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Eli’s Favorite Sunscreen for Kids

Sunburns are no joke—one blistering sunburn as a child greatly increases your risk of melanoma, so knowing how to be safe in the sun is very important. I love a nice suntan as much as the next person, but I value my health, and that of my family, above all else. How can we protect ourselves and our children from the sun’s harmful rays without staying indoors all summer long?

Staying in the shade is a smart choice, and it’s a good idea to avoid the sun entirely during the peak of the day when it’s the most intense. UV protective clothing, a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses will all help shield you and your kids from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

And then, of course, there’s sunscreen. But is it safe for children and babies? Sunscreen comes in two basic varieties: chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen takes 20-30 minutes to activate and can contain irritating chemicals, so we’re skipping it. Physical sunscreen is better for all ages, and it’s safer for babies and kids since it starts working right away and doesn’t get absorbed into the skin (it just stays on the surface). Here is my selection of favorite sunscreen for kids.

The name MD Moms says it all—the owners of this baby and child skincare company are both pediatricians and moms! I love their Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes because the convenient wipes make it easy (well, okay, easier) to apply sunscreen to a squirming child, and one towelette provides head to toe coverage. Though they may seem expensive, the recommendation is to use an ounce of sunscreen per application, so if you’re using the sunscreen that comes in a bottle or tub correctly, it may actually be more cost effective to go with the wipes.

Baby Silk Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes from MD Moms

Baby Silk Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes from MD Moms

If you’re looking for a lotion, then check out the Sunscreen Lotion from The Honest Company. This physical sunscreen is packed with natural ingredients, many of which are Certified Organic. It uses the mineral Zinc Oxide as its active ingredient, and ingredients like beeswax, calendula and jojoba act as its nourishing inactive ingredients.

Sunscreen Lotion from The Honest Company

Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 from The Honest Company

If you don’t have a specialty baby store near you, take a look at Blue Lizard. Though they call this Australian Sunscreen because it originated in Australia (picture surfers out on the beach), it is actually made in the USA. This is a great option that is widely available in many mass retail chains, and since it is a physical sunscreen, you won’t be putting harmful chemicals on your little one.

Baby Sunscreen from Blue Lizard

Baby Sunscreen from Blue Lizard

Sunscreen spray is not recommended for kids since it’s airborne and wiggly little kids are more likely to accidentally inhale it.

And finally, even if a sunscreen product says it’s safe for babies, it’s always a good idea to consult your pediatrician before using any product on your child.


Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Great info and product suggestions Eli. The wipes seem very handy. I've been loving Sun Bum this summer for the kids.