14 Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreens for Your Healthy Summer Skin-Care Routine

Photo: Stocksy / Treasures & Travels
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Pregnancy is thrilling and a little bit frightening all at once. It can often feel like absolutely everything is changing at—from what you look like to how you feel, from how others see you to how you see yourself. Call me beauty obsessed, but one way I’ve handled all this change and anxiety throughout my own pregnancy is by fine-tuning the items in my pregnancy skin-care routine. It feels like one small area of the universe that I can control. And the best skin-care routines start with the best pregnancy-safe sunscreens, especially with so many options available.

Experts In This Article

Best pregnancy-safe sunscreens at a glance

Why is sunscreen important during pregnancy?

Skin-care demands change during pregnancy, and ingredients that might be regulars in your non-pregnant life, like retinol and salicylic acid, suddenly become no-nos (here’s a full list of skincare ingredients to avoid during pregnancy in case you’re curious). Furthermore, sun protection, which is always important, becomes even more crucial for pregnant people. “Sunscreen is a vital part of the toolbox to prevent skin cancer,” says dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD. “In addition, since pregnancy is a time when pigmentary issues such as melasma occur, sunscreen is a key component of its management.”

When pregnant, it’s a good idea to follow some of the standard practices of sunscreen use. “I generally recommend making sunscreen a daily habit, and looking for sunscreens that are at least SPF30 and say ‘broad spectrum,’ meaning they cover both UVA and UVB rays,” says Courtney Rubin, MD, board certified dermatologist and co-founder of Fig.1. “Reapplication is important, especially if you are going to be outside for extended periods of time, sweating or in and out of water.”

What sunscreen ingredients are safe for pregnancy?

Dr. Rubin also recommends a little more label reading when pregnant, and paying particular attention to the ingredient list. “I generally recommend that my pregnant patients look for sunscreens that are mineral, meaning that they contain the active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These active ingredients are less likely to cause skin sensitivities and rashes, and are less irritating to the eyes,” she says. “For those pregnant patients who are especially susceptible to melasma, I usually recommend seeking sunscreens with SPF 50 that are tinted (meaning they are formulated with iron oxide pigments). The iron oxide pigments in tinted sunscreens block visible light, which is also involved in the development of melasma.”

That said, don’t throw out your chemical sunscreens just yet. Many people with darker skin tones find that mineral sunscreens never quite blend in well enough to not be noticeable, and as Dr. Hirsch says the best sunscreen is “the one you like and will use.”

With all that information in mind — as well as the advice to avoid the ingredients oxybenzone and benzophenone-3 — I went on a sunscreen deep-dive. And surfaced with some recommendations that will hopefully take you through all three trimesters and beyond. As always, confer with your doctor if you have any questions about specific brands and specific ingredients.

The best pregnancy-safe sunscreens

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for Full Body

supergoop! play mineral spf, best pregnancy-safe sunscreens
Supergoop! PLAY 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 30 with Green Algae — $36.00

Pros: Blends in easily, goes on smoothly, great for sensitive skin.

Cons: On the pricier side.

Supergoop! is a sunscreen brand we love and their 100% mineral line is a cut above the rest. The only active ingredient is zinc oxide, and quite honestly that’s what we love to see. It’s also a great sunscreen for sensitive skin, and is easy to apply and rubs in easily (especially for a mineral sunscreen which can feel thicker).

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for the Face

tizo am replenish, best pregnancy-safe sunscreens
TIZO AM Replenish Non-tinted SPF 40 — $48.00

Pros: Great under makeup or on its own.

Cons: Once again, the price.

TIZO’s AM Replenish is great for sensitive skin, ultra hydrating, and contains vitamins C and E so it’s actually improving your skin in addition to protecting it. It sits nicely under makeup too so is a great option for whatever your day may bring.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Drugstore Sunscreen

neutrogena sheer zinc dry tough, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 — $13.00

Pros: Affordable and easy to find.

Cons: Some say it leaves a white cast.

If you’re looking for affordability, Neutrogena is top of the heap. It’s also rated as the #1 most popular mineral sunscreen brand, which is nothing to sneeze at (and probably has a lot to do with its price point). This sunscreen is super sensitive, sweat and water resistant, and prides itself on being non-irritating, even for skin with issues like eczema.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for Oily Skin

dermstore mdsolars mineral creme spf, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB — $32.00

Pros: Great at protecting while preventing breakouts.

Cons: Hard to rub in.

