Are you wondering what the safest sunscreen for pregnancy is? Read on and find out which is the best choice for you–a mineral sunscreen or a chemical sunscreen.
You’ve probably heard it a thousand times—from celebrities and dermatologists to your mom and favorite influencers—wear sunscreen. And when you’re pregnant, this ubiquitous skincare reminder is still as important as ever to protect your skin from premature aging, wrinkles, dark spots, and all types of skin cancer.
However, it’s a little bit different when you’re pregnant. Now, more than ever, you need to scrutinize every ingredient in your skincare products, including your reliable sunscreen.
But wait, aren’t all sunscreens the same? Well, mama, they’re not! There are generally two types of sunscreens, and only one is safe to use during pregnancy. So let’s find out what these two are.
The Two Types of Sunscreen
Chemical sunscreen, which includes ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, or octinoxate, is one of the most common sunscreens. This type of sunscreen works by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat before being released by the body.
Although chemical sunscreen is easier to spread and requires less amount of product, you’ll actually need to wait 20-30 minutes before it becomes effective.
A recent study on the effect of chemical sunscreen on pregnancy revealed that it may cause a rare birth defect, primarily when used during the first trimester. Moreover, chemical sunscreen is also known to have a higher chance of irritating the skin. So, mamas, chemical sunscreen is typically not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and even children or those with sensitive skin.
Meanwhile, mineral sunscreen, sometimes called physical sunscreen, works as a physical blocker that sits on top of the skin. The fact that they create a barrier on the skin makes them thicker and why it leaves a slight residue on the skin.
On the upside, mineral sunscreen uses minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect the skin from UV rays—both of which are safe not just for pregnant and breastfeeding women, but for children too!
In contrast to a chemical sunscreen that absorbs the UV rays, mineral sunscreen reflects the UV rays before touching the skin. It’s almost like having a tiny army on your skin, keeping the harmful UV rays at bay. Pretty cool, right? But even better, there’s no wait time with a mineral sunscreen. It works immediately as soon as you apply it.
What To Look For in A Mineral Sunscreen & Other Tips
Now that we’ve determined that mineral sunscreen is the safest option for pregnant women, here are some more valuable things to look for in a mineral sunscreen:
- Broad-spectrum sunscreen. This means the sunscreen provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
- At least SPF15. If you’re occasionally exposed to the sun and looking for sunscreen for daily use, SPF15 provides sufficient protection. But if you’ll be engaged in outdoor activities under the sun, SPF 30 or higher is your best option.
- Fragrance-free. Skin is sensitive during pregnancy so try to avoid fragrances that cause irritation.
While a good mineral sunscreen surely helps you stay safe under the sun, take note of these tips to indeed be sun-safe:
- Apply sunscreen even when it’s cloudy
- Avoid sun exposure between 10 am to 4 pm (it’s when UV rays are strongest)
- Wear sun-protective clothing
- Avoid tanning beds
Experience Moisturization and Sun Protection in One Go
While some sun exposure is good for the body (it IS an invaluable source of vitamin D), sunscreen remains a must to protect our skin! But do you prefer to use as few products as possible? Or perhaps you’re one to forget about that extra step in your skincare routine? A face moisturizer that doubles as sunscreen may be what you need, just like our Mama’s Choice Daily Protection Face Moisturizer.
A moisturizer and sunscreen in one, our face moisturizer soothes, calms, and hydrates dry and irritated skin. It’s enriched with rice extract, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter to help you achieve that pregnancy glow. Besides being an effective moisturizer, it also offers safe and effective sun protection thanks to pregnancy-safe mineral sunscreen.
Free from harmful chemicals and rich in natural ingredients to give you smoother and radiant skin, Mama’s Choice Daily Protection Face Moisturizer helps you simplify your daily skincare routine and gives you one less thing to worry about—the damaging effects of too much sun exposure.
Mama's Choice Team
A team of passionate writers, young mamas, and creative superheroes who help mamas face motherhood one educational article at a time!