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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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Published
November 11, 2022
pregnant woman applying sunscreen on the beach
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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

Earth Mama Organics Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
Earth Mama Organics Pregnancy-Safe Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40
Image: Earth Mama Organics

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 reef. It’s also water-resistant, fragrance-free and made with organic ingredients. Plus, it gets an extra boost from ultra-moisturizing argan oil—and we all know our skin can use some of that in the middle of a beach vacation. All of these factors, alongside a top rating from the EWG, earned this sunscreen a Best of Pregnancy award in 2022.

What We Love
  • Tinted formula doesn’t suit all skin tones
  • Lotion may transfer to light-colored fabric
Things To Consider
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Reef-friendly and organic
  • Free from artificial fragrance
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 40 protection
  • Doesn’t leave a white cast on the skin

Mineral sunscreen stick

Thinksport SPF 30 Face & Body Mineral Sunscreen Stick

You’ll love applying this sunscreen stick because it absorbs easily and doesn’t make you feel greasy. (Winning!) But, most importantly, it’s free from avobenzone, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates and UV Chemical absorbers, making it a solid pregnancy-safe sunscreen pick.

What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Non-oily formula
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
Things To Consider
  • Some customers said it left a white cast on their skin

Organic pregnancy-safe sunscreen

Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreen

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 pregnancy-safe sunscreen is perfect for your entire family (including baby).

What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Family-friendly
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Fragrance- and chemical-free formula
Things To Consider
  • Thick formula can be hard to squeeze out
  • Some customers report that it left a white cast on their skin

SPF facial serum

EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35

Searching for a pregnancy-safe sunscreen 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.

What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Reef-safe formula
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 35 protection
  • Can be worn on bare skin or under makeup
Things To Consider
  • Expensive option

All-natural mineral sunscreen

Attitude Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Attitude Mineral Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen SPF 30
Image: Attitude Living

Made from all-natural ingredients, this sunblock acts as a physical barrier to harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s designed with minimal packaging and is reef-friendly, hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. There are three fragrance options available: unscented, tropical and orange blossom. Better yet, this mineral sunscreen for pregnancy has a top rating from the EWG.

What We Love
  • EWG 1 rating
  • Reef-safe formula
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
Things To Consider
  • It’s not water-resistant and needs to be reapplied after 40 minutes of swimming or sweating

Rejuvenating broad-spectrum sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Gentle Lotion Mineral Sunscreen

This mineral sunscreen goes on super-smooth and leaves a soft finish. It can be used on the face and body, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Bonus points: The UVA/UVB protection in this pregnancy-safe sunscreen is paired with powerful antioxidants to help your skin rejuvenate.

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Fragrance- and paraben-free
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection
Things To Consider
  • Thick, cream formula
  • Some customers report that it left a white cast on the skin

Sheer dry-touch sunscreen

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Neutrogena has long been a go-to skincare brand—so rejoice, mamas-to-be: They make pregnancy-safe sunscreen too! This zinc formula is still sheer and dry to the touch, but also free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, dyes and irritating chemicals.

What We Love
Things To Consider
  • Dry formula may be difficult to spread

Body gel sunscreen lotion

Bare Republic Mineral Body Gel Sunscreen Lotion

Another highly rated pregnancy-safe sunscreen by the EWG, this 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.

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Lightweight, gel formula
  • Reef-friendly and cruelty-free
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
Things To Consider
  • Needs to be reapplied every 40 minutes after swimming or sweating
  • Some customers report that the sunscreen doesn't easily absorb into the skin

Hypoallergenic, fast-absorbing sunscreen

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

We’re all about multi-use products—so why not go in 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, non-whitening, lightweight and sweat- and water-resistant for 80 minutes. And it’s gentle enough for babies and kids too.

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
Things To Consider
  • Some customers report that it left a white cast on the skin

Pregnancy-safe sport sunscreen

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Next up is another family-friendly sunscreen by Juice Beauty. This pregnancy-safe mineral sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, but is gentle enough to use on kids too. It’s also formulated with coconut, aloe and jojoba oil for an added hydration boost. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to take a dip as this sunblock is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

What We Love
  • EWG 2 rating
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
Things To Consider
  • Sticky formula can cause hair to stick to the skin
  • Some customers report that it left a white cast on the skin

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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