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Getting outside for some fresh air and Vitamin D is always a good idea during pregnancy, but how are you supposed to protect your skin while you bask in the glory of a good lake or beach day? Is there such a thing as pregnancy safe sunscreen?
We all know that a lot of products (including makeup) are on the “do not use while pregnant” list. So what do you put on to protect yourself from harmful UV rays when you’re pregnant?
Luckily, there are plenty of pregnancy safe sunscreen options you can try.
During my first pregnancy, I didn’t consider potential issues with the sunscreen I used. Words like oxybenzone and octinoxate were simply not part of my gestational vocabulary. After all, how harmful could the active ingredients in my sunblock be?
Spoiler alert: they can be pretty problematic.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though.
If you’re searching for the perfect sunscreen for expectant mamas, stick around. We’re going over everything you need to know about what sunscreen ingredients to avoid during pregnancy and which ones you can trust.
Is it Okay to Use Sunscreen While Pregnant?
First and foremost, should you be using sunscreen at all while pregnant, or should you put on the same list of no-nos as sushi and unpasteurized cheese?
Not only can you use sunscreen during pregnancy, you ABSOLUTELY should!
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that EVERYONE use sunscreen, whether you’re pregnant or not.
Other guidelines for pregnant people include using sunblock that’s at least SPF 30 and water-resistant. You’ll also want to make sure you use sunscreen that has broad-spectrum protection (meaning it works against UVA and UVB sun rays).
The Most Important Sunscreen Ingredients to Avoid During Pregnancy
So, what’s in certain sunscreens that is so bad you should avoid them for the next nine months? It’s not aloe vera and shea butter, that’s for sure!
- And More
Homosalate, avobenzone, and oxybenzone can cause endocrine disruptions. Other possible issues range from mild skin rashes to full-blown system toxicity.
While it’s helpful to avoid all of these ingredients while you’re expecting, the most important one to watch out for is oxybenzone.
Not only can oxybenzone lead to conditions like breast cancer and endometriosis, but experts also state that it can enter your bloodstream and breach your baby’s placenta. This can cause adverse effects on your little one’s development. Studies also show it can lead to premature delivery and low birth weight.
If you’re concerned about an ingredient in your current sunscreen, bring it up at your next ob-gyn appointment. As a general rule, avoid any of the ingredients listed above. Your best bet is to find a mineral sunscreen lotion or spray.
Do Skin Changes Affect the Type of Sunscreen You Should Use While Pregnant?
As if the dangers of harmful sunscreen ingredients during pregnancy aren’t enough, there are also dermatological issues to consider.
Let’s say you’re already using a pregnancy-appropriate mineral sunscreen before you even pee on a stick. You might think you can continue using that product until your baby is born.
Best case scenario: Your skin is fine, and this is exactly how things pan out.
Worst case scenario: Pregnancy hormones do a number on your skin, and the products you’re currently using, including your pregnancy safe mineral sunscreen, suddenly become your worst enemy.
The good news is these problems are usually temporary but annoying. They might also lead to a hunt for new sunscreen products. Don’t worry; we have a great list of safe sunscreens for pregnancy that will help you maintain that lovely “expectant mama glow.”
What Is The Overall Best Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen?
The suggestions below are the cream of the crop when you want pregnancy safe sunscreen. They’re mineral sunscreens that forego harsh chemicals and contain nourishing ingredients to support your delicate (and acne-prone) pregnancy skin.
Have you ever applied sunscreen and noticed a weird white cast on your skin afterward? This, unfortunately, is a common occurrence in the world of mineral sunblock.
When you use Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, however, you can forget about that unattractive ghostly glow.
This is an excellent option for all skin types and tones, and it’s also one of the best pregnancy safe sunscreen products available.
Supergoop! has something called the “No List.” This is a list of 1600+ ingredients that you’ll NEVER find inside their products. Aside from chemicals like oxybenzone and homosalate, this list also includes parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.
Supergoop! isn’t one of the most affordable options on this list, but it does hold up regarding quality and dependability. My favorite part about it is that it goes on SO SMOOTHLY under makeup!
The ThinkSport Safe formula is a vegan sunscreen without any harmful chemicals you should avoid during pregnancy.
It also provides up to 80 minutes of water-resistant sun protection which is great for active folks who spend lots of time outside in the water or sweating (or folks who simply live in the U.S. South or any other humid location).
This one isn’t a fragrance-free sunblock, but it doesn’t have any synthetic scents. Instead, manufacturers use natural oils.
Some reviewers describe it as having a light, citrus smell.
Are you the kind of mama who prefers a spray sunscreen instead of lotion? If so, Sun Bum is here to help!
While I have slight PTSD from experiences with poorly applied sunblock spray, there’s no denying this one is one of the top pregnancy safe sunscreens you can buy. It’s earned more than 19,000 reviews on Amazon and is dermatologist-approved!
One of the most important things to know about this product is that it offers broad-spectrum SPF. That means wearing it protects you from UVA and UVB rays.
Now for the negative–this sunscreen isn’t a good option for your face. Many reviewers say that once they got wet or started sweating, some of the spray ran down into their eyes and caused serious irritation and burning. If you pick this product, you might want to purchase a separate pregnancy safe sunscreen for your face like the aforementioned Supergoop!
