When it comes to protecting our kids from anything and everything, there’s nothing we wouldn’t do. From child-proofing every corner of the house to researching the safest car seat ever invented. But have you considered sun protection?
When it comes to babies and young kids, sun care is not only essential, but different depending on their age. If you find yourself wondering “can babies wear sunscreen?” or “what kind of sunscreen should I use?”, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve got you covered with 6 top dermatologist-recommended tips for keeping your little ones safe and protected.
WHEN CAN BABIES USE SUNSCREEN?
For babies less than 6 months, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends no sun exposure at all. This is because their skin is still developing the melanin needed to protect itself and is therefore extra sensitive. If you plan to be outside, the best safeguards against the sun are setting up a shade structure or dressing them in sun-protective clothing.
For babies and kids over 6 months, it’s recommended to wear SPF 15 on a daily basis and SPF 30 when spending time outdoors. Make sure to impress the importance of reapplying every 2 hours, especially when swimming. Most importantly, make sure you’re choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen for maximum protection from both UVA and UVB rays!
USE SPF CLOTHING WHEN SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS
The more skin you can cover with clothing the better! Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long sleeves, full-body swimsuits, and rash guards with UPF are the best. Any skin that’s left exposed should be covered by shade and/or sunscreen.
USE A SUNSCREEN THAT IS KID-SAFE AND KID-APPROVED
We all remember the days when our parents would roughly slather on that thick, unspreadable sunscreen that felt greasy all over. Thankfully, those days are gone! Today’s kid sunscreens are much more advanced with creamy formulas that feel good, spread easily, are kid-safe and good for the environment.
For you, the parent, choosing a kid-safe sunscreen means it has broad-spectrum protection, at least SPF 30, a mineral formula that won’t sting their eyes, and is safe for all skin types - even the most sensitive, acne- or rosacea-prone skin.
For your kids, that means a sunscreen that has no sticky icky feel, unpleasant sunscreen smell or white cast, and feels creamy and good on the skin.
Our favorite is, of course, KidCreme. Let’s see how it fares:
- SPF 50
- Safe for all skin types
- Creamy, silky-smooth feel that’s easy to apply
- Made with non-Nano Zinc oxide for effortless blending and no white cast
- Bonus! It’s also cruelty-free and reef-safe, which means it’s made without damaging ingredients like Oxybenzone and Octinoxate
Say it with us: No more “sunscream” days! Check out this blog on more tips for choosing the right sunscreen for kids.
LET THEM GET INVOLVED IN SUN PROTECTION
Like we said, good habits start young! Once they’re old enough, let them get involved in their own sun protection and apply it themselves. If using a mineral sunscreen, make sure they shake well before applying. If using a chemical sunscreen, make sure they apply at least 15 minutes before sun exposure so it has enough time to absorb into the skin.
To learn more about the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens, check out this blog.
For an easy application that leaves no mess and is kid-safe, we love KidStick. Gentle, unscented and water-resistant, this grab-and-go stick glides on smoothly, quickly and easily, and has broad-spectrum protection.
WHEN IN A RUSH, USE A SPRAY
If you’re really crunched for time, it’s better to use any sunscreen than no sunscreen at all. In these cases, we recommend using a spray. Just beware that these don’t often apply evenly and may require you to rub them in for better protection.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS CHOOSE WATER-RESISTANT
This is key to avoiding painful sunburns for your kids, especially if they’re swimming or sweating for long-periods of time outside. Both our KidCreme and KidStick are water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Teaching your kids healthy sun protection habits early is not only a good idea, but beneficial in the long run. Less painful sunburns as a kid and as they grow up means less chance of dealing with premature skin-aging and skin cancer later in life.
Thankfully, both our kid sunscreens are top rated by the Environmental Working Group with a 1 rating, which means they provide the highest level of protection for your little ones for fun in the sun all summer long!