Being pregnant for the first time last year brought with it a slew of Google searches for what I could and couldn’t do and use. Thankfully, I was well-versed in the skin-care department after my years in the industry, and one of the key points I remembered: Stick to mineral-based SPF during those expecting months.
“Studies have shown that chemical sunscreens can impact developing endocrine systems,” says New York dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD. “The best sunscreens to use while pregnant are often going to be similar to what you would use on your newborn, like Blue Lizard, Badger, Garden Goddess and other trusted pediatric brands, but most mineral blockers with zinc, iron or titanium oxide are going to be safe and provide less irritation and lasting protection for mom and soon-to-come baby.”
These are eight pregnancy-safe, mineral-based formulas to keep in mind for serious sun protection when a baby is on the way.
Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($10.50)
A celebrity favorite—Rosie Huntington-Whiteley loves the entire line for herself and her two kids—this lightweight, fragrance-free sunscreen mixes non-nano zinc with plant extracts like wild gooseberry, squalane and bisabolol for sun protection plus moisturizing and calming benefits.
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Fluid SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen ($20)
Founded 12 years ago by a new mom on a mission to offer plant-based products with sustainably sourced ingredients, Babo Botanicals is a no-brainer when it comes to effective sunscreen brands for the whole family. This new tinted SPF is a super lightweight liquid lotion (yet somehow it packs in 30 plant-based ingredients) that blends in seamlessly without a greasy residue (though there can be a slight white cast, so it may not work on all skin tones). It’s quickly becoming a personal favorite for those “no makeup but great skin” days.
COOLA Mineral Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 ($28)
COOLA calls this matte body spray “mineral magic,” and we agree. Good for all skin types and free of fragrance, it’s formulated with 70-percent certified-organic ingredients, including antioxidant-rich plant extracts that put up a fight against skin-aging free radicals as skin is also being protected from the sun.
Evereden Sheer Botanical Facial Sunscreen SPF 30 ($26)
Rub this SPF in well and it applies super sheer—it feels like you have nothing on your skin—which is a feat in itself for any 100-percent mineral formula. It also contains rose extract (and has a rose scent) for soothing benefits and jojoba oil, which leaves skin with a dewy glow or a great base for makeup.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen ($20)
Designed in collaboration with dermatologists keeping sensitive skin in mind, this SPF 30+ is reef-safe (it’s an Australian company) and free of potentially irritating ingredients for even the most fragile complexions (pregnancy can make skin go wild!). Plus, we love the brand’s proprietary Smart Cap Technology, which alerts you when it’s time to put on sunscreen via a color-changing cap that turns blue when harmful UV rays are present.
EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41 ($36.50)
For those who prefer a little hint of color in their face sunscreen (the tint is universal and blends in well), this oil-free formula is a winner. Mineral UV blockers are combined with potent antioxidants linoleic acid, quercetin and thioctic acid to simultaneously reduce free-radical and UV damage.
Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen Cream SPF 30 ($18)
Great for the active mama-to-be, this creamy sunscreen contains just five ingredients, all of which are 98-percent organic and GMO-free, and is water-resistant for 40 minutes (swimming is a great pregnancy-friendly exercise to keep active). It also features vitamin E to keep skin moisturized rather than drying it out, which some SPFs are guilty of.
Goddess Garden Organics Daily SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Continuous Spray ($20)
We love that Goddess Garden puts the Earth first and wants people to be able to safely enjoy time in the sun, not be scared of it. Dermatologist-tested and purely mineral with non-nano zinc, this broad-spectrum, reef-safe spray is gentle enough for all skin types, even sensitive, and water-resistant for 80 minutes. It also contains caprylic/capric triglyceride, derived from coconut oil, which helps disperse the minerals evenly on the skin for smooth application.