Last update: Nov. 9, 2014


Low Risk for breastfeeding

Moderately safe. Probably compatible.
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
Read the Comment.

Sunscreens make their action by absorption of UVA and UVB radiation. Most used products are Benzophenones 1, 2 (BP-1, BP-2), p-aminobenzoic acid derivatives (PABA), 3-4 Methylbenzylidene camphor (3-4 MBC), Octyl-methoxy cinnamate (OMC), Salicylates, Avobenzone and Diethyl-phthalate homosalate (HMS). Many synonyms are used by the cosmetic industry to nominate these products.

Chemical sunscreens are absorbed and deposited in the skin and can reach important amount into the blood stream. Some compounds have been found among 85% of swiss women tested.

Since some of them have shown to have the potential of disruption of the endocrine system that may affect the genital-sexual tract and the hypothalamus-hypophysis-thyroid axis in the infant should be avoided while breastfeeding.

Physical sunscreens act as a barrier that reflect all types of sun radiation. Most commonly used are: Zinc oxide (ZnO), Titanium oxide (TiO2) and Calcium or Magnesium carbonates.

Physical sunscreens are not absorbed by skin mostly on not-nanoparticle formulation. Because of this, these are considered to be of choice while breastfeeding.

Both types of sunscreens, whether chemical or physical, are environmental contaminants of the sea with deleterious effect on Phytoplankton and coral reef.

Sunscreens should never be used as substitute of other preventive measures known to be more effective like avoidance of long-lasting sun exposure, higher exposure hours, promotion of wearing of clothes, hats, sun glasses and shadowed shelters.

Do not apply it on the breast or cleanse it thoroughly to keep the baby from swallowing.

In addition, there is evidence that they may block or inhibit formation of vitamin D3 by skin.


We do not have alternatives for Sunscreen.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Sunscreen belongs to this group or family:


  1. Downs CA, Kramarsky-Winter E, Fauth JE, Segal R, Bronstein O, Jeger R, Lichtenfeld Y, Woodley CM, Pennington P, Kushmaro A, Loya Y. Toxicological effects of the sunscreen UV filter, benzophenone-2, on planulae and in vitro cells of the coral, Stylophora pistillata. Ecotoxicology. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. CSIC. Cremas solares y contaminación sistemas marinos. Nota de prensa. 2014 Full text (in our servers)
  3. Sánchez-Quiles D, Tovar-Sánchez A. Sunscreens as a Source of Hydrogen Peroxide Production in Coastal Waters. Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Abstract
  4. Frederiksen H, Aksglaede L, Sorensen K, Nielsen O, Main KM, Skakkebaek NE, Juul A, Andersson AM. Bisphenol A and other phenols in urine from Danish children and adolescents analyzed by isotope diluted TurboFlow-LC-MS/MS. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Abstract
  5. Tovar-Sánchez A, Sánchez-Quiles D, Basterretxea G, Benedé JL, Chisvert A, Salvador A, Moreno-Garrido I, Blasco J. Sunscreen products as emerging pollutants to coastal waters. PLoS One. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Jiménez-Díaz I, Molina-Molina JM, Zafra-Gómez A, Ballesteros O, Navalón A, Real M, Sáenz JM, Fernández MF, Olea N. Simultaneous determination of the UV-filters benzyl salicylate, phenyl salicylate, octyl salicylate, homosalate, 3-(4-methylbenzylidene) camphor and 3-benzylidene camphor in human placental tissue by LC-MS/MS. Assessment of their in vitro endocrine activity. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2013 Abstract
  7. RTVE. Cremas solares y contaminación de sistemas marinos. 2013 Full text (in our servers)
  8. Elena Soto. Cremas solares y contaminación del medio ambiente. 2013 Full text (in our servers)
  9. Frederiksen H, Nielsen JK, Mørck TA, Hansen PW, Jensen JF, Nielsen O, Andersson AM, Knudsen LE. Urinary excretion of phthalate metabolites, phenols and parabens in rural and urban Danish mother-child pairs. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Abstract
  10. Krause M, Klit A, Blomberg Jensen M, Søeborg T, Frederiksen H, Schlumpf M, Lichtensteiger W, Skakkebaek NE, Drzewiecki KT. Sunscreens: are they beneficial for health? An overview of endocrine disrupting properties of UV-filters. Int J Androl. 2012 Abstract
  11. Concin N, Hofstetter G, Plattner B, Tomovski C, Fiselier K, Gerritzen K, Semsroth S, Zeimet AG, Marth C, Siegl H, Rieger K, Ulmer H, Concin H, Grob K. Evidence for cosmetics as a source of mineral oil contamination in women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Abstract
  12. Chen LH, Zeind C, Mackell S, LaPointe T, Mutsch M, Wilson ME. Breastfeeding travelers: precautions and recommendations. J Travel Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;17(1):32-47. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Concin N, Hofstetter G, Plattner B, Tomovski C, Fiselier K, Gerritzen K, Fessler S, Windbichler G, Zeimet A, Ulmer H, Siegl H, Rieger K, Concin H, Grob K. Mineral oil paraffins in human body fat and milk. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Abstract
  14. Janjua NR, Kongshoj B, Andersson AM, Wulf HC. Sunscreens in human plasma and urine after repeated whole-body topical application. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Abstract
  15. Varvaresou A. Percutaneous absorption of organic sunscreens. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2006 Abstract
  16. Benson HA, Sarveiya V, Risk S, Roberts MS. Influence of anatomical site and topical formulation on skin penetration of sunscreens. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. Janjua NR, Mogensen B, Andersson AM, Petersen JH, Henriksen M, Skakkebaek NE, Wulf HC. Systemic absorption of the sunscreens benzophenone-3, octyl-methoxycinnamate, and 3-(4-methyl-benzylidene) camphor after whole-body topical application and reproductive hormone levels in humans. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Sarveiya V, Risk S, Benson HA. Liquid chromatographic assay for common sunscreen agents: application to in vivo assessment of skin penetration and systemic absorption in human volunteers. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2004 Abstract
  19. Noti A, Grob K, Biedermann M, Deiss U, Brüschweiler BJ. Exposure of babies to C15-C45 mineral paraffins from human milk and breast salves. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003 Abstract
  20. Benson HA. Assessment and clinical implications of absorption of sunscreens across skin. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2000 Abstract
  21. Hayden CG, Roberts MS, Benson HA. Systemic absorption of sunscreen after topical application. Lancet. 1997 Abstract
  22. Derry JE, McLean WM, Freeman JB. A study of the percutaneous absorption from topically applied zinc oxide ointment. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1983 Abstract

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