Why Is Using Sunscreen Especially Important When I’m Pregnant
Not only will sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, but it will also shield your skin from discoloration and other pregnancy-related conditions that can be exacerbated by sun exposure.
Since your skin tends to be more sensitive when you’re pregnant, melasma and other kinds of hyperpigmentation blotches, patches, dots or lines that can vary in color from reddish-purple to brown, blue or gray are more of a possibility and can become more pronounced when you’re exposed to the sun.
Dont See Your Product Read This Before You Ask About It
Please read the Pregnancy Beauty Guide intro first, where you will learn which products you actually need to worry about . I will not review products that fall into the dont worry about it categories. If you want to ask about a specific product, I require that you follow these guidelines for asking about pregnancy/nursing safety. You can also learn more about how to use these pregnancy safety lists. I will delete questions that dont follow the guidelines or are rude.
**Note: Avene has recently been changing the name of some of their products, judging from the write ups on their site and DermStore. Ive screened these products on the Avene site, and they are all called by their name as listed on the Avene site.
Pregnancy Safe Skincare From Avene
Pregnancy safe skincare can be super difficult and confusing. I have an entire guide devoted to what products are safe to use while pregnant including information on what ingredients to avoid while pregnant and a huge list of pregnancy safe skincare products. The list has gotten so large that Ive decided to start listing brands in their own individual posts.
Here youll find every pregnancy safe skincare product from Avene as of 5/22/2021. If it is not safe, Ill tell you why. All of the products meet my pregnancy safe criteria. If they release a new product that is not listed here, please comment below and I will add it. Note I will link to every product directly to avoid confusion. Youll know exactly which product I mean.
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Protection You Can Trust
Weve been protecting fun under the sun for 40 years and counting. Our dedication to safety and high-quality sunscreen means guaranteed fun-in-the sun protection that you can trust every day. Whether spray, lotion or stick, our easy-to-apply products are designed with one idea in mind: to help you and your family enjoy every moment outdoors.
Should I Use Sunscreen During Pregnancy
When youre pregnant, your skin is even more susceptible to sun exposure, so its extra important to protect yourself . You dont necessarily need a sunburn to cause skin damage or increase your cancer risk. Simply exposing your skin can be harmful, even if it doesnt turn red.
Using sunscreen while pregnant is the best way to protect your extra-sensitive skin from these harmful UV rays. But you need to choose a sunscreen that is labeled broad-spectrum because not all products are created equal.
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Sunscreen Is Only One Tool In The Sun Safety Toolbox
Now, its important to note that there is no perfect sunscreen. Many contain harmful chemicals, and even mineral-based ones often containnanoparticles, minute ingredients that can cross the blood-brain barrier and also harm aquatic life. Beyond that, sunscreen is unique compared to many other personal care products because you coat it thickly onto your skin, often multiple times a day. You dont get that type of hours-long, skin-absorbing exposure with something like, say, shampoo you quickly wash off.
Thats why its very important to look for safer sunscreens if you use them and to recognize that you cant only rely on sunscreens alone to prevent sun overexposure.
No product is going to be fully protective and no product will last on your skin for more than two hours max, EWG has noted in the past. They recommend thickly applying sunscreen coatings, reapplying every time youre out of the water and choosing a better product to begin with are all key. But other sun smart methods to avoid overexposures are a must. In fact, sunscreen should actually be your last line of defense against the sun after adopting other more effective measures. More on those later.
So what are the best sunscreens out there? Lets take a look.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen & Sunblock Spray
This Bare Republic sunscreen offers plenty of protection with the use of zinc oxide. Its also made with antioxidant hydrators, like grape, raspberry, and carrot seed oils. The natural vanilla coconut scent smells great as well. Noreen Galaria, MD FAAD, CEO and founder of Inner Glow Vitamins, Galaria Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, says, I love that this line offers a mineral spray not just creams. And, lets face it: when youre very pregnant, a convenient spray is going to be much more comfortable to apply than a lotion.
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Where To Buy Reef
As of January 1st, all sunscreens sold in Hawaii will be reef-safe. You can buy it once you land at all Hawaii grocery stores, Costco, department stores, convenience stores, and is often given out for free on tours, like whale watching in Maui.
With a 6 ounce bottle of sunscreen averaging $12.99 at a grocery store in Hawaii, you may want to bring your sunscreen from home. If you are already checking a bag, throw your reef-safe sunscreen in there too.
If your sunscreen contains chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate on the listed ingredients, then head to the following stores to buy reef-safe sunscreen.
Re-formulated to be Hawaii reef-safe Banana Boat Sport is a featured, low-priced sunscreen in Hawaii convenience stores.
