Chemicals to Avoid in Sunscreen when Pregnant

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 20, 2017
Chemicals to Avoid in Sunscreen when Pregnant

Your skin becomes extra delicate during pregnancy, as there is a rage of hormonal changes going on inside your body, and you need to take proper care. Applying sunscreen becomes much more important during pregnancy, as your skin pigment reacts more strongly to sunlight, and your skin may become darker and blotchy. Instead, you want to look more glowing during pregnancy. We have already told you about 5 Creams To Avoid During Pregnancy. At, we are going to find out which chemicals to avoid in sunscreen when pregnant.

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Importance of applying sunscreen during pregnancy

Due to extensive hormonal changes taking place inside your body, your melanocytes, the pigment producing cells of the skin, react more aggressively to sunlight and lead to chloasma. So, never step out of your house without applying sunscreen of SPF at least 30.

Choosing the right sunscreen

All sunscreens may not be safe for your skin during pregnancy. Harmful chemicals in sunscreens may enter your bloodstream and affect your baby by influencing the estrogen levels. Avoid using any sunscreen that has oxybenzone, octocrylene, para-aminobenzoic acid, homosalate or 4-methylbenzylidene camphor in its ingredients list. These chemicals may irritate your skin severely and may even trigger an allergic reaction.

Chemicals to Avoid in Sunscreen when Pregnant - Choosing the right sunscreen

Stay away from these chemicals


This is one of the chemicals to avoid in sunscreen when pregnant that is most commonly used. It is infamously linked to hormone disruption, cell damage and allergies. According to a study, this chemical resulted in a huge percentage of baby girls with low birth weight. Low birth weight is widely related to coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and other problems in future. This chemical also acts as a penetration enhancer, due to which other chemicals also penetrate into your skin more easily.


Octocrylene is widely known to have a side effect of reproductive toxicity, due to which it can have negative effects on the developing baby in your uterus.

Para-aminobenzoic acid

This chemical is also suggested to be avoided during pregnancy, perhaps due to its role in reducing scattering of extreme values of body mass and parieto coccygeal size.


Homosalate chemical is known to have adverse effects on your skin during pregnancy, as well as on the development of your embryo.

4-methylbenzylidene camphor

This last chemical may increase your response to estrogen, due to which the growth of breast cancer cells is increased to a great extent.

Sunscreen tips for pregnancy

Instead of chemical-based sunscreens, choose the ones which are mineral or physical blocks. These contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which reflect UV rays from your skin and are safer options for your skin during pregnancy. So, apply the sunscreen when you leave the house, and re-apply after every 2 hours, especially if you are in or around water. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen which offers better protection from UVB and UVA rays, which are responsible for causing discoloration and even skin cancer.

Also avoid using sunscreen sprays, and use lotions that can be rubbed into your skin instead. As your skin becomes oily and prone to acne during pregnancy, avoid a sunscreen that makes your skin greasy. Use a non-comedogenic and oil-free formula instead.

Chemicals to Avoid in Sunscreen when Pregnant - Sunscreen tips for pregnancy

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Chemicals to Avoid in Sunscreen when Pregnant, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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