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The 15 Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreens Of 2022, According To Dermatologists

You'll want to keep using these while you breastfeed, too.

pregnancy safe sunscreen
Christine Giordano

Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, noticing early signs of pregnancy, or are about to deliver next week, you probably already know the basics to avoid when you’re expecting, like alcohol and sushi. But, you might not have thought to double check the ingredients in your sunscreen. "The greatest misconception is that all sunscreens are safe in pregnancy," says Denis K. Dudley MD, ob-gyn and founder of The Sunscreen Company.

Meet Our Experts: Denis K. Dudley MD, ob-gyn and founder of The Sunscreen Company, Rhonda Klein, MD, and partner at Modern Dermatology, Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon in New York City, Sheila Farhang, MD, board certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics

The reality is, while it's important to protect your skin from the sun at all times, certain chemical ingredients in your everyday sunscreen can potentially be harmful to your baby's development.

But there’s no need to worry—we laid out everything you might be wondering about pregnancy-safe SPFs, including some options from brands specifically formulated for moms and babies. Scroll down for 15 expert-approved pregnancy-safe sunscreens to consider.

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Best Calming Sunscreen
Sheer Botanical Face Sunscreen
Best For The Whole Family
Mineral Sunscreen
Best Makeup Alternative
Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
Best Natural Sunscreen
Sun Guardian Day Creme SPF 30
Best Unscented Sunscreen
UNSCENTED Natural Mineral Sunscreen
Best Stick
EleVen by Venus Williams
Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35
Best For Oily, Breakout-Prone Skin
La Roche-Posay
Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Gentle Lotion
Best Blendable
PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50 PA++++
Best For Dry Skin
UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44
Best Spray
Sun Bum
Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
Best Brightening
Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB
Best For Indoors
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
Best Scent
Bare Republic
Mineral Sunscreen Body Lotion
Best Body Sunscreen
Mineral Body Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Best For Baby And Mom
Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

What is the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens contain carbon-based compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone. “These compounds create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin,” says Rhonda Klein, MD, and partner at Modern Dermatology. The second type, physical blockers, (also known as mineral sunscreens) contain active mineral ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These sit on the surface of the skin and deflect and scatter damaging UVA rays away.

What sunscreens are best if you're pregnant?

If you're pregnant, your safest choice is a mineral sunscreen. Specifically, you'll want to look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide on the label. “Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two sunscreen ingredients that currently meet the FDA criteria for being considered Generally Recognized as Safe and Effective (GRASE)," says Dr. Dudley. "They never enter through intact skin, have no adverse effects on humans or the environment, and arguably give better broad spectrum protection.”

What sunscreens should you avoid if you're pregnant?

If a pregnant woman uses a chemical sunscreen that contains oxybenzone, she runs the risk of it being absorbed into the bloodstream, which can impact the fetus. “Such ingredients can directly affect the health of the fetus, causing developmental problems and birth defects as well as low birth weights, coronary heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and others,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a dermatologic surgeon in New York City.


Should you avoid the sun if you're pregnant?

During pregnancy, it's best to limit your sun exposure and sunscreen use in general, to be extra cautious, says Sheila Farhang, MD, board certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics. "There are other ways to sun protect such as UPF shirts, hats, and avoiding direct sun exposure between 10am and 2pm," Dr. Farhang adds.

What sunscreens are best for breastfeeding?

Even though you already gave birth, your sunscreen choice might not be in the clear if you breastfeed. Studies have found traces of oxybenzone in breast milk, which means your child is still at risk of being exposed to harmful chemicals that you could pass on during nursing. (Dr. Dudley also says to avoid oxybenzone if you're trying to conceive, just to be safe.)

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