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6 Rules for Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

Plus 4 of our favorite natural facial sunscreens that are safe for pregnancy.

6 Rules for Pregnancy-Safe Sunscreen

Summer is in full swing, and you have a bun in the oven. We’ve got bad news for you: pregnancy leaves your skin more susceptible to wrinkles, dark spots and sunburns, and many conventional sunblocks contain chemicals and additives that can enter your bloodstream and affect baby’s health before he’s even born. Luckily, there are a slew of natural, mineral-based facial sunscreens that are much gentler and safer than their chemical-based counterparts. So if you want to protect that glow of yours from the sun’s harmful rays, now is the perfect time to dive into the natural sunscreen trend, head first.

Here’s your primer to pregnancy-safe sunscreens, along with 4 of our favorite natural facial sunscreens that don’t cause breakouts, can be applied seamlessly over or under makeup and, above all, are safe for you and your bump.

  1. Choose a mineral or physical sunscreen, not a chemical one. Chemical sunblocks contain ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate and other potentially harmful additives. Exposure to oxybenzone has been linked to low birth weight, and “-benzone” chemicals are known to interfere with your natural hormones.
  2. Look for non-nano particles . Mineral and physical sunblocks use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to scatter and reflect UV rays. While mineral sunscreens are arguably the safest options out there, some experts are concerned that nanoparticles can penetrate the skin and possibly cause cell damages. Inhaling nanoparticles can also be harmful to your lungs.
  3. Avoid vitamin A , which is also called retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol. It may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  4. Don’t use spray-on sunscreens. You are more likely to inhale the sunscreen that you spray on. Small particles of even the most natural ingredients, like titanium dioxide, can become possible carcinogens when inhaled in high doses.
  5. Drink tons of water, and try to stay out of the sun during peak hours. Dehydration and overheating can cause preterm complications.
  6. Spreading your facial sunblock to your neck and chest, two areas that are often neglected and prone to aging, will help you ward off brown spots, wrinkles and sunburns.

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream. This one bottle does it all: it comes in both tinted and non-tinted formulas, and it feels like a luxurious moisturizer I’d choose to use on the daily, even if it didn’t have sun protection. This SPF30 day cream doesn’t feel chalky or thick like some other mineral sunscreens. It leaves absolutely no white cast, and it truly moisturizes your skin. No need for an additional moisturizer under this sunscreen or, if you opt for the tinted version, foundation on top.

Bonus points: It’s available in both 1 ounce and 2 ounce sizes! $50. Buy it here.

Kari Gran Three Sixty Five Sunscreen. Three Sixty Five sunscreen is designed to be worn year-round, every day, rain or shine. Broad spectrum protection like this luxe formula is the key to preventing the signs of aging. It has a unique texture that is so light, you won’t notice it on your skin. Ingredients like red raspberry seed oil and French plum seed oil protect and condition your skin even more while decreasing the white pigment of the non-nano Zinc Oxide.

Bonus: Pair it with Seattle-based Kari Gran’s other skincare and makeup products, like the mineral foundation, which also contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to get even more sun protection. $48. Buy it here.

True Botanicals Pacific Everyday Sheer Coverage. Heard of emu oil or pearl powder? How about silk powder? These unique ingredients provide a gorgeous sheer and matte coverage in one or two pumps. Two shade options make this formula more versatile, and non-nano zinc oxide does the heavy lifting to keep your skin safe. Best applied over a serum or moisturizer, True Botanicals has a faint scent and, thanks to the pearl powder, gives you a little extra glow.

Bonus: Broccoli seed oil and red raspberry seed oil ensure you’re getting your vitamins from the outside in! $58. Buy it here.

Kypris Pot of Shade Heliotropic. The name of this product, “Pot of Shade,” makes me feel like I’m on some kind of luxury spa trip. You won’t want to throw away the gorgeous, gold-foil stamped box this little pot comes in, and the pampering just continues from there. Made without essential oils, it’s great if are sensitive to smells, and it’s so soothing and moisturizing, you’ll forget you’re even putting on sunscreen!

Bonus: Probiotics and sea algae add extra hydration and make your skin looking plumper, smoother, and more luminous after applying! $68. Buy it here.

Already a mom? These recommendations are for you too. All these sunblocks feel like a spa treatment, which might be just what you need to remember to take care of yourself -- not just your kids -- by applying much-needed sun protection. Now, we just have to figure out how to remind ourselves to eat breakfast...

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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