A Dermatologist’s Guide to the 6 Best Baby Sunscreen in 2021
Everybody needs a dose of vitamin D, even our little ones. However, consistent exposure to sunlight may affect the skin’s health and appearance, leaving long-term consequences in some cases. Sunburns and skin damage are some of the most common sunlight exposure byproducts, and they can be quite prominent on young and tender skin.
Preventive measures such as sun hats and lightweight clothes are some of the best ways to protect your baby’s skin from harmful UV rays, but an extra layer of protection won’t hurt. Baby sunscreen is a quite safe and efficient method for ultimate sun protection, and it should be your go-to choice when going to the beach or spending some time outside.
In this article, you will learn more about how baby sunscreen works, including the 6 best sunscreens for infants in 2021.
Sunscreen for Babies – Does My Child Need One?
The primary goal of sunscreen is to prevent painful and potentially dangerous sunburns, as well as the onset of long-term side effects provoked by sun damage. However, do babies need sunscreen?
According to pediatrics worldwide, most sun damage occurs in childhood. Therefore, it is quintessential to protect your little one’s skin from the sun from an early age. Sunscreens provide the same protection level to both kids and adults since their active ingredients are the same.
Still, the most significant difference between regular and baby sunscreen lies in their formulation and package (adults cannot enjoy the cute packaging). The best sunscreen for babies is designed with sensitive skin in mind, which is why it doesn’t contain irritating ingredients or chemicals like most of the products aimed at adults.
Although sunscreen is of vital importance for your baby’s skin, other measures should be applied to prevent sunburns and other inconveniences resulting from excess sun exposure. Hats, sun-protective clothing, shade, and avoiding sun exposure between 10 AM and 2 PM are the additional preventive measures you should keep in mind.
How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Baby?
There are many infant sunscreen options on the market, which is why finding the most appropriate one may be quite challenging for new moms. The trick to picking an ideal sunblock for your little one lies in active ingredients. Look for products that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Sunscreens containing these elements are considered mineral, meaning that they are pretty safe for the baby’s delicate skin.
On the other hand, you should avoid baby sun cream with oxybenzone, an ingredient that might lead to hormonal changes. Other elements on the ingredient list that could be harmful include fragrances, dyes, and para-aminobenzoic acid, which may irritate the baby’s skin.
Other essential things you should have in mind when choosing the best baby sunscreen are the following:
- Broad-spectrum coverage: Go for a sunblock that protects from both UVA and UVB rays since both of them can be harmful to the baby’s skin.
- Water-resistance: Products labeled “water-resistant” will stand up to sweat and water for 40-80 minutes, after which you’ll have to reapply the sunscreen.
- SPF 15 or higher: The SPF 15 is an excellent choice to keep infants safe from sunburns. You won’t go wrong with SPF 30 either.
- Baby sun cream: Sunscreens come in different forms – sprays, creams, and sticks. Creams should be your go-to choice since they will keep your baby’s skin fully protected, unlike sprays, which often fly away before they’re stuck to a baby’s skin.
Now that you’re familiar with the basics of choosing the best baby sunscreen, we can move on to the 6 options worth considering in 2021.
1. TruBaby Water & Play – Best Natural Sunscreen for Baby
TrueBaby Water & Play is an entirely natural sunscreen lotion designed for babies with sensitive skin. It contains nourishing ingredients such as aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and other elements that keep your infant’s skin soft and gentle. It is free of parabens and scents that could irritate your baby’s skin, allowing you to enjoy your beach day with peace of mind.
It provides 30 SPF sun protection, and it is recommended to apply it 15 minutes before sun exposure.
2. All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter – Best Organic Baby Sunscreen
With over 25% zinc oxide, All Good Organic Sunscreen Butter is one of the best sunblock options on the market. Its high amounts of zinc oxide make it exceptionally convenient for infants with sensitive skin.
This broad-spectrum sunscreen features water-resistant technology, meaning that it stays on the baby’s skin for up to 80 minutes. Its tiny package makes it suitable to carry wherever you go, from the beach to parks and playgrounds. It provides 50 SPF sun protection.
3. Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid SPF 50 – Best Sunscreen for Babies Under 6 Months
Since it’s recommended to keep babies under 6 months away from direct sunlight, extra layers of protection are a must when you’re at the beach. Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid SPF 50 is an excellent choice for babies six months and up because it is rich in natural ingredients that nourish young and tender skin while keeping it safe from direct sun exposure.
It also features a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and oil-free formula that won’t cause pimples or other skin issues. Still, don’t forget to bring a baby’s hat and sun-protective clothes to ensure your six-month-old baby stays entirely safe when enjoying the delights of the beach.
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4. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen – Best Sunscreen for Babies with Sensitive Skin
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen features a paraben-, chemical-, and fragrance-free formula incredibly convenient for babies with sensitive skin. It contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, ingredients responsible for nourishing and protecting the baby’s skin while exposed to harmful UV rays.
The cap is what makes this baby sunscreen so special. It will turn blue when harmful UV rays are present – the brighter blue the bottle becomes, the harsher the sun is.
5. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection – Best Sunscreen for Babies with Eczema
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection blocks all the harmful sun’s rays without delivering a sense of grease or irritation. It is quite efficient for babies with eczema or similar skin irritations that require unique formulas and hypoallergenic ingredients that won’t cause additional discomfort.
This zinc oxide sunscreen for babies contains oat extract that nourishes the skin while protecting the skin from sun exposure. This natural sunblock is free of parabens, allergens, dyes, or artificial fragrances.
6. Thinkbaby Natural Sunblock – Best-Rated Baby Sunscreen
Thinkbaby Natural Sunblock is a smooth and clean product that doesn’t feel greasy when applied to the skin. It is packed with zinc oxide, delivering utmost sun protection to your little one. The enchanting tropical smell will make you love it even more.
It is water-resistant, meaning that your baby is safe for up to 80 minutes. The 50 SPF sun protection ensures safety while catching the sun on the beach, park, or garden.
Super-Safe Tips four Using Baby Sunscreen
It is essential to use only proven sunscreen for babies to prevent future inconveniences caused by sunburns or potent ingredients found in a particular product. Therefore, we have prepared a list of super-safe tips to enhance your baby’s skin protection while allowing them to enjoy their favorite beach activities with peace of mind.
Tips for Infants
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), you should avoid using sunscreen in babies under six months. Instead, it is better to keep your infant out of the sun with umbrellas and lightweight, protective clothing. That way, you can prevent sunscreen’s potential side effects and ensure your little one’s utmost protection from harmful sun rays.
When you take your baby outside, make sure you do the following:
- Cover your baby with loose-fitting yet protective clothing and a sun hat whenever they’re exposed to sunlight.
- Use the stroller’s canopy or hood to make a perfect shade for your infant. You can also consider an umbrella when you cannot find an ideal shady spot outside.
- Read the sunscreen label carefully before you apply it to your baby’s skin. You may also want to consult your doctor and ask them whether you should use sunscreen in your six-month-old baby or opt for other preventive measures.
Tips for Toddlers and Children
Your kid’s skin is more sensitive than your own, which is why you need a particular sunscreen that provides sufficient protection without causing irritation, pimples, or further inconveniences. Consider the following tips for applying a baby sunscreen:
- Test the sunscreen by applying small amounts on the inside of your kid’s wrist, and do it a day before you want to use it. If you notice rash or irritation, it is better to choose another product. If you are unsure which one to use, consult your doctor about the ingredients you should pick or avoid.
- Make sure you reapply the sunscreen after your kid has spent a lot of time in the water or if they’re sweating a lot. Even if the product is water-resistant, it will lose its effects after 40 to 80 minutes.
Although the sunscreen application is more or less the same for babies and adults, there are some things you should keep in mind when putting a product on a baby. For example, it is better to apply a small amount of sunscreen on a baby’s face, including the scalp, if they don’t have hair yet.
It is recommended to apply sunscreen to your baby about 30 minutes before leaving your home. Make sure you cover all the areas directly exposed to the sun, including the head, face, ears, hands, and backs of the knees. Reapply it every 40-80 minutes, especially if your child has spent a significant amount of time in the water.
The best time to start applying sunscreen on your baby’s skin is when they’re 6 months or older. Before that, it is better to wear them in protective clothing and keep them out of direct sun exposure.