Babies have fragile skin that needs the highest level of protection, especially from the harsh heat of the sun. With this, to take care of your little one, you will need to have the best sunscreen for babies. It should have a gentle formulation and free from harsh chemicals as its active ingredients, especially if the baby has a sensitive skin.
As you try to come up with a decision when it comes to which one to buy, you will most likely be overwhelmed with the long list of the options. This is exactly why we came up with this guide. We spent hours researching top-rated products to come up with a list of our top recommendations, making it easier for you to come up with the right choice.
- Our Top Picks for the Sunscreen for Babies
- Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
- Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Spray
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Lotion
- Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream
- Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen
- La-Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen
- CeraVe Baby Sunscreen
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Mineral Sunscreen
- When To Start Using Sunscreen for Babies
- How Much Sunscreen Should You Apply to a Baby
- What SPF is Best for Babies
- What are the Types of Sunscreens
- What Are the Ingredients to Look for and Avoid
- How to Protect the Baby’s Skin from the Sun
Our Top Picks for the Sunscreen for Babies
Stop looking at the other options that you can find on the market. Instead, the ten products that will be briefly mentioned below should be on the top of your list.
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
One of the top-rated products on the market, this is also our personal favorite. It has an EWG rating of 1 since 2010. On a scale of 1 to 10, EWG rates the toxicity of different products, with 10 being the worst and 1 being the safest. To add, it was also the first of its kind to have met the requirements of the Whole Foods Premium Care. This is mineral-based and does not contain nano zinc oxides. To add, it does not use oxybenzone and avobenzone, among other chemicals that could be harsh on the gentle skin of babies. It also comes with an SPF rating of 50+, which is exactly what babies need.
Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion
With SPF 50, this is one of the best sunscreens that are safe for use amongst babies. It also helps that it is made by one of the most trusted skincare brands in the world. It will also make a great choice for the best sunscreen for baby eczema as it comes with a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association. It is water-resistant and non-greasy, which will be great for the comfort of babies. Even during a hot day, this will not make them feel sticky while making sure that the skin is protected from both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
Blue Lizard is a popular sunscreen brand, and they have developed this product specifically with the need of babies in mind. It does not contain ingredients that could irritate the skin. Instead, it makes use of zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which are known for being safe ingredients, especially for the baby’s delicate skin. Meanwhile, as for the water-resistance, it can stay on the skin for up to 40 minutes, which is quite shorter compared to its leading competitors that are water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Spray
This baby-safe SPF 50 sunscreen comes in the form of a spray in a small bottle, making it easy to be applied. Unlike other sunscreens, there is no strong chemical-like odor, which will not cause irritation to the baby. While it is to be sprayed on the skin, this is not like a mist, eliminating the likelihood that the sunscreen can be inhaled by the baby upon its application. It also has a gentle and non-allergenic formula, making it great even for babies with sensitive skin. No need to worry about potential side effects! It should also be noted that it has no phthalates and parabens, among other toxic ingredients.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen Lotion
This is made by the same manufacturer as the sunscreen that has been mentioned above, with the main difference being the fact that this one is in the form of a lotion. It has an organic formulation and makes use of plant-based ingredients, providing you an assurance that it does not contain harsh chemicals, such as parabens, nano-particles, and phthalates. The manufacturer takes pride in using its exclusive NeoNourish Seed Oil blend, which includes seed oils from raspberry, black cumin, sunflower, tomato, and cranberry. It is also good to know that it is recommended even by pediatricians and dermatologists.
Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream
Although it only has SPF 30, this is one of the top alternatives that you should include on your list of choices. It is hypoallergenic and tested by pediatricians. To add, it is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. There is also an organic certification, which will provide you with peace of mind when it comes to its safety. This can be attributed to the main ingredients that are used, which include sunflower oil, beeswax, calendula, and chamomile. There is also Vitamin E, which will help to nourish the skin while protecting it from the sun. Plus, the sunscreen has never been tested on animals, which makes it cruelty-free.
Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen
Some sunscreens can easily cause irritation when they reach the eyes of babies. Fortunately, such is not going to be a problem with the use of this product as it comes with a tear-free formula. It is also alcohol-free and sting-free. It is in the form of a lotion, allowing you to easily see the parts being covered, unlike in the form of a mist spray. Based on the instructions from the manufacturer, you should apply one ounce of the sunscreen to the baby every two hours.
La-Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen
This sunscreen offers SPF 60, which is one of the highest of the products that are mentioned in this guide. For your confidence in its safety and effectiveness, it has been tested by pediatricians. The sunscreen is also free of oxybenzone, parabens, and fragrances. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes eliminating the need for frequent reapplication. It should be noted, however, that the manufacturer recommends this to be used only for those who are aged 3 to 12. Technically, one is a baby until the age of 4, which is why this still makes it to the list of our top-rated baby sunscreens.
