Children can quickly suffer the long and short-term effects of sunburn and heat stroke. So it’s essential to keep your baby safe in the sun. Sunburn can cause pain, fever, and dehydration. Getting sunburnt during childhood increases the risk of melanoma and wrinkles later in life.
The sun rays are most active between 10 A.M and 4 P.M. So it would be better if you time your stroll or outside play with your baby earlier than 10 or later than 4. If you need to be out during the midday sun, apply the best sunscreen for baby and take some precautions. Here’s some advice about when children can start wearing sunscreen and how to choose the one that’s safe for your little bathing beauty.
Who Needs Sunscreen?
Everyone needs sunscreen. The sunscreen protects you from the harmful ultraviolet rays. Be warned that anyone can get skin cancer regardless of gender, race or age that means even babies could get skin cancer. It is calculated that one in 5 Americans develops skin cancer in their lifetime.
The sun emits harmful ultraviolet rays all year around. Around 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate your skin even on cloudy days. Sand, snow, and water increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect sun’s rays. So you must use sunscreen every day if you’re outside.
What is sunscreen?
Sunscreens are products that combine several ingredients to help prevent sun’s ultraviolet rays from reaching the skin. Even though the UV rays make up a tiny portion of the sun’s rays, they cause significant damage to your skin. They destroy the DNA of skin cells. When this damage affects the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth, skin cancer starts to appear.
There are three mains types of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC rays. The UVA rays get into the skin cells and damage their DNA. They also cause long-term skin damage such as wrinkles. They are also believed to have a role in some types of skin cancers. Most tanning beds emit a significant amount of UVA rays that significantly increases skin cancer risk.
The UVB rays have slightly more energy than the UVA rays. They tend to damage the skin cell DNA directly. They are the main reason to cause sunburns. These rays are believed to be the cause of most skin cancers. The UVC rays do not enter through our atmosphere and are not present in the sunlight. They have more energy than the other two beams and are not a cause of skin cancer.
What is SPF: Sun Protection Factor is the measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays. Sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher give significant protection against UVB. SPF 15 filters out nearly 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 prevents 95 percent, and SPF 50 blocks 98 percent of UVB rays. These may seem like negligible differences, but if you’re light sensitive or have a history of skin cancer, these extra percentages will make a huge difference.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that you use sunscreen which offers broad-spectrum protection, has an SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant. To protect yourself entirely from the harmful effects of the sun you must seek shade, wear protective clothing and use extra caution near water, snow, and sand. Get your vitamin D safely through diet, avoid tanning beds and check your body regularly for any change, itch or bleeding on your skin. Try to get professional advice as early as possible.
How to protect your baby from the sun: Ideally you must not expose your baby to sun’s rays if he is younger than six months. Keep your kids in the shade as much as possible. Dress them in long sleeves, pants, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.
Quite a few years ago The American Academy of Pediatrics advised against using sunscreen for babies less than six months of age. But under the new guidelines, it recommends sunblock with at least SPF 15 for babies under six months. If your toddler is over six months apply a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to your kid’s exposed parts that are not covered by clothing. Carefully read the instructions on the label.
Reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours or as often as the label says. The best sunscreen for baby must contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide or special sunscreens made for infants or toddlers that may cause less irritation to their sensitive skin.
What is the best sunscreen for babies with eczema: The National Eczema Society recommends that you avoid fragrance and other ingredients that cause sensitization while choosing the best sunscreen for babies with eczema. The National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance has been awarded to these components: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Oxide, alcohol-free, SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
The two types of sunscreen are the mineral and chemical ones. The chemical sunscreens get absorbed into the skin while the mineral sunscreens sit on the skin acting as a barrier. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are natural minerals ground into fine powders. Chemical sunscreens have minerals like oxybenzone and avobenzone.
As with many things eczema related what works for one baby may not work for the other. It’ wise to do a patch test on a small area of skin and wait for 24 hours before using it all over the body. Apply a thick layer of ointment or cream half an hour before you apply the best sunscreen for babies with eczema to lessen the drying effect of the sun without interfering with the sunscreen.
