Best Baby Sunscreens to Use All Year Round
If you’re going outside with your baby, protecting your baby from the harsh sun rays using the best baby sunscreen is especially crucial because that tender baby skin is more prone to catastrophic burns.
Try to stay inside or in shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., because the best form of UV protection is prevention. This time is when the sun is at its strongest. If you must be outside in the sun during certain hours, take extra precautions, such as wearing sunscreen.
Here’s some guidance on when babies should start using sunscreen and how to pick a safe one.
10 Best Sunscreen for Babies
It might be fun to test out some sunscreens that Health line Parenthood has recommended for your infant. They are:
1. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen
Neutrogena’s baby sunscreen stick is a tried-and-true staple widely available in drugstores and online. It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen with one of the highest SPFs (SPF 60) and water resistance of 80 minutes. The NEA has also given this product the Seal of Acceptance.
They make Purescreen technology out of a mineral blend that includes titanium oxide and zinc oxide. The minerals are said to be naturally sourced on the website, but it doesn’t go into detail about where and how they receive individual substances.
This stick is also smaller, weighing only 0.47 ounces, making it ideal for travel and fitting into your diaper bag, but it’s also quick to run out.
It comes with SPF 50.
Water Resistance: 80 minutes.
You can’t use it on broken or damaged skin.
2. Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Sunscreen
Wrangling kids is tough enough on a good day, but slathering them in sunscreen is nearly impossible. A spray can help make things a little bit simpler.
Although it has the lowest SPF on our list, it boasts a vegan-friendly, fragrance-free formula that is water and sweat resistant for 80 minutes. This broad-spectrum sunscreen is also reef-safe, so it’s good for the environment. Sunflower oil, avocado, and jojoba oil are just a few of the skin-loving natural ingredients in this mix.
However, because it’s easy to make mistakes when using sprays, you’ll want to be very thorough when applying this sunscreen. It’s a more pricey option, as is the case with most eco-friendly sunscreens.
It uses UVA & UVB Protection and oxybenzone free.
Also Eco friendly.
It can leave a slight white residue.
3. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen
A sunscreen stick is far more accessible (and far less messy) to apply to your baby’s face than any other sunscreen. Aveeno Baby’s mineral stick boasts an SPF of 50, is oil-free, and has an 80-minute water and perspiration resistance rating.
This baby sunscreen is TSA-friendly thanks to its half-ounce size, but it’s small. Although babies are tiny, a stick may not be the best option if you’re searching for a more cost-effective option.
Not greasy at all and doesn’t bother the eyes or skin. It sticks, so expect that, but it’s good because it’s supposed to be, so it sits on top of the skin.
It may stain some fabrics.
4. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
The NEA backs this sunscreen, like the Aveeno stick, and it is excellent for babies with delicate skin. It also appears to have a lot of support from parents: reviews praise the consistency of this lotion, claiming that it isn’t oily or messy on their children’s skin and that a little goes a long way.
This baby sunscreen contains skin-soothing oat and is fragrance-free, not irritating your skin.
A few more reviews praise the “not sunscreen” aroma, claiming it eased their children’s eczema and left their skin feeling soft. This one earns bonus marks for price, as it costs less than $10 for a 3-ounce tube.
It has SPF 50.
Mineral zinc oxide lotion.
Water Resistance: 80 minutes.
Could stain some fabrics.
5. Alba Botanica Tropical Fruit Kids Sunscreen
Please don’t spend a lot of money to get an excellent mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen safe for the reefs in our oceans. Alba Botanica’s sunscreen retails for less than $10 for a 4-ounce bottle.
This product is lightweight, according to reviewers, and does not leave a greasy residue. It also has an 80-minute water resistance rating, and they guarantee all the components to be vegetarian.
However, this sunscreen has a fruity aroma, as the name says. You might not want to lather your child in this if you’re extremely sensitive to odors.
Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
They made it with 100% vegetarian ingredients.
You have to work with it for a while to get rid of the decidedly chalky consistency.
6. Babyganics SPF50+ Sunscreen Lotion
If your family spends so much time outside, you’ll need a baby sunscreen that’s both cost-effective and safe. While this Babyganics alternative appears to be pricy at first sight, it comes in a two-pack of 6-ounce bottles, making it an outstanding value.
This sunscreen is free of PABA, phthalates, parabens, scent, and nanoparticles and comes in a conventional cream consistency. It’s also tear-free, waterproof for 80 minutes, and made with natural components, including tomato, sunflower, cranberry, and raspberry seed oils.
It has SPF 50.
It goes on light and is not irritating.
Water Resistance: 80 minutes.
It’s not hypoallergenic.
7. Miami Cool Kids LaPlaya Zinc Sun Stick
According to parent reviews on Amazon, a sunscreen that smells like cake icing might be just what you need to make applying sunscreen to your child simpler. Plus, because it’s mineral-based and chemical-free, this organic sunscreen stick is a reef-friendly solution.
