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With days getting hotter, you’re probably thinking of getting a good sunscreen to protect your little one’s skin.

Children’s skin (especially young babies), is up to five times thinner than adults and takes longer to produce melanin; hence, their skin is much more prone to damage from the sun. That’s also why it is so important to choose the right sunblock for them.

There are many brands of sunscreens to choose from, however, not all of them are natural and may contain toxic ingredients.

In this post you’ll find out what to look out for when choosing the right product for babies and toddlers. I’ll also list some of my favourite sunscreens free of chemicals, based on my own experience and the reviews of other parents.

What’s important when choosing the baby sunscreen?

When looking for the right sunblock for your little one, always look at the ingredients in the back. What you want to pay attention to is the presence of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Sunscreens that contain these ingredients are classified as physical or mineral because the additives stay on the surface of your baby’s skin to reflect the sun rays.

Many dermatologists recommend going for a sunscreen with zinc as it’s an ingredient also used in many nappy rash creams- zinc forms a barrier to protect the sensitive skin and it’s hypoallergenic as well.

Factor of the sunblock is also important. Doctors recommend using 30-50 SPF(probably 50 SPF the best for little babies and kids with a fair complexion). You should reapply the sunscreen frequently to keep the best protection, especially after swimming.

Which ingredients in a sunscreen you want to avoid?

Pediatric dermatologists warn that you shouldn’t buy a sunscreen for your baby (or for yourself for that matter) which contain oxybenzone. This ingredient can cause side effects in your hormonal system. Although there’s no actual research of oxybenzone effects on humans (only on animals used in high doses), you definitely don’t want to risk your little one’s health.

If you need more reasons to avoid it, here’s one- apparently oxybenzone can destroy coral reefs. Some states in US have already banned any kind of products that contain it.

Another thing to watch out for when shopping for baby sunscreens is to chose one without fragrances, dyes or PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), as they could potentially give your little one an ugly skin rash.

When it comes to those aerosol sunscreen sprays, they may seem more convenient for a quick application but they’re not the safest option. Since kids like to wiggle and if there’s wind on top of that, the chemicals in the spray may end up in your child’s mouth.

How to avoid a sunburn?

The best thing to do to avoid a sunburn (and a sunstroke) is to make sure your little one is not exposed to the sun constantly between 10am and 4am when the sun is at its peak.

Always look for a shade for your baby if you’re out and about between these hours. If you’re going to the beach, you may want to get yourself a pop up beach tent that gives your little one some break from the sun.

Of course, you can’t forget about a sun hat and dressing your baby in sun-protective clothing (long-sleeved when possible).

When applying the sunscreen, you should do it up to 30 minutes before you go out and reapply every 2 hours (or more often if your kiddo gets wet).

6 best-selling non-toxic kids sunscreens

1. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection

This sunscreens is non-greasy and does not cause any irritations; approved by National Eczema Association, it’s a perfect choice if your little one has particularly sensitive skin. The formula is based on 100% natural zinc oxide and soothing oat extract which protects and nourishes skin at the same time.

It’s hypoallergenic and free from harmful parabens, dyes, fragrance and phthalates. It has a 50 SPF factor and is safe to use on body and face. It’s also sweat- and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

2. Green People Organic Children Sun Lotion

This sun block is 97% organic, meaning you won’t find anything toxic on the list of ingredients. It can be spread on your baby’s body without a hassle and does not to clog pores (like some other organic products tend to do).

It’s full of antioxidants which gives protection against cell damage. Since it’s SPF30, you’ll probably want to remember about applying regularly, especially on hotter days ( even though it’s water resistant).

3. Mustela Very High Protection 50+

Another sun lotion great for a sensitive, eczema-prone skin. The formula has a very soft texture without leaving any marks on the skin but is also water resistant.

This SPF 50 sunscreens is made with 93% naturally derived ingredients, including coconut oil, macadamia oil, and vitamin E. It’s moisturises skin deeply while protecting from the UVA and UVB rays.

Dermatology tested, Mustela is parabens and perfume free (and free from other damaging ingredients). It’s very gentle on the skin so it’s safe to put on face as well. On top of that, it’s considered reef-safe.

4. Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen

This lightweight sunscreen contains 20% of zinc oxide and has a vegan, plant-based formula including coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter. These ingredients nourish and hydrate the skin perfectly, so you can use it together with your kiddo.

Most of the top reviews say it absorbs super fast without leaving the skin sticky or greasy. This mineral sun lotion is hypoallergenic and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Its high 50SPF factor provides the protection you (and your baby) need.

5. ThinkBaby SPF 50+

This mineral sunscreen gained lots of awards- it was the first to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements and remains on the top of the lists of EWG (Environmental Working Group).

The formula of ThinkBaby is based on non-nano zinc oxide and is free of oxybenzone, parabens and phthalates.

Certified cruelty-free, gluten free & vegan (and reef friendly), it’s meant to block 98% of UVB rays.

This 50+SPF sun lotion is dermatologist recommended, it absorbs quickly and it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes (so will be great if you going to the beach or the pool).

6. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby is one of the cheapest options and it contains 21% of zinc oxide to block the sun’s UV rays.

This 50SPF sunscreens is approved by the National Eczema Association- its gentle formula is free of alcohol, dyes, fragrances, parabens, phthalates etc. It’s also tear-free (which means it won’t sting eyes) and hypoallergenic (so safe to apply on your kids face and body)..

That’s all from me for today, I hope you found this post helpful!

If you want to know about other baby/toddler travel essentials, head to my other post here.

Enjoy the sunshine mamas:)

Until next time!

xoxo

9 Comments

  1. I really appreciate the low down on these sunscreens. Tis definitely the season to be using it. I have 4 grandchildren and I think I’m going to look into getting the Baby Bum Mineral sunscreen. I like that it is derived from a plant based formula and it’s water resistant.
    Thank you for the information.

  2. Janet

    Hi! I didn’t know there are sunscreen for babies until I come across your article. That’s good! Thank you for sharing. I’m just wondering these sunscreen will it be suitable for adult use too?

    1. Sure they will! Mineral sunscreens are much healthier for us so should be used by babies and adults as well. If you have a very fair complexion or you get burned easily, high SPF like 30+ will be a great solution.
      Take care:)

  3. Great list! I love Aveeno brand lotion, it feels really good on your skin. I didn’t know that oxybenzone can cause side effects to your hormonal system, that is scary, thanks for that info! I am glad I read your post today and I will be sure to pass it on to other parents.

  4. Hi,
    Important facts about avoid from sunburn for kids.
    If you’re going to the beach, you may want to get yourself a beach tent that gives your little one some break from the sun, sun hat and dressing your baby in sun-protective clothing. Lotions are another essential thing to avoid sunburn specially for babies. All of these are very important things for kids as well as others.

  5. Protecting your baby’s skin against the sun is so important and even when you may think that the sun is not very strong you need to be careful. It may have been an overkill but I would put sunscreen on my babies plus a hat and try keep a cover over them like the pram cover and then I would also try keep them in the shade. We are in South Africa and the sun is really strong!

    I love the Aveeno brand and used that one for my kids when they were babies, it is such a trusted and good quality product.

    1. You’re absolutely right, we have to take all precautions to protect our kids skin. A sun hat is a must-have, even though sometimes babies don’t want to wear them!
      Aveeno is my choice as well:) Thanks for the comment!

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