A thin sunscreen will be better for your eczema baby. Thicker sunscreens contain more oil and will be uncomfortable. Try to avoid sand during application because it can irritate the delicate skin of your baby.
Are spray sunscreens safe: The challenge of using spray sunscreens is that it is difficult for you to know whether you have enough sunscreen to cover all parts of your body. It may even result in inadequate coverage. To avoid inhaling spray sunscreen never spray it around or near the mouth or face. When applying spray sunscreens on children, be aware of the direction of the wind to prevent inhalation.
What are the benefits of sunscreen?
Seeking shade, using sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing are all necessary steps to reduce your risk of skin cancer. The scientific evidence supports the fact that using sunscreen minimizes the short-term and long-term damage to the skin from the sun’s rays. Preventing sunburn and skin cancer outweighs any unproven claims of toxicity or human health hazard from ingredients in sunscreens.
Protects from harmful UV rays: The continuously depleting ozone layer has increased the risk of skin cancer and sunburn. While you require sun for your daily dose of vitamin D, it does not mean that you put your health at risk. When you apply the best natural sunscreen for baby, it blocks these harmful rays from penetrating the skin and triggering skin disorders.
Prevents premature aging: The convincing reason to start using the sunscreen is to have a younger looking, healthy and radiant skin. Sunscreen shields you from developing signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. Research studies show that people below the age of 55 who used sunscreens had 24 percent lesser chances of developing these aging signs than occasional and non-sunscreen users.
Lowers skin cancer risk: Over the last decade, melanoma has increased considerably. According to new research published by the University of Oslo, using a high factor sunscreen than a low factor sunscreen decreases the risk of melanoma by 33 percent. Wear your sunscreen to shield your skin from various types of skin cancers especially melanoma. This is the worst type of skin cancer that can be life-threatening for women.
Reduces blotchiness on face: To prevent the irritating onset of blotchiness and eruptions of red veins on your face, you must apply the sunscreen liberally. It is also essential to prevent the onset of acne and other sunrays induced damages.
Sunscreen for children: If your baby is younger than six months old doctors advise you to use physical barriers like SPF clothing, umbrellas and shade. EWG Senior Scientist David Andrews in PopSugar moms warns you to steer away from SPF products over 50. If you use the chemical sunscreen, use the one that contains 3 percent avobenzone. Or you may use the best natural sunscreen for babies containing zinc oxide.
Check the inactive ingredients on the label, if possible avoid retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and avoid products using oxybenzone. Avoid spray products because you don’t get the uniform coating on the skin. It could be dangerous if your baby inhales the spray and the harmful ingredients get coated on the lungs.
Prevents sunburns: Sunburn weakens your skin which leads to bruises such as blisters, peeling, redness, swelling, hives, and itching. This action is due to the influence of UVB rays. The blisters can lead to skin cancer. A research study published in the ‘Annals of Epidemiology’ states that recurring occurrences of sunburns can put you at a higher risk of melanoma.
To get the full protection of the sunscreen you need to apply 1oz about a shot glass full. Gently apply the sunscreen thirty minutes before sun exposure to allow the ingredients to blend into the skin thoroughly. You should reapply the sunscreen immediately after swimming, sweating a lot and toweling off.
Prevents tanning: Though tan is healthy, you should be aware that while you are sunbathing to tan you are at a significant risk of getting harmed by the harsh ultraviolet rays. So choose a sunscreen that has a minimum of SPF 30 to prevent tanning induced by UVB and make sure you reapply the sunscreen every two hours.
Enhances skin health: The essential skin proteins such as keratin, collagen, and elastin get due protection from sunscreen. These proteins are necessary for keeping the skin smooth and healthy. A groundbreaking study published in Dermatology Surgery involving 32 participants evaluated over a period of 52 weeks found that daily sunscreen use improved the overall appearance of texture, skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles and signs of photoaging.
