Most parents are pretty good about using sunscreen on their kids, both because they want to avoid the future damage the sun can do and because they don't want their kids to suffer with a sunburn.
Many are still confused about which sunscreen is the best to use though.
Do you have to use a kids or baby sunscreen?
How high of an SPF is high enough?
While you usually can't go wrong with using a brand that is targeted at kids, you could just as easily use a brand that is targeted for adults. Some 'kids' sunscreen brands include:
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 45 - a good sunscreen, plus has both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- Banana Boat Baby Tear Free UVA & UVB Sunblock Lotion SPF 50 - a sunscreen with the sunblock titanium dioxide
- Banana Boat Kids Quick Blok SPF 35 - a sunscreen with avobenzone
- Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 Baby - a pure sunblock with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- Coppertone Kids Spectra 3 SPF 50 Sunblock Lotion - a sunscreen with zinc oxide
- Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 50 - a sunscreen with avobenzone
- Coppertone Water Babies SPECTRA3 Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 - a sunscreen with zinc oxide
- Hawaiian Tropic Kids Sunblock 60+ SPF - a sunscreen with avobenzone
The main downside to a 'kids' brand of sunscreen is that they are usually a little more expensive than a regular sunscreen. On the plus side, they typically have all of the characteristics that a parent should look for in a sunscreen or sunblock for their kids, including:
- an SPF of 15-30 or higher (while a higher SPF doesn't provide that much more protection, they aren't that much more expensive and the higher SPF doesn't hurt).
- broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, which is usually provided by a combination of sunscreen ingredients, like avobenzone, and/or a sunblock, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- that it is water resistent.
- that it is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and PABA-free.
Most sunscreens, even those made for adults, are going to meet those characteristics though and will likely be a little less expensive. You might save even more money by buying a store brand sunscreen.
If your child has really sensitive skin and gets a rash with sunscreen, consider using a pure sunblock, such as Blue Lizard Australian Suncream SPF 30 Sensitive or Neutrogena Sunblock Lotion Sensitive Skin SPF 30.