It is vacation season once again, and like many of you I am counting down the minutes until I am poolside this coming holiday weekend. Just yesterday I posted the 7 Must-Haves for your Babymoon or Beach Vacation, including the all-important sun protection we all need when we are planning to spend time outdoors.
But a recent study published by Consumer Reports alerted me that as pregnant women, we need to be very careful label checkers when choosing sunscreens for our growing families, as there are a few particular chemicals to watch for that have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects…
According to the study, the ingredient to watch out for is “a topical form of vitamin A that the skin converts to retinoids. And those compounds, which are also found in certain acne medications, have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects. When checking labels, note that the ingredient is sometimes spelled retinol palmitate and has several synonyms, including vitamin A palmitate and retinol hexadecanoate.”
Of course the study goes on to say that using any sunscreen is still a safer alternative than going without (to avoid risk of sun damage and skin cancer), but expecting moms should pay particular attention to ingredient lists, and search for natural brands that are as chemical-free as possible.
The Environmental Working Group has launched a Skin Deep Campaign, and is a great resource for checking to see how your particular brand of sunscreen ranks among the thousands of options available. In addition, they have also provided an updated list of best sunscreens that have the least amount of harmful chemicals.
I know sometimes it can seem like everywhere we turn there is another new warning or new threat to our health that has been discovered. But the increased risk of birth defects is definitely enough to make me take a second look at my lotions and other beauty products, and make sure I’m being as safe as possible when I hit the pool this weekend.
Not sure which sunscreen is best for kids? Our Babble Best sunscreens will help you out!