June 25, 2019

It’s no secret that pregnant women have to avoid many popular activities, foods, and products to make sure their babies are born healthy. The list may seem daunting at first, and you may have a lot of questions about what is safe and what isn’t. Sunscreen—or more specifically, the common ingredients in chemical sunscreens—hold a prominent place on this list. 

Certain chemicals used to make many types of sunscreens have been proven to cause birth defects when used by the mother during pregnancy. Learn more below about how to choose the right types of sunscreens with the safest ingredients, so you never have to worry about whether you are harming your baby.

pregnant woman on the beach

Why Do I Need to Check Sunscreen Labels?

The best sunscreens to use on your skin, especially when pregnant, are those made using minerals instead of chemicals. Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and deflect harmful UV rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, allowing the chemical ingredients to enter the bloodstream. When tested, these chemicals have been found in blood, urine, and even breastmilk. 

Once the chemicals enter the body, they can cause skin cancer and other dangerous problems, including birth defects in unborn babies. One of the most popular ingredients in chemical sunscreens, oxybenzone, has been linked to endocrine problems and Hirschsprung’s Disease, which requires surgical correction in the colon. Oxybenzone has also been known to cause hormone disruptions and allergic reactions. This ingredient is also dangerous when applied to children under five years old. 

What Ingredients Should I Look For?

Fortunately, checking the label on a bottle of sunscreen before purchasing it is a fairly quick and simple process as long as you know what to look for. In addition to oxybenzone, you want to avoid octocrylene, avobenzone, and octinoxate. All of these are chemical ingredients with the potential to harm you, your baby, and/or the environment. You should also check your moisturizers, lotions, and cosmetics to find out if these ingredients are in products you are already using. 

Positive things to look for include the phrases, “mineral sunscreen,” “chemical-free,” “non-nano,” and “reef-safe.” These words are used to indicate that the sunscreen is made with ingredients that are safe for both your skin and the environment. Two ingredients commonly used in mineral sunscreens that are safe to use are non-nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Usually, if one or both of these ingredients is listed, the product is made with safe minerals and not harmful chemicals.  

reef in the ocean

What is a Safe and Effective Sunscreen Option?

TropicSport is a great choice for anyone who wants to avoid chemical ingredients, not only in sunscreen but in all their skin care products. We work hard to ensure that everything we make is safe for the environment and also for your skin, even during pregnancy. All of our products are reef-safe, chemical-free, cruelty-free, and even come in recyclable packaging. Check out TropicSporttoday and find a sunscreen that works for you.

Pallavi Ramamurthy
Pallavi Ramamurthy

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