Clinical evaluations reported that these significant improvements in skin’s appearance in all the participants were due to their daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen. When you stop your skin from getting sun-damaged, it helps to regenerate itself by producing new collagen and restoring a smoother, thicker texture.
What are the components of sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a unique body care product. The active ingredients in sunscreen occur in two forms, chemical and mineral filters. Each of them uses a different method for protecting skin. Consumers apply a thick layer of sunscreen and reapply it at every 2 hours. So the ingredients in sunscreen should not be irritating or cause skin allergies.
You can potentially inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some when you apply it to your lips. So the components must not be harmful to the lungs and internal organs. Sunscreen includes ingredients that act as “penetration enhancers” and help the product adhere to the skin. Many sunscreen products get absorbed into the body and can be detected in breast milk, blood and urine samples.
Laboratory studies show us that chemical UV fillers may mimic hormones. Doctors report sunscreen-related skin allergies. EWG has found that the most worrisome ingredient present in sunscreens is the oxybenzone. This component is added to nearly 65 percent of non-mineral sunscreens. Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions. It’s also weak estrogen that has potential anti-androgenic effects.
EWG recommends that users must avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone. In case of your little one, it’s wise to buy the best natural sunscreen for babies or best organic sunscreen for babies. The researchers at the University of Zurich detected oxybenzone and four other sunscreen fillers in Swiss women’s’ breastmilk.
This research indicates that the developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances. The researchers found at least one chemical sunscreen ingredient in 85 percent of milk samples. So it’ better to avoid chemical sunscreens if you’re planning to get pregnant, or pregnant or a breastfeeding mom.
What are the points to consider for sunscreen?
Protecting your baby from the sun’s harsh rays is essential because her sensitive skin is susceptible to burn. Quite a few years ago The American Academy of Pediatrics advised against the use of sunblock.
But the new guidelines say that if adequate clothing and shade are not available, you can apply a minimal amount of the best sunscreen for baby with at least SPF 15. Gently use the sunscreen to small areas of the infant’s body such as the face, the back of the hands and tops of the feet when she is a newborn.
If your baby is under six months of age and older, you can apply the best sunscreen for sensitive skin to all the exposed areas of the body. Apply a tiny amount of the sunscreen to your baby’s skin 48 hours before you go out, to check for any irritation. If your child develops a rash, consult your pediatrician about the best sunscreen for sensitive skin.
You must be extra careful around your child’s face. If your little one is a bit cranky, wait until she becomes calm. If the sunscreen gets into the eye, wipe it gently with a damp cloth. You can also use a sunstick especially designed for babies.
You must use sunscreen all year around. Even in winter the sun’s glare and the sun’s rays can combine to form severe burns. Be known that clouds don’t block UV rays; they just filter them- which makes sunscreen a must any time your baby is outside. Apply the sunscreen every two hours more often when you’re out, or the baby gets wet.
Choose a formula that’s specifically for children and waterproof. Buy a formula that’s broad spectrum. To prevent rashes, check the ingredients for zinc oxide and titanium oxide which are hypoallergenic.
Go in for an SPF of at least 15. Avoid sunscreens containing insect repellents. You can buy it separately and apply it after you use sunscreen as long as your baby is two months and the pediatrician gives you go ahead.
What Are the best sunscreen for children?
Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen
This best sunscreen for baby contains 100 percent natural ingredients. It is on the top of the chart in EWG’s list of safest sunscreen for babies. The best natural sunscreen for babies is even suited for children and adults alike. No synthetic or chemical ingredients are ever used in this product.
The product is water resistant and will last in water for up to 40 minutes. It is not tested on animals and is a part of Leaping Bunny program. This best sunscreen for baby gives broad-spectrum coverage through a synergetic combination of non nano zinc oxide and organic oils.
