When you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to protect your skin from the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day. But not all sunscreens are safe for pregnant women. Some ingredients in sunscreen can be harmful to your baby. So, what should you look for on the ingredients label?
Why is using sunscreen important when you’re pregnant?
Not only will sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, but it will also shield your skin from discoloration and other pregnancy-related conditions that can be exacerbated by sun exposure.
Since your skin tends to be more sensitive when you’re pregnant, melasma and other kinds of hyperpigmentation — blotches, patches, dots or lines that can vary in color from reddish-purple to brown, blue or gray — are more of a possibility and can become more pronounced when you’re exposed to the sun.
So what should you look for on the ingredients label?
The first thing to look for is the SPF, or sun protection factor. This tells you how well the sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The higher the SPF, the better. But experts say that no sunscreen can block all of the sun’s rays, so it’s still important to wear protective clothing and stay in the shade when possible.
Another ingredient to look for is zinc oxide. This is a mineral that helps block both UVA and UVB rays. It’s considered safe for pregnant women and babies, and it’s often used in baby sunscreen because it’s less likely to irritate their skin.
Some sunscreens also contain titanium dioxide. This is another mineral that helps block both UVA and UVB rays. But unlike zinc oxide, it’s not considered safe for pregnant women or babies. So, if you’re looking for a sunscreen for pregnancy, make sure it doesn’t contain titanium dioxide.
Finally, avoid sunscreens that contain retinyl palmitate. This is a form of vitamin A that can be harmful to your baby if you use it while you’re pregnant.
What are some of the best sunscreens for pregnancy?
Now that you know what to look for on the ingredients label, here are some of the best sunscreens for pregnancy:
- The Honest Company SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
- Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
- CeraVe baby lotion SPF 45
- Banana Boat Simply Protect Baby sunscreen lotion SPF 50+
What sunscreen is not safe during pregnancy?
When it comes to choosing a sunscreen for pregnancy, the most important thing is to read the ingredients label. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and avoid those that contain retinyl palmitate. And remember, no matter what sunscreen you choose, it’s still important to wear protective clothing and stay in the shade when possible.
Is sun exposure important during pregnancy?
So, while you should definitely take precautions against too much sun exposure, some sun exposure is still important for your health during pregnancy. Most research points to as little as five to ten minutes of sun exposure two to three times a week on the arms, legs, hands and/or face to meet all of the body’s vitamin D needs.
So, while you should definitely take precautions against too much sun exposure, some sun exposure is still important for your health during pregnancy. Just be sure to choose a safe sunscreen and don’t stay in the sun for too long.
If you have any questions about which sunscreen is right for you, be sure to ask your doctor or dermatologist. They can help you choose a sunscreen that will be safe for both you and your baby.