Did you know your skin is more likely to sunburn and wrinkle when you're pregnant? Plus and many big-brand sunscreens contain additive ingredients and chemicals that can enter your bloodstream and affect baby's health before she/he's born.
Here are 10 things to look for when searching for pregnancy-safe sunscreen.
1. Must be a physical or mineral sunscreen.
Physical sunscreens utilize minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as active ingredients. These sit on top of the healthy skin where they absorb UV rays, convert them into infrared heat energy, then dispose of the heat away from the skin. They work immediately and do not seep into the skin like petrochemical products.
2. Zinc oxide is better than titanium dioxide.
Zinc oxide, extremely good at protecting against both UVA and UVB rays and significantly more efficient and safer than titanium dioxide, is the sole sunscreen active ingredient that’s FDA approved for use on baby’s less than 6 months old. Non-nano zinc oxide is non-toxic and safe for marine life. Stable in sunlight, it provides greater protection from deep tissue UVA rays than titanium oxide (a toxic heavy metal).
3. Look for non-nano zinc oxide.
Non-nano (not small) particles are much larger and more consistent in size than nano-sized particles. These large particles do not seep through skin pores and so do not enter the bloodstream. Non-nano sunscreens are generally “more white” in appearance on the skin.
4. No oxybenzone, octocrylene, octisalate, octinoxate.
Oxybenzone is inside 97% of Americans — it’s been found in breast milk, urine, and bloodstreams. Oxybenzone penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream, and acts like estrogen in the body. Octisalate increases the amount of other ingredients passing through skin. It disrupts hormones, forms toxic metabolites, and enhances penetration of toxic herbicides. Avoid these chemicals.
5. No homosalate, avobenzone either.
Homosalate disrupts hormones and enhances the body’s absorption of pesticides. One issue with avobenzone is it only offers about 30 minutes of sun protection because it chemically breaks down in sunshine. Plus avobenzone is clearly mismatched to human biochemistries, and although sellers of avobenzone products tend to claim it is safe for humans and reefs, the molecular structures of oxyBENZONE and avoBENZONE are extremely similar, and both do bad things to users and waterways, especially over the long term.
6. Look for safe inactive ingredients.
Read the entire sunscreen label, many sunscreens contain some pretty nasty Inactive Ingredients that cause rashes and other allergic reactions (and don’t actually protect against deep skin damage). Sunscreens are meant to protect the skin, not make things worse, but if yours has good ingredients, it will keep your skin safe without such unfortunate side effects.
7. Avoid added fragrance.
Sometimes it is hard to determine if the sunscreen product contains fragrance. The list of scent-purpose chemicals is long, with the actual chemical names rarely specified. If you’re lucky, the ingredient list may include “artificial fragrance” or simply “fragrance.” Manufacturers add these chemicals to make the product smell more appealing to consumers. Most of these chemicals are linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects. We recommend avoiding any unnecessary chemicals in sunscreens and any skincare product.
8. No Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate).
Vitamin A defends against UV aging BUT on sun-exposed skin, it produces reactive oxygen that destroys cells. It also speeds development of skin tumors and lesions. For expecting mothers, it’s toxic to a developing fetus, with associated links to brain swelling and cellular changes along with developmental and organ toxicity.
9. Not a spray sunscreen.
Coveted for their ease of application, aerosols pose serious inhalation risks, as many chemicals and toxins do greater harm when entering the lungs directly. The FDA has expressed doubts about their safety and effectiveness, but hasn’t banned them (yet).
10. No added bug repellent.
Mixing sunscreens and pesticides causes increased skin adsorption of both pesticides and toxic chemicals within the sunscreen. The FDA is studying the safety of such combinations and is considering new labeling requirements. DEET may reduce sunscreen effectiveness. If bug repellent is a must, avoid using it on the face, since fumes can be inhaled, and the chemicals can damage the eyes.
BONUS TIP: Wear long sleeves! When you remember how easy it is to stay protected when you cover up, you can pretty much stop worrying about all the other details. Just wear long sleeves – they’re always on, don’t wash off, and you only need to put it on once and you’ll be protected all day. Choose a long sleeve shirt made from a sustainable material like recycled water bottles, organic cotton or bamboo.
Expecting mothers should absolutely continue wearing sunscreen! The easy way to avoid the potentially harmful absorption of chemical sunscreens, while also protecting your skin, is by opting for top quality non-nano zinc oxide sunscreens that use as few ingredients as possible, all of which should be of the highest purity and quality.
Remember, when you flush the toilet or wash off sunscreen in the shower, all chemicals from sunscreen enter our water system. What SHOULD you use? To avoid all the guesswork, Waxhead Sun Defense makes the safest most effective sunscreens on the planet. Such products are completely safe, preventing sunburn AND protecting against long term issues like skin cancer and premature aging, without harming your pregnancy in any way.
1. Know your ingredients — Flip over your skincare product and read the ingredients. We want everyone to know what good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Your health is worth it.
2. Buy clean skincare — Waxhead is dedicated to using only the healthiest, safest, most effective ingredients in our skincare products. Shop Clean Skincare here.
3. Teach a friend — If you know someone who might still be buying skincare with shady ingredients, please share this post with him/her.
Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen
All Waxhead products are completely safe for your face and are 100% non-toxic and certified organic. Our naturally tinted sunscreens contain 25% non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide.
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