Chemical sunscreen is harmful for pregnant women.

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Chemical sunscreen is harmful for pregnant women.

The study shows pregnant women in their first trimester who apply sunscreen containing 6 percent oxybenzone twice a day (the recommended usage) can absorb the chemical into their bloodstream. It may then reach the fetus, causing harmful cell changes during embryonic development. "That's because oxybenzone is considered an endocrine disruptor, which can have an adverse effect on development, reproductive, neurological, and immune systems," says Dr. Dardarian. Oxybenzone is also fat-soluble, meaning it gets into the fat cells and can stay there for weeks, making it difficult for expecting women to know what their exposure level really is. And this isn't only a cause for concern during pregnancy. Women who are trying to conceive should consider avoiding the product, along with those who aren't even planning on it

Regarding pregnancy, oxybenzone is one of many chemical sunscreens that affect hormones and may act as a weak estrogen, a moderate anti-androgen and may be associated with altered birth weight in human studies. We call these endocrine disrupters and are best avoided if possible during pregnancy.

Homosalate, another chemical filter, is also a derivative of salicylic acid which should probably be avoided in pregnancy.


 Thomas Dardarian, D.O., president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Fort Worth, Texas.

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