There’s no skin more precious and perfect than your baby’s. That’s why you want to do everything you can to protect your sweet little ones from the sun’s harmful damaging UVA and UVB rays. Naturally, the thing you’re probably most worried about is protecting your babies and toddlers from painful sunburns. But did you know, according to the American Cancer Society (ACA), there’s overwhelming evidence that sunburns early in life, are a major cause of skin cancer in adults? You can read more about skin cancer right here.
The best way to protect your tiny tots is multi-fold. First, limit their exposure to the sun – especially between 10am-2pm, when those damaging rays are at their harshest. Second, cover them up – with a big sun hat and UV protective clothes. Don’t forget to get your sweet babe some sunglasses too, because a baby’s eyes are particularly susceptible to harsh light and reflection, especially in the water. Last, and the whole point of this post, is to slather them in protective sunblock.
If you’re particular about what you put on your baby’s skin, it can be tough, trying to sort out what’s safe when you’re faced with literally hundreds of choices. That’s why we’re devoting this review to organic sunscreen for babies – natural formulas that use mineral based ingredients to keep your baby from getting burned. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most common and effective. These ingredients spread out on the skin, deflecting and scattering the sun’s rays. They create a natural barrier of protection, without sinking into the skin, or getting into your baby’s system.
So let’s talk about Sun Protection Factor or SPF. What’s most effective, and does a higher number mean you’re doing a better job to protect your baby? Only to a point. As it turns out, the ACA recommends SPF 30 as the best way to keep out 97 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. Lots of natural baby sunscreens claim SPF 50 and even higher, but SPF 50 only blocks out 98 percent of the sun’s rays, so in this case, a bigger number isn’t exponentially better.
There’s another organization worth consulting, when you’re looking for the safest and best organic sunscreen for babies. That’s the Environmental Working Group, which rates everything from sunscreens and cosmetics, to food, cleaning products and more, promoting healthier consumer choices, along with civic action. They rate products on a scale from one to ten, and if you see any products rated on the higher ends of the spectrum, they could be downright dangerous. In evaluating the baby sunscreen products for this post, I have only included those rated as ones, the best rating. That means they’re the safest for your baby, with the least worry about harmful chemicals or other ingredients. Just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it’s good for you. (Think tobacco here.)
These mineral formulas are safe and effective, but they do have a few downsides, which we feel compelled to share with you. First, they’re darned hard to rub in, and tend to leave skin with a ghostly white sheen. That seems a small issue when compared with the gravity of taking care of your baby’s skin. The other thing you’ll note is that they tend to be quite a bit more expensive than many of the major brands you’ll find at the grocery or drugstore. Again, because they’re organic and natural, they’re not being produced by the millions. Plus those non-organic brands have lots of carcinogens and other chemicals and fragrances that can be allergens, and irritants to sensitive baby skin. Those nano-ingredients can actually be ingested through the skin, and into your baby’s system, and we don’t think you’d want that.
If you’re a family focused on outdoor fun in the sun, and particularly want to raise kids who love to play outside, sunscreen is a must, starting when they’re babies. Most pediatricians recommend against baby sunscreen until your infant is at least six months old, so if you’re choosing one of these Top 10 Organic & Natural Sunscreens for Babies 2018: Best Safe, Effective Formulas, be sure to check in with your baby’s doctor before slathering them up. While you’re at it, don’t forget to get some organic sunscreen for the rest of your family, and particularly make sure to always use sunscreen on your face, no matter what time of year it is. You’ll look younger, longer, and who doesn’t want that?
1. Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
You want to feel good about anything you put on your baby’s skin, and this Babyganics sunscreen is the perfect way to protect and love your little one during the sunny summer months, or year round, depending on where you live. This mineral based sunscreen features plant based botanicals like tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin and red raspberry oils, to protect your precious babe with SPF 50. We love what it doesn’t contain – namely PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles. This organic sunscreen for babies uses mineral compounds to block those dangerous UVA/UVB rays including Octisalate, Titanium Dioxide, and Zinc Oxide. It’s recommended that you reapply every 80 minutes to two hours to keep that tender skin from getting too much exposure. If your baby has grown into a hard to wrangle toddler, Babyganics SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick makes it slightly easier to apply protection on a wiggly kid.
Price: $16.47 – 2 Pack
- Highly rated by users
- Mineral based SPF 50
- Meets American Academy of Dermatology standards
- Especially good for sensitive skin
- Very thick, and takes some work to spread in completely
- Somewhat sticky formula
- Leaves skin looking white
- Can sting if it gets in baby’s eyes
2. Amazon’s Choice: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
You may be shopping around for a baby sunscreen that features even more than SPF 50, but did you know that sunscreens boasting more than that are using a marketing ploy? The best sunscreen for babies is one that is waterproof, mineral based and easily absorbed. This Thinkbaby sunscreen is a great option. It has no chemical blockers, relying on good old zinc oxide to effectively block those harmful UVA/UVB rays. But despite your memories of lifeguards sporting brilliant white noses covered with the stuff, this organic sunscreen for babies rubs in easily and virtually disappears in moments. Scented with natural papaya, this sunscreen stays on, even during water play. In fact, it’s one of the most highly rated for water resistance. Naturally, you’ll want to reapply every couple of hours to ensure complete protection for long days out in the sun, but you already know to give your babies and toddlers frequent shade breaks to keep them from overheating. This sunscreen is excellent for kids of all ages, including you.
