Sun Protection

Happy laughing toddler girl having fun on sand, mom applying sunscreen
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The 15 Safest Sunscreens For Children, According To The EWG

Because sun protection is so important.

As the temperature starts to soar, one thing comes to mind: sunscreen. But when you go through the aisles at your store to purchase one, do you really know what you’re looking for? You will now, because the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its list of the best sunscreens for children, from babies to older kids, to help keep your child’s skin safe.

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding sunscreens, and it’s mostly because of “inadequate regulations governing the safety and efficacy” of the products, according to the EWG report. It cites that some sunscreens “offer inadequate protection or use potentially hazardous ingredients, or both.” Still, you should know what to look for when it comes to selecting sunscreens. “In general, babies under six months should avoid direct sun and wear sun protective clothing,” Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Romper. “Children over six months of age should wear SPF 30 sunscreen or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen and make sure to reapply every 2 hours.”

As for the ingredients, Dr. Garshick recommends, “Especially for young children, it is best to stick with mineral blockers which contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These work by reflecting UV rays off the skin.” Equally as important is to check the sunscreen label to see if it’s water-resistant and for how long. “It’s recommended to use mineral sunscreens which are physical blockers containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide these tend to be less likely to cause sensitivity or irritation,” she says.

And whether a stick versus a spray is better, Dr. Shari Sperling, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, says it doesn’t really matter. “Some kids prefer a cream versus a spray versus a lotion versus a stick,” says Dr. Sperling. “As long as it has an SPF 30 or higher and it’s applied all over, it really is up to the family to decide which they prefer.”

So get ready to slather on these sunscreens to help protect your child’s skin and block out a potential burn — and woot, all are safe for breastfeeding mommas, according to Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, a certified lactation consultant. “Since the ingredients are applied topically, all of the products below are safe for breastfeeding parents,” says O’Connor. “There is nothing that is toxic or would cause an interruption to milk supply."

We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Is TSA-Travel Safe

Pediatrician-tested, Supergoop! Sunnyscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 50 is a 100% non-nano mineral formula. It’s hypoallergenic and silicone-free, and is good for both Baby’s face and body. It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and is sheer and non-sticky. It’s also in a portable size that’s perfect for travel, since it meets TSA guidelines.

2

A Baby & Kids’ Sunscreen That Helps Preserve Coral Reefs

You might not think of a coral reef when you’re trying to corral your kiddo into wearing sunscreen, but the Erbaviva Organic Skincare Baby Sun Screen, Lavender Chamomile, SPF 30 is actually coral reef safe. It’s made with non-nano zinc oxide, along with a bunch of other good-for-you ingredients, like sunflower, jojoba oils, along with essential oils of chamomile and lavender. It provides full spectrum protection, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

3

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Isn’t Greasy

A big reason why kids don’t like to wear sunscreen is because of the greasy, goopy feeling it leaves on your skin. The All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 is both water and sweat-resistant, and is fragrance-free, too. It offers UVA and UVB broad spectrum protection to keep your kiddo covered, and is cruelty-free.

4

A Baby Sunscreen That’s Eco-Friendly

The Blue Lizard Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ is eco-friendly, since it’s made without Oxybenzone or Octinoxate, which can hurt ocean life. It uses only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which can help protect from 97% of the sun’s rays. Plus, the bottle turns pink in harmful UV light as a way to alert parents that it’s time for another application of sunscreen.

5

A Baby Sunscreen That Smells Like Cocoa Butter

If you love that cocoa butter scent, then you might want to slather your baby in the Coppertone Sunscreen Pure & Simple Baby Sunscreen Stick. It’s free from PABA, phthalates, fragrances, parabens, dyes, alcohol, and oxybenzone. It’s also hypoallergenic and made from naturally sourced zinc oxide.

