These Are The Best Sunscreen For Kids (And Coral Reef) According To Top Dermatologists –

These Are The Best Sunscreen For Kids (And Coral Reef) According To Top Dermatologists –


In a nearly endless sea of SPF options, it’s hard to know which sunscreen for kids is truly the best, works well, and won’t get rubbed off on purpose because it feels weird (we’ve all heard that argument in a whiny tone too many times). Plus, it turns out certain mineral-based sunscreens are way better for the environment.

We chatted with Doris Day, MD, board-certified dermatologist, and author of Beyond Beautiful. Day says, “most of the allergens and irritants people are worried about in sunscreens are from added ingredients to make the product smell or look better or from the preservative, not usually from the sunscreen ingredient itself.” Day points out, “the best sunscreen for kids uses physical protection from age six months and onward. Choose formulas that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are often pasty and thick. I don’t recommend the ones that are mincronized to make them more cosmetically appealing. Micronized versions are absorbed into the skin.”

Check out our top picks!

IT’S FRAGRANCE-FREE

There’s no monkey business with this gentle formula, thanks to a relatively short list of mineral-based ingredients and a creamy formula kids won’t mind spreading themselves. Isn’t that really the mark of the best sunscreen for kids, anyway? Getting them to use it without a fight is half the battle.

LET ‘EM PRETEND IT’S “MAKEUP”

best sunscreen for kids, brush on block spf 30

If SHE turns just about everything into a makeup brush, she’ll feel like a YouTube influencer keeping Brush On Block in her camp bag. There’s no greasy mess, sticky residue, or any of the other weird stuff kids tend to complain about with traditional sunscreen formulas, and it still offers kid-safe mineral protection with SPF 30. The future is so here.

HARMFUL RAYS WILL SIT IN TIMEOUT FOR UP TO 40 MINUTES

best sunscreen for kids, blue lizard baby spf 30

You’ll feel good about this reef-safe formula without a drop of oxybenzone or octinoxite in its formula. It’s mineral-based, which means it uses oodles of tiny reflective particles to put harmful rays in a time out while your little one splashes in the water, runs around the playground, or just about anything else that keeps them out of your hair for up to 40 minutes.

OH LOOK, THE WHOLE FAMILY FINALLY AGREES ON SOMETHING

best sunscreen for kids, love sun body spf 30

Age-neutral packaging will make your tween feel about a thousand times more legit than anything labeled “baby” and this face-and-reef-safe formula will impress you enough to use it on yourself. It’s a physical sunscreen that exceeded FDA testing and met even tougher European standards for UVA and UVB protection, so you may want to order a few bottles for your own delicate skin, too. Did we mention it’s water-resistant and non-irritating to eyes? You officially have nothing left to complain about other than ice cream still not counting as a “health food.”

THE ONLY SPRAY VERSION THAT MADE OUR LIST

best sunscreen for kids, babyganics spray

Spray-style sunscreens are appealing to on-the-go kids, athletes, and those who generally stand at the front lines of the battle against messes. Most of the big, popular brands use potentially-dangerous aerosol systems, but this Babyganics version uses a non-aerosol spray. It’s also water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes, formulated with zinc oxide to create a physical shield, fragrance-free, and non-allergenic.

LITERALLY NO EXCUSE LEFT IN THE WORLD TO LEAVE HOME WITHOUT SPF

best sunscreen for kids, neutrogena pure & free baby stick spf 60

It’s water-resistant, hypoallergenic, oil and PABA-free, and actually fits in your purse, carryon bag, or any other place you probably need sunscreen. It’s one of the best sunscreens for kids thanks to its ease of use for even tiny hands and a zinc-based formulation. If they can use a glue stick, they can hold this stick of sunscreen without any issue.

PRETTY SURE THAT’S FRENCH FOR “NOT CRISPY”

best sunscreen for kids, la roche posay dermo

Since kids are at a higher risk of UV-induced sun damage and skin cancer than the rest of us, this reef-safe broad spectum SPF 60 sunscreen is a reliable go-to. It’s also paraben-free and fragrance-free, and boasts thousands of glowing reviews on Amazon.

YOU’RE ALREADY BUYING ORGANIC FRUIT, SO WHY STOP THERE?

best sunscreen for kids, coola baby organic spf 50

There’s a good chance you’ve already got some COOLA sunscreen in your own personal stash, so adding this organic mineral formula with SPF 50 to your diaper bag should feel pretty natural. It’s water-resistant, silky smooth, and farm-to-face sourced. How modern of you, chic hipster parent.

IT’S AN AMAZON CHOICE PRODUCT FOR A REASON (OR MANY)

best sunscreen for kids, made of organic baby spf 30

This SPF 30 cream formula is oxybenzone-free and completely reef safe, partially because you love sea life, but mostly because you’re obsessed with your kids. It also boasts an EWG rating 1, is gluten-free, and biodegradable certified. Yassss, ocean queen, yasss!

DOCS AGREE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING IS BEST FOR BABIES

best sunscreen for kids, coolibar upf 50 baby swimsuit

If your baby is less than six months old, their skin coverage ratio may just be too aggressive to safely use much sunscreen at all — no matter how “safe” the formula. Dr. Day suggests outfitting babies in protective swimwear with high UPF/SPF ratings whenever possible, like this Coolibar number. It’s a great choice for squirmy kids, those prone to skin reactions, and cutting down on all that must-be-checked stuff to pack for your next beach vacation. Plus, is there anything more eco-friendly than reusing the same sun protection? Hardly.

Read More: 

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