Best Sunscreen For Kids: Protecting Your Child's Skin

Best Sunscreen For Kids: Protecting Your Child's Skin

Girl applying sunscreen

Sunscreen is absolutely necessary for safeguarding the delicate skin of children. Children's skin is very sensitive, which means it is more likely to be harmed by the sun and irritated by chemicals. It doesn't matter if it's not the summertime and blazing sunshine; kids' sensitive skin needs protection all year round to reduce their risk of skin cancers and skin aging.

Do we need to buy special sunscreen for kids?

The primary function of sunscreen is to protect against painful sunburn as well as the more serious, long-term consequences of excessive sun exposure, such as premature skin aging and an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

It is during childhood that the majority of UV damage happens; therefore, it is of the utmost importance to protect your child's skin from the sun; doing so will benefit them for the rest of their lives!

Sunscreen, regardless of whether it is marketed to children or adults, serves the same purpose. For example, a broad- spectrum protection sunscreen with an SPF of 30 for children will offer the same broad-spectrum protection level as a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 for adults. Most of the time, the active components are the same.

The most significant distinction is that children's sunscreen is developed with extra sensitive skin in mind, meaning that it is less likely to contain substances or harsh chemicals that are prone to causing irritation. Sunscreen that is formulated specifically for use on children may be easier to apply such as spray sunscreen and be more water resistant.

Even while sunscreen is very important for all skin, even darker skin, the majority of specialists agree that taking additional precautions is necessary to protect your child from the harmful effects of the sun. The best sun safety strategies are to seek shade from the sun's harmful rays, wear sun-protective clothing and hats with broad brims, and stay out of direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Kid applying sunscreeen

What to look for in an effective sunscreen for kids and their sensitive skin?


The AAP recommends a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 15, although, for the most effective protection against UV rays, you should be using SPF30 or higher. If it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion, it will block both UVA and UVB rays. There is no evidence to show that SPF50+ is any more beneficial. 

Mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens, which contain active chemicals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are the type of sunscreen that is recommended the most highly for use on children since they have a gentle formula and are much kinder to sensitive skin.

A mineral sunscreen is better than a chemical sunscreen as it also lessens the likelihood of being exposed to potentially harmful chemicals because the minerals sit on top of the skin rather than being absorbed into it.

Type of sunscreen: stick, cream, or spray sunscreen?

Lotions, spray sunscreen, and a sunscreen stick are just some of the different types of sunscreen available. But which one is the best for children with delicate skin? Lotions or creams help ensure uniform coverage on the body, so those are often the best ones. If you want the ease of a sunscreen spray, apply it to one area of the body at a time and rub it in evenly so that you do not miss any areas. This will ensure that no areas are overlooked.

For the face, either a lotion, a cream, or a stick sunscreen is a good option so that small children can get good protection over their nose, ears, and the area that is close to their eyes. 

Water resistance

Sunscreens that are water-resistant and sweat resistant are ideal for children who are running around, in and out of swimming pools and the ocean.

But there is no sunscreen that is completely waterproof, so you have to put it on often.

1. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

This mineral-based sunscreen is an excellent choice for the delicate skin of children. The product protects against UV rays, and it also has oat extract, which protects, soothes, and calms the skin.

This sunscreen lotion for sensitive skin has a sun protection factor of 50 and uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient. It also has the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association (NEA).

2. CeraVe Baby Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen

CeraVe is a brand that comes highly recommended by experts, and its mineral sunscreen for kids earns top marks for being gentle on sensitive skin against the sun's rays.

Hyaluronic acid is one of the active ingredients in this sunscreen. Hyaluronic acid has many benefits, one of which is that it can hold water in the skin cells.

Due to it being fragrance-free and free from other harmful chemicals, this baby sunscreen is a great option for use on young children who have dry skin or who suffer from eczema.

3. Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids

This over-the-counter drugstore sun protection is one of the cheapest in the sunscreen aisle yet provides high amounts of UV protection equivalent to SPF 50, making it an effective   sunscreen.

This budget sunscreen lotion  is fragrance free and does not contain oxybenzone, and it is manufactured with zinc oxide and natural ingredients.

It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and has a broad-spectrum SPF 50, making it a great hypoallergic sunscreen.

A small number of people have expressed their dissatisfaction with the product's formulation, stating that it is either excessively runny or too difficult when applying sunscreen without leaving a whitish film behind.

4. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Stick

It is difficult to hold active children still long enough to effectively apply sunscreen and you can often put not enough or too much sunscreen , so using stick sunscreens can make the process go much more quickly.

This particular product is a mineral sunscreen that completely rubs in without leaving behind a white cast on the skin and is non-greasy to boot.

Because it is fragrance free and is a hypoallergenic formula, this mineral sunscreen is perfect for protecting sensitive skin against the sun's rays.

However, this is a more costly option over spray suncreen and creams.

Baby beach tent

Sun Ninja beach tent

As an additional layer of sun protection for both kids and adults, the Sun Ninja beach tent is brilliant. It is portable and easy to set up, and offers SPF50 protection against the sun's rays that cause skin cancer. Combine this with some of the best sunscreen for kids and protective clothing, and you have more than an adequate physical barrier against sun exposure. Sun Ninja offers a Nano (mini) tent for pets and toddlers, as well as a 4-person, and 8-person beach tent.


Final thoughts

When choosing the best mineral based sunscreen for kids, you will need to take a lot of things into consideration. You want something that is going to protect against harmful UVB rays and offer the best level of sun protection possible. Do your research and try a few out from our list above - and don't forget the Sun Ninja beach tent too!