Sunscreen Recommendations for Kids (Babies, Toddlers and Older)

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Wearing sunscreen is essential for preventing skin damage. Babies and children have sensitive skin and shouldn’t go outside without wearing a child-friendly lotion. The best sunscreen for kids should contain ingredients that won’t irritate your child’s skin, and your child should wear sunglasses, a hat, and other protective clothing all year round.

suncream  Source: Thoughtco

How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Kids

Here is what to look for when choosing sunscreen for your child:

  • Coverage: Look for a broad-spectrum product that protects against UVA and UVB.
  • SPF: The Sun Protection Factor indicates how long the product will protect your skin from UVB rays. We recommend choosing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Safe ingredients: Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since these ingredients won’t irritate your child’s skin.
  • Easy application: You should reapply sunscreen as needed. Think about using a stick for your child’s face, or choose a spray-on lotion.

Our Sunscreen Recommendations

Whether you’re headed to the beach or ski slopes, make sure you pack some child-friendly sunscreen.

Best Chemical Sunscreen for Kids

Chemical sunscreen is effective and lasts a long time.

1. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick

ChildFun Favorite

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick, Kids Sunscreen for Face and Body, Broad Spectrum SPF 70 UVA/UVB Sun Protection, Oil-Free & Hypoallergenic, 0.47 oz

SPF: 70
Main ingredient: Homosalate

We like this sunscreen because the stick and formula allow for quick and easy application, even when your child’s skin is wet. The hypoallergenic formula is ideal for sensitive skin, and the SPF 70 is ideal for a day at the beach or pool.

Downsides:
Contains chemicals Protects skin for up to 80 minutes

2. Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion | Vegan and Reef Friendly (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) Broad Spectrum Moisturizing UVA/UVB Sunscreen with Vitamin E | 8 oz

SPF: 50
Main ingredient: Homosalate, Octocrylene
The non-comedogenic and oil-free formula of this SPF 50 lotion is ideal for kids with sensitive or oily skin. The product provides excellent broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, and it’s one of the products recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Downsides:
Application isn’t as convenient as other products Contains a lot of chemical ingredients

Best Mineral Sunscreen for Kids

The best sunscreen for kids contains natural ingredients that won’t irritate their skin.

1. Aveeno Kids Continuous Protection Sunscreen

ChildFun Favorite

Aveeno Kids Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Children's Sensitive Skin with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Tear-Free, Sweat- & Water-Resistant, Non-Greasy, 3 fl. oz

SPF: 50
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide
This lotion protects from sun rays and prevents skin damage thanks to its zinc oxide content. It contains oats to soothe the skin, and the formula will lock in moisture to avoid making your child’s skin dry.

Downsides:
Less convenient than a spray-on lotion Other products have higher SPF

2. Banana Boat Simply Protect Mineral-Based Sunscreen Lotion for Kids

Banana Boat Kids 100% Mineral, Tear-Free, Reef Friendly, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50, 9oz., Value Size

SPF: 50+
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide
This sunscreen is a great option for the value-conscious shopper, and it contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your child’s skin. It’s a broad-spectrum formula that will last for two hours.

Downsides:
Not all the ingredients are mineral Application can be messy

Best SPF 30+ Sunscreen for Kids

An SPF 30+ sunscreen is ideal for limited exposure to sun rays.

1. Miami Cool Kids LaPlaya Zinc Organic Sun Stick

ChildFun Favorite

Miami Cool Kids LaPlaya Zinc Organic Sun Stick SPF 30 Kids and Baby Sunscreen Non Nano Zinc Oxide Natural Childrens Sunscreen

SPF: 30
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide
We like this sunscreen because it contains organic ingredients that are safe for your skin and the environment. The stick formula is perfect for young children who don’t like lotion, and the product contains coconut oil to nourish and hydrate your child’s skin.

Downsides:
Higher SPF is preferred for prolonged exposure to the sun More expensive than other products

2. Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream

Badger - SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream with Zinc Oxide for Face and Body, Broad Spectrum & Water Resistant Reef Safe Sunscreen, Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Organic Ingredients 2.9 fl oz

SPF: 30
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide
This broad-spectrum sunscreen contains natural ingredients. It has a pleasant aroma of orange and vanilla and will protect your child’s skin thanks to its zinc oxide content.

Downsides:
Not as effective as products that have a higher SPF Application can be messy

Best SPF 50+ Sunscreen for Kids

It’s best to choose a product with an SPF of 50 or higher to reduce risks of skin damage.

1. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion for Kids

ChildFun Favorite

SPF: 50
Main ingredient: Titanium dioxide, zinc oxide
This mineral lotion delivers UVA and UVB protection. It has a pleasant citrus smell and contains plant extracts with antioxidants. The titanium dioxide and zinc oxide will form a protective layer that isn’t greasy on your child’s skin.

Downsides:
Botanical extracts aren’t ideal for babies Young children might not like the citrus fragrance

2. Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen

Thinksport Kids SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen – Safe, Natural Sunblock for Children - Water Resistant Sun Cream – Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Sun Protection – Vegan, Reef Friendly Sun Lotion, 6oz

SPF: 50+
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide

This water-resistant lotion is perfect for a day at the beach or pool. It contains aloe vera extract to prevent irritation, jojoba oil, and vitamins that nourish the skin. The product has excellent ratings in the EWG database.

Downsides:
Contains some chemicals More expensive than other options

Best Sunscreen for Babies

We recommend using products designed with babies in mind since they tend to have sensitive skin, and some products can cause eczema.

1. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick

ChildFun Favorite

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick with Broad Spectrum SPF 60 & Zinc Oxide, Water-Resistant, Hypoallergenic, Fragrance-, Oil- & PABA-Free Face Sunscreen for Baby, 0.47 oz

SPF: 60
Main ingredient: Titanium dioxine, zinc oxide

This sunscreen stick is ideal for babies thanks to its SPF 60+ and its natural ingredients. The stick formula is convenient for applying sunscreen on a fussy baby, and the product doesn’t have a long list of ingredients like most sunscreen lotions. The National Eczema Association recommends this product!

Downsides:
Application can take longer because of the stick formula Contains some chemicals

2. Babyganics Sunscreen Lotion

Babyganics SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Lotion UVA UVB Protection | Water Resistant |Non Allergenic, 2 Pack (6 Ounce)

SPF: 50
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide

This broad-spectrum sunscreen is water-resistant and protects your baby’s skin with its zinc oxide, octisalate, and titanium dioxide content. The levels of active ingredients are lower than what you will find in other products to prevent irritation.

Downsides:
Contains some chemical ingredients Some shoppers say the lotion has a thick consistency

Best Sunscreen for Toddlers

Toddlers need long-lasting protection in a convenient formula for a quick and easy application.

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen

ChildFun Favorite

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Gentle Sunsceen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60, Kids Sunblock for Face & Body, Oxybenzone Free, Paraben Free

SPF: 60
Main ingredient: Homosalate

The SPF 60 rating of this lotion is ideal for young children who are more likely to get sunburnt while playing on the beach or by the pool. It’s a water-resistant formula that is gentle on the skin. We feel confident recommending this sunscreen since the Skin Cancer Foundation has endorsed it!

Downsides:
Application can be messy Contains more chemicals than other products

2. Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen

BLUE LIZARD Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen, No Chemical Actives SPF 30+ UVA/UVB Protection, Unscented, 5 Fl Oz

SPF: 30+
Main ingredient: Zinc oxide

Choosing a sunscreen with a recognizable cartoon character on the bottle could be the key to getting your fussy toddler to sit still long enough for you to apply sunscreen. This broad-spectrum lotion doesn’t contain any active chemical ingredients and uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your child’s skin from UVA and UVB rays.

Downsides:
Some of the inactive ingredients aren’t natural Your child might need a product with a higher SPF

Best Sunscreen for Ages 5-12

It’s important to choose a broad-spectrum product that your child can apply by themselves for that age range.

1. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray

ChildFun Favorite

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, Water-Resistant and Oil-Free, Broad Spectrum SPF 70+, 5 oz 2PK

SPF: 70+
Main ingredient: Homosalate
Neutrogena offers a broad-spectrum spray-on sunscreen with a high SPF of 70. We think it’s a great value since you can purchase a two-pack, and the sunscreen won’t wash off if your child swims in the pool or ocean.

Downsides:
Contains chemical ingredients Young children might have a hard time applying the sunscreen properly

2. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Natural Spray

Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Natural Spray SPF 50, 6 Ounce | Broad Spectrum | Water Resistant

SPF: 50
Main ingredient: Homosalate

This spray-on sunscreen promotes healthy skin with its antioxidant content and mineral ingredients. Your child will love the pleasant citrus fragrance, and the spray-on application is a quick and easy way to reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes.

Downsides:
Some of the botanical extracts might be too harsh for children with sensitive skin Contains some chemicals

You can recognize the best sunscreen for kids by taking a quick look at the ingredients. Avoid any product with a long list of chemicals that could irritate your child’s skin, and make sure you choose a broad-spectrum product with high SPF for optimal protection.

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