Moment of silence: There are no longer any lazy ways left to apply sunscreen to your kids.
With sprays considered dangerous and towelettes ineffective, the only method left to parents is an old fashioned lotion or cream. Sticks are effective and handy for the face, but, as Dr. Prystowsky mentioned in my recent post, The New Rules of Sunscreen, one pass isn’t enough. You need 3 for adequate protection. It’s enough to make a mom ban outdoor activities.
Since keeping the kids inside isn’t an option (and neither is swimming at night, post bedtime), I’ve rounded up a few of the safest, most pleasant and most effective sunscreens for kids. The products on this list all offer physical protection (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide), not chemical protection, which makes them safer, and also means that they start protecting as soon as you put them on – although a 30 minute wait time is still ideal. With proper application (and reapplication), the ten best safe sunscreens for kids on this list will protect your kids all summer long.
Did one of your favorites make this list?
1. Babyganics Mineral Based Sunscreen SPF50
I find these squirt spray bottles (not the now infamous misting sprays that kids can inhale) so convenient, and this mineral based sunscreen is safe, effective and easy to find at places like Target and Babies ‘R Us.
2. Jersey Kids Organic Sunscreen SPF30
This was the EWG’s pick for the second year in a row, and it’s so popular, it’s often sold out. This line also features some other great natural products for the whole family.
3. Banana Boat Natural Reflect Sunscreen SPF50
One of the best picks out of the big, drugstore brands, this is inexpensive and easy to find.
4. thinksport kids safe sunscreen SPF50
ThinkBaby’s original sunscreen was the first one labeled safe by Whole Foods, and this follow-up for kids is awesome. Free of chemicals, not greasy and virtually odorless.
4. Burnout Kids Physical Sunscreen SPF35
This sunscreen is so popular and highly rated. It’s all natural, but not sticky, chalky or bad smelling – and it’s great for sensitive skin.
5. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive SPF30
This sunscreen is a bit thicker, but still easy to apply, and the sun protection is amazing. It is also extremely gentle on even the most sensitive skin
6. Sunology Kids SPF50
This popular sunscreen goes on a little thick, which probably helps its effectiveness, but spreads on super smooth with no white residue. It’s also very gentle, effective and great smelling.
7. TruKid All Natural Sunscreen SPF30
This sunscreen is a favorite among parents because it’s light, easy to apply, and if you don’t manage to rub it all in – the white film fades quickly. It doesn’t leave a white or bluish cast even on darker skin tones, and has a light citrus smell that I love.
8. Badger Balm SPF30 Sunscreen Cream
A yummy, orange scent, creamy texture, and a relatively good price for the ingredient list make this a popular choice. It’s a bit greasier than some, but absorbs easily.
8. Safe Harbor Baby & Kids SPF50
I love this company’s mission to make safe suncare affordable and accessible to most families. The line, available at WalMart nationwide, is natural, safe and effective – without the sticker shock.
Hopefully, this list offers something for everyone, from budget buys to luxury brands. All are safe, effective choices for the kids – and the whole family. And while sunscreen is important, it’s not enough. Hats, rash guards and sun protective clothing all offer added protection. Also, try to avoid the hottest times of the day, when possible, and schedule plenty of indoor activities to balance out the outdoor fun this summer.