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EWG’s Best Scoring Sunscreens for Kids

There are 180 beach and sport sunscreens with a green rating in EWG’s 2020 Guide to Sunscreens. We took a closer look at the best-rated sunscreens marketed specifically for use on babies and kids. We selected the 16 best-scoring products:

Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick, SPF 50+
Badger Baby Active Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30
Erbaviva Organic Skincare Baby Sun Stick, Lavender Chamomile, SPF 30
Just Skin Food Baby Beach Bum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 31
Olita Kids Mineral Sunscreen Sunstick, SPF30
Raw Elements Baby + Kids Sunscreen Lotion Tin, SPF 30
Star Naturals Baby Natural Sunscreen Stick, SPF 25
SunBioLogic Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
Suntribe Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Vanilla Yum Yum, SPF 30
thinkbaby Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
thinksport Kids Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
UV Natural Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Vitamin E + D Enriched Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35

How We Made the List:

EWG examined every best-rated beach and sport sunscreen in this year’s guide marketed for use on babies and kids. We chose products that have an overall score of 1 and a green rating for ingredient hazards and UV protection and that, based on EWG’s modeling of the products, would pass the 2019 FDA-proposed UVA standards.

We selected products unambiguously marketed for use on babies and children by including those with the terms “baby,” “kids,” “kiddos,” “little” and/or “children” in the product or brand name. We did not review product images, which are more ambiguous; note that some of our other best-scoring sunscreens include packaging that suggests use on babies and children. We filtered out products with ingredients that EWG considers particularly worrisome, like formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.

This year, 26 baby and kid sunscreens score a 1 in our database, including products in both lotion and stick forms. We chose to include both product forms in our “best” lists. (Some studies indicate that people tend to apply too little sunscreen when using sticks, so make sure to apply a thicker layer if you opt for a stick product.)

For brands with multiple products scoring a 1, we selected one product to display, choosing a fragrance-free version when available, or a water-resistant or “sport” formulation, over other formulations, since those tend to offer greater staying power.

We do not display products on the best-scoring kids list if they were not currently available for purchase or if they do not follow FDA labeling guidelines. Because of increased concern for bacterial contamination in products for babies and children, we also looked to see whether product packaging raised concerns about product contamination.

Parents should know the FDA does not set special criteria or additional requirements for sunscreen and body care products marketed to children. EWG has not identified any systematic differences between the types of products marketed to children and to the general population.

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you protect your children from the sun’s harmful rays.

Sun Safety Tips for Kids:

A few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer. The best sunscreen is a hat and shirt. After that, protect kids with a sunscreen that’s effective and safe.

Infants

Infants under six months old should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible. Their skin is not yet protected by melanin. When you take your baby outside:

  1. Cover infants up with tightly woven but loose-fitting protective clothing and a sun hat.
  2. Make shade. Use the stroller’s canopy or hood. If you can’t sit in a shady spot, use an umbrella.
  3. Avoid midday sun. Take walks in the early morning or late afternoon.
  4. Follow product warnings for sunscreens on infants younger than six months old. Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreens on infants or advise parents and caregivers to consult a doctor first.

Toddlers and Children

Sunscreens are an essential part of a day in the sun. But young children’s skin is especially sensitive to chemical allergens – as well as to the sun’s UV rays.

  1. Test sunscreen by applying a small amount to the inside of your child’s wrist the day before you plan to use it. If an irritation or rash develops, try another product. You can also ask your child’s doctor to suggest a product less likely to irritate your child’s skin.
  2. Apply plenty of sunscreen and reapply it often, especially if your child is playing in the water or sweating a lot. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests about one ounce of sunscreen per application for a child.

Disclaimer: Sunscreen manufacturers frequently reformulate their products and packaging. EWG’s 2020 sunscreen database gathers information from sunscreen companies directly and reviews products sold by major retailers. When purchasing a sunscreen, check the ingredients to make sure they match those listed for the product in the database./p>

 

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About the ratings

EWG provides information on sunscreen products from the published scientific literature, to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate both efficacy and the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product - not the product itself - compared to other sunscreens. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors which determine actual health risks, if any. Methodology | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions

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