Unless you have been stuck under a rock, you know the heat, and sun is here… and here to stay. This means it is time to whip out the sunscreen and protect your babies. Make sure you’re putting it on yourself too! Babies’ skin is thinner and more sensitive than that of adults. Aside from wanting to protect your baby from the negative long term effects of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure such as skin cancer, you should also be concerned about sunburn. You would not want your baby to deal with that pain, and you do not want to deal with a suffering baby.

Here is a list of the 5 least toxic and most effective sunblock for babies according to research by The Environmental Working Group:

1. Soleo/Atlantis Resort Organic chemical free sunscreen SPF 30+

2. Soleo/Wyland Sunscreen Organic chemical free sunscreen SPF 30+

3. Soleo Organics Sunscreen Organic chemical free sunscreen SPF 30+

4. California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+

5. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+

I once used the Mustela brand, which has a low hazard (Rating of 2). It left mini me white!.:lol:. Since it did that, I figured I will try a new brand. Yesterday, I went out and purchased Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50, instead of their Pure & Simple line. The regular Coppertone Water Babies has a rating of 2, which is low. I may return it for something with a rating of 1 to be on the safe side.

Here are the ones I am looking at:

Badger Baby Sunscreen, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30+

California Baby No Frangrance Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen, SPF30+

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that most sunscreens are safe for children over two months of age. For those under six months, it recommends applying the sunscreen to small areas of the body, such as the face, if shade is not available. For babies six months and older, the AAP says sunscreen is safe for all areas of the body. Be careful when applying it to the hands of your baby. Since babies tend to suck on their hands, they can ingest the lotions.

How to choose sunscreen

Sunscreen is only effective if used properly. Make sure you know the facts about sunscreen usage. Sunscreen is not all day protection. It must be reapplied every two hours to have full effectiveness. This is particularly important if the wearer is in water. No sunscreens are truly “waterproof,” so don’t let the labels fool you. Sunscreen needs to be absorbed into the skin before it can protect the skin. Therefore, you should apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside and make sure you rub it in well.

If it’s the first time you are using a particular brand of sunscreen, test the lotion on a small spot on your baby’s back before you have to apply it over a larger area. That way you have time to find out if she is sensitive to the chemicals in the brand you have chosen.

What to look for when purchasing sunscreen

1.  Look for sunscreens providing both UVA and UVB protection. UVB causes sunburn, but UVA causes skin damage that can lead to cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has changed the labeling on sunscreens, so starting summer of 2012 sunscreens that contain both UVA and UVB protection will be labeled as “broad-spectrum.” Further, research has shown that an SPF of 15 or higher will significantly reduce the risk of sunburn. So choose a higher SPF.

2.  Choose a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide lotion for the face and the ears. These tend to last longer.

3.  Sunscreens sticks are thicker than lotions and can be good options for use on the face since they are less likely to run with sweat into a child’s eyes.
4.  Sunny weather is irresistible. Taking proper precaution against UV light means you and your baby will not come home with a painful reminder of your time outside.

Brands to stay away from entirely for babies:

• Aveeno (Johnson & Johnshon)

• Avon

• CVS

• Rite Aid

• Walgreens

Some brands carry an organic, baby, or less toxic version. Check the full list to find out the rating (0-10) of your product.

For the full list plus details: Baby Sunscreen Products Skin Deep

Here’s a full list of safe sunscreens and ones to avoid: Sun Safety 2012: Best Sunscreens and Those to Avoid

What Sunscreen(s) do you prefer for your little ones?

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Kim S.
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Kim is the do-it-all mom (and wife) who not only works full-time and is a freelance makeup artist, but also blogs about her love of family, travel, beauty and skincare. Now that she has a kindergartener, Kim has added Class Parent to her resume. These are all tough jobs, but somehow, she makes them look easy.