We know the sun is our skin’s number-one enemy, no matter the ailment—acne, eczema, dryness, you name it. Without a proper sunscreen in our daily skincare routine, skin is subject to unforgiving UVA and UVB rays, and the purpose of many other skin products becomes moot.
If an adult skin is so susceptible to the sun without sunscreen, imagine the vulnerability of your baby’s skin! An effective and safe sunscreen is key to protecting your baby from the harsh effects of the sun, but as a parent, you’re always hyper-aware of every chemical and substance that may cause harm. What will protect your baby from the sun without sacrificing the safety of its ingredients?
If your baby is under six months old, do not use sunscreen. Very young babies should be kept out of direct sunlight or covered with a hat and sunglasses because these children are especially sensitive to the ingredients of sunscreen, no matter the ingredients.
However, if your baby is over six months old, you should be applying sunscreen that is at least SPF 15 to protect that especially sensitive skin. A sunburn is so dangerous to little ones that it may double the risk of melanoma later in life. Juggling all these risks is often overwhelming for parents, so we’ve prepared five picks that are safe, effective, and non-toxic to babies.
5 Best Non-Toxic Sunscreen for Babies
1. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
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Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen comes in at one of the most inexpensive yet safest picks for baby sunblock. The Environmental Working Group, an organization that advocates awareness of the environment and the safety of the products we use, has listed this sunscreen in its annual “safe sunscreen” list since 2010.
Why so well-rated? Thinkbaby is powerful at SPF 50 and with zinc oxide, a mineral ingredient, rather than a chemical-based ingredient Ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical blockers of the sun that won’t absorb into your baby’s skin. Chemical ingredients like artificial scents and BPAs can irritate your baby’s sensitive system because they seep into the skin rather than lay on top of it.
Thinkbaby Baby Sunscreen is also free of oxybenzone, an ingredient the EWG has classified as dangerous for both humans and the environment. This ingredient may cause allergies later in life, and has been known to cause coral reef death. No parent wants something like that near their child!
This sunscreen is also water-resistant, easy to apply, paraben-free, and the very first sunscreen to pass the strict Whole Foods Premium Care requirements.
2. Badger All Natural, Organic Baby Sunscreen
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The W.S. Badger Company is a family-owned, USA based company dedicated to providing organic and well-made products for people of all ages. Its sunscreen is no different and goes the extra mile to provide a 100% organic and pleasant sunscreen experience for you and your baby.
Badger has many variations of baby, kids, and adult sunscreen in multiple scents, but its baby variation boasts SPF 30, zero chemicals and BPAs, and nourishing ingredients like Vitamin E, beeswax and sunflower oil for a moisturizing finish. It’s also made with non-GMO ingredients and the EWG’s highest rated sunscreen for safety.
While some parents say it’s a greasier sunscreen than most big brand sunscreens, it means it’s extra-water resistant. Plus, a little grease is a small price to pay for an absolute lack of harmful chemicals!
3. Blue Lizard Baby Sunscreen
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This sunscreen is a particular favorite of parents because of a unique and fun feature: the bottle turns pink when hit by UV light, so you’ll always know when it’s time to apply another layer to your little one!
This sunblock contains all physical ingredients (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide), comes pediatrician recommended for 20+ years, and comes in at a powerful SPF 40. Because it’s an Australian-based product, the company boasts it can stand up to the harshest rays anywhere on Earth. Despite this, it is gentle and safe for everyday use. Even parents may catch themselves using a bit on themselves!
This formula comes in a smaller 3 oz. set for easy diaper-bag transportation to the pool or beach, and bigger 8.5 oz sizes to keep in stock for the summer!
4. Coola Mineral Baby Organic Sunscreen Stick
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Have a particularly fussy baby that won’t sit still long for a sunscreen slathering? Coola’s stick formula is your solution. While it’s a little pricier at $26 dollars, Coola boasts 100% organic ingredients and claims it is specially designed for your baby’s sensitive skin. In fact, this stick can be applied all over a baby’s body and face without a problem and isn’t hard to rub in.
Its water resistance is the highest on this list with a whopping 80-minute limit, and like all other products on this list, only uses mineral-based ingredients that won’t be absorbed by your baby’s skin. However, unlike other mineral sunscreens, parents claim this product won’t whiten your baby’s face and will easily run into the skin.
5. Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
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While last on our list, the Bear Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion has one of the highest customer ratings of all the products we listed. It has SPF 50, a reasonable price point at $15, and purely plant-derived ingredients. It’s free of any synthetic chemicals, including fragrances, for extra protection for the extra sensitive skin.
This formula also comes in stick form for little ones that just won’t sit still. Parents say it’s a little thicker than some formulas, in both lotion and stick form, but provides protection that’s worth the hassle of rubbing sunblock in thoroughly.
The fight for healthy and effective products for our little ones is never truly over. When it comes to sunscreen for babies, make sure you pick up a mineral-based, chemical-free, and at least SPF 15 strength sunblock to make sure a trip to the beach stays a relaxing, sunburn-free experience!