You probably know that protecting your baby’s skin from the sun is pretty damn important (like, it can help them avoid sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer later in life – no biggie). And you probably know that applying sunscreen is a fabulous form of sun protection… for you, anyway. But how does it work when it comes to babies? If this is your first time doing the mom-gig, you may not know.
So, read on to find out when babies can wear sunscreen, how to choose and use a baby sunscreen, and our recommendations of the best baby sunscreen products.
When can babies wear sunscreen?
Babies can use sunscreen from six months of age (according to experts).
Why? Well, young babies have super sensitive skin, meaning they’re at greater risk of experiencing side effects of sunscreen, like rashes. Plus, their skin is more likely to absorb more of what’s applied to it than that of an adult – including chemicals in sunscreen (eek).
How to use baby sunscreen
When your baby is of sunscreen-wearing age, there are a few things to know about using sunscreen.
Sunscreen isn’t 100 per cent effective at protecting your little person’s skin (or your skin, for that matter) from the sun. This is because it filters the sun’s rays but doesn’t block them.
So, experts recommend taking a range of steps to safeguard your baby’s skin, including:
- Staying out of the sun – this, in particular, is the best method of sun protection for babies under 6 months.
- Wearing sun-protective clothing – think a sun protection hat and a UPF-rated shirt, at minimum.
- Seeking shade wherever possible – or creating shade if needed, using a baby sun protection tent, or similar.
Then, when using sunscreen, it’s essential to do so correctly to ensure your little one is protected. This looks like applying sunscreen liberally to any body part that will see the sun at least 20 minutes before going outdoors. And then reapplying it every two hours, or after sweating or swimming (it’s a good idea to keep a tube of ‘screen in your diaper bag, so you don’t get caught without).
How to choose a baby sunscreen
The specific baby sunscreen you choose will likely come down to budget, availability, and even preferences (if you’re going to be swimming a lot, you’ll want something water-resistant).
But basics to look for are SPF30 or higher and broad-spectrum protection (this means it’ll safeguard your babe from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays). And in terms of the safest sunscreen for a baby, avoid sunscreens with the ingredient oxybenzone (as it may have hormonal properties) and look for mineral-based sunscreens (these are gentler on the skin and less likely to be absorbed into your kiddo’s body).
Ultimately, products specifically labeled as being for babies or sensitive skin will be your best bet.
What are the best baby sunscreens?
Ok, what is the best sunscreen for babies? Well, there are so many out there! But here are seven of our favorites.
The Kind Sunscreen
Ok, this zinc sunscreen is impressive. It’s made from just nine ingredients (wild, we know), is all-natural, vegan-friendly, and safe for babies, breastfeeding mamas, those with allergies or sensitive skin, and even the goddamn reef and ocean, all while offering SPF30, broad-spectrum protection. To whom do we address our love letter for this sunscreen?
Do note that while the folks at The Kind Sunscreen claim its creams are safe for use for wee ones under the age of six months, always speak to your doctor before using anything on your babe’s skin.
Buy it here.
Source: The Kind Sunscreen Co
Feel Good Inc Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion
Feel Good Inc’s Sensitive Sunscreen Lotion ticks so many boxes.
It’s specifically formulated to be gentle AF for even the most delicate skin (making it one of the best sunscreens for babies with sensitive skin). It’s fragrance-free. It’s SPF50+ and broad-spectrum (for ultimate protection). It’s water-resistant for up to four hours (great news if you’ve got a little water baby). And it’s suitable for babies over six months, expecting mamas (great news, especially if you’re ever pregnant in summer), and anyone in the family really (pets excluded, though – ha).
Buy it here.
Source: Feel Good Inc
Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Cute name aside, this baby sunscreen is the sh*t. It’s SPF50, made of safe minerals to protect babies’ skin from both UVA and UVB rays, is fragrance-free, lightweight and non-greasy, and easy to rub in (perfect for wriggly babies). As if there couldn’t be more to love, it’s also a plant-based and vegan formula and has been pediatrician-tested.
Babyganics Sunscreen Stick
Babyganics’s baby sunscreen stick is a must for families. Because of its stick form, it’s easy to apply (a win). On top of this, it offers SPF50+ broad-spectrum coverage, has been tested by pediatricians and dermatologists, is non-allergenic, and even tear-free. Plus, it’s not tested on animals (love!).
Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen
This gorgeous baby sunscreen is sheer and gentle, fragrance-free, and provides SPF50 and broad-spectrum coverage. Wonderful! But it’s also cruelty-free, reef-friendly, rich in anti-oxidants, and gluten, dairy, and soy-free (so perfect for babies that might have allergies).
Wotnot Natural Sunscreen
There’s so much to love about this award-winning sunscreen. It’s SPF30 and broad spectrum for high protection. It’s zinc-based and made from certified organic ingredients. It’s also highly nourishing and gentle AF – its ingredients are designed to soothe and protect the skin, making it one of the best sunscreens for babies with eczema.
It can also be used by the whole family, including babies as young as three months old, according to the brand. Though, do always check with your doctor before using anything on your babe’s skin.
Buy it here.
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
While many baby sunscreens are unscented, this one comes with a fabulous (yet inoffensive) citrus fragrance – so fun. But this aside, this non-toxic baby sunscreen is also a damn good product. It’s free of harmful chemicals, is SPF50+, is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and broad-spectrum. It’s also reef-friendly and is highly rated by the Environmental Working Group. Tick, tick, tick.
We hope this leaves you feeling sunscreen-sure, mama. Know that no matter which sunscreen you choose, the best sunscreen is whatever you put on you and your babe’s skin anytime you head outdoors.