Avene Solaire Uv Mineral Multi Defense Sunscreen Fluid Spf 50+
This Avene sunscreen is tinted and made to soothe and calm sensitive skin. While it offers a 100% mineral filter to protect against the suns rays, it is still lightweight and it absorbs quickly. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green recommends it, saying, This sunscreen is formulated with powerful and soothing ingredients like niacinamide and squalane that hydrate, soften, and protect the skin while improving overall skin tone. This sunscreen is noncomedogenic, defends against UVA and UVB rays, and is safe to use on even the most sensitive skin.
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Heres What Youll Look Like
Researchers from the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, invited 65 young fair-skinned women from the United Kingdom to take part in a study of attitudes and habits regarding sun exposure and protection. All young women completed a survey that revealed how well informed each one was about sun safe beliefs and what actions they take to be safe in the sun . Each womans skin type was measured, too, to document her susceptibility to sunburn.
A photograph of each womans face was taken and then visually enhanced using digital sun-aging software. Four aging scenarios were created for each face:
- Visual/immediate future Enhanced each face to reflect how the woman would likely look in her 30s if aging naturally or sun-aged.
- Visual/distant future Enhanced each face to reflect both natural and sun-aging at age 60.
Some of the women were given their current and future face projections as hard-copy photographs. Others viewed their aging faces on a computer with three-dimensional technology and the women could manipulate themselves to get a view of what their future face might look like from every angle.
After each woman left the session, she was allowed to help herself to a bowl of sunscreen samples and leaflets discussing the suns role in skin cancer development. The women did not know it but the number of samples and leaflets were counted before and after each helped herself to the items.
Health Canada Investigates Banana Boat Sunscreen After Three Babies Develop Serious Rashes
Banana Boats baby Sunscreen is under investigation after two mothers allege their babies received second-degree burns after using the sun protection cream.
Health Canada is investigating a total of 3 cases concerning the sunscreen but has yet to reveal the age of the third victim.
Were definitely looking into it and were taking very seriously, said Health Canadas spokesperson Renelle Briand told CTV news.
The agency learned about the most recent incident after Caroline Morneau from Cacouna, Que., on May 26.
Carolines nine-month-old baby, Loïc, appeared to have a sunburn on his face even though he had been wearing Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen lotion.
The following day the toddler needed to be taken to the doctors after his skin blistered. Following an examination, the doctor informed her the sunscreen had caused her sons second-degree burn.
Blisters started popping up
She also noted in her translated Facebook post she wanted to make parents to chose better options for their kids saying, Im not writing this post to garner pity, but rather as a warning to parents to pay a little extra money to ensure the quality of the products that we use on our childrenAnd I wouldnt have written it if Loic was the only case of a burn with this product.but since yesterday, Ive been hearing horror stories about Banana Boat
After taking Kyla to the doctor, she was also diagnosed with a second-degree burn.
I honestly dont understand how its still on the shelves, she said.
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Earth Mama Organics Mineral Sunscreen Lotion Spf 40
A great pick for sensitive skin, this pregnancy-safe sunscreen is free from both chemicals and nano-particles that have been shown to damage coral reefs. Its also water resistant, fragrance-free and made with organic ingredients. Plus, it gets an extra boost from ultra-moisturizing argan oiland we all know our skin can use some of that in the middle of a beach vacation.
Buy it: $15,
Are You Using The Best Sunscreens
A past EWG report cited research of Brian Diffey, PhD, emeritus professor of photobiology at the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University. Hes shown that, on average, U.S. sunscreens allow about three times more UVA rays to transfer through skin compared to European sunscreens. In fact, Americans sunscreen choices are fewer and often offer worse UVA protection compared to those available in the European Union.
This matters becauseUVA rays are more abundant than UVB rays, and UVA damage is more subtle than the sunburns induced mainly by UVB rays. UVA rays can damage your skin invisibly by suppressing the immune system and aging the skin over time overexposure of these rays are also linked to the development of melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, too.
According to EWG, most sunscreens sold in the U.S. would not be sold in Europe, which sets much more stringent UVA standards.
In the U.S., sunscreen regulations havent been updated since 2011. And while the FDA signaled it would take on the issue of UVA exposure, its recent proposal was withdrawn in the first coronavirus relief bill. The agency is due to propose its long-awaited rules on sunscreens again this fall.
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What You Need To Know About The Banana Boat Sunscreen Investigation
Health Canada has been investigating Banana Boat sunscreens since serious chemical burns were reported in babies who used the products last year.
May 10, 2018
Last year, after several reports of babies developing serious chemical burns upon using Banana Boat sunscreens, Health Canada launched an investigation into the products. By mid-July of 2017, the department of health had received nearly 200 complaints from Canadians about Banana Boat sunscreen products. Now, with sunscreen season ramping up again, we checked in with Health Canada to find out what parents need to know to protect their kids this year.