Price: $8.39 (13 percent off MSRP)
- Leaves a cooling feel on application
- Zinc oxide SPF 50+
- Extremely water resistant
- Smells great
- Can feel somewhat oily
- May sting eyes
- May cause skin irritation
- Small tube for the price
3. Best Selling: Badger SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Cream
With one of the highest levels of zinc oxide, this organic sunscreen for babies is a natural formula that gives moderate sun protection, with SPF 30. Like most, it is a little hard to rub in, and leaves your baby’s skin looking a bit pasty white, but that’s the point, isn’t it? This non-greasy Badger baby sunscreen has a base of sunflower seed oil, beeswax and vitamin E, meaning it’s not a vegan formula. The beeswax does enhance the waterproof nature of this baby sunscreen, and the sunflower seed oil is moisturizing and nourishing to the skin. The calming chamomile and calendula scent is perfect for both baby and you. With a recommended reapplication every 40 minutes, it’s efficacy isn’t as long as some others, yet this formula has legions of loyal fans. If you have older kids, as well as a baby in the family, the Badger SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream is sweetly scented with tangerine and vanilla, and Badger also makes an easy to apply Kids Face Stick Sunscreen with SPF 35. We love these Badger sunscreens because they are hypoallergenic, and great for your kids with sensitive skin.
- High level of zinc oxide protection
- Calming chamomile and calendula scent
- Not greasy feeling
- Quite water resistant
- Lower SPF than many some
- Takes some effort to rub in
- Leaves your skin looking white
- Expensive for a tiny amount
4. Top Rated: Blue Lizard Australian Baby Sunscreen SPF 30+
If you’re serious about protecting your baby’s tender exterior, consider a sunscreen developed in Australia, where the standards for these products just happen to be the strictest in the world. Blue Lizard baby sunscreen is a mineral based sunscreen, fortified with zinc oxide and titanium oxide, that is paraben, chemical and fragrance free, and it’s great for even those with super sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin that reacts to irritants. A cool feature of this organic sunscreen for babies is that the bottle acts as its own little reminder, turning pink when it’s exposed to harmful UVA/UVB rays. The most highly rated of all the sunscreens featured here, this baby sunscreen is easy to apply, and while it does leave a bit of a white sheen at first, it does go away quickly. While it may look expensive, this is one of the largest bottles, so you get nearly three times the amount of product, compared to many others. For the best protection, reapplication is recommended every one to two hours, depending on water activities.
- Most highly rated
- Excellent for sensitive skin and non-irritating for those with eczema
- Chemical, paraben and fragrance free
- It works
- Can be a little greasy feeling
- Leaves a white sheen
- Spendy compared to some
- Not waterproof
5. Best Stick Sunscreen: Aveeno Sun Natural Protection Baby SPF 50 Stick
We admit it. We’re enamored with Aveeno products, especially when they bring that natural oat goodness to taking care of your precious baby. This organic sunscreen for babies is waterproof, with powerful SPF 50 protection, to keep your baby safe from the sun’s damaging UVA/UVB rays. Soothing colloidal oatmeal acts as a barrier against irritants, while keeping baby’s skin hydrated. This oil free baby sunscreen is filled with natural ingredients and mineral-block technology. The stick offers an easy to use solution on faces, as well as other parts of your baby. Plus, as your baby becomes a toddler, the easy to use stick is a great opportunity to teach your little ones how and why to take care of their skin in the sun. Like most mineral based sunscreens, you do need to rub it in a bit more, to get rid of the ghostly white sheen. Do be careful to apply enough product, as people tend to be scant when using stick sunscreen. This sunscreen is also great for grownups with eczema and super sensitive skin, but the price might give you pause. If you prefer a lotion style baby sunscreen, or you’ve got more than one small person to slather, Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is a good solution, in a much larger bottle.
- Hydrating and protecting
- Natural colloidal oatmeal formula
- Stick is easy to use on babies and toddlers
- Waterproof formula
- Big price, small stick
- Can sting eyes
- Difficult to rub in
- Feels very heavy on the face
6. Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50, (Pack of 3)
Neutrogena has long been known for high quality skin care, and this Neutrogena baby sunscreen is no exception to that rule. This sunscreen for babies uses 100 percent naturally sourced zinc oxide to protect delicate skin from burns and future UVA/UVB damage. Of course, that makes it, like many others, more difficult to rub in, but the great thing about this tear-free formula is that you don’t need to worry that it will sting your baby’s eyes. This formula is especially great if you have your little one around the pool, or beach, because it’s waterproof, meaning you can relax at least a little bit, with reapplication recommended every 80 minutes. This sunscreen is barely scented, so it won’t bother baby’s sensitive nose, and because it’s hypoallergenic, it won’t cause skin reactions either. It’s a bit more watery formula than some, so a bit more easily spreadable on those baby chubbies.
