best baby sunscreen 2018

2021’s Best Baby Sunscreen for Sweet Summertime

2021’s Best Baby Sunscreen for Sweet Summertime

Did you know that babies have such sensitive skin that they can get a sunburn in as little as 10 minutes?

They say the best protection you can give your baby’s sensitive skin is to avoid sun exposure all together – but seriously, that’s not real life. Babies and toddlers love sand, and they love getting into literally everything, including the water.

But as it turns out, you can’t just slap some of your big-kid sunscreen on your little one, because that’s a fast track to a rash, and the only thing worse than a rashy baby is a sunburnt baby.

So, that’s why “they” invented baby sunscreen.

What Type of Baby Sunscreen is Best?

Here’s what you need to consider when buying a baby sunscreen for your next summer vacation.

Broad-spectrum Coverage: UVA rays can prematurely age your baby’s skin and UVA rays cause damage to the skin leading to sunburns. That’s why we recommend picking a broad spectrum sunscreen that can protect your baby from both types of rays.

Go with natural ingredients: Your child’s skin is too sensitive for some of the harsh chemicals found in conventional sunscreens. If possible, go for mineral based sunscreens that use titanium oxide and zinc oxide to block off the harmful rays of the sun.

A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15:.SPF indicates how effective a particular sunscreen is at preventing sunburns. The higher it is the better. But any sunscreen boasting anything higher than SPF 50+ is falsely advertising according to an FDA law passed back in 2012.

Water-resistance: If you’re going to spend a lot of time in the water during your vacation, this is a more practical buy.

I always carry two different brands with me just in case Poppy develops a reaction to one. But to be safe, always perform a spot test 48 hours before heading out. If your baby develops a rash, try a different product.

Luckily for you, I did the needful and put together this list of 10 of the best go-to baby sunscreens for travel.

Check out our top picks for the best baby sunscreen:

Top 10 Baby Sunscreens in 2019


thinkbaby SPF 50+ sunscreen

Popularity:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

ThinkBaby’s formula won us over with its smooth and easy application. It clears out well and doesn’t feel greasy at all. What we loved, even more, is that it doesn’t skimp on sun protection too. It comes packed with 20% of active zinc oxide to block out harmful sun rays.

Pros

  • Its SPF 50+ offers the highest level of protection for your baby’s delicate skin.
  • An impressive EWG rating of 1. This means ThinkBaby’s sunscreen doesn’t use any biologically harmful ingredients in its formula.
  • PABA free formulation. PABA has been linked to some skin allergies.
  • Up to 80 minutes of water resistance.

Cons

  • If you don’t like products with a fragrance, this isn’t the sunscreen for you.
  • It’s a bit pricey compared to other products in the same category.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen

Popularity:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Made with 100% certified organic ingredients, this mineral-rich sunscreen uses sunflower, cranberry, and black cumin oil to nurture and nourish your baby’s skin. Its non-allergenic formula is tear and fragrance free.

Pros

  • Has a smooth and effortless application.
  • Dermatologically tested and approved for sensitive skin types.
  • It stays on long after application. You don’t have to worry about reapplying every 15 minutes.

Cons

  • It leaves a noticeable white film on your baby’s skin.
  • You might find it too thick if you’re travelling to a very hot/humid location.
 Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Popularity:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Not only is Blue Lizard’s sunscreen chemical free, but paraben-free as well. There is a growing concern that parabens and other nano-sized particles could produce free radicals that eventually lead to disease.

You’ll also love Blue Lizard’s unique packaging that reminds you to cover up. It uses a smart bottle technology that turns pink when harmful UVA rays are detected.

Pros

  • It provides broad-spectrum coverage from harmful UVA/UVB sun rays.
  • I was worried about it being too thick when we tested it but it rubs in quite well.
  • Its zinc oxide and titanium dioxide formulation – the only two active ingredients – is perfect for sensitive baby skin.
  • Another upside of having an ultra-thick sunscreen is that a little goes a long way. You don’t need to reapply as often.

Cons

  • When using this product, expect a white residue that eventually clears out. Though we feel this is a small price to pay for good protection.
  • It’s not water resistant. The Badger baby sunscreen – which is up next on our list – would be a better pick for a summer family vacation where a lot of splashing around is expected.
Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream

Popularity:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Non-Sticky:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Badger’s baby sunscreen is an all-natural and organically certified option that’s worth every penny. It contains no chemicals and is formulated from an organic sunflower oil and beeswax base.

If you don’t like heavily scented sunscreens, you’ll definitely love Badger’s fragrance-free formulation. It does, however, have a mild chamomile and calendula fragrance to it. It’s not overwhelming or anything chemical-based so I didn’t think that will be a deal breaker.

Remember to shake up the tube well before using. Like most natural and organic sunscreens, this product tends to separate in the tube over time.

Pros

  • It’s biodegradable. The ingredients used to formulate Badger’s sunblock break down naturally in the environment without causing much damage.
  • It comes highly recommended by pediatricians.
  • Comes in a travel-friendly and compact 2.9 oz. pack.

