Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Are you planning to go out with your little ones? If so, it’s important that you protect them from all the elements, especially the sun. Although it’s healthy for your child to get Vitamin D in the early mornings, the sun’s rays can be dangerous once the heat picks up from 11am to 5pm.
Considering how delicate children’s skin is, sunscreen should be included in their outdoor pack and must be applied before they go out under the sun. However, with the number of sunscreen brands available in the market today, it’s very difficult to choose the right one for your child.
Check out our short guide below to help you get started in selecting the right sunscreen for your children.
Tips When Choosing Sunscreen for Babies and Kids
Picking the right kid’s sunscreen can be very tricky, especially as studies are continuously done on its effectiveness and ingredients. There are also growing concerns on the correct way to use sunscreen, causing a lot of parents’ confusion about what to buy.
If you want to play it safe, here are some tips to help you choose the right sunscreen for your child.
Read the Label
Before you purchase a sunscreen, it’s important you read the label because it will give you an idea on what it’s made from and what the unique qualities are.
In this case, sunscreens can either use active chemical ingredients or minerals (such as zinc oxide) to help protect the skin against UV rays. Sunscreens with chemical ingredients have been criticized in recent years because of their long-term effects on health; but mineral sunscreens have also taken some comments regarding their authenticity.
If you want to be sure you’re avoiding any harmful side effects from sunscreen with chemical ingredients, experts recommend mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they use natural ingredients. If you go for a chemical sunscreen, picking ones with Avobenzone is effective in stopping UVA rays.
It’s also best if you try out both types of sunscreen because kids may show different skin reactions depending on the sunscreen formula. You may need to try several types to find the right brand for your child.
Reading the label can also tell you if the sunscreen has a scent that may be irritating to some kids. If your kids have sensitive skin, you can opt for fragrance-free sunscreen. Others may also contain other qualities like moisturizers, which is good to prevent dry skin.
Beware of both UVA and UVB rays
Sunscreens also vary when it comes to what type of rays it stops. Some would say it can only stop UVA rays; others would only stop UVB rays, while a few would say it can block both.
When selecting a sunscreen, it’s best you pick broad spectrum sunscreen that can stop both harmful rays from damaging your child’s skin.
You should also check its SPF or Sun Protection Factor. Ideally, your child’s sunscreen should be around SPF 15 or up. The higher, the better.
Beware of Outdoor Timing
Finally, it is important to take note the outdoor effectiveness of the sunscreen you are considering. Some sunscreens would require you to keep reapplying it every two hours.
Others may have to be reapplied after swimming or if your child sweat a lot. If you’re unable to reapply the sunscreen, there’s no guarantee your child will be protected despite the SPF level of their sunscreen.
Now that you are familiar with the things you need to spot when picking a baby sunscreen, here are six popular brands of sunscreen for babies you can check out.
When it comes to non-allergenic, paraben-free, tear-free and nanoparticle-free baby products, Babyganics has the baby products for the job.
As far as their sunscreen offers are concerned, they use active minerals alongside cranberry, tomato and raspberry seed oil to protect your baby’s skin from both UVA/UVB rays and moisturize it at the same time.
It is also SPF 50+, ensuring that harsh rays won’t damage their skin. It is also not very greasy to put on so your child won’t get annoyed when you placed it on them.
However, the sunscreen does stain if it gets smeared accidentally on fabrics. Some also say that it leaves a white residue that is difficult to remove. It is also very thick to use. Allergic reactions may also occur because of the other ingredients of this sunscreen.
Available at iHerb.com
Buds Solar Care Lotion SPF 25+
For parents who want something organic that can help protect their child from the sun’s harmful rays, Buds Solar Care Lotion is something to consider. This sunscreen has titanium dioxide, which can stop UVA and UVB rays from damaging your child’s skin.
It also comes with natural ingredients like sunflower, jojoba and olive oil and shea butter to keep your child’s skin moisturized. It also contains aloe vera and olive leaf extract to keep the skin free against radicals and Bisabolol stops inflammation.
Available at most Mothercare outlets and Village Grocers
Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion
If you’re looking for a specially formulated sunscreen for babies, Mustela Very High Protection Sun Lotion is a sunscreen you should consider. It is very easy to apply thanks to its container and it easily gets absorbed into the skin.
It doesn’t stain on clothes and other surfaces and it’s not very sticky. It also doesn’t have a strong scent that can irritate your child’s nose.
Meanwhile, some parents recommend other users to take care when using this lotion because it can be a little runny so it may spill everywhere. The cap is also very flimsy so it’s best to carry it in a ziplock bag just in case.
Available at most Mothercare outlets
Planning to hit the waves and the beach with your child? If that is a big yes, you can check out Coppertone Water Babies. This mineral sunscreen uses zinc oxide, protecting your child and even yourself from both UVA and UVB rays.
It does not have a scent and comes with SPF 50. A great thing about this sunscreen is that it is water-resistant for an hour and 30 minutes before you will need to reapply it.
It is also tear-free and hypoallergenic, guaranteeing that your child and yourself won’t experience a negative reaction from them. But it’s very thick and greasy, so it may be difficult to spread to the body.
Available at most Watson and Guardian pharmacies
Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream
Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream is another good sunscreen for kids to use which is mineral-based. It uses zinc oxide, which provides protection for both UVA and UVB rays.
There are no chemical ingredients on this sunscreen, ensuring that it is hypoallergenic and safe to use. It is also water resistant for 40 minutes before you need to reapply it to your child. It also doubles as a moisturizing cream because it contains beeswax, vitamin E and sunflower oil.
However, some parents argue that this sunscreen must be used with caution because its sun protection quality is not very long. It can also be very hard to wash off.
Available at most Babyloft outlets
Little Innoscents Organic Baby Skincare Sun Lotion SPF30
If you’re looking for a good protection for your child under the sun, you should consider Little Innoscents Organic Baby Skincare Sun Lotion.
This sun lotion is made from natural materials that not only protects the child from both UVA and UVB rays, but also keep their skins smooth and supple. It’s also perfect for kids with sensitive skin and can be used by kids as young as 6 months old.
Available at most Babyloft and Bebehaus outlets
Nowadays, it is very dangerous to leave kids unprotected from the elements even if it is important to give them some time outdoors. With this guide, we hope you gained some great insights on how you can help protect your kids from the harsh rays of the sun.