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The Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for All Skin Types

When it comes to choosing a sunscreen for pregnancy, you’ll want to read the ingredients label. Here’s what to look for, and which sunscreens experts recommend.
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pregnant woman applying sunscreen on the beach
Image: Studio Firma
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Sun’s out, bump’s out! Just don’t forget to lather up that belly with good old SPF. If you’re wondering whether sunscreen is safe during pregnancy, the short answer is yes, absolutely. But like most things during these nine+ months, you should be careful about which ones you use. There are two main types of sunscreen: physical sunblock (also known as mineral) and chemical formulas. While both options protect the skin from harmful UV rays, not all sunscreen is created equal—especially when it comes to sensitive pregnancy skin. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about sunscreen for pregnancy, plus a list of the best pregnancy-safe sunscreens, as recommended by experts.

Is Sunscreen Safe During Pregnancy?

One more time for the people in the back: YES! There are plenty of pregnancy-safe sunscreens to choose from. You’re not necessarily more sensitive to the sun now that you’re expecting, and while uncomfortable, a sunburn won’t pose any harm to your developing baby—but like any other time in life, it’s important to shield yourself from harmful rays to protect your skin and help prevent skin cancer, says Neil Sadick, MD, founder and president of Sadick Dermatology in New York City.

When it comes to using sunscreen during pregnancy though, you’ll want to be mindful of which type you choose. As Nava Greenfield, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, New York, explains, the best sunscreen for pregnancy uses a physical blocker instead of a chemical one. “Chemical blockers absorb the sun rays, while physical ones bounce the sun rays off the skin,” she explains. Physical blockers are active mineral ingredients that sit on top of your skin, and have the added benefit of being all-natural.

For the best protection, go for SPF 30 or higher, and make sure to reapply every two hours (or more often if you’re swimming or getting your sweat on!).

Best Sunscreen for Pregnancy

Physical blockers make for excellent pregnancy-safe sunscreen, so look for ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide on the label rather than chemicals like oxybenzone, avobenzone or octinoxate, Greenfield advises. Beyond that, she recommends choosing a fragrance-free option. Need some specific recommendations? Here’s a list of safe sunscreens during pregnancy. Every option here has been given a high safety and efficacy rating (a score of 1 or 2) from the Environmental Working Group, which each year evaluates over 1,000 sunscreens on the market.

Tinted mineral sunscreen lotion

Love Sun Body Glow Natural Daily Tinted Mineral Face Sunscreen & Moisturizer SPF 30
Image: Love Sun Body
What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Travel-friendly packaging
Things To Consider
  • Can leave a white cast on skin, according to some customers

A great daily pick for sensitive skin, this pregnancy-safe sunscreen is free from both chemicals and nano-particles that have been shown to damage coral reefs. It’s also water-resistant, non-comedogenic and made with naturally skin-hydrating and barrier-strengthening shea butter, jojoba esters, sunflower oil and natural vitamin E. Any mama-to-be is glowing already, but this lightweight, easy-to-apply facial formula evens out your skin tone, fights signs of aging and puts your radiance in overdrive with four stunning shades (ranging from light Pearl to dark Cocoa) created with 100 percent natural pigments. All of these factors, plus the highest ratings from EWG, make this chemical filter and petroleum-free mineral face sunscreen safe for pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond.

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Mineral sunscreen stick

Thinksport SPF 30 Face & Body Mineral Sunscreen Stick for Pregnancy
Image: Thinksport
What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Travel-friendly packaging
Things To Consider
  • Some customers said it left a white cast on their skin

You’ll love applying this sunscreen stick that absorbs easily without making you feel greasy. That’s also pretty important when you’re pregnant, already experiencing skin issues and hyper-sensitive to anything that feels icky on your skin (greasy might also mean heat rashes, which are never pleasant). Most importantly, it’s free from avobenzone, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates and UV chemical absorbers, making it a solid pregnancy-safe sunscreen pick.

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Organic pregnancy-safe sunscreen

Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreen
Image: Target
Buying Options
Amazon|$13.94
What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Fragrance and chemical-free formula
Things To Consider
  • Thick formula can be hard to squeeze out
  • Leaves a white cast on skin, some customers say

Searching for a real all-rounder? Two Peas Organic Mineral Sunscreen is hard to beat. Enriched with organic coconut oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, this reef-friendly formula will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. It's also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. The best part? This sunscreen is perfect for your entire family (including baby).

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SPF facial serum

EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Pregnancy Safe Sun Serum SPF 40
Image: EleVen by Venus Williams
What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Reef-safe formula
Things To Consider
  • Pricey

Searching for a pregnancy-safe sunscreen specifically for your face? This SPF facial serum created by EleVen—a brand founded by Venus Williams—is one of the best out there. The lightweight mineral formula is perfect for daily use and suitable for all skin tones. Plus, it works great under your makeup—a serious selling point, since we all know we really should be wearing sunscreen every day. It also has a top safety rating from the EWG, and is vegan, cruelty-free and dermatologist approved.