Cons

  • If you have a squirmy toddler on your hands, this thick sunblock is messy and hard to apply.
  • Unlike other sunscreens that stay on for up to 80 minutes during water activities, Badger’s sunscreen will only last for 40 minutes.
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen

Popularity:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Superior broad spectrum protection doesn’t get better than this naturally sourced 100% zinc oxide formulation from Neutrogena.

While Neutrogena’s sunscreen doesn’t contain as many organic ingredients as other sunscreens we tested, its hypoallergenic formula has been dermatologically approved for sensitive baby skin.

The brand’s patented purescreen technology claims to protect your baby from harmful UVA/UVB rays by absorbing, reflecting, and scattering these sun rays as opposed to absorbing and dissipating them.

Pros

  • Tear free formula. It won’t sting your baby’s eyes if some of it accidentally gets in.
  • Specifically formulated for sensitive baby skin.
  • It’s water resistant up to 80 minutes.
  • The thin texture makes it easy to rub in.
  • pro text here.

Cons

  • It leaves a faint white streak on your baby’s clothing.
  • Although it’s easy to rub in, I wasn’t as excited with Neutrogena’s greasy residue on Poppy’s skin.
  • con text here.
  • con text here.
  • con text here.
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion

Popularity:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:3.3 out of 5 stars (3.3 / 5)

Aveeno’s patented active photobarrier complex maintains a broad spectrum protection by using skin-soothing colloidal oatmeal in its formula. Apart from that, I didn’t find another reason to justify the high price.

The Aveeno sunscreen is a pricier alternative to other water resistant and broad spectrum sunscreens on this list.

Pros

  • Continuous protection with SPF 55+ provides long lasting protection from harmful sun rays.
  • The oatmeal used in Aveeno’s sunscreen has unique hydrating properties to keep your baby’s skin soft and naturally looking.
  • Mild fragrance and non-greasy.
  • It’s sweat and water resistant up to 80 minutes.

Cons

  • It has a tendency to clump up or flake out after application.
  • Not tear free.
  • Pricey.
California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen

Popularity:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Price:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Average:2.8 out of 5 stars (2.8 / 5)

California baby uses natural and organically-sourced ingredients in its sunscreen formula. But for a product that is not organically certified – a product has to be at least 95% organic to get this accreditation – I didn’t find the California Baby sunscreen worth the splurge.

But to prop it up a bit, it’s the only titanium dioxide based sunscreen that made it to our list of top 10 sunscreens. This is great news if your kiddo is allergic to zinc oxide – an active ingredient in most baby sunscreens.

Pros

  • It’s tear free making it perfect for both face and body use.
  • It claims a non-staining formula has been used to make the sunscreen.
  • Comes highly recommended for babies with fragrance intolerance or chemical sensitivities.

Cons

  • It leaves the skin with a noticeable pale white look.
  • The price is more on the higher end.
BurnOut SPF 35 Kids Broad Spectrum

Popularity:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Price:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Average:2.8 out of 5 stars (2.8 / 5)

This compact sunscreen tube is another handy sunblock for a summer vacation. It’s rich in antioxidants and extracts of Helionori, Pomegranate, and Plantain has been used to enrich and nourish your baby’s skin.

Like most natural baby sunscreens, BurnOut is thick and takes some time to clear out after application.

Pros

  • With an excellent EWG rating of 1, It’s not harmful to babies.
  • There’s no white residue left after application.
  • Easy to wash off at the end of the day.

Cons

  • Not water resistant like most sunscreens on our list.
  • Their new sunscreen formula is not sitting well with many parents.
Babo Botanicals SPF 30

Popularity:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Price:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Average:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

An all-natural sunscreen made without the use of chemicals. I found this an “okay” buy. Not the greatest option but not too bad either. They’ve used certified organic oils including jojoba to help moisturize and protect your baby’s skin when out in the sun.

Pros

  • No synthetic fragrances have been added to the sunscreen.
  • It’s good perfect for the whole family. Babies, older kids, and adults too.

Cons

  • Look out for staining on your baby's clothes.
  • A bit pricey.
Goddess Garden Organics Kids SPF 30

Popularity:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Sun Protection:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Non-Sticky:2 out of 5 stars (2.0 / 5)
Price:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Average:2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

A fragrance free mix of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide has been used to physically block the harmful rays of the sun from penetrating your baby’s skin.

Going with an economical option like Garden’s sunscreen has its fair share of drawbacks. Having to deal with a messy spread during application is just one of them.

Pros

  • Only natural ingredients have been used in its formula.
  • You’ll definitely love the subtle fruity smell.

Cons

  • You’ll need to reapply the sunscreen after every 40 minutes if your baby is getting into the water.
  • Not travel-friendly. It only comes in a bulky 6-ounce tube.

All the above sunscreens are mineral-based and have a good EWG rating – Environment Working Group is an NGO that helps to protect families from harmful chemicals found in everyday products. All of them should, therefore, work well for you and your family too.

Rather than worrying about how much time your baby has been frolicking in the sand, a baby sunscreen will help you relax and worry less.

And when you stop worrying, summer becomes exciting and fun for everybody.

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