Pregnant or not, it is vital to to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It just so happens that during pregnancy we are more susceptible to the UV rays as our melanocytes (pigment producing cells) go into overdrive and skin is more sensitive to burning and discolouration.
If you are a sun lover like myself, this does not mean you have to avoid the sun though (phew!) You can still go outside and enjoy whilst taking a few precautions and using the correct sunscreens. (We’ll leave it to the flamingos to be pink!) When choosing your sunscreen there are a few things to consider:
- Use a minimum of SPF 30.
- Use a mineral sunscreen rather than a chemical sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which do not absorb into the skin. Instead they act as a reflective barrier on the skin, reflecting UV rays like a mirror. Damaging ingredients in chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and scatter the suns rays, which offers less effective and delayed sun protection.
- Avoid Oxybenzone, this chemical absorbs into your body and has been linked to low birth weights and is known to interfere with the body’s hormones which may cause developmental issues in your unborn, growing babies. It is also toxic to our ever decreasing coral reef!
- Another ingredient to try and avoid is Dimethicone. The Skin Deep Database, does rate this at low risk, however it can cause skin irritation, increase skin dryness and suffocate your skin as it forms a plastic like barrier due to its silicone oil nature. It is also bad for the environment as it is non-biodegradable.
- Choose a cream rub rather than an oil or a spray – oil may cause breakouts to your already sensitive, pregnant skin.
My sunscreen suggestions:
Suntegrity – A holistic, mineral sun care line to help people avoid skin cancer. This brand was created in the loving memory of the creator’s mum after she lost her life to skin cancer. It is mineral based and contains non toxic preservatives. There is a great range for lip, face and body protection.
Green People – A very well known organic brand, Green People offer a superb selection of sun care for adults and children. They are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrance so are perfect for sensitive skin and will prevent prickly heat. You can order a sample pack from their website.
Babo Botanicals – These sunscreens have a lovely lightweight feel to them, which I found I never got with mainstream sunscreens. Babo Botanicals is blended with moisturising aloe vera, avocado and jojoba oil and nourishing rose hip and green tea to prevent dryness and premature ageing.
Bare Belly Organics – The most natural sunscreen of them all, the active ingredients are minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The rest of the ingredients are organic shea butter, organic coconut oil and organic beeswax to name a few. Ingredients you can find in your local health shop…
With other precautions such as drinking plenty of water and keeping out of the midday sun you and your bump can enjoy the sun safely!