I love the Babo Botanicals zinc oxide sunscreen spray because the formula is so gentle. You can easily use it for anyone in your family, including your baby!
Per the product description, the company worked alongside dermatologists to test their sunscreens against various allergens to ensure it’s safe for as many skin types as possible.
It’s also rated #1 in safety by the EWG.
The women in my family have a tough time with sensitive skin. Over the years, I’ve had several dermatologists, doctors, and estheticians all recommend CeraVe products to help combat issues.
It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for natural sun protection. I appreciate that it also includes hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help nourish our skin.
One downside, however, is that this product produces a significant white cast and can be tough to rub in because it’s so thick.
You’re not going to get burned while using it correctly, though, so if you have super fair skin, this is a fantastic option!
Do You Have Sensitive Skin? Try Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen for Delicate Skin
Does your skin feel extra dry, irritated, or sensitive during pregnancy? Why not add one of the sunscreens below to your list of skincare products?
Blue Lizard is one of my favorite sunscreen brands, especially when you need sensitive skin formulas.
This company started in Australia, where harmful UV rays are part of day-to-day life. The formula is strong enough to withstand harsh sun and is an ideal option for any pregnant woman looking for reliable sunblock during pregnancy.
Another cool feature of this product? The bottle changes color in severe UV conditions, so you know when protection is even more crucial.
The Native brand has earned its place as a leading provider of natural, organic products. If you want to buy a reliable pregnancy safe sunscreen for sensitive skin, their Unscented SPF 30 is an excellent choice.
It’s free of all harsh ingredients and fragrances that tend to irritate and dry out skin. It also goes on easily, absorbs well, and doesn’t leave behind a white cast.
Note: Many reviewers mention this isn’t a water and sweat-resistant formula. If you choose this product, be vigilant about reapplying frequently and especially after you go for a swim or sweat a lot.
Last year, we took our little one to the dermatologist because she was dealing with serious eczema flare-ups. We felt like we’d tried every balm, lotion, and butter on the market, but it wasn’t improving. Her doctor turned us onto Vanicream products.
This sunscreen is not only chemical-free, but it’s also lightweight and nourishes skin. It’s also non-comedogenic, so you won’t have to worry about clogging your pores!
This is one of the best options available when it comes to gentle but safe sunscreens for pregnancy. It’s oxybenzone-free, lanolin-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.
Basically, if it’s a crap ingredient, you can count on it not being included in the formula.
Are you dealing with eczema, acne, or psoriasis during pregnancy? If so, the Kindred Bravely Sensible Sunscreen might be a fantastic choice for your sun protection needs.
Kindred Bravely has created a sunblock free of harsh chemicals but that’s also nourishing and gentle on skin. It has luxurious ingredients, such as vitamin E, jojoba oil, and shea butter to help maintain the integrity of your skin’s barrier.
from: Kindred Bravely
It does produce a bit of a white cast and takes some work to rub in, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Our Favorite Pregnancy Safe Sunscreens for Faces
Let’s take it back to Skincare 101…every day, yes, even during pregnancy, you need to put quality sunscreen on your body and especially your face. Ask any board-certified dermatologist, and they’ll tell you just that!
If you’re looking for pregnancy safe sunscreen for your face, the following suggestions are a great place to start your search.
I’ve recently stumbled upon the loveliness that is La Roche Posay products. My dermatologist even suggested some of them for our daughter’s sensitive skin.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen is an excellent option for your face during pregnancy, especially if you’re struggling with oily skin and breakouts. It offers a soft finish, and many reviewers claim it wears well under and over makeup. One person even said that it helps their makeup stay put throughout the day.
It is a thicker formula, so prepare to put some effort into rubbing it in and washing it off at the end of the day.
This sunscreen for your face has over 37,000 glowing reviews on Amazon, so it’s safe to say it’s doing something right!
EltaMD UV Clear Face is a dependable mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide to help reflect UV rays away from the delicate skin on your face. More than that, it includes ingredients like niacinamide, which help calm acne-prone skin throughout pregnancy.
They also offer a tinted version if you love this product but want a little color instead of the clear formula.
If you want a tinted mineral sunscreen that’s more affordable, why not check out this product by Sun Bum?
It has fantastic reviews and a matte finish that goes on quickly and looks great under makeup.
Plus, it still has all the makings of a safe pregnancy sunscreen!
Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen Means You Don’t Have to Be Lazy About Sun Protection this Summer
I know you’re worried about what you’re putting in and on your body during pregnancy. It’s only natural to want to make the best choices for you and your growing baby. Don’t let a fear of nasty ingredients and chemicals stop you from using the sun protection you need while you’re expecting.
Yes, sunscreen has gotten a bad rap in years past for less-than-awesome formulas full of toxic ingredients. Thankfully, we’ve learned more about those ingredients now and have plenty of excellent alternatives that are safe and effective for you to use during pregnancy.
So, don’t sit back and risk a burn while pregnant. Take a look at this list and pick a high-quality sunscreen that’s safe for you and your little one.
Have you used a different pregnancy safe sunscreen that’s not on this list? What did you think about it?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.