Step Into The Sun With Clean, Prenatal Suncare
The summer sun is finally heading our way, and it’s time for family travels, babymoon getaways and soaking up that much-needed vitamin D. It’s also time to protect yourself. When you’re pregnant, daily suncare is more important than EVER. From reducing the appearance of stretch marks, scars + pregnancy-induced melasma, to just protecting that sweet, sensitive prenatal skin, wearing SPF is a MUST. For those trying to stick to a clean, mama and baby-safe routine, however, it can be hard to stay protected in the right way.
Check our pregnancy-safe suncare hitlist so you can get some rays and play it safe:
Let’s Get Physical:
Sunscreen falls into two categories: physical sunscreens, which sit on top of the skin and physically block UV rays by reflecting them back (think titanium dioxide or zinc oxide), and chemical sunscreens, which actually absorb into the skin and chemically react to UV rays by converting them to heat (ie oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone.)
Not only are many of these chemical filters causing trouble for our coral reefs (Hawaii actually banned oxybenzone and octinoxate last year for this reason), but they are absorbed into the skin and can actually cross the skin barrier into your bloodstream, fetus + breast milk. Oxybenzone in particular has been linked to low birth rates and developmental problems, as it can interfere with the body’s hormones.
So, it is our POV that physical, mineral sunscreens are a MUST. And the Environmental Working Group agrees — “We believe that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are among the best choices on the American market,”it said in its 2014 Guide to Sunscreens. Even more, they are hypoallergenic so they don’t have a tendency to make your sensitive, hormonal skin react. Listen, we know that these two ingredients can be thick and whitening, but make yourself slow down and take the time to lather up and rub it in because the payoffs are worth it.
Here are some more suncare hacks to keep you safe all summer:
APPLY APPLY APPLY
Even when you’re not thrusting that bump into the sun in all its glory, please apply your mineral sunblock daily. When you’re pregnant, your hormones can cause changes in circulation, which can dilate your blood vessels and make you more prone to sunburn. Reapply every two hours.
Spread It, Don’t Spray It:
Even with physical sunscreens, you don’t want to ingest too much of these ingredients into your airways. For this reason, most physical sunscreens come in lotion form. Steer clear of sprays, t’s just not worth it!
Hit the High Notes:
The higher the SPF the better. Our recco is to stay at SPF 30 and above. And always opt for broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVB and UVA rays. While both rays can cause skin cancer, UVA rays are most infamous for causing skin discoloration during pregnancy.
Take Some Breaks
We talked earlier about changes in circulation and constricted blood vessels, right?… Well, what this can mean more than sunburn is dehydration and overheating. Dehydration is the number one cause of Braxton Hicks contractions and can cause heat-related swelling. So on top of that Olympic sunscreen application, let’s pound that H20! We want you to go out and play worry free.
Octinoxate: EWG’s Toxicity Scale 8, affects reproductive health
4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor: EWG’s Toxicity Scale 7, developmental effects at low doses
PABA (Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid): EWG’s Toxicity Scale 6, Band in Canada; can lead to many different skin abnormalities does not protect against melanoma.
Homosalate: EWG’s Toxicity Scale 4: endocrine disruptor
Octocrylene: EWG’s Toxicity Scale 3: to interfere with cellular signaling, lead to cell death, and can cause cellular mutations
Nanoparticles: Dangerous to inhale
Brands with Great Mineral Sunscreens
(choose the 100% mineral, dimethicone-free options linked below!)