“This was rated VERY high by the EWG for protection of both UVA and UVB rays and very low toxicity. So, I decided to try it for our toddler. It goes on well, and he’s never gotten a sunburn, even when we’ve been out for hours. There is no scent, which is a good thing. I’m so glad we found this!” Suzanne Olson (Amazon)
- 100% natural ingredients
- EWG top rated safest sunscreen
- Water resistant up to 40 minutes
- Water resistant up to 40 minutes plus Broad spectrum sunscreen
- No synthetic or toxic ingredients
- It’s difficult to squeeze the bottle
Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream
This best sunscreen for baby gives broad-spectrum sun protection using the safe mineral Zinc Oxide. It is free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, or other chemical active sunscreen agents. It is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. This best sunscreen for babies is pediatrician-tested and hypoallergenic.
“There’s no other sunscreen on this planet that is as organic and wholesome as this product. No harmful chemicals, it doesn’t cause neurological issues or reproductive harm like a lot of the leading brands. Since it is thick, a small amount goes a whole way. I have a baby, and a toddler and one bottle lasted me half a year. I love this product and will be buying it for years to come.”
“It worked well on them, and they have very pale skin with blonde hair and blue eyes. I will be ordering again, for sure. Thank you, Badger, for keeping our kids health and safety in mind when making this product. I appreciate you.” Danielle (Amazon)
- Best organic sunscreen
- Water resistant for at least 30 minutes
- Broad spectrum
- Free of cholesterol and fats
- Extremely thick
All Good Sunscreen Lotion SPF 33 Kids
This best organic sunscreen for babies offers broad-spectrum sun protection. It is listed in the EWG’s safest list of sunscreens. This best sunscreen for baby has clear non-nano zinc particles, is all natural and chemical free.
It is made with organic green tea extract and rose hips for anti-aging effect. It is free of gluten, PABA, parabens, and GMO. It is purely vegan.
“I found this sunscreen to be a great non-chemical, zinc, reef-safe sunscreen. I used this sunscreen when I went snorkeling and found it to be perfect! It didn’t leave a funky film on the surface of the water, as some other sunscreens do, and I was able to rest assured that I could snorkel without harming the delicate coral around me. Overall, I found this product to be great, and I have used it for other outdoor activities as well.” Leah. B (Amazon)
- Broad spectrum protection
- EWG safest rated sunscreen
- All natural
- Does not easily wash off
All Terrain KidSport SPF30 Oxybenzone-Free Natural Sunscreen
This best sunscreen for baby is free of oxybenzone, paraben, and fragrance. This product is the best sunscreen for sensitive skin. It is sweat resistant and water resistant and will be effective up to 80 minutes in water.
“I love this sunscreen for my 4-year old. It is light, non-greasy, absorbs quickly, doesn’t smell bad, and I’ve been using it all summer on my daughter, and she’s had NO SUNBURNS! We’ve used it before 4-hour summer camp days, spending the afternoon on the beach or park, and applied before and after water play at the local fountains.” Jessica (Amazon)
- Oxybenzone free
- SPF 30
- Broad spectrum sun protection
- Pump style bottle gets clogged easily
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw C
This best sunscreen for baby gives sun protection as mild as water on your baby’s skin. The product contains natural oatmeal, is specially designed for babies and is free of fragrance, phthalates, parabens, and dyes.
“My kids have terrible eczema and sunscreen is a major trigger. This stuff is great for their skin and protection from the sun! “Leslie Ricco (Amazon)
- Specifically formulated for babies
- Free of synthetic chemicals
- SPF 50
- Good for eczema babies
- Thick and hard to get off
Our choice of the Best Sunscreen for Children
After comparing several products, we found that Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen to be the best sunscreen for baby. This best natural sunscreen for babies is highly rated for safety and has 100 percent natural ingredients. It is water resistant, cruelty-free and gluten-free. This product offers 30 SPF. This best sunscreen for baby is the top rated product on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.
“I purchased this because of the safety ratings from EWG. I like it. A bit on the costly side but does last for a long time. It has no smells and doesn’t make my face white.” Bieber (Amazon)
Though a bit pricey it does last long and gives the safest sun protection for your baby’s delicate skin. The product contains a minimal amount of ingredients, so it poses less chance of skin reaction. It includes only non-nano uncoated zinc oxide ensuring it is non-reactive and does not enter the bloodstream.
We conclude that Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen is the winner.