Pregnancy symptoms can become really hard as summer approaches. Sunscreen is your must-have friend to hang out during summer as it protects the skin from harmful UV rays and scorching heat. During pregnancy, it is good to avoid all-chemical sunscreen and opt for mild ones which are effective, when applied properly.
Here are some tips to help you get complete benefits of sunscreen in a harmless way:
Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen
While you buy a sunscreen cream or lotion, opt for one that offers protection against UVA and UVB rays as both possess risk of skin cancer. In general, UVA rays are known to cause discolouration in pregnant women and UVB rays causes sun burns. Thus, it is better to have a broad spectrum sunscreen.
Do not go by higher SPF number
The sun protection factor or SPF is only a number and choosing the highest one will not give you best results. According to skin cancer foundation, SPF 15 protects against 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 against 97% while SPF 50 protects you against 98% of UV rays. For better sun protection, reapply the sunscreen as required. For Indian skin type and climate, SPF 15 or SPF 30 will suffice so choose the SPF based on your need for better protection against the sun.
Physical sunscreens are safe
When you buy a sunscreen, check out for the ingredients. During pregnancy, it is best to avoid sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, homosalate, 4-methylbenzylidene etc., as it penetrates the skin. You can opt for sun creams with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which do not enter the skin and possess less risk. You can also opt for natural or herbal sunscreen that uses minimal chemicals.
In most pregnancy cases, expectant mums tend to experience acne and oily skin. Use an oil free sun screen to avoid further outbreak of acne and skin blotches. If you have a dry skin, use moisturizer instead of heavy sun screen that clogs the pores of the skin and causes pimples. Sunscreen lotions are light and oil free compared to cream based sunscreens.
Reapply for best results
The trick to get the best sun protection is to reapply sunscreen when needed. Apply it half an hour before you step out and apply once in every 6-7 hours to avoid sun tan. If you stay in the sun for a longer period, reapply after 5 hours; if not, applying once will protect you throughout the day.
Do not Spray
Although sprays are convenient, it is best to rub the sunscreen on the skin for better result. This way you will also know how much you have applied and you will not overuse it.
In tropical countries like India, sunscreens are good for skin protection but it is also important to hydrate and cool your body, use sun shades, scarfs or umbrellas for natural safety.