Best baby sunscreens
  • Best Baby Sunscreens in 2019

    September 02, 2019
    19 min read

    When the weather is nice outside, you might consider taking your baby for a stroll in the park, a trip to the beach, or a visit to the zoo. Before you head out, it’s a good idea to have sunscreen on hand — not just for you but for your older kids and your baby, too.

    We surveyed more than 4,000 Pampers Parents to bring you a list of the 10 best sunscreens for your baby. Read on for details on each of these parent-tested favorites, along with tips on when to start applying sunscreen and how to dress your little one for time in the sun.

    What's in this article:

    When Can Babies Start to Wear Sunscreen? How to Choose a Sunscreen for Your Baby When to Apply Sunscreen to Your Baby 10 Best Baby Sunscreens

    When Can Babies Start to Wear Sunscreen?

    Applying sunscreen is a good way to guard your little one’s skin from the harmful effects of the sun. But for babies under 6 months old, the very best protection is to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. If shade or protective clothing isn't available, sunscreen may be applied to small areas such as the face and hands, for instance.

    Once your baby is older than 6 months, you can apply sunscreen wherever your baby needs it. Even so, it’s best to keep your baby out of the sun, especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are highest.

    If you are headed outside with your baby, other than applying sunscreen, these are some sun protection ideas:

    • Clothing. Dress your baby in lightweight cotton clothing with long pant legs and long sleeves.
    • Hat. Put a wide brim hat on your baby's head. Baseball caps don’t give your baby enough protection — you want a hat that shades the neck and ears as well.
    • Shade. Think about what shade options you’ll have. For example, you can sit under a tree instead of out in the full sun, or take a big sun umbrella with you. Plop your little one in an umbrella stroller or pull the shade cover down on your stroller.

    Whenever you're out and about, keep an eye on your baby for possible signs of overheating, sunburn, or dehydration. Signs of these conditions can include your baby having cool, clammy skin; fussiness; redness on exposed areas; sweating; thirst; nausea and weakness; and excessive crying.

    If you notice any of these signs, get your baby to a cool place right away, remove any clothing, offer cool fluids, and sponge his face and body with a cool cloth. Contact your healthcare provider for advice as well.

    Sun Safety Advice for Babies Under 6 Months

    Baby sunscreen is fine to use for babies over 6 months old, but it’s typically not the best idea for babies who are under 6 months, whose skin is still quite sensitive.

    If you do need to use sunscreen on your baby who’s under 6 months, limit it to areas like your baby’s face and hands. Provide lots of shade, dress him in lightweight clothing that covers his arms and legs, and ensure he has a hat on.

    If you’re unsure whether it’s OK to use sunscreen on your baby, check with your healthcare provider first.

    How to Choose a Sunscreen for Your Baby

    To find a good sunscreen for babies, look for one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher with broad-spectrum coverage for UVA and UVB light. All of the products on our list are SPF 30 or higher with broad-spectrum coverage.

    Using a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide may be less irritating for your baby’s skin and eyes if it accidentally gets in there. Most of the sunscreens on this list contain one or both of these ingredients.

    But if the product contains these ingredients, it doesn’t guarantee that the sunscreen itself is a tear-free formula. There are other ingredients that may be slightly irritating if it gets in your baby’s eyes. If the manufacturer claims to have a tear-free formula, we’ve made it easier to find these products; just look for “tear-free formula” in the product details section.

    “You don’t want something that your baby’s sensitive skin can’t handle. Just because it is made for babies doesn’t mean that it’s made for YOUR baby.”—Pampers Parent

    Many Pampers Parents commented that specific ingredients were an important factor when it came to choosing the right baby sunscreen. One parent noted it might be a good idea to try sample sizes first before committing to a full-size tube.

    If you’re ever in doubt about which sunscreen to use, check with your healthcare provider first.

    “You don’t want something that your baby’s sensitive skin can’t handle. Just because it is made for babies doesn’t mean that it’s made for YOUR baby.”

    Pampers Parent

    When to Apply Sunscreen to Your Baby

    Once your baby is older than 6 months, you can apply baby sunscreen all over her body, but it’s always better to reduce sun exposure by using protective clothing, a hat, and plenty of shade coverage.

    Apply sunscreen to your baby at least 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure to use a generous amount of sunscreen to cover the areas that will be exposed to the sun, like the face, nose, ears, feet, hands, and backs of the knees. Sunscreen should be applied every time your child heads outdoors — even on cloudy or cool days.