It’s worth mentioning that while this is a top-rated baby sunscreen, the description doesn’t define the duration of water resistance. This stick produces a white cast that may bother people with darker skin.
100% natural sunscreen.
It has no chemicals that seep into your skin.
It is not cosmetically elegant as it leaves a disturbing whitish tint on the skin.
8. Thinkbaby SPF50+ Sunscreen
If you’re planning to swim in an ocean or lake, you’ll want to use baby sunscreen that won’t harm the wildlife. This sunscreen is an excellent choice for environmentally conscious parents. Despite being one of the more expensive alternatives, the EWG gave it a two (2). It means that it’s one of the best options out there. Besides that, people have thoroughly tested it for environmental toxicity.
This product is cruelty-free, gluten-free, and non-aerosol and provides SPF 50+ protection and 80-minute water resistance. According to users, it doesn’t smell like sunscreen and doesn’t leave an oily residue.
It has the highest water resistance allowed by the FDA.
Its formulations go on smooth and absorb quickly without leaving you feeling sticky or goopy.
It takes forever to dry once the 1/2 teaspoon is spread around.
9. Badger Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream
Because it lasts up to 80 minutes, this broad-spectrum sunscreen is ideal for families on the go. While the company primarily markets the sunscreens to children, its website states that all of them, except the anti-insect formula, can be used on infants over six months.
If you don’t mind the scent, this one contains orange and vanilla undertones.
Badger is distinguished because it applies transparent, unusual for mineral sunscreens. Some babies dislike mineral sunscreens (and parents) because of their chalky white appearance.
It has 40 minutes of water resistance
It is reef friendly
It’s pretty hard to wash it off at the end of the day with regular soap and water.
10. Hello Bello SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
Both babies and adults can use this sunscreen. It provides 80 minutes of UV protection against all three UV wavelengths: A, B, and C.
Zinc oxide is the key ingredient, but the mix also includes soothing and hydrating cocoa seed butter, avocado, cucumber, and chamomile, which are beneficial to sensitive or dry skin.
According to the website, if you’re going to an exotic beach location, this sunscreen is clinically proven, hypoallergenic, and coral reef-friendly.
It protects you against all three types of UV rays (UVB, UVA2, and UVA1)
It’s not hypoallergenic.
Do Babies Need Sunscreen?
Yes, in a nutshell. Besides causing a painful sunburn, the sun’s damaging ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) radiation can cause long-term skin damage. Experts say that the skin damage can appear as early as four years old and might contribute to premature aging and skin cancer.
It’s vital to remember that sunscreen isn’t just for summer. Cloud cover does not block the sun’s rays, and it can even enhance them.
Windows do not provide any protection. While riding in a car, the rays can still harm a baby’s delicate young skin.
When Can Babies Wear Sunscreen?
Sunscreen guidelines differ for younger and older babies, so keep that before smearing on the sunscreen.
- For newborns and babies under six months:
Experts advise that babies under six months be kept from direct sunlight. When the shade isn’t available, you can apply a tiny amount of baby-safe sunscreen with an SPF no lower than 15 of 30 to 50 to small portions of your baby’s body; face, and tops of feet, backs of hands, starting when the kid is a newborn.
- Babies six months of age and older:
Apply a children’s sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 to all bare body areas.
- For all babies:
Apply a tiny amount of sunscreen on your baby’s skin 48 hours before you go out to test for irritation. Consult your pediatrician about sensitive skin formulas if your child develops a rash.
Keep a close eye on your child’s face. If your child is squirmy, wait until she is calmer or uses a toy to distract her before applying. If sunscreen gets into her eyes, gently wipe them with a clean, moist towel and her tiny hands.
Note: Your baby should wear sunscreen all year. Even in the winter, the glare of the snow and the sun’s beams can inflict significant burns. Remember that clouds do not block UV radiation; instead, they filter them. What’s the bottom line? When your baby is outside, it needs to be protected from the sun.
What to Look for in Baby Sunscreen
While most sunscreen buyers are mainly concerned with the SPF (sun protection factor), SPF is simply a measure of protection against sunburn caused by UVB radiation.
You’ll want to look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an acceptable SPF. A sunscreen product that is “broad spectrum” protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
1. Active Ingredients
In sunscreens, chemical absorption is a significant concern. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are mineral-based. Besides that, they are physical filters (rather than chemical-based) that are typically friendlier on the skin. They are friendlier on the skin because they don’t require the use of extra chemicals to give protection.
Chemical sunscreens can irritate the skin, especially if the user has an autoimmune condition. Mineral sunscreens are thicker and seem chalky.
Experts advise against using oxybenzone, a substance that may have hormonal effects.
