Looking the best, natural sunscreen for babies that is safe but also works well?
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Last month Johnson & Johnson recalled five of it’s popular spray sunscreens because they found small amounts of the chemical benzene in them. According to the CDC, breathing in a lot of benzene can lead to serious disease, like cancer and nerve damage.
Unfortunately in 2021 we can’t avoid some exposure to chemicals like benzene. It’s in the air from things like forest fires, car exhausts and tobacco smoke. We can, however, choose products for our kids that make efforts to exclude cancer-causing-chemicals. Big, popular brands like Neutrogena and Aveeno are getting called out for using hazardous chemicals in their products. But smaller, organic and highly vetted brands are not.
Before you buy sunscreen, you can always check how safe it is with the EWG. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) is a non-profit organization that runs its own research and lab studies to determine the safest products for humans and for the environment. They look at scientific evidence to decide which ingredients used in sunscreens are actually safe. Furthermore, the EWG researches how effective sunscreens are at blocking UVA/ UBA rays from the sun.
The best sunscreens give you and your family protection from both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause sunburns and contribute to skin cancer risks, and UVA rays give you long term skin damage like wrinkles and sun spots.
Here is a list of my favorite kid’s non-toxic sunscreens that are on the EWG’s best natural sunscreen list:
- Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
- Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Stick, Fragrance Free, SPF 50
- thinksport Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
- Babo Botanicals Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
- thinkbaby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
- MADE OF Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Badger Clear Sport Kids Face Stick, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 35
- ATTITUDE Mineral Baby & Kids Sunscreen, Vanilla Blossom, SPF 30
Earth Mama Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40
Earth Mama Sunscreen is made with certified organic ingredients, and without harmful chemicals. With organic shea butter and organic calendula, it’s formulated specifically for a baby’s sensitive skin.
Earth Mama sunscreen’s mineral ingredients are reef friendly and cruelty free. The EWG gives this sunscreen a ONE rating, which is the lowest hazard rating (the best) a product can have.
How it feels on your skin: this sunscreen is a bit thicker and goes on white. It’s best to use in small dabs and then rub in. It offers excellent protection from both uvb & uva rays.
Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Stick, Fragrance Free, SPF 50
I love a good sunscreen stick. I recently took this sunscreen with me during a family trip to Hawaii, and was very happy with it. It goes on smooth and offers easy application for kid’s faces and body. Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Stick provides excellent UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection.
Like most mineral sunscreens, Baby Bum protects coral reefs by being eco-friendly.
How it feels on your skin: Like all mineral sunscreens, this sunscreen is made to be a physical UVA/UVB blocker instead of a chemical blocker. Therefore, it goes on a bit white. However, it rolls on smoothly and does not leave a sticky or thick residue behind. My kids did not notice this sunscreen once it was on.
ThinkSport Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
ThinkSport for Kids is made with safe ingredients for the whole family. The EWG ranks it as a TWO and notes that it offers Excellent UVA/UVB protection.
Thinksport for kids is one of my personal favorite mineral sunscreens for my family. It is easy to apply and rubs in quickly. It’s made with non-nano zinc oxide (20%) and is fully biodegradable and reef friendly. It’s also water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Oh, and it smells really good.
How it feels on your skin: This sunscreen goes on white but it’s easy to spread and rub in. Absorbs quickly and non-greasy.
Babo Botanicals Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
This sheer and gentle mineral sunscreen is another great option in the stick sunscreens category. The EWG notes that this sunscreen offers an excellent balance in UVA/ UVB ray protection. Gentle on baby’s delicate skin, Babo Botanicals uses 70+% organic ingredients and formulated for very sensitive skin.
How it feels on your skin: This sunscreen rolls on super easy. It’s fast-absorbing & non-greasy for the face, lips, nose and ears. Hypoallergenic and fragrance free.
thinkbaby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
thinkbaby is another really good sunscreen for delicate baby skin. EWG research shows that it offers an excellent UVA/UVB protection balance. With a SPF rating of 50+, you can feel confident that your baby will be safe from the sun’s strong rays.
How it feels on your skin: Thinkbaby formula applies easily and absorbs quickly.
Made of Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30
The Made Of Organic Baby Sunscreen is made with plant based, natural ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil, and raspberry oil. It’s NSF Organic Standard Certified and Cruelty Free. The EWG gives this product a ONE (the best rating) based on it’s ingredients and it’s effectiveness at sun protection.
How it feels on your skin: Goes on white but rubs in with no greasy residue.
Badger Clear Sport Kids Face Stick, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 35
The Badger Clear Sport Kids Face stick goes on super smooth and is perfect for outdoor activities. Because it comes in stick form, it’s easy to carry and apply whenever needed. The EWG rating is ONE because it offers great protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
This all natural stick sunscreen is made with only 9 ingredients: clear zinc oxide, organic olive oil, organic beeswax, organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, organic orange oil, organic tangerine oil, sunflower vitamin e & organic vanilla. Therefore it’s reef friendly, eco-friendly and biodegradable.
How it feels on your skin: This sunscreen is made with clear zinc oxide, so it is non-whitening. Easy to apply and hypoallergenic, it’s perfect for sensitive skin.
ATTITUDE Mineral Baby & Kids Sunscreen, Vanilla Blossom, SPF 30
Attitude’s Vanilla Blossom broad-spectrum sunscreen is another great option for sun protection. This sunscreen smells great and is formulated to be safe for young children. It’s EWG rating is a ONE, which is the best score for both sun and chemical safety. It’s ECOLOGO™ Certified and uses natural ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide. Reef friendly and cruelty free.
How it feels on your skin: This sunscreen is made with non-nano zinc oxide, so it goes on clear and smooth. Some customers have stated that it tends to be stickier than other sunscreens.
Things to consider before sun exposure
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreen should not be the only sun protection caregivers offer their babies and kids. It’s important to always dress in sun-protective clothing like sun hats and swim shirts.The extra layer of protection from sun-protective clothing is one of the most effective way to avoid the risk of skin cancer. That, along with shade and monitoring time spent in the direct sunlight, should be the first line of defence.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 30 and offers broad-spectrum protection.
SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”