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All-natural mineral sunscreen

Attitude Mineral Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen SPF 30
Image: Attitude Living
What We Love
  • EWG rating 1
  • Made from 100 percent non-nano zinc oxide, the safest possible option according to EWG
Things To Consider
  • Not waterproof
  • Many users say applying the sunscreen section by section cuts down on the white cast

Made from all-natural ingredients, this sunblock acts as a physical barrier to harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s designed with minimal packaging (tubes without boxes) and is reef-friendly, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. There are three natural fragrance options available: unscented, tropical and orange blossom. Better yet, this mineral sunscreen for pregnancy has a top rating from the EWG.

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Rejuvenating broad-spectrum sunscreen

HATCH Mama Sunny Mama Face Sunscreen SPF 50
Image: HATCH Collection
Buying Options
HATCH Collection|$42
What We Love
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, silicones and fragrance
  • Lightweight formula also defends against blue light and pollution
  • Pregnant mamas say that the sunscreen blends in well and doesn’t leave a white cast
Things To Consider
  • Only water-resistant up to 40 minutes (reapply frequently after swimming and sweating)

When you’re pregnant, there are a bunch of skin care essentials you’ll want to avoid—many of which offer anti-aging, skin-rejuvenating benefits (retinol, we’re looking at you!). If you’re interested in a sunscreen that promises some skin-recuperating effects but with minimal risks to your growing baby, check out HATCH Collection’s Sunny Mama Face Sunscreen. The velvety soft and smooth daily mineral face sunscreen is enriched with antioxidant-packed botanical extracts like niacinamide, bisabolol and sunflower extract that protect sensitive, hormonal skin against harmful UV rays, prevent hyperpigmentation and give skin a huge dose of hydration. And, like everything HATCH sells, you can be sure it’s safe for pregnancy.

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Sheer dry-touch sunscreen

Kinfield Cloud Cover SPF 35
Image: Kinfield
What We Love
  • Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates and synthetic fragrances
  • Signature scent comes from natural plant oils, and it won’t stick around after it’s applied
Things To Consider
  • Some users wish it came in a higher SPF version

Looking for an all-star pregnancy-safe sunscreen that melts easily into the skin and won’t streak or bead up, even when it’s scorching outside? Enter: Kinfield’s Cloud Cover SPF 35. This trendy broad-spectrum body sunscreen is cloud-white straight from the tube, but once you blend it in, it leaves a fresh, dewy finish with zero residue in sight. What’s more, the 100-percent mineral, non-nano zinc formula is coupled with aloe, glycerin and sea kelp for next-level moisturization that never feels greasy—yes, please!

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Body gel sunscreen lotion

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Reef-friendly and cruelty-free
  • Made in the USA
Things To Consider
  • Needs to be reapplied after 40 minutes of swimming or sweating
  • Brand recommends applying in a thin layer to avoid pilling (or flaking off)

We couldn’t have a list of pregnancy-safe sunscreens without at least one gel option, which is ideal for the mamas-to-be who really can’t stand the greasy, sticky feel of creams. Another highly rated sunscreen safe for pregnancy by the EWG, this Bare Republic mineral-based gel (no active chemicals here) offers sheer, lightweight and all-around excellent UVA protection anytime, anywhere. It glides on effortlessly and is enriched with raspberry, grape and carrot seed oils to help fight free radicals. Plus, the blue gel is fun (and safe) for little ones—if you’re heading to the beach with family, everyone will want to load it on and watch the blue lotion disappear into sheer protection.

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Hypoallergenic, fast-absorbing sunscreen

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance-free
Things To Consider
  • Users say it leaves a white cast on skin
  • Thick formula may be hard for younger children to spread

We’re all about versatile, multi-use products, so why not go for a pregnancy-safe sunscreen that you can use for the whole family, even after baby arrives? This 100 percent zinc oxide, reef-safe, hypoallergenic option is fast-absorbing, lightweight and sweat- and water-resistant up to 80 minutes. It’s gentle enough for babies and kids too—in fact, many of the active ingredients, including sunflower seed oil and calendula, are among the top-performers in the best baby diaper rash cream category. What’s safe on their bums is safe for their precious skin too!

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Pregnancy-safe sport sunscreen

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen
Image: Juice Beauty
What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Formulated with a blend of certified organic ingredients
  • Sustainable packaging
Things To Consider
  • Sticky formula is hard to wash off, some say
  • Others complain that it stains their clothes

And finally, one last family-friendly option from Juice Beauty. This pregnancy-safe mineral sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, but is gentle enough to use on kids too. It’s formulated with coconut, aloe and jojoba oil for an added hydration boost. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to splash around in the ocean or do some therapeutic laps in the pool, as this sunblock is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

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About the experts:

Neil Sadick, MD, is the founder and president of Sadick Dermatology in New York City. He earned his medical degree from The State University of New York in Syracuse, New York.

Nava Greenfield, MD, is a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University in New York City.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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