Although you should conduct your research, there are a few more frequent chemical components to avoid. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) can find consumer sunscreen ratings.
The EWG warns that these common chemicals, besides oxybenzone, may not be safe for everyone:
- Homosalate, an endocrine disruptor.
- Octocrylene is another endocrine disruptor.
The amounts of homosalate and octocrylene in several sunscreens were recently declared unsafe by the European Commission.
The Environmental Working Group’s website says that US sunscreen manufacturers are legally authorized to use these two chemicals at density up to 6 and 15%, respectively.
Besides that, they mentioned that hundreds of sunscreens manufactured in the US make them at concentrations that far exceed the European Commission’s recommendations.
The SPF number shows how much sun exposure you can obtain with that sunscreen versus no sunscreen without getting sunburned. The sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreen can range from 15 to 100.
However, most medical professionals believe that a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is optimal for babies and adults. While higher SPF levels are available, experts believe there is no practical advantage once you reach SPF 50.
3. Water Resistance
Water resistance should be your top priority if you plan on spending time in the water with your child. Buyer beware: despite assurances to the contrary, no sunscreen is truly waterproof.
Because sweat and water both degrade the effectiveness of sunscreen, the FDA no longer allows producers to advertise that it is waterproof. When you towel off, your sunscreen is also depleted.
According to the FDA, sunscreens developed for 40- and 80-minutes of constant water exposure can claim to be water-resistant.
Before a sunscreen’s approval, FDA testing determines the timeframes for water resistance. In a pool, this is the period the sunscreen will be effective.
4. Ease of Use
Baby sunscreen comes in various formulations, including sprays, sticks, and classic creams, just like sunscreen for older children or adults.
If you’re worried about applying sunscreen to antsy kids, a stick form is the best option because it’s the most convenient. While sprays are suitable, you ensure you spray the substance evenly and effectively to all areas of the skin.
How many Sunscreens Should a Baby Wear?
Spread a generous layer of sunscreen, around half a shot glass worth, all over any exposed skin. And this should be 15 to 30 minutes before going outside for babies six months and older. Don’t cut corners here; more is always better.
They recommend a modest amount on the exposed parts for babies under six months. Pay careful attention to the nose and ears, a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect the lips.
Reapply the baby sunscreen every two hours if it’s waterproof, and more frequently if you’re out for a long time, your infant gets wet, or the sunscreen isn’t water-resistant.
Keep in mind that the best baby sunscreen, even if it’s waterproof, can wear off after swimming or sweating, and it might take up to 30 minutes for it to become effective after application.
What Kind of Sunscreen is Safe for my Baby?
Some sunscreens are better than others for your baby. Here are some suggestions for selecting a safe and effective product:
- Even if your child is not getting wet, choose a formula that is designed exclusively for babies or children and is waterproof.
- Check for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in the components to avoid rashes. Unlike chemical sunscreens, these hypoallergenic components sit on top of the skin rather than absorbed.
- The word “broad-spectrum” should appear on the label, showing that it protects against UVA and UVB radiation.
- Get a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 to 50 and no lower than 15. Experts advise parents to avoid products with an SPF of over 50 for they may not be more effective than lower SPFs and may encourage them to assume they don’t need to reapply as frequently.
- It will help if you avoid insect repellent-containing sunscreens because they are ineffective. If you require repellant (and your infant is older than two months and your pediatrician has permitted you), purchase it separately and use it only after applying sunscreen.
Tips for Protecting Babies from the Sun
If you want to spend some quality time with your kid outside? Take the following precautions to keep it safe from the sun and heat:
- As much as possible, stay inside during peak sun hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- When possible, seek a shady spot.
- Protect as much skin as possible with loose, tight-woven clothes (nothing see-through).
- Remember to bring a wide-brimmed hat (if your child will wear it!) Sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB radiation, if your infant would allow you to put them on her.
- Never drape a blanket over the stroller’s top, as this might cause suffocation and overheating. Instead, shield your baby with the shade the stroller provides. Or add to the protection with a unique parasol they attach to the side.
- If your baby is not over six months, keep it hydrated with breast milk or formula; if she is six months old, keep her hydrated with milk and a little water.
Depending on your budget, your preferred application method, and the features that matter most to you. There are a variety of baby sunscreens that can work for you and your family.
Whatever option you choose, make sure your baby’s sunscreen meets the minimum requirements set forth by medical professionals: a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply every 2 hours, and you’ll be ready for a day of fun in the sun.
Finally, use caution when spending time in the scorching summer sun. Keep an eye out for signs of dehydration (coughing, redness, or frequent weeping) and sunburn. If your child’s skin becomes red or burned, immediately transfer her to the shade and administer a cool compress to the pink regions.
Consult your pediatrician if the baby appears to have received a sunburn after some time has passed or if you have any other concerns about the baby’s sun exposure.