WARNING – not all ‘sunscreens’ with ‘baby’ labeled on them are safe for your children!
My fellow moms, yes, that time of the year is here — summer. You, me, and billions of other parents on the planet have already started asking the same question: “Which type of sun protection is safe and effective for my child?”.
We all love how convenient and drama free spray sunscreens are. They seem perfect for nervous toddlers and babies who simply don’t have the patience for sitting while we cover them with a sunscreen lotion (I know my kids hate to sit still while I rub in sunscreen lotion). But, are they safe for your little one?
This made me think. As a mother, I understand how stressful this sounds. And, that is why I decided to do some digging, check with my mom squad, talk about some of my favorites, and help you out by writing a guide for finding the safest sunscreen for your baby and toddlers on our blog, ThinkBaby.org.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Spray Sunscreen for Your Baby
Unfortunately, like with most things that are sort of a shortcut, when it comes to using a spray sunscreen on your baby, it turns out that it has more shortcomings than benefits. What most moms thought would be a lifesaver (myself included), is actually an aerosol that will most likely leave unprotected spots on your child’s skin.
And not only that, it’s filled with harmful chemicals such as retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone (and a few more I can’t even type properly). The risk of my restless kids inhaling spray sunscreens when you spray it, is too high for me to take. Therefore, I strongly suggest to avoid spray sunscreens and opt for lotions or creams. There is quite a few research backing this up as well, just remember, that convenience can come at a cost. And, a little bit of a struggle to put sunscreen on your young children is worth it because it’s much safer to opt for creams and lotions rather than spray.
Also check out our recent blog post about the Top 5 Most Harmful Baby Products You Should Never Use on Your Baby.
Safest Baby Sunscreens
My eldest is pretty much big now and she even likes putting sunscreen lotion on herself and on her 2-and-a-half-year-old brother, which allows me to have a piece of mind, and a cup of coffee in the shade (don’t worry, you will get there sooner than you think). Therefore, I won’t focus on sunscreens for toddlers, but more so the best sunscreen for babies under 6 months, so that all you new parents can relax and enjoy the sun together with your little bundle of joy.
1 ♥ Best Sunscreen for Babies With Sensitive Skin
I used this sunscreen with my baby boy when we were on a vacation in Greece. In August, the sun there is pretty intense and I have to say that the Baby Organics Sunscreen Lotion did the job perfectly. My boy’s skin is really sensitive yet it didn’t react to this cream sunscreen for kids whatsoever. It’s natural (mineral-based), has a high SPF factor, and spreads over the skin easily and evenly. The only downside (if you mind that, I don’t as long as my kids’ skin is protected), is that if you put a little too much on, it’s hard to rub in and can stay on your baby as a white, glowing film, no matter how long you rub it in for.
2 ♥ Best Natural Baby Sunscreen for a Clear Look
Last summer, my BFF used this sunscreen for her 5-month-old girl and she was very happy with it. She told me that the Adorable Baby Sunscreen spreads on the skin very smoothly and doesn’t leave that white residue she hates. This sunscreen goes on clear, and, if anything, her baby’s skin looked a bit greasy or oily, but not ghost-white like with other mineral-based lotions. The package of this sunscreen is small and sturdy and you don’t have to worry that it will spill out in your beach bag, and what’s most important, it saves your baby’s soft and sensitive skin from sunburns.
3 ♥ Best Sunblock for Newborns
This was my favorite sunblock to use while my boy was a newborn. I figured, if anyone knows how to protect themselves from the sun it has to be Australians, right? And, it turns out I was right. Not only that the Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen for babies is free of any harmful ingredients, but it also spreads over the skin unbelievably easy (perfect for nervous newborns), and protects the skin without causing any irritations or allergic reactions. And check how amazing is this baby sunscreen bottle! It turns pink when there is UV light, which notifies you that you need to apply sunscreen on your baby’s skin, pretty cool hey?!
4 ♥ Best Herbal Sunscreen for Babies
One of my favorite herbal baby sunscreens that I love to use frequently use on my kids is the Badger Baby Sunscreen. I love how this sunscreen covers their skin and how adorable it smells. The product is without the crazy chemicals. Now, even though it has zinc oxide, which tends to leave a white residue, I will pick the zinc over harmful Octinoxate or Oxybenzone that messes with my child’s hormones. All in all, the Badger sunscreen is a great solution for sunny days and it’s much cheaper than some of the other pediatrician-approved sun-creams.
Sunscreens I Avoid Using on My Kids
You know how some products are good and they actually do what they are meant to do, yet for some reason, you regularly avoid them? Well, here are a few of the sunscreens I don’t like using on my kids.
Don’t forget to check out our blog post about the Most Harmful Baby Products You Shouldn’t Use on Your Baby – Ever!
Aveeno Baby Sunscreen
Don’t get me wrong, the Aveeno Baby Sunscreen works like a charm. It’s not made of dangerous chemicals, and it really protects the skin from the harmful sun’s rays. But, it is so thick and pasty that trying to spread it over the baby skin is mission impossible.
Neutrogena Baby Mineral Sunscreen
The Neutrogena Baby Mineral Sunscreen is just ok. To be honest, it is without a scent, gentle, and thin, which I thought would help with blending it into my kids’ skin easily, but the texture really doesn’t make it rub in easy. It actually takes FOREVER to rub in. It’s not a bad product and my kids haven’t burned while using it, but there are better solutions available (eg. those I’ve included above that work like a charm).
Final Rub on the Topic
So, now you have a few of solutions on baby sunscreens that I and my friends tried on our kids and loved. But, I will be honest with you, finding the perfect sunscreen for your baby is not an exact science and it does involve plenty of trial runs until you find the one that you like the most. Each child is different, and believe me, I tried so many different sunblock and sunscreens that others loved but I didn’t fancy. For example, some creams worked for my girl while not for my boy. So, give these a try, and I am sure at least one of them will do great with your baby.
I know that it’s frustrating, but the most important thing is not to expose your baby directly to the sun and to have light layers of clothing even with the sunscreen on, and your baby will do just fine.