PhotoThe dog days of summer might have been uncomfortable prior to having baby on board, but now your swollen feet and higher-than-normal body temperature may be making matters even worse.

Your skin may also be feeling some sun-related woes. Higher estrogen levels can cause skin to become more susceptible to wrinkles, spots, and sunburns. The increase in melanin can also cause existing freckles and moles to darken.

Staying out of the sun can help, but it isn’t always an option. Whether you’re on a babymoon or at the beach, it’s important to protect your skin with the right sunscreen.

Pregnancy-safe sunscreens

Protecting your skin is important, but protecting the health of the little life inside you is even more important. To keep chemicals and additives from entering into your bloodstream and affecting the health of your baby, the Huffington Post recommends choosing a natural sunscreen.

In addition, pregnant women should make sure their sunscreen checks all of the following boxes.

  • Mineral or physical sunscreen. Avoid chemical sunscreens, which may contain ingredients such as oxybenzone. Not only has oxybenzone been linked to low birth weight, any chemical ending in “-benzone” can interfere with your natural hormones.
  • Does it have non-nano particles? Allowing nanoparticles to seep into your skin may cause cell damage, experts say. Stay on the safe side by looking for non-nano particles.
  • Avoid vitamin A. Vitamin A (also known as retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, or retinyl linoleate) may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  • Lotion, not a spray-on sunscreen. You’re more likely to breathe in spray-on sunscreen, and in doing so, you may inhale small particles of potentially carcinogenic ingredients such as titanium dioxide.
  • Avoid sunscreen containing bug repellent. Slathering on safe, natural sunscreen every few hours is good for your skin and your baby, but frequently reapplying bug repellent isn't. 

Mamas-to-be will also want to make sure they stay well hydrated and out of the sun during peak hours (10 am to 2 pm). 

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