How to Pick the Best Sunscreen for Your Little One (Plus 8 Great Recommendations)

BY Dermstore Editors · April 27, 2017

baby-boy-at-the-beach-2 I Dermstore Blog

Summer is just around the corner and that means family vacations and road trips! But before you take your tiny tots out for a stroll, make sure you keep their delicate skin safe and protected.

“You want to avoid sunburn at all costs. Childhood sunburn and sun damage are a leading cause in the onset of skin cancer later on in life,” explains board-certified dermatologist Sharyn Laughlin, founder of The Sunscreen Company. Since babies’ skin is thinner and more sensitive, Dr. Laughlin advises parents “to check with their healthcare practitioner for infants under the age of six months before applying any sunscreens.” If sun exposure cannot be avoided, “find a formula that is balanced in terms of sun protection and non-sensitizing ingredients such as fragrances, aloe or essential oils. Infants have extremely delicate skin that is prone to react to even seemingly innocuous ingredients.”

“You should also be wary of ingredients that are considered potential endocrine disruptors like parabens, oxybenzone, avobenzone or un-encapsulated octinoxate as these small molecular-weight ingredients enter the body,” she warns. “As per the World Health Report in 2012, potential endocrine disruptors can have an especially deleterious effect on infant and young children’s health as these are considered fragile stages of development and exposure can have potentially lifelong effects.”

To keep your baby’s skin protected throughout the day, Dr. Laughlin recommends reaching for sunscreen formulas with a high concentration of zinc oxide and applying it before stepping out of the house (and reapplying every two hours, especially after swimming or wiping skin). For added protection, “sun-protective clothing including hats [and] sunglasses should also be used judiciously by parents and caregivers.”

Ready to take your tots for some safe fun under the sun? Here’s a list of our favorite baby-friendly sunscreens for your little ones!

1. A Dermstore Bestseller: California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen

A multi-awarded sunscreen beloved by many, it has a gentle, tear-free formula that’s perfect for a child’s sensitive skin. Because it leaves no greasy residue, you won’t be hearing complaints that it’s “yucky!” Plus, its smooth gliding formula is even light enough to use under mommy’s foundation!

2. Organic and Fragrance-Free: COOLA Mineral Baby Moisturizer Organic SPF 50

This mineral sunscreen contains zinc oxide and natural ingredients such as organic sesame seed, avocado and coconut oil that help moisturize and keep baby’s skin soft. The best part? No nano-sized particles are absorbed by your little one’s delicate skin.

3. Bottle Turns Blue When It's Time to Reapply: Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen - Sensitive SPF 30+

Moms, let’s face it. Who wants to leave the water when you are in the middle of making a big cannonball? Luckily, you can make basic sun protection more fun for your kids with Blue Lizard’s Smart Bottle technology. Amaze your little ones as this bottle changes from white to blue—depending on how high your exposure is to UV rays—and let them know when it’s time to reapply. It’s never too early to teach kids basic sun protection, right?

4. For a Mess-Free Application: Sun Bum Baby Bum SPF 30 Premium Natural Sunscreen Stick

Containing 20 percent zinc oxide, this sunscreen makes sure your loved ones are getting optimum protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Best of all, it comes in stick form to help you reach the creases behind those chubby knees. Perfect for tots who can’t stay still!

5. Dermatologist-Recommended: CoTZ BABY SPF 40

Known as the “healthier sunscreen” because of its unique, balanced formulation of baby-safe ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, this sunscreen sits on top of the skin to prevent heat buildup, skin damage and deflect UVA/UVB rays.

6. Sting- and Tear-Free Formula: Hampton Sun Natural SPF 45 For Baby

This paraben- and gluten-free, hypoallergenic sunscreen comes with an extra gentle, water-resistant and no-sting formula. It also features beeswax, sunflower and lavender oils, which act as natural moisturizers that also help soothe and calm sunburn. It’s the perfect sunscreen for kids who love spending hours in the pool!

7. Sans Common Allergens: VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Baby SPF 50+

We all know how important sunscreen is when taking our kids outdoors, but not many moms know that indoor lights can be harmful to our little ones, too! Prolonged exposure to high beam fluorescents, blue light from tablets and smartphones and infrared from televisions can also cause health risks to both kids and adults. Luckily, this sunscreen lotion protects baby’s skin from harsh lights whether inside or outside the house. Its hypoallergenic and non-comedegenic formula makes it the ideal sun protection for those with sensitive or treated skin.

8. Gentle on Mom and Baby: 100% Pure Everywhere Sun Stick

True to its name, this sunscreen stick’s formula is free of harsh chemicals and is gentle on every skin type—even on babies! Its long-lasting and water-resistant formula makes it the perfect sunscreen to keep handy for beach trips or everyday activities.

Dermstore Editors

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