for the skin. Some of the main ingredients that are used in the production of this sunscreen include hyaluronic acid, jojoba, white tea, chamomile, and lavender, among others. These ingredients have been tested and proven to be effective.
Beauty by Earth Mineral Sunscreen
This is a mineral sunscreen, which will deliver effectiveness as soon as it is applied. It stays on the skin for up to 80 minutes, which is the period it remains water-resistant. It is good not only for pregnant women, but also for infants and toddlers.
It does not contain any chemical that could endanger your pregnancy. To be specific, it does not contain phthalates, oxybenzone, parabens, and chemical fragrances, among other toxic ingredients. Instead, it makes use of non-nano zinc oxide, cucumber extract, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe vera juice.
All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter
One thing that makes this product unique is the fact that it exists in the form of a sunscreen lotion. This product comes in a pack of two, each with only one ounce. This makes it compact enough to be stashed in your bag and bring it wherever you go.
It has a water-resistant formulation for up to 80 minutes. It is also NSF-certified organic. Its main ingredient is calendula flower, which makes a great alternative to toxic chemicals that are harsh on the skin. There are only six ingredients used in this sunscreen, all of which are non-toxic and coral-safe.
A sunscreen is meant to provide protection from the harsh heat of the sun. However, if you are not careful in choosing what to use, especially when you are pregnant, it can be toxic and hence, can bring more harm than good. That being said, if you want to have peace of mind, limit your options to the products that we have briefly tackled in this post.