We all use sunscreen, whether we are traveling or not. It’s necessary. As parents, we always want to get the best and safest sunscreen for kids that we can find. With all the stuff in the news, which are the best sunscreens for kids? I always worry about sun safety when the kids and I spend time in the sunshine. I also worry about which sunscreens are the best and safest for our bodies. I’ve spent a lot of time doing research!
When it’s time to lather on the sunscreen, here are some of the safest options you can buy!
How to Find The Best Sunscreen For Kids?
There is so much information about sunscreens out there. Here, I break down some of the best sunscreens available today.The vast majority are zinc oxide sunscreen creams.
These all score a 1 on the EWG.org rating system. Additionally, I checked that list to make sure all the ingredients they rate are 2 or under. I did this because some sunscreens scored a 1, but had ingredients with individual ratings of 3 or even 4. Where applicable, I mentioned if there were any ingredients rated 3 or above for your information. As always, companies reformulate products all the time, so the actual product may vary.
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Safest Sunscreen for Kids Comparison Chart 2018
|Name||Image||Type||Price||Rating||EWG Score (1-10, 1 being best)|
|Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30||Cream, SPF 30||- My personal favorite|
- Some find it too greasy
- It is thick
- Travel size (2.9 oz)
|Kiss My Face Kids Mineral SPF 30 Natural Organic Sunscreen, 3.4 Ounce||Cream, SPF 30||- Thick and the tube needs to be kneaded before applying|
- Very light fragrance
|California Baby Broad Spectrum SPF 30+ Sunscreen||Cream, SPF 30||- Eco friendly ingredients|
- Free of gluten, soy, oats, dairy, and nuts (except coconut)
- Travel size (2.9 oz)
|thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+||Scream, SPF 50||- Non-nano zinc oxide formulation|
- Considered a top choice for sun protection (per the EWG)
- Travel size (3 oz)
|BurnOut SPF 35 KIDS Physical Sunscreen||Cream, SPF 45||- Considered a top choice for sun protection (per the EWG)|
- Hypoallergenic, biodegrable, and ocean-safe
|1 (it does contain one ingredient with a rating of a 3)|
|TruBaby Water & Play Sunscreen, SPF 30+||Cream, SPF 30||- Reef-friendly|
- Sustainably sourced zinc
- Travel size (2 oz)
|Tom's of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30||Lotion, SPF 30||- Fragrance-free|
- Super thick
- Travel size (3 oz)
|Adorable Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+||Stick, SPF 30||- Made with non-nano zinc oxide|
- Water resistant for up to 40 minutes
- Travel size (it's a stick)
Accurate at the time of publication and Blissmersion is not responsible for changes in formulations made by manufacturers.
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
I love this stuff. It works well to keep kids from getting sunburns and it smells awesome. It does leave a little bit of residue, but it isn’t too bad. This is one I’ve used and my preference. Other buyers have said it is too greasy and has to be applied to thickly to be their preference. It’s the nature of the zinc sunscreens to be pretty thick. I think it works well.
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
Another thick option. Others have reported kneading the tube before applying so that the sunscreen comes out in a uniform manner. Like other similar sunscreens, it is greasy. Please note that while it gets a 1 from the EWG on its ingredients, they mention that it provides moderate UVA protection.
California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+
The active ingredient is Titanium Dioxide in this formula. It also boasts being free of the following allergens: gluten, soy, oat, dairy, and nut (except coconut). California Baby also claims their ingredients are eco-friendly and won’t harm marine life when used in the ocean. Additionally, it is supposed to be water resistent up to 80 minutes (with correct application). This is another awesome choice!
thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Thinkbaby Sunscreen is a really great option. As with the vast majority on this list, it’s thick to apply. The company says it’s non-oily, but users report that it feels greasy. One of the best features is that it has a non-nano zinc oxide formulation.
BurnOut Kids Sunscreen, SPF 35
Burnout certainly has some fans. Users report that it goes on easier than other zinc-based sunscreens and washes out of clothing. Additionally, one user said it didn’t burn her or her child’s eyes, as some others have. It is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and ocean-safe.
TruBaby Water & Play Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Trubaby also has a lot of fans who say it rubs into the skin easier than other zinc brands. It’s another top scorer, according to the EWG, and considered an excellent choice for sun protection. Additionally, it is reef-friendly, non-nano, sustainably sourced zinc, and without vitamin A.
Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Parents complain this one is really thick making it difficult to get it out of the tube and absorb into the skin of their wiggly toddlers, even though it’s called a “lotion.” It gets a great review from the EWG, but it may be one of the thicker ones currently on the market, even for zinc products.
Adorable Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
Sometimes, sunscreen sticks work better for certain applications, like faces. If you are going to use a stick sunscreen, be aware that most of us don’t put enough on our kids’ faces. Users like the Adorable Baby Sunscreen Stick because it feels decent once it is on, even though it still is a little tough to apply on wriggly littles. It also rubs in better than most of the natural sunscreens and with a little effort, does not leave white streaks on the skin.
Travel Size Sunscreen
To find travel size (3 oz and under for your carry on), you can hover over the photos to see the size or check out the comparison chart notes. The items that are 3 oz or less are labeled as travel size, since they will be small enough to go through airport security.
Mom Tip: Tinted Sunscreen
Okay moms, this tip is for you. Badger makes a tinted sunscreen. It’s great because it’s tinted and doesn’t appear white on the face. The company says it blends with most skin tones (obviously, with only one color, it’s not going to match everyone). It isn’t going to replace your make up, as it is sunscreen, but it’s nice to spend the day at the beach and not have white streaks on your face!
Tips on Sun Safety For Kids
Reapply the sunscreen often, but don’t rely on sunscreen alone. When you know you’ll be in the sun for several hours, cover up as much skin as possible with rash gaurds or long sleeve t-shirts made from light fabrics, wear hats and sunglasses, and spend time in the shade.
Zinc and Titanium Dioxide sunscreens are usually among the safest options available. They are also thicker and often leave a residue. Make sure you check your tube before use, as expired natural sun creams may lose some of their effectiveness.
Sunscreens may also stain or change the color of clothing and swimsuits.
More Common Sense Sun Safety Tips
When on vacation to the beach or other outside activity, plan to stay indoors or in the shade between the hours of 11 am – 2 pm (the strong is the strongest from 10 am – 3 pm standard and 11 am – 4 pm during daylight savings, so if there is no shade, it’s best to avoid the sun during those hours).
Make sure you have plenty of water available and that everyone is drinking some even while swimming, when you or your child may not feel thirsty.
Even though sunscreens and sunblocks have been in the news for less than stellar reasons, it is still best practice to wear sunscreens while spending time outside to prevent burns. The sunscreens on this list are all excellent options.
What’s your favorite children’s sunscreen?