When it comes to sunscreen for babies, not all products are created the same. So how can you choose the right product for your little one? We asked Dr. Mercy Gonzalez, a pediatric dermatologist based in Miami.
Q: What should we look for when choosing natural sunscreen for babies?
A: Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients; the higher percentage of zinc oxide, the better. Always choose something with an SPF greater than 30, as well as a product that’s water resistant.
Q: How often should we be applying sunscreen to our kids (and ourselves)?
A: I always recommend one good coating on all exposed skin BEFORE leaving the house. Then reapply every two hours while you’re outside.
Q: Are there any major differences in sunscreens for babies vs. standard products for older kids?
A: A lot of the sunscreens that are labeled “baby” are the “physical blockers”—those that contain only zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Otherwise, there’s not much of a difference.
Q: Any other sunscreen tips you recommend?
A: I always tell parents to look for the shortest list of “inactive” ingredients, because it’s usually one of these ingredients that can lead to skin irritation. Also remember that sunscreen is only one small part of sun safety, especially for children. We shouldn’t rely on sunscreen as the sole method of sun protection. I also recommend protective clothing (I love fancy rash guards!), hats, sunglasses, etc.
4 Best Natural Sunscreens for Babies
Dr. Gonzalez recommends the following natural sunscreens for babies, all of which contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
1. Elta MD UV Pure
Elta MD UV Pure has a pure, high-zinc concentration, but rubs in well. It’s especially good for the face, neck and hands, and has an SPF 47.
2. CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen
3. Blue Lizard Baby
Blue Lizard Baby is free of added chemicals, making it especially ideal for little ones with sensitive skin. It is SPF 30.
4. Thinkbaby Sunscreen
Related: 7 Best Sun Hats for Babies 2020
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