A great everyday sunscreen for the face. Some people liken the texture to a makeup primer, and most say it is a great option for all stages of your skin’s life. With ingredients that also work to brighten, MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme is hard at work enhancing your skin while it protects. The line was also started by a dermatologic oncologist which makes it doctor approved from the get go.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide

Best All Natural Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen

earth mama baby mineral sunscreen, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Earth Mama Organics Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40 — $15.00

Pros: Good price point and clean ingredients.

Cons: Can be hard to get out of the tube; super thick.

Earth Mama’s products are beloved by parents, and this sunscreen is no exception. Marketed for babies, the product of course works for people of all ages. The ingredient list is exciting as everything is recognizable to most consumers — coconut oil, beeswax, pomegranate. This sunscreen also gets a coveted high rating from the EWG.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen Stick

mychelle sun shield stick, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Mychelle Sun Shield Stick SPF 50 — $15.00

Pros: Easy to use, the perfect purse item.

Cons: Obviously too small to be a solution for the whole body.

Stick sunscreens are great for the face and for spot application throughout the day. This one glides on smoothly, is invisible, and leaves almost no noticeable texture on the skin. It’s the perfect throw-in-your-makeup-kit item and has vitamin E in it for extra hydration too.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Lip Balm with SPF

sunbum mineral spf, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm — $4.00

Pros: Super affordable and very soothing.

Cons: Some out there don’t like the taste.

While many of us are diligent about sun protection we still forget about protecting our lips. Sun Bum’s lip balm (which also comes in tinted options) is an excellent option, and is also loaded with some ultra soothing ingredients including shea butter and Vitamin E.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy Safe Sunscreen for Dry Skin

eltamd uv replenish, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
EltaMD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 — $40.00

Pros: Great for sensitive skin and ultra hydrating.

Cons: Some say it leaves a white cast.

EltaMD has a cult-like following and it’s easy to understand why. It leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated, while also doing an excellent job of sun protection. Not all EltaMD products are as clean as this one though so make sure to check out ingredient lists. The only active ingredients in this particular EltaMD product are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which is exactly what we love to see.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide

Best Tinted Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

drunk elephant umbra tinte, best pregnancy-safe sunscreens
Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 — $36.00

Pros: Great under makeup.

Cons: Not water resistant.

Drunk Elephant is another line with a huge following and the goods to back that following up. Their tinted Physical Daily Defense has a subtle tint that actually works as well as some makeup. While protecting from the sun, nourishing ingredients (like raspberry seed) and antioxidants help to reduce redness. It’s a great option for every day.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Sheer Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

biossance sheer mineral, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen — $34.00

Pros: Actually very sheer!

Cons: Not water resistant; higher price point.

This luxurious sunscreen (best for the face!) really is as sheer as it purports to be. Plus the squalane in it is an emollient which moisturizes without clogging pores. We love this option for both under makeup or makeup free days, though since it’s not water resistant it’s definitely not the best option for outings that will involve water.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for the Whole Family

pipette mineral sunscreen, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Pipette Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 — $15.00

Pros: Great for babies and adults alike.

Cons: Leaves a cast, especially on darker skin.

This sunscreen is thick and rich and does a great job at skin protection — especially on days when you’ll be out and about. The sunscreen is not water resistant, which is important to keep in mind, but it’s gentle enough for babies — which definitely means it’s gentle enough for the whole family.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Spray Sunscreen

sum bum mineral spray, best pregnancy-safe sunscreen
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray — $20.00

Pros: Easy to apply and available at drugs.

Cons: Can be hard to rub in.

Sun Bum made this list twice, and that’s because they use great ingredients, have an affordable price point, and are readily available at places many of us shop. Plus, sometimes spray sunscreen is the easiest option — especially when you’re pregnant and doing things like rubbing lotion into your legs sounds impossible. This spray is smooth and dries quickly, which are big wins in our book.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen for Sports

Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen, pregnancy-safe sunscreens
Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen — $17.00

Pros: Easy to rub in, suitable for sensitive skin.

Cons: Can leave a white cast.

If you’re looking for something that can keep up with your activities or light sports, this Thinksport sunscreen absorbs quickly and works on even sensitive skin. It’s lightweight, won’t leave your skin feeling oily, is sweat-resistant, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

Best Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen Serum

EleVen by Venus Williams Natural Unrivaled Sun Serum , pregnancy-safe sunscreens
EleVen by Venus Williams Natural Unrivaled Sun Serum — $48.00

Pros: Lightweight, good for all skin types/tones.

Cons: On the pricier side.

Leave it to Serena Williams to create a lightweight sunscreen serum that you can wear daily. It absorbs quickly and goes on sheer and smoothly, which makes it perfect to apply under your makeup, no matter what your skin tone is. Plus it’s dermatologist-approved and fragrance-free.

Type: Mineral

Active ingredients: Zinc oxide

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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