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Last Updated on December 20, 2020
Being pregnant brings challenges you may not have anticipated.
For one, hormonal changes lead to acne and sensitive skin.
You’re at risk of chloasma or hyperpigmented patches.
You’re more likely to suffer sunburn.
Also, you might have trouble with scented products.
But you can minimize these problems with the best sunscreens for pregnancy.
They protect your skin from sun damage caused by the ultraviolet rays.
And fragrance-free lotions with gentle, natural ingredients won’t cause breakouts or irritation.
If you don’t have time to read the complete article, here are our top picks.
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There is much debate online about which sunscreens are safe for pregnancy.
Some would have you use nothing but mineral sunscreens made with non-nano particles.
They‘re afraid that nanoparticles and chemical filters could have adverse effects.
Others explain that chemical filters protect better than mineral sunscreens alone.
And they point out that fears concerning these chemical sunscreens are based on tests done on animals that ate them. A human would have to cover their body head to toe every day for 35 years to achieve the same amount of absorption.
Moreover, even though there is evidence that one ingredient, oxybenzone, is detectable in blood and breast milk, there’s no reason yet to believe that it’s harmful (1).
The bottom line is clearly explained by the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Sunscreen is essential for preventing sunburn, reducing premature aging, and lowering your chances of developing skin cancer.
If you’re concerned about the harmful chemicals in your sunscreen, you can rest assured that the FDA is reassessing their safety even as this article is published.
They are reviewing oxybenzone, avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, homosalate, and octocrylene. Check the FDA’s site to see what they discovered (2) at the end of the year.
In the meantime, there are some tips to find the best pregnancy safe sunscreen for your face and body.
Now, let’s discuss the top sunscreens for pregnant women.
It’s hard to resist Alba Botanica’s all-mineral pregnancy safe sunscreen. It has no scent, it’s vegetarian, and it’s safe for coral reefs.
But it’s not just for blocking the sun. It also prevents signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots. It’s rich in organic aloe, chamomile, and grapeseed oil to rejuvenate your skin.
Supergoop’s pregnancy safe sunscreen is based on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. This pregnancy safe sunscreen has olive polyphenols that reduce redness caused by rosacea or heat stress. Also important, it won’t turn your skin white when it dries.
If you’re not dead set on mineral sunscreens, try the Supergoop original formula. It’s gentle enough for your face and body as it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel sticky or greasy.
The active ingredients are avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and homosalate. They are clinically proven to filter out UV radiation and defend your skin from damage.
This lotion is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It has a mild natural fragrance from basil, citrus, and Bois de rose.
Enjoy Sun Bum’s zinc oxide sunscreen in a lotion format. It’s free of parabens phthalates, oils, propylene glycol, and gluten. It doesn’t have retinyl palmitate or chemical filters, including oxybenzone, either. But it does have a mild fragrance.
COOLA’s sunscreen lotion feels sheer, but it’s soothing and protective of the skin. It’s enhanced with antioxidants to prevent premature aging. Plus, it has organic, non-GMO ingredients and no parabens.
Badger makes several sunscreens, but we selected this one as it’s fragrance-free. It defends your skin with non-nano zinc oxide, Vitamin E, and seabuckthorn extract.
The formula is biodegradable and reef-safe to avoid harming wildlife. Even the packaging is recyclable and BPA-free.
Sun Bum offers facial sunscreen on a stick. It’s convenient to carry with you and never messy. The texture glides on easily and melts into the skin.
The mineral sunscreen is based on zinc, coconut oil, avocado, meadowfoam, shea butter, and other moisturizing ingredients.
Kiss My Face blends zinc oxide with octinoxate and octisalate for maximum broad spectrum sun protection. They avoid oxybenzone, the culprit behind endocrine disruption in fish and die-offs on coral reefs (3).
There’s no artificial fragrance, either.
Moreover, they include green tea and licorice, both of which are packed with antioxidants. Plus, the formula has soothing cucumber and aloe, and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin soft and relaxed.
The only downside is that you’ll need to apply after 40 minutes of swimming or sweating.
Besides your face, use the Kiss My Face lotion with oat protein for the rest of your body. It’s water-resistant for 80 minutes and free of artificial dyes and fragrances.
There are no parabens phthalates and no oxybenzone, either.
The secret behind the way it leaves your skin soft, but not greasy is something called Hydresia. It’s made of little capsules of oil from safflower seeds.
La-Roche Posay is a French company with products that are sold in European pharmacies. Their Anthelios sunscreen has won awards from Glamour, Oprah Magazine, and Family Circle.
If you are struggling with pregnancy acne, use this sunscreen.
It absorbs excess oil with silica and perlite but won’t clog pores. It sets to a matte finish and won’t dry out your skin.
It’s free of two ingredients that tend to cause problems for sensitive skin: oxybenzone and octinoxate. It also avoids artificial fragrances and parabens.
CeraVe ensures that this mineral sunscreen is compliant with Hawaii’s new rules. It’s free of oxybenzone to protect wildlife.
The fragrance-free lotion reflects UVA and UVB rays with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Meanwhile, ceramides and niacinamide calm reddened skin and reinforce its natural barrier.
Do you wish you could get ready faster in the morning? Then use Thinksport’s tinted sunscreen and skip the makeup. It has a sheer tint that adds a subtle radiance to tired skin.
