The Best Sunscreens for Babies and Children

Choosing between so many sunscreens for babies and children can be difficult. We'll tell you which are the best on the market.
The Best Sunscreens for Babies and Children
Maria del Carmen Hernandez

Written and verified by the dermatologist Maria del Carmen Hernandez.

Last update: 22 December, 2021

Choosing sunscreens for babies and children must be done correctly and consciously, as they have skin that’s more sensitive than that of adults. For this reason, they’re more vulnerable to sunburn and irritation from contact with certain chemicals.

Also, it’s important to implement other photoprotection measures in infants, such as the use of clothing with UV filters, hats, and glasses. Likewise, avoid sun exposure during the central hours of the day.

Photoprotection in babies and children

A mother putting sunscreen on her toddler son at the beach.

The function of sunscreens for babies and children is to prevent painful sunburn, as well as to prevent the adverse effects caused by accumulated sun damage. Among them, premature aging and skin carcinoma.

According to the publications of the American Academy of Pediatrics, most of the damage caused by ultraviolet rays is produced during childhood.

While sunscreen may be labeled for adults or for children, the function is always the same. What varies is usually the set of its active ingredients. Therefore, sunscreens for babies and children are formulated with fewer irritating chemicals in order to protect the most sensitive and delicate skin.

The best sunscreens for babies and children

To clarify, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend the use of sunscreen in babies younger than 6 months of age. And with those who are above this age, it’s important to verify the following characteristics in order to choose an appropriate product:

  • The product is waterproof
  • Protection is greater than or equal to 50 (SPF 50+)
  • It’s broad-spectrum (it works against UVB and UVA rays)
  • The presence of mineral or physical filters.
  • The absence of PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid).

Next, we’ll share some of the most recommended options. Take note!

1. ISDIN Pediatrics Fusion Fluid MINERAL BABY

This is a 100% mineral formulated sunscreen, making it ideal for babies with atopic skin. It can be applied to both the face and the body and provides broad-spectrum protection.

2. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin

This sunscreen is designed for sensitive skin and is approved by the National Eczema Association.

It’s composed of zinc oxide, so it has a thick white appearance that makes it more difficult to spread. One of its biggest advantages is that it’s not greasy nor does it have the characteristic smell of sunscreen.

3. VICHY IDEAL SOLEIL

This sunscreen combines skin protection along with preventing the damaging effects of the sun’s rays. It’s characterized by being a broad-spectrum filter that Mexoryl adds to its formula.

It doesn’t have colorants, perfumes, and parabens, so it is truly hypoallergenic.

In addition, like most of the brand’s products, it has Vichy thermal water, which adds hydrating, fortifying, and renewing effects for the skin.

4. LA ROCHE-POSAY ANTHELIOS dermo kids

This option is formulated with vitamin E and antioxidants that prevent free radical damage. In addition, its SPF is 60, which is ideal for babies, and its texture is gentle on sensitive skin.

It’s one of the sunscreens for babies and children that dermatologists recommend the most due to the absence of parabens, oils, and chemical fragrances.

5. EAU THERMALE AVÈNE

One of the advantages of this product is the absence of chemical filters and perfumes. In addition, it offers a decongestant and antioxidant effect and is effective in water resistance.

Although it’s not part of the pediatric line of the brand, its chemical-free composition makes it suitable for children.

6. CeraVe baby Hydrating Sunscreen

The CeraVe brand is highly recognized and recommended by dermatologists. Among its products to prevent sun damage, its mineral variant for babies is excellent and protects sensitive skin.

It’s characterized by being totally natural, having no fragrances, and containing ceramides among its components. These elements are ideal for repairing and hydrating skin irritated by eczema.

7. BIODERMA Photoderm MINERAL SPF 50+

This option contains 100% mineral filters that provide maximum protection against UVA and UVB rays that cause sunburn. Due to its chemical-free characteristics, it’s the first option for children with atopic, sensitive, or intolerant skin.

8. BEPANTHEN Baby sun cream

Its formula is delicate, soft, and resistant to water. In addition, it doesn’t contain parabens, preservatives, colorants, or fragrances. It’s one of the sunscreen options that’s suitable for babies from 6 months.

A mother putting sunscreen on her daughter's face at the beach.

9. Neutrogena pure & free baby SUNSCREEN Stick

Stick sunscreens can be expensive because of their small size. However, this is what makes them more comfortable to carry and to use. Stick application can be quicker and more agile than rubbing lots of lotion all over your body.

Among other advantages, the absence of fragrances and harmful ingredients, its broad spectrum, and its mineral base stand out.

Sunscreens for babies and children are part of the skincare routine

It’s important to instill photoprotection of the skin from the early stages of life, as sunscreens aren’t effective at all if your child doesn’t use them.

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