If you just so happen to be pregnant this summer, please be aware that you're more at risk for damaging your skin in the sun. As we enter the hot summer months, its that time of year to start stocking up on your favorite sunscreens and then remembering to apply it.
Leading skin company Colorscience has developed a brand of mineral-based powder sun protection perfect for pregnant women. Or anyone looking for a healthier way to protect themselves from the sun. Their products are made without harmful chemicals making them safe for everyone.
Patricia Boland is a skin expert and lead developer for Colorscience in the UK which is launching this summer. Boland spoke on what pregnant women can do to protect themselves in the summer and why they need to be diligent with sun protection.
Pregnant Women Are More Likely To Burn
Boland notes that pregnant women have more sensitive skin that is more vulnerable to sunburns, wrinkles, age spots, fine lines, and lasting sun damage. None of us want that. We want healthy babies, not wrinkles. Though there are no restrictions on sun exposure for expecting mothers, you can still sunbathe all you want but use commons sense. Always use sun protection when you'll be in the sun for an extended period of time.
Read All the Labels
Many lotion-based sunscreens are made with harmful chemicals. Boland suggests avoiding any sunscreens that have oxybenzone, zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and retinyl palmitate. It's important to know that if you aren't pregnant, these are all fine. For pregnant women, these chemicals can bother their ever-changing hormones. Rubbing these on as lotion can also enter the bloodstream through the skin possibly affecting your unborn baby.
Consider a mineral-based formula, or be super vigilant about reading the labels on the sunscreen you buy this year. Avoid all of the above-mentioned chemicals if possible.
Make sure you're getting the right amount of coverage. Boland recommends using a pea-sized amount of sunblock for your face and two more heaping tablespoons for the rest of your body. Don't forget your face, neck and baby bump.
Skip the Bikini
Though not a common restriction, Boland advises that pregnant women skip exposing their mid-section to the harmful rays of the sun. Much like how you would put a hat on your baby outside of the womb, give them an extra layer of protection in the womb. It can get hot in there, so keep your belly in the shade.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Anyone spending time in hot weather needs to stay hydrated. This is doubly important for pregnant women who must maintain certain levels of fluid. Drink water before going outside, while outside and after you come in. Always have a cup in hand.
Limit Time in the Sun
As much as fun as it was to lay out in the heat of the sun for hours as young girls, as a pregnant lady, it's a no. We already know that you're more likely to get sunburned, so limit the time you spend outside (if possible) between the hours of 10:00 am- 4:00 pm. This is when the sun is at its highest and strongest. Plan activities around these hours.
Pregnancy changes a woman body is so many ways, it's not surprising the skin is also affected. A summertime pregnancy requires a bit more diligence when it comes to staying hydrated and protecting yourself. Remember that having a healthy baby is the number one priority and you can lay in the sun all you want next summer.
Best of luck with your summer baby and summer pregnancy!