How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Kids

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Choosing the Best Sunscreen for Kids is important regardless if you are playing at the beach or skiing down the slopes with your kids. 

The reason for this is because the sun’s rays don’t change when it’s hot or cold. The UV rays still can cause sunburn and create sun damage which over time can cause longterm skin problems for your kids. Knowing how to choose the right sunscreen for your kids is important to protect them from the sun. 

How do you protect your kids from the sun?

According to the Mayo Clinic, these are some ways you can protect your kids from the sun.

  • Avoid the sun during the sun’s peak hours
  • Wear protective clothing such as UVB shirts, hats, shorts, bathing suits, cover-ups)
  • Use a sunscreen which is at least 30 SPF rating
  • Choose shade if available

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This factor is a measurement for how long a sunscreen will protect you from harmful Ultra Violet (UV) B rays which cause sunburns and sun damage. 

Related: The Best Family Travel Ideas and Destinations

What is the best sunscreen for Kids 

Best Sunscreen for Kids

Water-resistant sunscreen

When choosing the best sunscreen for kids, you want to make sure that it is water-resistant or waterproof. 

Water-resistant sunscreen means the sun protection factor will keep working while in water (for a certain amount of time – the amount of time is dependent on the formula and product). 

This is the kind of sunscreen you want to use if you are swimming in a lake, pool, sea, or ocean. It’s also handy for a waterpark day visit. Water-resistant sunscreen for kids is also beneficial for sports when they will be sweating outside.

Keep in mind sunscreen is not a one-and-done activity. You need to reapply throughout the day according to the instructions on the sunscreen. 

Sensitive skin sunscreen

If your child has sensitive skin you may want to opt for a special formula of sunscreen to protect their skin from harmful UVB rays. Not only are there sensitive skin sunscreens but there are organic and non-organic as well. 

Why do organic and non-organic sunscreens matter? Because if your child has a specific sensitivity to specific ingredients you can search for a sunscreen that does not have that included in the formula. The last thing you want after a great day on the beach is a skin rash from sunscreen! So choose a product that best suits your child’s skincare needs. 

Best Sunscreen for Kids

Best Sunscreen for Kids – prices

When it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for kids don’t let the price decide on the quality and protection level. 

Some people make the mistake of buying the most expensive one thinking it is the best when it actually does not hold up well in sunscreen testing. 

You want to do your research from a reliable website, talk with your doctor, or speak with the pharmacist to help choose the sunscreen that is right for your kids.

You might even discover that you need different sunscreen products for different members of your family depending on their skin type.

Tips for Using Sunscreen

  • Apply before you go out in the sun
  • Reapply every two hours 
  • Don’t forget your lips. Sunscreen lip balms are available. 
  • Put on face, neck, arms, legs, feet and other exposed skin areas
  • Make sure every member of your family is wearing sunscreen
  • Note the time (or put a timer/alarm on your phone) to remind you to reapply
  • Don’t want to take the big bottle of sunscreen with you to the beach? Pour some in a travel size container.

Sun Protection Warnings:

Best Sunscreen for Kids
  1. Sunscreens have expiry dates. Check your sunscreen stockpile at the beginning of each season and discard the ones which have expired. 
  2. Don’t leave sunscreen in hot vehicles.
  3. Some sunscreens have cosmetics included in the ingredient listings (tint, moisturizer). 
  4. Babies under 6 months of age should have limited sun exposure rather than sunscreen on their skin. Try to keep them indoors, in the shade, or in protective clothing.
  5. Some elements reflect sunlight. Examples: water, snow, and sand. Be mindful of your sun exposure when you are swimming, sledding or building sandcastles. 
  6. You can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. So if you are out…you still need sun protection.
  7. Sun strokes and other ailments can happen with prolonged, unprotected, sun exposure. Here are some tips from travel experts (who are also parents) on What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick While Traveling.

Which is type of sunscreen is better?

Best Sunscreen for Kids

Choosing between a spray or a lotion isn’t as important as choosing which SPF is correct for you (and experts recommend a minimum 30).  Here is the low-down on the various types of sunscreen products…

  • Lotion: easy to apply. Great for large areas like back, arms, and legs. Generally, the more preferred sunscreen.
  • Creams: easy to apply. Sometimes has added moisturizer in it for dry skin.
  • Gel: easy to apply. May feel sticky. 
  • Stick: easy to apply to small areas (face, neck). Very portable. Usually non-greasy.
  • Spray: easy to apply. Wind direction can affect the application. 
  • Balm: easy to apply. Lip balm sunscreen is the most popular.


Despite using sunscreen as directed please remember to drink water when you are out in the sun so that your body can hydrate. Not only will this keep your skin health but it will also keep your energy levels up (and leave you feeling refreshed). 

Having the best sunscreen for kids is important as it protects them and also enables the kids to have fun while outside. No one likes a sunburn. This is why you should pack sun protection for every vacation such as sun hats, sunglasses, sun lotion, protective clothing don’t take a lot of room in a suitcase but can make a big impact on your trip. The best family memories are made when you organize a day out. Make the memory be about the day and not about the burn. 

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