December 02, 2021

The safest sunscreen for babies is one that only uses Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients. These are the only two sunscreen ingredients generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) by the FDA. 

Make sure you stay away from using chemical sunscreens on your baby (and yourself!). The chemical sunscreens absorb into your baby's skin and enter their bloodstream. Many chemical sunscreen ingredients are known endocrine disruptors. Oxybenzone and octocrylene, for example, could have hormonal effects on your newborn baby. Some chemical ingredients are so damaging to coral reefs that they have beenbanned in different places around the world including: Palau, US Virgin Islands, Aruba, Hawaii, Key West, and more. You do not want to put these ingredients on your baby! Stick with a mineral sunscreen that is safe for your baby and the environment.

In this article we are going to cover all you need to know about babies and sunscreen. Starting with when your newborns can wear sunscreen, the best Zinc Oxide sunscreen for babies, the best SPF for babies, how to apply sunscreen to your baby, and more frequently asked questions! Let’s get learning!

When Can Babies Wear Sunscreen - What Age Can You Put Sunscreen on a Baby?

According to theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics, babies can wear minimal amounts of baby safe sunscreen until they are 6 months old. Once they reach the age of 6 months, you can put sunscreen all over your baby's body. Regardless of your newborn’s age it is important you reduce their sun exposure to decrease the risk of skin damage. You can do this by:

  • Avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is the strongest
  • Putting your baby in sun protective clothing
  • Keeping your baby in the shade whenever possible
  • Have your baby wear sunglasses when outside
  • Put a wide brim hat on your baby
Zinc Oxide Sunscreen For Babies: Mineral Sunscreen for Babies

Zinc Oxide Sunscreen For Babies: Mineral Sunscreen for Babies

When choosing the best Zinc Oxide sunscreen for your baby, be sure to get one that is water resistant, broad spectrum, and only contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Just reading the front of a bottle isn't enough, be sure to check the active ingredients! Some companies will label their sunscreen as "Mineral", but contain amix of chemicals and minerals. You could be exposing your newborn to chemicals that you were trying to avoid. 

Awater resistant sunscreen is a must for your newborn baby because it doesn't come off as easily, even when your baby is sweating or playing in the water. These sunscreens are often labeled by duration of water resistance, such as 40 minute and 80 minute. TropicSport is one of few sunscreens that have tested to both the US 80 minute and Australian 240 minute standard. Choose the highest water resistance to get the longest protection.

Regardless of the type of sunscreen you put on your baby, you want to make sure it is broad spectrum. A broad spectrum sunscreen protects your baby from both UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen without the broad spectrum label only protects them from UVB rays, leaving you susceptible to damage from UVA rays.

Best SPF for Babies

The best SPF for babies is a sunscreen labeled SPF 30 to 50. SPF 30 protects from 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98%. As you go past SPF 50 your amount of protection minimally increases and these claims are often regarded as misleading. (For an in-depth look at SPF, read: What does SPF Stand For: What Is SPF?

We believe the safest sunscreens for babies are our reef friendly mineral sunscreens here at TropicSport. We only use Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide as our active ingredients for broad spectrum sunscreen that has passed both the FDA's 80 minute and Australia's 240 minute water resistance tests. It won't enter your baby's bloodstream, cause hormonal effects, or bleach the reefs. Check them out for yourself:

 

Bad Ingredients in Sunscreen for Babies

If you don’t choose TropicSport, you will need to look at the ingredients list on your sunscreen to make sure it is baby safe. All the ingredients below are not recognized by the FDA as safe and effective. Some of the ingredients are endocrine disruptors, some bleach coral, and others enter your bloodstream! These are dangerous ingredients that you want to keep away from your baby and yourself.  A few of these bad ingredients in sunscreens for babies include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Ensulizole
  • Homosalate
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Meradimate
  • Padimate O
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Nanoparticles

How to Apply Sunscreen to Baby

Now that you know what sunscreen to use, let's learn about proper application... The right way to apply sunscreen depends on your baby’s age

Applying Sunscreen to Baby Under 6 Months
  • Cover baby with sun protective clothing
  • Use minimal amounts of baby safe sunscreen
  • Apply to face, hands, and feet
Applying Sunscreen To Baby Older than 6 Months
  • You can and should use baby-safe sunscreen all over your baby's body
  • Cover them with sun protective clothing

Regardless of how old your baby is, it is important to keep them out of the sun during peak UV radiation hours. All UV radiation is dangerous to your baby, but at midday with clear conditions it is especially important to keep your baby in the shade or inside. To know when these peaks occur, keep an eye on theUV Index for your area. It will give you an idea of how damaging the sun's rays will be during the day. 

How to Wash Off Baby Sunscreen

Now that you know how to properly apply sunscreen to your baby, it is time to learn how to get it off! In order to wash off baby sunscreen you should follow these steps:

 

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands
  2. Grab your favorite oil based cleanser 
  3. Rub the oil based cleanser wherever you applied the baby sunscreen
  4. Wash off your baby’s skin with water
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until there is no baby sunscreen left

 

If the sunscreen is still not coming off, you could try using a baby shampoo as well. Removing sunscreen from your baby’s skin will help reduce the chance of clogged pores and skin irritation.

Do Babies Need Sunscreen?

Yes, babies do need sunscreen. Unless you bundle your baby up and hide them inside in a dark room all day, chances are they will be exposed to the sun's damaging rays. A baby has sensitive skin that sunburns more easily than an average adult. Adding an extra layer of protection, will ensure your baby stays the happiest, healthy newborn you want them to be! Just make sure that you’re using a truly baby-safe sunscreen so you’re not just trading one danger for another. 

 Baby Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

Baby Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

If your baby has sensitive skin, the best sunscreen to use is again a mineral sunscreen containing only Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Chemical sunscreens are usually harsher on your baby's skin because they soak into it. A mineral sunscreen on the other hand, sits on top of your baby's skin and is a much better option for sensitive skin. 

Difference between baby sunscreen and regular sunscreen

In general, biggest difference between baby sunscreen and regular sunscreen is the ingredients. Traditionally a higher percentage of baby sunscreens are formulated using mineral active ingredients whereas “regular” sunscreens are more often made with chemical active ingredients. However, as more information comes out about the dangers of chemical sunscreens, more and more mineral sunscreens are being marketed for adult users as well.

Can Adults Use Baby Sunscreen

Yes, adults can use baby sunscreens. A sunscreen that is labeled broad spectrum, has an SPF of 30-50, whose only active ingredients are non-nano Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide will work for any age. While many sunscreens are marketed towards either children or adults, the right ingredients will protect both.

So go ahead and pick up some TropicSport for both you and your little one! We offer a 30 day money back return policy, so if you don’t love it send it back. I highly recommend giving it a try because choosing the right sunscreen is not only important for you and your baby, it also affects the environment. 

Sunscreens containing chemicals are banned in a number of localities because they contribute to coral bleaching. You don’t want to be putting that toxic stuff on anyone you love! Recently Hawaii’s Maui county just passed legislation to ban all sunscreen products containingchemical ingredients. As more data comes out about chemicals in sunscreens, we will see more localities ban them. 

If you do not know the differences between chemical and mineral sunscreens, you should check out this article. We explain how each sunscreen works, what they are made of, and other factors that should be taken into account when purchasing your sunscreen. This is information you don’t want to miss out on. When I first learned about the harmful effects of chemical sunscreens it completely changed my shopping behavior. Now I only use mineral sunscreens.

    Want to stay informed?

    Jack Herrmann
    Jack Herrmann


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