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6 Sunscreen Sticks and Natural Sunscreens for Babies and Toddlers

A mother applying sunscreen to a toddler's chest.
Gorlov-KV/Shutterstock

Babies have sensitive skin, making it a challenge to adequately protect them from the sun without causing irritation. That’s why any of these all-natural, effective sunscreens made specifically for little ones will do the trick.

You want to thoroughly enjoy your time outdoors with your baby without worrying about the sun’s harmful rays. That’s why a high-quality sunscreen is important.

Pair any of these powerful sunscreens with a wide-brimmed sunhat and long-sleeved swimwear for the ultimate sun protection for baby. And don’t forget your beach umbrella!

Sunscreen Sticks for the Face

A woman applying sunscreen to a little girl's face.
mangostock/Shutterstock

Regular sunscreen can easily smear or drip into baby’s eyes, causing an explosive crying fit. Talk about ruining a perfectly fun outdoor adventure.

Instead, use a sunscreen stick for baby’s sensitive areas. It’s easy to apply, and there’s no risk of it getting into her eyes. The stick container also prevents kids from eating it.

Not every sunscreen stick is created equal, though. We tried multiple brands and narrowed it down to the following three. They’re all made of gentle ingredients that leave a baby’s skin buttery smooth. Plus, they actually work and protect babies from all those harsh rays.

Even though you can use a sunscreen stick on your child’s entire body, it’s best to reserve it for just his face because sunscreen sticks cost a bit more. If you use it just for the most delicate applications, and regular sunscreen everywhere else, you’ll save some cash.

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

This conveniently sized sunscreen stick is free of harmful chemicals, such as oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, and PABA. However, it does have a slight fragrance, so definitely skip it if you or baby are sensitive to odors.

It applies with white streaks, similar to a deodorant stick, but absorbs into the skin easily after some gentle rubbing. It’s effective in the water for up to 80 minutes. Make sure to apply it often in order to ensure optimal protection.

Babyganics SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen Stick

You can easily slip this compact sunscreen stick in your beach or diaper bag, or purse, making it a convenient option for on-the-go adventures. It spreads smoothly across the face, without any clumps or missing patches.

This fragrance-free mineral substance offers the ultimate in UVA and UVB protection. Plus, it holds up to water for approximately 80 minutes. There are no PABA, phthalates, parabens, or nano-particles, so it’ll keep your baby’s skin soft and chemical-free.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Sunscreen Stick SPF 30

This non-greasy, 100 percent zinc-based sunscreen stick is perfect for protecting baby’s face, lips, nose, and ears. It’s specifically formulated for extremely sensitive skin, with soothing organic oils, like jojoba. There are no harsh chemicals or fragrances, making it the perfect, all-natural choice for your baby.

Apply it to baby 15 minutes before you go outside, and then reapply it every two hours. Make sure to keep up with the reapplication as this is key to keeping baby safe while enjoying hours of sunshine.

It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes of water activity. So, keep this handy and dry off baby before reapplying.

All-Purpose Natural Sunscreens

A mother applying sunscreen to a little girl's shoulder.
NadyaEugene/Shutterstock

After you’ve slathered baby’s face with a sunscreen stick, it’s time to tackle the rest of that squirming body.

We suggest applying sunscreen before you head outside. Strap your baby inside her high chair with a snack, while you coat her with sunscreen. This way you can cover every exposed inch without her thrashing or grabbing the bottle and spilling lotion everywhere.

The following all-purpose sunscreens are effective for keeping baby burn-free while you explore the outdoors together. Remember to always follow the specific instructions on the bottle. If it says water-resistance lasts for 80 minutes, set an alarm so you can dry off baby and reapply before continuing the outdoor fun.

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

This company prides itself on creating the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods Premium and Organic Body Care Standards. It’s highly effective with an SPF of 50+ and offers broad-spectrum coverage to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

You won’t find any nasty chemicals, like avobenzone, oxybenzone, parabens, phthalates, or PABA, in this product. It’s also Leaping Bunny certified as a vegan product that’s both cruelty- and gluten-free.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

This leading brand offers an all-natural, organic, mineral-based sunscreen for babies.

It absorbs fast and is specifically formulated for sensitive skin, with soothing oils, like sunflower. It also spreads easily, without any clumping or greasiness. This sunscreen has also been clinically tested and rated by the Environment Working Group (EWF) as number 1 in safety.

Make sure you apply it at least every two hours, or every 80 minutes if baby is splashing around in the water.

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

Looking for the gentlest sunscreen out there? This highly effective, mineral-based sunscreen claims to be as mild as water, so you’ll avoid any nasty rashes or irritations. It’s the perfect choice for babies with extremely sensitive skin.

It comes out as a creamy lotion, which spreads easily, and it also absorbs quickly, making it perfect for babies on the go!

The same as all the other products on our list, there are no harsh chemicals. It offers broad-spectrum coverage for two hours or 80 minutes in the water, and it’s the sunscreen of choice for many parents.


Spending time outside with your baby is a fantastic way to enjoy the summer. Nobody wants to ruin the day with a nasty burn. So, stock up on these all-natural sunscreens to ensure you’re prepared for your next beach or outdoor adventure.

If you or your little one get too much sun, here are a few tips to soothe any sunburn.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »

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