    Keep in mind that even though a sunscreen may be labeled waterproof or water resistant, it still needs to be reapplied every one and a half to two hours, especially if your baby will be spending time in the water. All of the sunscreens on our list are water resistant.

    10 Best Baby Sunscreens

    According to the responses of more than 4,000 Pampers Parents, these are the 10 best baby sunscreens:

    1. Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion

    Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion

    Why pick this one? Pampers Parents chose the Babyganics sunscreen as their top pick. It's formulated with plant-derived ingredients that are certified organic and contains the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The lotion is also non-allergenic and it hasn’t been tested on animals.

    Highlights: The manufacturer uses a proprietary ingredient called NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend, which includes oils from tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin, and raspberry seeds.

    Details:

    Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion
    Item size6 ounces
    SPF50
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsPABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances, and nanoparticles
    Tear-free formulaYes
    Animal testingNo

    Price*: about $16.09 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s from a trustworthy brand that uses natural and organic ingredients, which tend not to cause breakouts or allergic reactions.
    • Cons: It’s thick so it can be difficult to apply. Also, the scent wasn’t liked by everyone.

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    2. Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin

    Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? This baby sunscreen by Aveeno is formulated with oats and minerals like zinc oxide. The manufacturer claims that the product is as mild as water, and that it locks in moisture without stinging or irritating your baby’s sensitive skin.

    Highlights: The sunscreen was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen.

    Details:

    Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Sensitive Skin
    Item size3 ounces
    SPF50
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicals

    Parabens, phthalates, and fragrances

    Tear-free formulaYes

     

    Price*: about $9.97 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s great for babies with eczema and sensitive skin. And even though it’s fragrance free, it has a nice natural scent.
    • Cons: It’s on the thick side so application can be difficult.

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    3. Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

    Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? This sunscreen from Neutrogena is formulated with minerals like zinc oxide. It’s hypoallergenic and is made with a proprietary ingredient called Purescreen technology, which the manufacturer says helps absorb, reflect, and scatter dangerous sun rays away from your baby’s skin.

    Highlights: The sunscreen was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance.

    Details:

    Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
    Item size3 ounces
    SPF50
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsFragrances, parabens, phthalates, and dyes
    Tear-free formulaYes

    Price*: about $31.47 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s lightweight and easy to apply. It’s great for babies with eczema and sensitive skin.
    • Cons: It can leave a white film on your baby if not thoroughly rubbed in.

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    4. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby Sunscreen

    Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? The Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen is mineral based, with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, providing broad-spectrum protection for your baby.

    Depending on where you’re taking your little one, it might be interesting for you to know that this sunscreen doesn’t contain any chemicals that would harm coral reefs.

    Highlights: The bottle features proprietary Smart Bottle Technology, which means it changes color from white to pink when in harmful UV light. This can be a handy reminder to keep your baby safe in the sun by applying sunscreen.

    Details:

    Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby Sunscreen
    Item size8.75 ounces
    SPF30
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 40 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsOxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, and fragrances

    Price*: about $16.96 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s easy to apply and the bottle turns pink to indicate the level of UV rays.
    • Cons: Some Pampers Parents said they wished it came in a higher SPF.

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    5. Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream

    Badger Baby Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? Made with the mineral zinc oxide, Badger Baby Sunscreen also includes certified organic non-GMO ingredients such as sunflower oil, beeswax, and vitamin E, which the manufacturer claims are ultra-moisturizing and soothing. The product is hypoallergenic and is not tested on animals.

    Highlights: The sunscreen doesn’t contain any chemicals that would harm coral reefs and the sunscreen is biodegradable.

    Details:

    Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream
    Item size2.9 ounces
    SPF30
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 40 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsOxybenzone, octinoxate, BPA, and phthalates
    Animal testingNo

    Price*: about $13.59 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s made with natural and organic ingredients.
    • Cons: It’s rather thick so it can be quite difficult to apply.

    Buy it NOW

    6. CeraVe Mineral Baby Sunscreen SPF 45

    CeraVe Mineral Baby Sunscreen SPF 45

    Why pick this one? CareVe’s sunscreen is made from 100 percent naturally sourced ingredients, including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Its formulation includes three essential ceramides to help keep your baby’s skin supple. (Although your baby’s soft skin is already quite supple!)

    This sunscreen is hypoallergenic and free from fragrances to help prevent skin irritation. It contains no parabens or sulfates.

    Highlights: The sunscreen was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. The manufacturer claims it was developed by dermatologists specifically for babies.

