20 Best Sunscreens For Kids-Babies-2018-2019-Reviews
Best Sunscreens For Kids-Babies-2018-2019-Store shelves are stocked with an ever-growing range of formulas, ingredients, and SPF numbers. It can be a real challenge to figure out what you need and what will be safest for your child’s sensitive skin. We’re here to guide you to the brands that are the safest and most effective when it comes to protecting the skin of your kin!
Little ones should be wearing sunscreen after 6 months of age. Prior to hitting that milestone, Debbie Palmer, DO, a New York dermatologist and author of Beyond Beauty, stresses the importance of dressing your baby in protective clothing (like hats, sunglasses, and sleeves) and seeking shade when it’s appropriate.
Best Sunscreens For Kids-Babies-2018-2019-Palmer’s wisdom on sun safety for kids doesn’t stop there: “I recommend parents look for the ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in sunscreen products, and stay away from sprays that might expose young lungs to potentially harmful chemicals.”
Thankfully, she has a few product suggestions for us. Plus, the Skin Cancer Foundation made shopping for sunscreen way easier for parents. You can look for the foundation’s blue square Seal of Recommendation to know the product will be both safe and effective for your kids.
Here are our 2018-2019 sunscreen & sunblock recommendations.
This is sensitive, and chemical and fragrance free. What they mean by chemical free is it contains only the relatively low-risk chemical pigments Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. Blue Lizard also went paraben-free as of 2012, which is somewhat rare on the sunscreen market. In our tests we found that it spread easily for a non-chemical sunscreen, which tend to be thicker than other sunscreens. It also worked at blocking the sun quite well. Our 3 test kiddos also had no adverse skin reactions, and none was even slightly pink by the end of the day (save for some toe areas we neglected to reach!). None of them complained about any eye stinging either, which I will say is rare in our household! So overall, this seems like a great option. It doesn’t contain any of the high risk chemicals, yet still does a great job preventing sunburn without burning a big hole in your wallet (maybe a little hole, but we think one that’s worth it). We used an 8.75 oz tube that we found for about $25 online, making it about $2.85/ounce. Also check out Blue Lizard’s FACE version.
Here is another excellent sensitive and chemical free option, but a bit more expensive than Blue Lizard. The Think Baby sunscreen only uses Zinc Oxide, one of the relatively low-risk chemical pigments that offer excellent sun protection. In fact, this particular sunscreen was the first to pass the Whole Foods rigid sunscreen inspection process (premium care requirements), and while we may not be huge fans of Whole Foods they’re known to be quite picky with what they consider Health & Beaty products. This sunscreen offers the highest possible protection of 50+ SPF, with the highest possible level of water resistance (80 minutes)! Note that these are FDA-established maximums for all sunscreens. In our tests, we found it quite thick and creamy and a bit difficult to spread (but certainly possible with some effort). We didn’t think it worked quite as well as the Blue Lizard, as one of our test kids was a bit pink on the shoulders after a day on the beach. But it was a hot day, and we didn’t follow the instructions to re-apply every couple hours (we did twice for the entire day). Overall, we think this is an excellent and effective sunscreen option. It is basically tied with #1 on our list except for the price. We use a 3 oz tube that we found for about $10 online, making it about $3.33 per ounce. By comparison, this is about twice the cost per ounce vs Blue Lizard; seems like a little, but it adds up for larger tubes.
