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6 Rules for Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

07/19/2016 04:27pm ET | Updated July 20, 2017
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By Emily Barth Isler

Summer is in full swing, and you have a bun in the oven. We've got bad news for you: pregnancy leaves your skin more susceptible to wrinkles, dark spots and sunburns, and many conventional sunblocks contain chemicals and additives that can enter your bloodstream and affect baby's health before he's even born. Luckily, there are a slew of natural, mineral-based facial sunscreens that are much gentler and safer than their chemical-based counterparts. So if you want to protect that glow of yours from the sun's harmful rays, now is the perfect time to dive into the natural sunscreen trend, head first.

Here's your primer to pregnancy-safe sunscreens.

  1. Choose a mineral or physical sunscreen, not a chemical one. Chemical sunblocks contain ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate and other potentially harmful additives. Exposure to oxybenzone has been linked to low birth weight, and "-benzone" chemicals are known to interfere with your natural hormones.
  2. Look for non-nano particles. Mineral and physical sunblocks use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to scatter and reflect UV rays. While mineral sunscreens are arguably the safest options out there, some experts are concerned that nanoparticles can penetrate the skin and possibly cause cell damages. Inhaling nanoparticles can also be harmful to your lungs.
  3. Avoid vitamin A , which is also called retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol. It may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  4. Don't use spray-on sunscreens. You are more likely to inhale the sunscreen that you spray on. Small particles of even the most natural ingredients, like titanium dioxide, can become possible carcinogens when inhaled in high doses.
  5. Drink tons of water, and try to stay out of the sun during peak hours. Dehydration and overheating can cause preterm complications.
  6. Spreading your facial sunblock to your neck and chest, two areas that are often neglected and prone to aging, will help you ward off brown spots, wrinkles and sunburns.
Already a mom? These recommendations are for you too. Remember to take care of yourself -- not just your kids -- by applying much-needed sun protection. Now, we just have to figure out how to remind ourselves to eat breakfast...

More from Well Rounded NY:
What a Beach Day with Toddlers is Really Like
Spicy Skincare
Hydrating During Pregnancy

This piece was originally published by Emily Barth Isler on Well Rounded NY. Emily Barth Isler is a Brooklyn writer, mom, and wife. She's the author of 3 books for kids and young adults and co-creator of the natural beauty blog, Product Junkies Rehab. She loves coffee and podcasts, and is so good at watching TV it should be considered a skill.

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