Could your baby’s sunscreen cause severe burns? Health Canada told us that they tested a number of Banana Boat sunscreen products and reviewed Banana Boats own testing on the products associated with the complaints of reported chemical burns. The tests and review of company results confirmed that the samples contained the correct amount of medicinal ingredients, that the pH levels of the samples were satisfactory, and that no undeclared drugs were identified, said the statement from a Health Canada spokesperson.
If Health Canadas continuing investigation finds evidence of a safety or quality concern with any sunscreen, the department says it will take immediate action and keep Canadians informed.
Most Toxic Sunscreens To Avoid
Heres a big takeaway thatll make things somewhat less complicated. EWG recommends avoiding all spray sunscreens. Not only are they very difficult to apply effectiveness and evenly, but theres some concern the ingredients could potentially cause irreversible lung damage. The truth is, the ingredients just havent been tested in the aerosol capacity for long-term impact on human health, like so many other everyday chemicals, unfortunately.
When it comes to sunscreens, here are some of the other worst overall offenders scoring in the Red Zone for major safety concerns. Overall, these products tested poorly in the EWG analysis and are considered bad choices for sun protection. Just remember, this list is not exhaustive. To check your favorite sunscreen or to peruse the database, .)
This is by no means a complete list. Be sure to check your individual products safety assessment at EWG.org.
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What Lab Testing Can Reveal About Sunscreen Efficacy
Researchers have lab tests to assess UVB protection , UVA protection , water resistance, contact irritancy, , and even how well a given sunscreen sticks to skin following mechanical abrasion .
The FDA regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter drugs. To obtain marketing approval from the agency, sunscreen makers must submit data showing their products are safe and effective. Among other things, the FDA considers lab data on a given sunscreens SPF value, broad-spectrum protection, and water resistance. Labs that test sunscreens recruit volunteers who are exposed to UV radiation from sun lamps while wearing sunscreen and not wearing it . The FDA requires that these tests be done on at least 10 people. Labs that test sunscreens also examine how the formulas perform when applied to acrylic plates, quantifying the amount of UV radiation that passes through. In all these cases, to achieve accurate test results, the researchers must apply the sunscreens in precise amounts and distribute them uniformly across the test surfaces. This is not how people typically use sunscreen.
The Environmental Working Group and Consumer Reports are two organizations that regularly report findings on, among other things, whether a sunscreens SPF matches whats stated on the bottle. Year after year, they find that many do not. But even the best lab-test data reveals little about how people actually use sunscreensespecially when it comes to spray sunscreens.
Best Sunscreens & Toxic Ones To Avoid
By Leah Zerbe, MS, NASM-CPT, NASM-CES
May 4, 2021
Its no secret that the sun provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D. With warmer weather right around the corner, though, many people are looking for the best sunscreens to cut their risk of sun overexposure,sunburns and possiblyskin cancer
Environmental Working Groups 15th annual Guide to Sunscreens is a mix of good and bad news when it comes to the state of sunscreens sold in American and beyond. For instance, oxybenzone a suspected hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed into the body is now present in 40 percent of the 1,800 products EWG investigated. While that may seem high, consider this: two years ago, about 60 percent of sunscreens contained this concerning chemical.
In December, the National Toxicology Program released findings linking oxybenzone exposure to a higher risk of thyroid tumors in female rats. And at the end of March, the European Commission, which reviews ingredient safety in Europe, published a final opinion finding oxybenzone unsafe for use at current levels.
Yet again, the sunscreen market is flooded with products that use potentially harmful ingredients and provide poor UVA protection, said Leiba. EWGs guide is one of the only tools available to help consumers find products that provide adequate protection and are made without ingredients that may pose health concerns.
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Do Your Best To Limit Sun Exposure
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 way to sun protect such as UPF shirts, hats, and avoiding direct sun exposure between 10am and 2pm,” Dr. Farhang adds.
Sunscreen And Vitamin D
Sunshine is a vital component of the chemical reaction that drives vitamin D synthesis in the human body. Vitamin D is essential for health, and wearing sunscreenwhich deflects or absorbs the suns rayssignificantly reduces the bodys ability to make it. Along with eating fortified foods or taking supplements, getting 15 minutes of sun exposure is usually enough for most people to make sufficient vitamin D.4 But dermatologists recommend covering up or using sunscreen whenever you may be exposed to the sun, so finding a balance between protecting your skin and getting enough vitamin D can be confusing. Because every persons situation is unique, its best to discuss this topic with your doctor.
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Avoid Oxybenzone And Octinoxate
Buy sunscreen that doesnt have these chemicals listed on the label, that is the basic definition of reef-safe at this time.
Sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are banned in Hawaii from being sold, as of January 1st, 2021. Check the label on your sunscreen as one of these chemicals may be listed as the active ingredient.
Check the ingredients on the back before you buy.