what is the best sunscreen for kids

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Kids – Detailed Answer

If you have kids and live in a place that tends to get a lot of sunshine, you may want to be mindful of their exposure to the sun. But how do you do this, knowing kids will be kids and you can’t exactly keep them away from the outdoors? This is one main reason why we aim to answer the question – what is the best sunscreen for kids?

what is the best sunscreen for kids
Photo Credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr.cm (under licence)

The sun indeed provides vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin for growing children. But what amount of sun is enough for a child? And what amount gives enough vitamin D for each day? It may be best to just feed them foods rich in that vitamin instead of risking too much exposure to the sun.

What is the Best Sunscreen for Kids?

The best sunscreen for kids is the mineral/physical sunscreen. This sunscreen must contain zinc oxide and titanium. The sun protection factor of kids’ sunscreen should be SPF 30 and above for maximum protection. Kids’ sunscreen should be mild, fragrance-free, water-resistant, and broad-spectrum type which has high protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If the kids have to go out, then use the right sunscreen. Some sunscreens are superb for adults and kids, but there are specific sunscreens meant for kids. So when choosing a sunscreen for kids, a mild sunscreen will be most preferable.

Sunscreens for kids are creams and other products that help protect the kids from the direct rays of the sun which can be harmful.

It is a known fact that kids need sunscreen more than adults do. This is because a child that sustains sunburn can be more prone to developing cancer of the skin.

When Is Sunscreen for Babies Recommended?

Sunscreen for babies is recommended only after a baby is six months. At that tender age, their skin is overly sensitive. The melanin that should help resist the sun’s harshness is not strong enough at this time and it can be harmful to them.

Having them exposed to the sun can easily damage the skin cells. If you must go out in sunny weather with your baby, then you could have all their body parts protected.

Lightweight clothes are best for them so that they don’t get uncomfortable with the heat. You may want to add extra protection from the rays by using an umbrella.

What Are Those Things to Look Out for When Buying Kids’ Sunscreen?

The things you need to look out for when buying kids’ sunscreen are:

1. High SPF

2. Water-Resistance

3. Broad-Spectrum Type

4. Fragrance-Free

High SPF

What is SPF and How Does it Help the Skin?

SPF is the sun protection factor. It determines the measure of resistance that can be guaranteed so the skin can stay protected from sunburn whenever sunscreen is applied to the body.

For your kids, ensure that you buy a sunscreen that has SPF 30 and above to protect open areas of the body from damage.

Some contain as much as SPF 50. It is usually written on the packaging.

Buy this sunscreen on Amazon

Water-resistant in Nature

Why Should Kids’ Sunscreen Have Water-Resistance?

Kids’ sunscreen should have water-resistance because when they sweat, there is a huge chance the sunscreen will slide off with the sweat. If sunscreen does not have water-resistance, kids may risk being exposed if they encounter water or sweat a lot.

Water-resistant sunscreen should be applied when they may be exposed to water. The sunscreen can be effective for 80 minutes while they are exposed to water.

To maintain protection, sunscreen should be reapplied all over the body. 


What Function Does Broad-Spectrum Perform?

Broad-spectrum sunscreen performs the function of ensuring adequate protection. It must have high protection against UVA and UVB rays.


Why Are Kids’ Sunscreens Mostly Fragrance-Free?

Kids’ sunscreen is mostly fragrance-free to reduce discomfort for them. This shouldn’t feel any different from their daily body creams so it can be convenient.

When choosing a sunscreen product for your kids next time you go to the stores, endeavor to consider the aforementioned factors.

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Kids’ Faces?

The best sunscreen for the kids’ face is the mineral/physical sunscreen.

Mineral / physical sunscreen is better for the kids’ face because of the sensitive and mild skin that they have. It can be applied to a kid’s body as well as the face. Most kids’ sunscreen is made without fragrance and has a natural waterproof formula.

Mineral sunscreen for the kids’ face should have active properties of sun protection than the ones for other parts of the body. The face is one of the most delicate parts of the body so is more prone to the danger from the sun.

Kids may not be comfortable with applying sunscreen. If they refuse to apply it, you may have to improvise ways to do this.

For toddlers, you may have to spark their excitement to wear sunscreen. Some physical sunscreen can be the perfect idea for the kids. The physical sunscreen packaged with glitters could be one that your toddler would accept.

For more mature kids and teens who are old enough to apply sunscreen, it would be your duty as a parent to teach them the essence of having this skin protection. When they can see the importance, having them wear sunscreen would not be a struggle.

Teenagers can also use sunscreen for adults since their skin is not as fragile as that of younger kids. At this point, when most of them begin to experience growth and skin reacts to various allergies, the mineral sunscreen contains enough nutrients.

What Types of Sunscreen Should be Used for Special Areas of the Body?

The types of sunscreen to be used for the special areas of the body are:

1.Sunscreen Gels

2.Stick Sunscreen

3.Spray Sunscreen

Sunscreen Gels

Where Are the Sunscreen Gels Suited For?

