During pregnancy, a woman does everything she can to protect her baby’s health, this includes questioning the safety of certain skin products, such as sunscreen for example.
Does Sunscreen Offer Risks?
The great fear of the future mother is that the use of sunscreen during pregnancy may bring some type of problem in the baby’s formation . However, avoiding sunscreen can do more harm than its use. Protecting yourself from the bright rays of the sun is especially important during pregnancy when the skin tends to be more sensitive than usual. Sunscreen in pregnancy is a necessity for all women, regular use can help prevent dark spots related to pregnancy.
Best Sun Exposure Times
The best form of sun protection is prevention , so it is important to stay in the sun only at the times indicated, which are before 10 am or after 4 pm. If you need to go out in the sun within the time indicated, it is necessary to take some precautions, including the use of sunscreen during pregnancy.
Benefits of Using Sunscreen in Pregnancy
Dermatology experts recommend that all women wear a sunscreen during pregnancy with a minimum SPF of 30 or more to avoid sunburn.
Sunscreen not only helps to protect against premature aging and skin cancer, but it can also help alleviate pregnancy-related skin problems. Exposure to the sun worsens melasma (a hormonal condition during pregnancy that causes dark skin patches).
The protection against UV rays provided by the use of sunscreen in pregnancy can prevent these spots from darkening and becoming more visible.
Sunscreen Indicated For Pregnant Women
In general, lotions that offer UVA and UVB protection (called “broad spectrum sunscreen”) and a sun protection factor (SPF) ideally between 30 and 50.
Products in which the active ingredient is zinc oxide and / or titanium dioxide (also called mineral or physical sunscreen ) tend to be safer than chemical sunscreens for pregnant women, as they are hypoallergenic and stay on the skin, while instead of being absorbed by it.
Protector Factor 50
Experts also recommend that products containing SPF over 50 not be used, as they block the best quality sun. But there is no specific concern related to the SPF greater than 50 for the use of sunscreen in pregnancy.
Another information to note is whether the sunscreen has chemical components in its formula with repellent action . If it is necessary to use an insect repellent, the ideal is to buy it separately and apply it after using the sunscreen.
A tip for pregnant women: do you want to improve the pleasure of sex during the gestational phase? Use water-based lubricating gels that play the role of cervical mucus and still control vaginal pH, reducing the chances of proliferation of fungi and bacteria responsible for infections. Famivita has developed the perfect lubricant for pregnant women and pregnant women, the FamiGel . You can buy it here in our online store.
Components of Sunscreen that Pregnant Women Should Avoid
The use of sunscreen in pregnancy is extremely important, however, there are two ingredients found in almost 3/4 of all sunscreens that experts advise not to be used by pregnant women.
The first is oxybenzone , an active ingredient found in many common chemical sunscreens, which is a potential hormonal killer and can also cause allergic reactions.
In some studies, oxybenzone has been associated with low birth weight in female children. Although these studies cannot identify oxybenzone as the sole reason for low birth weight , there is no reason to put the baby at risk if there is a viable alternative that is considered safe for using sunscreen in pregnancy.
The reason why oxybenzone cannot be identified as a cause of birth problems is due to its effect on the skin. It is a chemical component used to help other chemical components to be absorbed by the skin.
Unlike zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are located on the surface, oxybenzone products penetrate the skin, allowing chemicals to fall into the bloodstream . Although the risk is unclear, it is safer to use a sunscreen in pregnancy that is mineral based on zinc and / or titanium, or a non-mineral sunscreen without oxybenzone.
Much of the skepticism about the use of sunscreen in pregnancy stems from the potential risks associated with retinoids. Retinoids are forms of vitamin A used in numerous over-the-counter skin products, including anti-wrinkle creams and sunscreen. On sunscreen labels, retinoids are often listed as retinyl palmitate, also called retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol.
Although these ingredients have not been scientifically proven to cause problems for babies, the concern is that taking too much vitamin A orally can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women.
Through supplements and personal care products, vitamin A can potentially cause malformation in a developing baby. In addition, excessive vitamin A exposure can accelerate the development of tumors and skin lesions when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight. Therefore, several women prefer not to risk the use of sunscreen during pregnancy.
How can pregnant women prevent themselves from the sun?
Sunscreen in pregnancy is not the only line of defense against harmful sun rays. If the pregnant woman is unable to avoid going out only at the recommended times, it is important to protect herself from the sun.
For this to happen safely just follow the following tips:
- Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and part of your face.
- Stay in a shaded area whenever possible when you are outside.
- Always apply sunscreen during pregnancy 15 to 30 minutes before going out. Reapply every 2 to 3 hours if it is waterproof and every 1 to 2 hours if not.
- Cover as much skin as possible with loose, light and colorful clothing, in cotton or other breathable fabric, as they help to repel UV rays.
- If you go to the beach, prefer to go early or in the afternoon to avoid the sun. In addition, reapply the sunscreen every two hours, either after going into the sea or drying yourself with a towel.
- Stay indoors or in covered places during critical hours of sunshine, which is usually between 10 am and 4 pm , especially on very hot days.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps skin cells not lose water and consequently does not become more fragile, facilitating sunburn.
In general, the benefits of sunscreen in pregnancy outweigh the potential risks. But it is always a good idea to consult a doctor before deciding which one to use.
See also: Tanning in Pregnancy
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.