    Details:

    CeraVe Mineral Baby Sunscreen SPF 45
    Item size3.5 ounces
    SPF45
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsParabens, sulfates, and fragrances
    Tear-free formulaNo, but the manufacturer claims it won’t run into your baby’s eyes

    Price*: about $12.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s great for babies with eczema and sensitive skin.
    • Cons: It’s kind of thick so it can be difficult to apply. Also, some Pampers Parents felt it was on the pricier side.

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    7. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen

    Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? Thinkbaby’s sunscreen is mineral based and is free of biologically harmful chemicals. It’s made with a non-nano zinc oxide formulation, which the manufacturer claims prevents nanoparticles from being absorbed into your baby’s bloodstream.

    Highlights: The product has up to 80 minutes of water resistance.

    Details:

    Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
    Item size3 ounces
    SPF50
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsAvobenzone, oxybenzone, UV chemical absorbers, parabens, phthalates, PABA, and 1,4 dioxane
    Animal testingNo

    Price*: about $12.95 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents review: It’s easy to apply and has a pleasant scent.

    Buy it NOW

    8. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? The La Roche-Posay sunscreen is formulated with antioxidants like vitamin E, to help neutralize damaging free radicals, as well as proprietary Cell-Ox Shield technology, to help deliver broad-spectrum protection for your baby. The manufacturer claims this sunscreen is suitable for sensitive skin.

    Highlights: The sunscreen is made with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, which has antioxidant and soothing properties. The formula is also non-comedogenic, which means it won’t block pores.

    Details:

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids Sunscreen
    Item size6.7 ounces
    SPF60
    Broad-spectrum protectionUVA and UVB
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsParabens, fragrances, oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, and alcohol

    Price*: about $19.99 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s easy to apply and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.
    • Cons: It’s on the pricier side.

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    9. California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen

    California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? This mineral-based sunscreen (with titanium dioxide) by California Baby is developed for babies with sensitive skin, eczema, and allergies. It doesn’t contain fragrances, irritants, and many common allergens, like gluten, soy, oat, dairy, and nuts (except coconut).

    Highlights: It’s made with eco-friendly ingredients, and has been highly rated by the Environmental Working Group for more than 10 years.

    Details:

    California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen
    Item size1.8 ounces
    SPF30
    Broad-spectrum protectionYes
    Water resistanceUp to 80 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsOxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate, Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, and fragrances
    Allergy freeGluten, soy, oat, dairy, and nut (except coconut)
    Tear-free formulaYes

    Price*: about $15.67 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s a good product for babies with eczema and sensitive skin.
    • Cons: It’s thick so it‘s not that easy to apply. Also, it’s a bit expensive.

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    10. Burt's Bees Baby Nourishing Mineral Sunscreen

    Burt's Bees Baby Nourishing Mineral Sunscreen

    Why pick this one? This mineral-based sunscreen from Burt’s Bees contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for broad-spectrum protection, as well as vitamin E and coconut oil extract to moisturize your baby’s skin.

    Highlights: The sunscreen is formulated without many harsh chemicals (see the specifics in the table below) to make it safer for your baby's delicate skin.

    Details:

    Burt's Bees Baby Nourishing Mineral Sunscreen
    Item size3 ounces
    SPF30
    Broad-spectrum protectionYes
    Water resistanceUp to 40 minutes
    Formulated without these chemicalsPhthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and SLS (sodium laureth sulfate)
    Possible allergensSoybean oil

    Price*: about $15.67 on Amazon.com

    Pampers Parents pros and cons:

    • Pros: It’s from a trustworthy brand.
    • Cons: Some Pampers Parents said they wished it came in a higher SPF.

    Buy it NOW

    Whichever sunscreen you choose, it’s worth reading the label to check the ingredients. Your healthcare provider or pharmacist will also be able to help you decipher the ingredients list and product claims so that you choose a baby sunscreen that’s safe and effective.

    Once you’ve got a great sunscreen for your baby along with some shade cover, you’ll be all set to enjoy the great outdoors. Have fun!

    Recall Notice

    Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

    *Prices are correct at the time of writing.

    How We Got These Results

    We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.

    See all sources
    All sources links

    Sun Safety: Information for Parents About Sunburn & Sunscreen

    Mayo Clinic: When is it OK for a baby to wear sunscreen?

    US. Food and Drug Administration: Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually

    Book: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month, Sixth Edition Paperback – January 1, 2016by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Author)

    Book: Caring for your baby and young child birth to age 5, Sixth Edition Paperback – November 2, 2014 by American Academy of Pediatrics (Author)

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