Looking for the perfect baby sunscreen? These sunscreens for babies will keep your little one safe from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Babies are… well, delicate. So it's probably not surprising that little ones need special kinds of sun protection when spending time outside. Although experts don't recommend slathering a newborn with sunscreen (instead, shade them from the sun's rays with umbrellas, canopy strollers, and light blankets), it's okay to start using baby-specific sunblock once your child is 6 months old.
But is baby sunscreen really any different than the formulas we use as adults? "Baby sunscreens are generally fragrance free and contain mineral blocker ingredients only, such as zinc oxide," Joshua Zeichner, MD, tells Health. And because applying sunscreen on children can prove to be challenging, Dr. Zeichner also recommends choosing the highest SPF protection available. "While in theory any sunscreen above SPF 30 gives very little additional benefits, in the real we do not apply as much as we should and definitely do not reapply as we are supposed to, so that SPF value gets diluted out."
To make sure you’re prepared, we tapped dermatologists for their recommendations. From natural and waterproof formulas to sun lotions for sensitive skin, we’ve rounded up the safest sun blockers for your little one.
Neutrogena Pure And Free Baby SPF 50
"Many baby sunscreens actually have a similar formula to adult products made for sensitive skin," Dr. Zeichner says. (Which makes total sense, as my twenty-something roommate with acne-prone skin swears by this same Neutrogena sunscreen.) The zinc oxide in the formula provides reliable sun protection and is gentle on sensitive skin.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby SPF 30
Manhattan-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, loves this Aussie sunblock, "because it contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, providing broad spectrum UV protection and is markedly water resistant." Also cool: The bottle cap is designed as an indicator, turning a blue color in harmful UV light.
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Dr. Zeichner votes for this nourishing baby lotion—it's SPF 50 and enriched with colloidal oatmeal, which keeps baby’s delicate skin barrier well hydrated.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Another one of Dr. Jaliman's faves: this non-allergenic, tear-free, mineral sunblock that will protect your child's delicate skin without causing any irritation.
COOLA Mineral Baby SPF 50 Unscented Sunscreen Stick
This adorable tube is a zinc oxide-based stick made with organic ingredients like Shea and coconut oil, and it’s super easy to apply. Dr. Zeichner suggests making "four passes back and forth to apply enough of the product to the skin."
Promise Organic SPF 30 Sunscreen Baby Lotion
Another zinc-based baby lotion, this natural and organic find is made with ingredients like Shea butter and essential oils, qualifying it as gentle enough for baby's skin. And extra points for being waterproof!
All Good SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion
"I love the All Good sunscreens as they are kid-friendly and contain soothing and calming ingredients like chamomile," says Dr. Engelman. This waterproof option is no exception; with a non-nano zinc formula, it contains organic green tea and rose hips to repair damaged skin, plus organic chamomile to sooth sensitive skin. "If you’re going to be in a pool, remember to reapply often as baby’s skin is sensitive," reminds Dr. Engelman.