6

A Kids’ Sunscreen That’s Made From Organic Cranberry Oil

It’s not an ingredient that you often see in sunscreen, but the Earth Mama Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 is made with organic cranberry seed oil. It helps to moisturize the skin with all of those good-for-you antioxidants; plus, it contains organic aloe vera which can help in case your kiddo somehow gets a sunburn. The sunscreen also has hydrating vitamins C and E, along with non-nano zinc to keep your kiddo chemical-free.

7

Baby Sunscreen That Can Be Used On Kids Who Have Eczema

The unscented mineral sunscreen that is TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ is designed for little ones with sensitive skin. It’s made with aloe vera, sunflowers seed oil, jojoba oil, and is PETA certified animal cruelty-free. The sunscreen is reef-friendly and can be used on kids who have eczema, too.

8

Baby Sunscreen That Is Aromatherapeutic

Some sunscreens smell good — but the 3rd Rock Sunblock Sunscreen Lotion, Infant, SPF 35 offers aromatherapy benefits too, thanks to the use of rosemary, frankincense, and Boswellia sacra. It doesn’t have any endocrine disrupters, parabens, or toxins, and is hypoallergenic as well. It can be used on all skin types, and is made with food grade ingredients only.

9

A Kids’ Sunscreen That’s Easy To Apply

When you just want to dab your kid’s nose or cheeks, the Olita Kids Mineral Sunscreen Sunstick, SPF 30 is ideal. Beeswax, sunflower seed oil, aloe vera extract, and canola oil are just some of the ingredients you’ll find in the sunscreen, which also blocks out harmful UVA/UVB rays.

10

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Goes On Clear

Streaky white sunscreen isn’t exactly the hottest look on the lake. Go for a clear application with the Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30. It’s formulated with 16% zinc oxide, and is a non-chemical sunscreen that helps soothe skin with its certified organic oils. It’s non-greasy, and (woot) won’t run into your kiddo’s eyes, either. It’s also fragrance-free for sensitive skin types.

11

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Starts Working Instantly

For the times when you forget to apply sunscreen before hitting the beach, the Thinkbaby Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30 will save your skin — literally. The sunscreen, which is good for babies, kids, and even adults, can be used on the daily, not just when you show up at the shore. The highly biodegradable formula absorbs instantly without a greasy or sticky residue, and covers your kid for up to 80 minutes in the water.

12

A Kids’ Sunscreen With Just Six Ingredients

Although you might think that most sunscreens should have a slew of ingredients, the SunBioLogic Kids Natural Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ just has (count ‘em) six. It’s reef safe, so it doesn’t contain any chemicals that could compromise marine life, and is made with beeswax, coconut, extra virgin oil, sunflower seed and jojoba oils, and shea butter.

13

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Is Vegan

Made with 100% mineral active ingredients, Kiss My Face Organics Kids Defense Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 is both vegan and cruelty-free. The hypoallergenic sunscreen is made with organic sunflower and sesame oils, along with beeswax. It’s free of parabens, phthalates, and oxybenzone, and is water resistant for 40 minutes.

14

A Baby Sunscreen That Has Chamomile And Calendula

You want to protect your baby’s skin from harmful sun rays, but you also want to make sure that their sunscreen will be safe for them. The Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 40 has just seven ingredients, two of which are chamomile and calendula, and provides broad-spectrum protection. Sunflower oil ensures that the sunscreen goes smoothly and easily onto Baby’s skin.

15

A Kids’ Sunscreen That Smells Delicious

A sunscreen that smells like cake? Yes, please. Suntribe Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Vanilla Yum Yum, SPF 30 has all the good stuff you’d want in a sunscreen (think coconut oil and cocoa and shea butter to help moisturize skin), but it also has a delish natural vanilla scent that will make your kid want to (hopefully) wear the sunscreen more. It’s water-resistant, certified reef safe, and blocks 97% of UVB rays. It comes in a biobased sugar cane tube, too.

Experts:

Dr. Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist

Dr. Shari Sperling, MD, a board-certified dermatologist

Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC, LCCE, a certified lactation consultant