Owner of MommyDaddyKids and mother of two, Meagan is passionate about her family and sharing real-life advice with everyday people.
Parents are faced with hundreds of decisions on a daily basis, and standing among thirty different types of sunscreen trying to decide which one is better is frustrating, to say the least. Luckily, that doesn't have to be you this year. Once you read the guide below, you can walk right past the other frustrated parents and grab the perfect sunscreen for your family.
Best Sunscreen for Children Aged 0-6 Months
All of the sunscreens listed below have been proven—through research—to work effectively when used correctly. However, healthcare professionals strongly recommend parents use protective barriers to shield infants from the sun. Umbrellas, SPF clothing, SPF swimsuits (typically with long sleeves), and anything else that keeps direct sunlight off of their skin should be used when the child is under six months old.
Best Sunscreen for Children Aged 6 Months and Older
Children have a higher surface to volume ratio, so their skin absorbs more per unit of weight than an adults does. What does this mean? You should worry just as much about what you're putting on your child as you do about what you're putting in your child.
It's for this reason that many dermatologists recommend products with more natural or pure ingredients. All of the products below have been chosen based on their ingredients, level of protection, and likelihood that they will be used correctly.
Spray, Stick, or Lotion?
Many brands offer their product in several forms. Sticks, sprays, and lotions are the most popular variations of what is essentially the same product. So, if it is the same product, does it matter which one I use?
Healthcare professionals are wary of sticks and spray-on types because they worry parents are not applying them correctly. A lotion is easier to see when you apply it, and you're more likely to get good coverage.
If you do opt for a stick form of sunscreen, make sure to apply at least four swipes to ensure total protection.
Sun Saftey and Sunscreen Tips
Knowing which type of sunscreen to use is only half of the battle. The other half is knowing how to use it correctly. Following the tips below will go a long way in keeping your family safe this summer.
- Apply sunscreen generously to every part of your body that will be exposed to the sun. Wearing sunscreen will not do you any good if you don't apply it correctly.
- Consider alternative sun shading options in addition to sunscreen. Wide-brimmed hats, light clothing, or umbrellas are just a few of the things that can be used to shield yourself from the suns harmful rays.
- Put sunscreen on at least fifteen minutes before going out into the sun.
- Make sure your skin is dry the first time you apply your sunscreen.
- Put more sunscreen on after being in the water, even if it is a waterproof product.
- Keep an eye on your children while outside. If they start to look red, consider bringing them out of the sun for a while.
- Always use caution when trying a new sun lotion. Do a patch test before applying to entire body.
- Use sunscreen even if it's cloudy out since UV rays can pierce through clouds.
- Re-apply your sunscreen every two hours.
There are numerous health risks associated with the suns harmful rays, but the risk is greatly reduced when you utilize a good sunscreen correctly. Keep your children protected this summer with one of these top five sunscreens for kids.
#1 - Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection
Voted the number one choice for baby sunscreen among dermatologists everywhere, this natural sunscreen has been awarded both the AAD Seal of Recognition and the Skin Cancer Foundations Seal of Approval.
Parents love this non-greasy sunblock and say it feels more like a lotion than sunscreen. It's fragrance-free, water-resistant, and lasts up to 80 minutes. Combining active photo-barrier complex with colloidal oatmeal, this sunblock both protects sensitive skin from the sun and nourishes it.
#2 - Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby
This physical sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays, providing a broad spectrum protection. Including naturally sourced ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, Purescreen is a favorite among parents everywhere.
#3 - Adorable Baby Sunscreen
Voted one of EWG's top sunscreens for kids, this sunblock protects your child from sunburns and skin cancer. It's water resistant formula can last up to 40 minutes in the water. One of it's best features, besides its minimum ingredient list, is that it goes on clear, so there is no sticky white residue.
#4 - Sunology Mineral Sunscreen for Kids
This safe and effective sunblock uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide a broad spectrum protection from the suns harmful rays. Parents love the fact that it uses minerals instead of harsh chemicals, and children love that it's non-greasy and won't sting their eyes. Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, fragrance-free, and reef friendly, this sunscreen offers something for everyone.
#5 - Equate Kids Sunscreen Lotion
Higher prices do not always equal a safer product and for around $5 a bottle, this sunscreen proves that. With all the same elements as their competition, this broad spectrum sunblock provides up to 80 minutes of water-resistant protection from the sun. Keep your family, and your wallet, safe this summer with this sun lotion.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Meagan Ireland