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Choosing the best non toxic sunscreen for babies can be a daunting task. There are so many different sunscreens on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your child.
If you are looking for the best natural sunscreen for babies, read on to see some top picks from the EWG along with my favorites I have been using on my babies – and myself – for years.
The EWG (Enviromental Working Group)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great resource when it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for your baby. Each year they release a report with top rated sunscreens. You can use their sunscreen guide to help you choose the best sunscreen for your baby.
The report includes a list of the safest and most effective sunscreens, as well as a list of the sunscreens that are not recommended. They rate sunscreens on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst.
They take into consideration things like whether or not the sunscreen is water resistant, if it contains oxybenzone (a harmful chemical that can be absorbed into the skin), and if it has any other harmful chemicals.
The EWG does not get paid to endorse any products, so you can be sure the rating is accurate and has your baby's best interest in mind.
How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for your Baby
If you are looking for a sunscreen for your baby, it is important to choose one that is non-toxic and free of harmful chemicals. The EWG has evaluated over 1,000 sunscreens and found that many of them contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into the skin.
The best sunscreens for babies are those that are free of toxic chemicals and provide adequate protection from the sun. The EWG recommends that parents look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these ingredients provide the best protection from the sun.
When choosing a sunscreen for your baby, it is also important to consider the SPF rating. The higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen will provide.
However, it is important to remember that no sunscreen can provide 100% protection from the sun, so it is still important to take other precautions such as wearing protective clothing and staying in the shade.
The Benefits of Using Natural Sunscreens
Conventional sunscreens are loaded with toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your child. Avoid sunscreens that contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals can be absorbed into the skin and can disrupt hormones, cause skin irritation, and increase the risk of cancer.
Not to be all doom and gloom, but it is important to choose a sunscreen that is free of these harmful chemicals when considering your babies delicate skin.
Natural sunscreens contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are ingredients that create a barrier between skin and the sun. Instead of absorbing into the skin, these ingredients essentially sit on top. Most take a little extra time to rub in, (and remove,) but you can usually get most all of the “white” to fade away.
Ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are less likely to irritate baby's delicate skin and they don’t contain any of those harmful chemicals mentioned earlier.
Sunscreen Tips for Babies
Applying sunscreen to a squirmy baby isn't always fun. Here are a few tips to help the process.
- You should put sunscreen on your baby's skin before they go outside or before you take your baby to the beach
- Sunscreen sticks give you more control while applying – especially on the face
- Don't forget to apply sunscreen to baby's ears, top of feet and the back of their neck
- Be sure to apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours or more often if your baby is swimming or sweating
- If clothes or hats are keeping them shaded, you don't need to apply sunscreen in those areas
- Dress baby in clothes covering their arms and legs or a rash guard style bathing suit. This will protect them from the sun without the need to apply sunscreen.
The Best Non Toxic Sunscreen for Babies
If you’re looking for a safe, natural sunscreen for your baby, here are a few of my favorites specifically for babies that are rated well with the EWG. Due to how safe and effective these are, we do continue to use these past the baby stage and even for adults!
Best Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick
EWG Rating: 1
I'm not even sure what I did before sunscreen face sticks for babies.
Earth Mama Organics Baby Face Sunscreen stick is the smoothest mineral sunscreen stick. It has an almost creamy consistency so it is a breeze to apply. Baby Face uses 22% zinc oxide which goes on thick, (creating that physical barrier,) and stays put for the day. I rarely need to reapply to my big kids who swim all day.
For baby, I just use this stick on her whole body. It's quick, easy and I know it is the safest sunscreen for babies on the market. With SPF 40, she is well protected from the suns rays.
I also use the mama version of this sunscreen stick – Lady Face, which is tinted in two different shades.
Best Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Babies
EWG Rating: 1
This was the first sunscreen I used on my first baby. It was safe 7 years ago, and it is still topping the EWG's list of the best non toxic sunscreen for babies.
We love the texture of this sunscreen lotion. It glides on super smooth, you won't be able to tell it's a mineral sunscreen. It contains 22.5% zinc oxide and other soothing ingredients like sunflower seed oil, jojaba oil and vitamin E. It's one of the few on the list that is rated a 1 and has a higher SPF of 40.
Best Drugstore Baby Sunscreen
EWG Rating: 2
While it may be difficult to quickly run in a store and grab a safe sunscreen for your baby, it's getting easier. I was happy to see Cerave Baby Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen Lotion made EWG's list of top sunscreens in 2022.
Although it has some additional ingredients, it's active ingredients are 11.3% zinc oxide and 7.4% titanium dioxide. With a rating of 2, and a higher SPF protection of 45, it's a great choice from a mainstream brand.
Best Sunscreen for Babies with Eczema
Earth Mama Organics Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
EWG Rating: 1
Earth Mama Organics also makes a Kids Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion which is also SPF 40. It's top ingredients include organic colloidal oatmeal and organic shea butter to keep even the most sensitive skin types soothed.
If you have extra sensitive skin or suspect you may have passed that trait to your baby, be sure to start with a super sensitive sunscreen.
Best Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 50+ for Baby
EWG Rating: 2
With 20% zinc oxide, and an EWG rating of 2, this is one of the few 50+ SPF sunscreens on the list. Looking at the ingredient list, almost all of them are rated 1 or super low impact.
This popular lotion comes in both a 3oz and 6oz size. I have seen this brand at Target in the past if you want to grab it in store. Take advantage of this higher sun protection and decent price tag.
You Can Choose the Best Natural Sunscreen for Your Baby
As any parent knows, sunscreen is an essential part of protecting your baby from the harmful effects of the sun. With so many options on the market claiming to be safe for babies, it can be hard to know which sunscreen is best.
You can help ensure that your baby stays safe and protected from the sun's harmful rays by choosing one with safer ingredients. If you are unsure, consult EWG.org and find one that fits your family's price, availability and SPF protection.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sunscreen for babies?
The best sunscreen for babies includes a safe main ingredient like zinc oxide. You can find many options on this safe sunscreen list provided by the Environmental Working Group.
Can I put sunscreen on my 2 month old?
The AAP recommends waiting until 6 months to apply sunscreen to babies. However, if your younger baby is in the sun and not protected by clothing, using a non toxic sunscreen is best to keep babies skin protected.