Stock up on the best sunscreen for pregnancy ahead of the summer months.
One of many unexpected pregnancy symptoms (hello, full-body inflammation and stuffy nose) is that those surging hormones make skin even more sensitive to sun exposure than usual. We’re guessing that sunburn and heat rash aren’t really emblematic of the pregnancy glow you were expecting? During those magical nine months, you have to be careful to protect against not only skin cancer but also melasma and other types of discoloration, which are quite common (albeit unfortunate) pregnancy side effects that result from sun damage. Protecting your skin from the sun is also a crucial step in preventing signs of premature anti-aging, like crow’s feet, sun spots, and fine lines, whether pregnant or not.
The basic tenets of avoiding damage from UVA and UVB rays still apply: Try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, and rely on big shade hats when you must go out. And, of course, always, always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen, even when you’re just out and about running errands. Those rays can sneak up on you even if you’re not sunbathing!
What to Look for in a Sunscreen While Pregnant
General guidelines for pregnancy and breastfeeding are to opt for mineral sunscreens, which are also known as physical sunscreens. These products contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which sit on the skin and form a physical layer of protection.
Chemical sunscreens, by contrast, are absorbed by the skin and create a chemical reaction to convert UV rays and release them from the body. The most problematic of the chemical sunscreen ingredients is oxybenzone, which has been linked to birth defects (as well as hormonal disruption, skin reactions, and harm to coral reefs). Both while pregnant and breastfeeding, you want to keep your little one away from the potentially-harmful chemicals in these sunscreens.
While the jury is still out on how much of these chemicals actually make it into the bloodstream and to the baby, the safest options if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding are generally physical sunscreens since they don’t get absorbed. Mineral sunscreens get a bad rap for historically being easy to see on skin (think the white smear of zinc in old lifeguard movies) and needing re-applications sooner than their chemical counterparts. The good news is that modern versions can be just as sheer as chemical alternatives, and there are a plethora of mineral sunscreen options, from those created specifically for sensitive skin to sweat-proof formulas and convenient sticks.
Read on for the 15 best pregnancy-safe sunscreens, and get ready to say “hello” to summer.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Supergoop! Mineral Sheenscreen SPF 30 PA+++
One reviewer refers to this lightweight product as the “Holy Grail sunscreen.” It goes on sheer and won’t leave a white cast on fair to darker skin tones. The weightless texture goes well either under or over makeup and provides protection from both sun and blue light.
Best All Natural
Garden Goddess Organics SPF 30 Everyday Natural Mineral Sunscreen
This mineral lotion sunscreen is reef safe, cruelty free, all natural, and vegan. Woman-owned Garden Goddess is also committed to having a low carbon footprint, so you can rest assured that your purchase is both good for you and the planet.
EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50
Over 4,000 five-star reviews on Amazon agree: This is the pregnancy-safe sunscreen to wear for outdoor activities. SPF 50 combined with water resistance up to 80 minutes means you can play, sweat, swim, and bike without worrying about being exposed to UVA and UVB rays. As an added bonus, its oil-free formula means you can use it on both face and body without worrying about pesky breakouts.
CeraVe 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
For a reliable mineral sunscreen that won’t break the bank, you really can’t get much better than CeraVe, a brand often recommended by dermatologists for its gentle-yet-effective products. True to form, this broad spectrum sunscreen is both moisturizing (containing ceramides) and safe for sensitive skin.
Babo Botanicals Sheer Non-Nano Zinc Continuous Spray SPF 30 Fragrance Free Mineral Sunscreen
This sheer spray contains soothing ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter, and calendula flower for a calming and protecting barrier against the sun. It contains non-nano zinc oxide, which is proven to protect against UVA and UVB rays without the risk of being absorbed into the skin, and also happens to be water resistant up to 80 minutes.
Supergoop! Sunnyscreen 100% Mineral Stick SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen
What’s safe enough for baby is safe enough for mama, and this mineral sunscreen stick provides SPF 50 protection for both. The compact size is perfect for small areas, travel, and keeping on hand once baby comes.
Farmacy Green Defense Daily Mineral Sunscreen
Not only is this SPF 30 lotion free of fragrance, parabens, and mineral oil, it also happens to contain antioxidants such as marigold and black chokeberry extract to fight against fine lines, premature signs of aging, and damage from blue light. Repair skin while simultaneously protecting it from new damage? We’ll call that a win-win.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30
Anyone with sensitive skin knows the perils of trying new products, but there is no need to fear with this gentle, lightweight non nano zinc oxide formula that features soothing mushroom complex and antioxidant-rich green tea. As one reviewer raves, “This is the only SPF I have ever used that doesn’t break me out, and it’s the only zinc oxide SPF I’ve used that doesn’t leave white residue.”
Best for Oily Skin
Ren Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen
Nothing feels worse than layering another layer of grease on top of oily skin, especially in sweaty summer months. Sun-protecting relief is here in the form of this mattifying mineral sunscreen from sustainable beauty brand Ren. Reviewers note that it can be harder to blend than some other formulas, but that it’s worth the effort for its “beautiful and mattifying” final effects.
Best for Dry Skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 30 Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid has a well-deserved reputation for keeping even the driest of skin hydrated and plump, so including it in a mineral sunscreen is total win. La Roche-Posay’s formula combines hyaluronic acid (also a powerhouse anti-aging ingredient that plumps up fine lines) with glycerin and its Exclusive Cell-Ox Shield Technology for broadband SPF 30 protection and 12 hours of moisture, covering all your skincare needs.
Best for Face
Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 35
If you’re looking for a lightweight, slightly tinted facial sunscreen that packs some serious hydration, look no further than the Saie Sunvisor Moisturizing Sunscreen. The tint provides a little cover if you’re dealing with blemish-prone pregnancy skin yet is subtle enough to reapply throughout the day, leaving you with a radiant glow whether you’re on the beach or running around town.
Best for Body
Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Body
This clean sunscreen has invisible shield technology so it won’t leave your skin with a ghostly glow. It feels light and moisturizing on the skin but provides solid broad spectrum protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. The only difference between this and Clinique’s mineral sunscreen for face is that the latter is also tested by ophthalmologists specifically for use around the eyes.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 30
Powder sunscreens can not only offer sun protection but also soak up excess oil and layer perfectly over makeup. They are best suited for touch ups throughout the day after applying a traditional lotion to ensure maximum coverage. This easily portable, brush-on SPF 30 mineral powder comes in five shades, so you can protect your skin without messing up your look.
Best for Lips
Coola Mineral Liplux Organic Tinted Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 30
Lips are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection, but they are one of the most important areas to protect! Take care of the constantly-exposed thin skin on your lips and ward off sunburns, wrinkles, and cancer with this rosy tinted lip balm with SPF 30 from Coola. The organic mineral sunscreen also contains cupuacu butter and mongongo oil for a rich, moisturizing texture and anti-aging benefits.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
Drunk Elephant has perfected the one-stop shop of pregnancy-safe sunscreens: a mineral SPF 30 blend with the perfect amount of tint so you can grab just one product in the morning and be out the door. The formula contains antioxidant ingredients like grape juice and sunflower shoot extract to promote a youthful appearance, and has a tint the brand promises is “universally flattering” for most complexions.