If you need more coverage, wear this product as a primer and put the base over the top.
Not only does it provide SPF 30 broad spectrum protection, but it also keeps your face healthy. It has cranberry seed oil and aloe to prevent wrinkles and sunspots.
If you wear it swimming, it lasts up to 80 minutes in the water.
There is one more thing you should know, though. Thinksport’s products come highly recommended by the Environmental Working Group and Whole Foods. That’s because they have no harmful chemicals and no nanoparticles.
Defend yourself against sunburn at the beach, by the pool, or pushing a stroller in the zoo. Use Thinksport’s reef-safe and water-resistant sunscreen that protects for up to 80 minutes.
Like the facial water-resistant sunscreen above, this one is rated a “1” for a low hazard on the EWG database. It has no toxic chemicals, and it’s biodegradable.
EltaMD keeps acne at bay with this silky-feeling sunscreen. It’s lightweight and won’t block pores. Plus, it won’t trigger rosacea, either.
It has zinc oxide and octinoxate to block destructive UV radiation. And it leaves skin smooth, not oily. It is a good choice for pregnant women for acne-prone or sensitive skin.
You can’t get much simpler than Waxhead’s sunscreen stick. It has only 4 ingredients: zinc oxide, organic coconut oil, beeswax, and organic vanilla extract. It melts into your skin while you enjoy the delicious natural fragrance.
It’s possibly the safest sunscreen for pregnant women. Furthermore, it’s safe for the environment, too. It won’t harm corals or sea life.
MDSolarSciences says their mineral sunscreen is mild enough for infants aged 6 months and up. Meanwhile, their moms can wear it as a primer under makeup.
The zinc oxide formula continues to filter the sun’s rays for up to 80 minutes in the water. At the same time, Vitamin C, fruit extracts, and green tea defend the skin from environmental pollution.
Instead of lotion, try the sunscreen stick from MDSolarSciences. It’s a no-mess way to protect your skin. Use it on the tips of your ears, your nose, and the backs of your hands.
Aveeno’s mineral sunscreen is travel-sized, so you never have to leave it behind. It provides broad-spectrum protection with zinc oxide.
Happily, it doesn’t leave a white residue or cast on the skin, and it stands up to sweat and high humidity.
Of course, coming from Aveeno, it has soothing oat flour and plenty of moisturizing ingredients. Also, it’s free of artificial fragrances, parabens, dyes, and phthalates.
Even Coppertone has joined the growing group of manufacturers switching to natural ingredients. The Pure and Simple Lotion has only zinc oxide, not chemical filters. It’s fragrance-free and non-comedogenic.
It also has a blend of kelp, tea leaf, and lotus extract to fortify your skin.
Be aware that some users have said it leaves a faint white residue or sheen unless it’s rubbed in well.
Blue Lizard combines zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to keep you safe from the sun. It lasts to 40 minutes in the water, and it’s free of perfumes and parabens.
Juice Beauty’s face sunscreen for pregnancy has a light tint to enhance your appearance. Choose from four shades, from sheer to tan.
The formula is best for dry or normal skin. It moisturizes with grape, apple, and aloe juice plus hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil.
The Beauty by Earth sunscreen has a lower sun protection factor (SPF) than most of the other sunscreens I reviewed today. Why does that matter?
The SPF number can help you estimate how long your sunscreen will protect you.
For example, if you know that your skin tends to burn after 20 minutes, then using SPF 20 allows you to stay in the sun 20 times as long, or 400 minutes. That’s more than six hours.
But the SPF also tells you how much of the UV radiation sunscreen filters.
To illustrate, SPF 30 prevents 97% of the UVA and UVB rays from harming your skin. Then, SPF 50 blocks 98% (4).
In the end, all of these benefits depend on whether you apply enough sunscreen. You’ll have less protection if you put on too thin a layer or don’t reapply at the recommended times.
That might not matter if you use sunscreen for pregnancy as a primer under makeup foundation that filters out UV rays.
This particular product works well as a primer and a standalone sunscreen. It contains non-nano zinc oxide and vegan ingredients.
If you tend to react badly to just about everything that you put on your skin, try Vanicream’s products. The list of ingredients they leave out is longer than the components in the sunscreen for pregnancy itself.
The lightweight lotion sinks in quickly and has no odor. There are no parabens, lanolin, artificial fragrances, dyes, or other no-nos.
Don’t forget the lip balm because lips burn, too. This one guards against windburn and chapping as well as UV rays.
Care for your skin and your long-term health by applying sunscreen before you go outdoors.
Put a teaspoon on each part of your body, starting with your face.
Remember to reapply if you’re outside for longer than two hours or in the water.
Not only will it prevent sunburn, but it also slows down wrinkle formation and defends against skin cancer.
Taking care of yourself now can help you be a healthy mama, too.
1. https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/prevent/is-sunsceen-safe accessed September 18, 2019
2. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/understanding-over-counter-medicines/sunscreen-how-help-protect-your-skin-sun published August 29, 2019, accessed September 18, 2019
3. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190722-sunscreen-safe-or-toxic by Jessica Brown, published July 23, 2019, accessed September 18, 2019
4. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/high-spf-sunscreens-are-they-better by Salynn Boyles, published November 9, 2012, accessed September 19, 2019
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