We absolutely love Alba Botanicals, especially their sunscreen options for adults, like their Hawaiian Sunscreen SPF 45, which smells and works great without any high risk chemicals. This particular sunscreen is for kids and something they have marketed as “Mineral Sunblock” which is the same as #1 and #2, basically meaning that it uses Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide instead of some of the higher risk chemicals. Note that this isn’t the case with all of their Kids sunscreens: their SPF 45 version contains some of the moderate-risk chemicals listed above. This particular one, however, is quite good. It contains no parabens, artificial colors, or other harmful active or inactive ingredients. It is 100% vegetarian (no animal byproducts). It offers 40 minutes of water protection, and goes on smooth and thick without any oily residue. We also loved that it had very little odor. In our testing, it performed very well, protecting the 2 kids that used it on the beach (reapplied every 2 hours), without any evidence of sunburn. Overall, this is a great option. It is listed third for a few reasons. First, it’s somewhat harder to find than the others. Second, we didn’t like that some of the Alba Botanica Kids versions had some of the moderate-risk chemicals. However, it is a bit cheaper than the others, and we found it online for around $10 for 4 ounces, making it about $2.50 per ounce.
Also see the Baby version here. This is the simplest, 100% natural, and 95% organic sunscreen on our list. The Badger Balm sunscreen only contains 6 ingredients, the first being over 18% Zinc Oxide (that’s a high amount), and the rest some fancy oils and natural scents of citrus and vanilla. We thought it smelled great, and was a refreshingly simple option in an otherwise chemical-saturated sunscreen market. It offers 40 minutes of water protection. In our testing, we thought that it was rather thick and a bit too chalky white for our tastes. It also rubbed off a bit onto our swim suits (which washed off fine later). It did awesome in our beach testing though, with no signs of sunburn on our little ones, though we did reapply every 60-90 minutes or so. We also thought the scent was a bit overwhelming for one of our kids in particular, but not the other. The price was also a bit high, around $5 per ounce on average; the tube we tested was only 2.9 oz and cost us about $14. Note that Badger also makes a Baby Badger formula with chamomile rather than vanilla scent. We haven’t tried that one, but will update when we do.
5. Sunology Kid & Baby Safe Mineral Natural Sunscreen SPF 50. This is relatively new to the baby sunscreen market, and it is getting rave reviews. We got the chance to test this out, and were very impressed with its performance. So was the Environmental Working Group (EWG), who recently rated it among their best kids sunscreens of the year. This is for good reason. It contains 10% Zinc Oxide, along with 7.5% Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients that do a great job blocking both UVA and UVB rays. This fragrance-free formula is great for sensitive skin, with no parabens or unsafe chemicals (like oxybenzone or avobenzone), and is made in the USA with cruelty-free ingredients and manufacturing practices. In our testing, we found that it stays on really well, with use around the beach, pool, and in sports. To achieve that performance, however, we also found that it had a pretty greasy hand-feel, and left you looking whiter than usual with a faint white film left on our faces. That tends to happen with most sunscreens using Oxides as active ingredients, though this one was a bit thicker and greasier feeling than several others on this list. We also found it to be pretty expensive, with a 2-ounce tube coming in at around $15 at most websites, which is about $7.50 per ounce, the most expensive on this list by far!
6. Babyganics Pure Mineral-based Sunscreen SPF 50. Note that Babyganics has several sunscreen options, but only two of the ones we’ve found actually use only mineral-based active ingredients. These are the Mineral-based Lotion and the Mineral-based Stick. While all of the Babyganics options do not include PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances, and nano-particles, some of them do use active sunscreen ingredients other than zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Like all sunscreens using only mineral-based active ingredients, the Babyganics Pure Mineral-Based Sunscreen goes on quite thick but does rub in with a little effort. If it’s not rubbing in all the way, you’re probably using too much. In our tests, we found that it is excellent for highly sensitive skin as it doesn’t contain many common irritants. Our primary gripe with this sunscreen option is that the brand name “Babyganics” implies that this is an organic option, which it is not. That mislead us and likely many others; thus, while they’re making a great product, we’re not keen on their ethical values. In our testing, we re-applied every 40 minutes with use in water (pool or beach), and every couple hours without use in water. We didn’t experience any pinkness or burns. And the 2-pack of Babyganics sunscreen we purchased was about $15 for a total of 12 ounces, making this the cheapest on the list at about $1.25 per ounce.
, you’re not going to want to miss out on the best package deals to stock up!