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How to Find a Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

How to Find a Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

Plus, three of our favorite formulas

Everyone needs protection from the sun to keep their skin at its best (quick reminder: UV rays damage cells, causing signs of aging and an increased risk of skin cancer). And when pregnancy hormones come into play, there’s an extra complexion caveat: you wind up more prone to dark spots and melasma, which the sun’s rays can make worse. Fun, right?

Fortunately, devout sunscreen-wearing can go a long way in dodging hyperpigmentation (don’t forget to limit sun exposure overall, too). Need help finding a pregnancy-safe formula? Here’s an easy list of what to look for:

Stick to mineral sunscreens.

Sunscreens fall into two camps: chemical filters and mineral filters. Both protect your skin in different ways, but a 2019 study found that the chemical filter oxybenzone can impact the fetus. Your safest bet: find a mineral (A.K.A. physical) formula that you love.

Opt for broad-spectrum coverage.

Don’t forget that you need protection from UVA rays too—the “SPF” on the label only refers to UVB coverage. You want your tube to say “full” or “broad spectrum.” The bonus of mineral sunscreens: almost all of them are broad spectrum (look for one with zinc).

Go for at least SPF 30.

Dermatologists recommend at least SPF 30, reapplied regularly (especially after swimming or sweating). It’s also a great idea to seek shade, wear hats and protective clothing, and avoid peak sun hours.

Find a formula you love.

The best sunscreen is the one you’ll wear regularly. Here are a few pregnancy-safe mineral formulas to try:

Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen Lotion: Skinceuticals Matte UV Defense SPF 50

This lightweight formula goes on without any gloop—perfect for your face.

Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen Spray: Sun Bum Mineral Spray SPF 30

We love a spray for a quick application, but just make sure you’re applying out of the wind!

Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen Stick: Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

Keep this in your bag for easy touch-ups on your ears, face and the back of your hands.