The sunscreen gels are most suited for the area that is covered with hair, like the scalp. The gels are perfect to lay the edges of the hair and could be used instead of the regular gel.

Stick Sunscreen

How is the Stick Sunscreen and Where Can it be Applied?

The stick sunscreen types come in the form of sticks. They have slanted tips which make applying them to specific areas easy. They can conveniently be applied to the region around the eye without entering the eyes

For children of older ages, this type may work. It has tips that would make applying sunscreen to spots around the face easy. 

Spray Sunscreen

Is the Spray Sunscreen Faster in Covering Areas of the Body?

The spray sunscreen is faster and easier in covering the areas of the body but doesn’t cover all the open areas of the body covered by the lotion sunscreen.

This is because some parts of the body may not receive the amount adequate to cover the skin, leaving it exposed to the UVA and UVB rays. 

You want to have all the areas of the kids’ body covered and this may not be possible using the spray type. The spray method is not advisable for kids because there is a possibility that the spray will enter the eyes of your kids. It is better to avoid the spray sunscreen by not using it at all.

Here are some other interesting articles on sunscreen:

Video: Choosing the Right Sunscreen for your Kids

This video shows you how to choose the right sunscreen for your baby or kids and the type you may want to go for.


The experts have recommended mineral sunscreen and physical sunscreen as better options for kids. The ones that contain zinc oxide and titanium are the best ones to look for.

Everyone needs sunscreen to stay protected. Choose the right sunscreen product that guarantees safety for your kids.

What Is the Best Sunscreen for Kids– Related FAQs

Can I Make My Own Sunscreen?

You can make your own sunscreen. To make sunscreen, you need the following:

1.1/4 cup coconut oil (SPF of seven)

2. 2 tbsp Zinc oxide (powdered) 

3. Some Aloe gel

4. Oil from Walnut (serves as perfume, improves SPF) about 24-25 cups

5. Shea butter (A cup – 1/2 a cut)

To make your sunscreen, follow the instructions below:

1. Dissolve the coconut oil, walnut oil, and shea butter in a pan at moderate heat.

2. Allow the mixture to chill, then pour the aloe gel into the mixture and mix properly.

3. Whisk the mixture very well to blend in the zinc oxide.

5. Pour into a vessel and allow cooling in a ventilated place.

Buy Swanson Walnut Oil Cold Pressed on Amazon

Can I use Baby Sunscreen on Myself?

You can use baby sunscreen because some sunscreens are produced to serve the needs of both babies and adults. This special sunscreen contains effective ingredients that shield both baby’s and adult’s skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

The baby’s sunscreen is physical or mineral and not chemical-based like the adult’s. Another exciting factor here is that the baby’s sunscreen is made up of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which are the powerful ingredients that shield the skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Can I Sleep with Sunscreen on My Face?

You don’t have to sleep with sunscreen on your face. Your sunscreen at this moment may not be functioning to the highest degree, but it does you a lot of good when you wash it off before retiring for the night. Though you cannot see it, there are still traces of your sunscreen remaining on your face. You must wash your face as the night draws close.

To improve your skin’s texture, your face should be scrubbed and balanced at the end of each day. This helps to remove oil, sunscreen, makeup, and other dirt on your face. This practice helps to open up your pores and prepares your skin to replenish itself.

Does Sunscreen Prevent You From Getting Darker?

Sunscreen prevents you from getting darker by slowing down how fast you tan. Sunscreen won’t stop you from darkening. All the same, getting darker under the sun, which is known as tanning, results when the sunscreen works to shade your skin from the sun and equally protect you from sunburn. 

The work of sunscreen is very specific — purifying ultraviolet rays and shielding us from sunburn. You need to know that sunscreen does not stop melanin production so your skin will still tan with your sunscreen.

How Do I Choose a Sunscreen?

You choose your sunscreen based on FDA regulations and guidelines. Some of these guidelines are:

1. Select sunscreen that offers “broad spectrum” immunity. This protects against UVB and UVA rays. Products that protect but do not come as broad-spectrum can only shield against sunburn.

2. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) thirty or greater. This determines the quantity of safeguard that the sunscreen supplies in order to drain UVB rays. However, no sunscreen provides total protection.

3. Procure a sunscreen that is water-resistant and not waterproof. Your sunscreen wears off and washes away when you sweat or swim. Ensure you rub more after those activities.

Does Sunscreen Stop Working After 2 Hours?

A sunscreen’s SPF (sun protection factor) becomes active for two hours after you put it on. Therefore, you need to leave the house with a bottle of your sunscreen (SPF30-SPF50). Having it with you allows you to apply some more when you sweat or swim, and possibly when the rain falls and washes off the sunscreen. 

It is a possibility that you can still tan with your sunscreen on, though Sun Protection Factor (SPF) stops the dangerous UVB rays from getting to you. However, it does not stop the UVA rays from getting to your skin and giving it the needed color.

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