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
Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
COOLA Mineral Baby SPF 50 Unscented Sunscreen Stick
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen SPF 60
Formulated with antioxidants and vitamin E, this gentle sunscreen for babies protects against free radicals, while SPF 60 shields UVA and UVB rays. Dermatologist-tested, it's created without parabens, oil, or fragrance, making it ideal for even the most sensitive skin types.
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.
Hello Bello Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Founded by beloved Hollywood couple (and parents) Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, this reef-friendly baby sunscreen is packed with moisturizing and soothing ingredients like shea butter, organic coconut oil, green tea, avocado, cucumber extracts, and more—so it's safe for even the most sensitive skin, says Dr. Zeichner. Plus, since it’s a mineral-based formula, it’ll reflect UV radiation and is less likely to irritate delicate baby skin, adds Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York-based dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.