CeraVe Baby Sunscreen
This SPF 45 sunscreen contains minerals and ceramides, which will do an excellent job in protecting the delicate skin of babies from the harsh heat of the sun. It is made of 100% naturally-sourced ingredients instead of harsh chemicals. As it comes with three essential ceramides, you can expect that it will form a natural protective barrier to avoid the baby’s skin from being damaged when outdoors. It is also hypoallergenic, non-irritating, and water- resistant for up to 80 minutes after the initial application.
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Mineral Sunscreen
It is made by a company that surely rings a bell to many of you when it comes to skincare products. The sunscreen can resist sweat and water for up to 80 minutes. You will love how it has been clinically-tested, which shows that the claim made by the manufacturers are backed by facts. Its active ingredient is 100% zinc oxide, which is considered to be a safe component of baby sunscreens. It also does not come with a strong and irritating smell as it is formulated to be fragrance-free.
When To Start Using Sunscreen for Babies
A lot of parents are most probably concerned about when they can introduce the sunscreen to their babies. As it has been recommended by experts, you can start applying sunscreen to your baby upon reaching six months old. When the baby is younger than six months, you should consider other forms of sun protection, such as clothing and shade.
Meanwhile, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, when the baby is younger than six months, you can apply sunscreen on the key areas, only if the sunscreen is only SPF 50.
How Much Sunscreen Should You Apply to a Baby
Aside from when to apply, another important thing to know is how much of the sunscreen you have to use. You do not have to use a lot. A little amount can go a long way. If the baby is at least six months, you need to apply a liberal amount of sunscreen, about the size of a shot glass, to all exposed parts of the body. Take note that the sunscreen could wear off depending on the stated water resistance, so know when there is a need to reapply.
What SPF is Best for Babies
When it comes to SPF, a higher number does not always mean being better. In fact, when it reaches more than SPF 50, the level of protection will almost be the same. For babies, however, they do not need that much of SPF. SPF 15 will be enough and should be the minimum. If you want to have peace of mind, however, we suggest that you go for a sunscreen with SPF 30 to 50.
What are the Types of Sunscreens
Generally speaking, sunscreens will fall into two categories:
- Chemical-Based Sunscreen: These are the traditional sunscreens and often used by adults. As the name implies, it contains chemicals. While they are effective in forming a protective layer on the surface of the skin, they contain harsh ingredients that can make sensitive skin prone to adverse effects. The chemicals on the skin are the ones that absorb the UV rays.
- Mineral-Based Sunscreen: In contrast, this type of sunscreen provides a physical barrier to block the UV rays instead of absorbing them. While it is known as a more effective and safer alternative, there are some who despise this because of its thick and greasy formulation, so choose one that your baby will feel comfortable with.
What Are the Ingredients to Look for and Avoid
When you are trying to evaluate the possibilities, you should take the time to look at the ingredients that are used. One of the active ingredients that should be present is zinc oxide. It provides full UV protection and does not lead to the development of free radicals, unlike in the case of titanium oxide. Even the FDA agrees that this is a must-have when it comes to a sunscreen for the use of babies.
You should stay away from those that contain toxic ingredients. One of the names that you must be familiar with is oxybenzone. This can be easily absorbed by the skin and will circulate in the body. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most toxic, the EWG rates this as 8. This shows that this is an ingredient that should never be present in a baby sunscreen.
How to Protect the Baby’s Skin from the Sun
While the use of the right sunscreen can be promising, there are other things that will be equally effective when it comes to sun protection for babies, including those that will be briefly mentioned below:
- Do not go out when the sun is at its peak, which is from 10 am to 4 pm. These are the times that can cause the most serious damage to the skin, even for adults.
- See to it that the skin is covered as much as possible, leaving only a little part exposed. Use thin and breathable fabrics but not those that are see-through as they can still be penetrated by the rays of the sun.
- When using a stroller, see to it that it comes with a sunshade as a protection to the baby. If the sun is out, stay in a shaded area, such as under a tree.
- Hydration is also important for the young ones. Provide them with breastmilk and water often when it is hot so that their body will find it easy to cope up.
The sensitive and gentle skin of babies can be easily prone to the harsh heat of the sun. With this, whenever you are outdoors, make sure that your baby is protected by the best sunscreen. It should offer excellent protection without using harsh chemicals that could damage the skin. Keep an eye on the ten products we have mentioned above to help you come up with the right choice on what to pick.