Price: $29.97 (Pack of 3)
- Naturally sourced zinc oxide with SPF 50
- Barely scented
- More liquid formula is easier to spread
- Waterproof formula that doesn’t sting eyes
- Have to buy the three pack to get the best price
- Leaves that darned white sheen
- More liquidy formula can be messy
- Can feel greasy
7. Sunology Kids & Baby Safe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Cruelty free, and Leaping Bunny Certified, Sunology baby sunscreen is formulated with skin nourishing, naturally moisturizing moringa oil. This oil is rich in skin brightening vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid which helps to hold moisture in your baby’s skin. The natural mineral formula features titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, to give this sunscreen a powerful SPF 50, which means your littlest people will be safe in the sun. The waterproof formula last for up to 80 minutes at a time, and it’s as safe for the environment as it is for your kids. That’s reassuring to know. Better yet, this natural baby sunscreen won’t burn or sting if it gets in eyes. That’s a huge plus.
- Natural SPF 50 formula
- Not smelly or as chalky as some
- Doesn’t sting or burn eyes
- Waterproof formula
- Pretty darned spendy
- Thick formula can be tough to rub in
- Feels greasy
8. Amazon’s Choice: California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30
All babies have sensitive skin, but some more so than others. California Baby sunscreen is perfect for those tiny ones with skin issues or fragrance allergies. Water resistant, it’s perfect for playing with your baby in the wading pool, or splashing around in larger bodies of water, because it remains effective, even after 80 minutes of water play. That means it’s especially great for your older kids too. This fragrance free natural baby sunscreen has a highly effective SPF 30 formula, thanks to micronized titanium dioxide, that forms a thin barrier on the skin, scattering and reflecting those harmful UV rays. It glides on smoothly and contains only naturally based and organic ingredients you’ll feel safe about using on your baby. Excellent for anyone with fair skin, this product works well to prevent sunburn with regular application. Naturally, because it’s a mineral based natural sunscreen, you do need to expect that it will leave a bit of a white sheen on the skin, but that’s so much better than a painful red one.
Price: $30 (17 percent off MSRP)
- Fragrance and allergen free
- Very water resistant
- A little goes a long way
- Excellent for babies and anyone with seriously sensitive skin
- Seriously spendy
- Can stain clothing and car seats
- Very thick and harder to rub in
- Some expiration date issues reported
9. TruKid Sunny Days Sport Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
This 100 percent natural sunscreen for babies and kids is best sold by the kid in the video we’ve included below. But suffice it to say, its non-nano formula is eczema safe, gluten free, paraben and phthalate free, and dermatologist recommended. That’s a heavy list of good reasons to feel good about using it on your little people this summer. This water resistant natural sunscreen features skin savers like organic aloe, moisturizing coconut, sunflower and jojoba oils, and mineral-based, sustainably sourced, zinc to block out those harmful UVA and UVB rays. With a water resistant formula, it’s received several prestigious awards, as well as being highly reviewed by users. TruKid recommends reapplication after 40 minutes of water play, or sweating.
Price: $13.07 (31 percent off MSRP)
- Reasonably priced compared to many
- Naturally skin-nourishing ingredients
- Effective SPF 30+
- Fragrance free
- It’s a bit sticky feeling
- Hard to rub in completely
- Need to reapply more frequently than many
- Not as water resistant as some
10. Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+
You want to know your baby is going to be safe in the sun, and the little lamb on the front of this Adorable Baby sunscreen almost makes you feel that way, even before you check out the natural baby sunscreen’s list of ingredients. No doubt about the fact that clever product packaging can get your attention, but beyond that, this baby sunscreen is good for your baby’s skin and the environment. Loving Naturals, the producer, works to secure only fair trade and sustainable ingredients to make this product, and we think you’ll love that philosophy. Non-nano zinc oxide won’t penetrate your baby’s skin, but it will provide a protective barrier to ward off the sun’s most dangerous and damaging rays. Other skin loving ingredients include grape seed oil, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax and organic shea and cocoa butter. This water resistant sunscreen for babies is effective for up to 40 minutes at a time, and it’s great for your whole family to use, not just baby.
- Fair trade and sustainably sourced ingredients
- 24.7 percent titanium oxide effectively protects baby’s skin
- Water resistant formula
- Goes on clear instead of white
- Quite expensive
- Feels very greasy on the skin
- Bottle is hard to squeeze, leaving wasted product inside
- Can stain clothes and furniture
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