Protecting the skin from the harmful rays of the sun is extremely important, especially for pregnant women. Choosing the right sunscreen for pregnancy that will not only keep your skin but your baby as well is not as easy as it might seem.
Pigment-producing cells known as melanocytes are active beyond usual during pregnancy. This overproduction makes the skin more susceptible to discoloration. That is how those freckles, melasma, and other skin imperfections start to form when the skin is exposed to UV rays. Pregnancy also affects the immune system which, in turn, makes the skin susceptible to skin cancer. It is, therefore, vital to protect your body’s first line of defense from the harmful rays of the sun.
Choosing The Right Sunscreen For Pregnancy
Though there are clothing options that can help lessen the probability of the rays of the sun directly hitting your skin, it can be quite cumbersome and obtrusive at times. You may put on a hat or wear long-sleeved tops, skirts or pants. They may not be practical all the time, however. Pregnant women feel a lot hotter than normal. Putting on accessories like a hat or wearing something that will cover the skin may not be helpful at all.
Your best option would then be applying some sunscreen to your skin every two to three hours when you have to spend long hours outside of an uncovered space.
But how do you decide which sunscreen would be the best for your skin? Here are some tips you may need to consider when looking for the best sunscreen for pregnancy.
- Choose a formula that can effectively guard against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper than UVB and are known to cause significant damage to the outermost skin layer or the epidermis. UVB rays, on the other hand, cause skin reddening and sunburn.
- Opt for a sunscreen product that does not contain retinyl palmitate. This ingredient is a topical form of vitamin A that the skin changes to retinoids (a compound that is also found in some acne medications). It is said that this ingredient is known to increase the risk of birth defects. Note that retinyl palmitate may also be indicated in product labels as vitamin A palmitate, retinol palmitate, and retinol hexadecanoate.
- Look for a water-resistant or a sweat-resistant sunscreen for a longer and more effective application of the product.
- Opt for a sunscreen product that does not contain PABA (a short form of an anti-oxidant known as Para-AminoBenzoic Acid or 4-Aminobenzoic acid). It is sometimes called Vitamin Bx, but it is not actually a true vitamin. It is said that this substance can cause skin allergies, vitiligo, as well as liver toxicity.
It is essential to protect the skin from the damaging foreign elements, including those that are emitted by the sun. Apply the right sunscreen product generously on all parts of the skin that may be exposed to the sun. Make sure also that you re-apply the formula after at least every two hours to ensure that your skin will be well-protected while you are out enjoying the sun.