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The Best Sunscreen for Kids

Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated July 2022

When you spend more time outdoors, you'll want to protect your little one's skin from harmful UV rays. We've found several different brands of kids' sunscreen that deliver excellent protection for you to choose from. Check them out below.

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  Most Fun for Kids Great for Sensitive Skin Best Sunscreen Stick Best Natural Choice Also Great
 
  Banana Boat
Kids' Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Foam
Aveeno
Kids' Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen
Neutrogena
Wet Skin Kids' Water-Resistant Sunscreen Stick
Two Peas Organics
All-Natural Organic Sunscreen Lotion
Coppertone
Kids' Sunscreen Lotion
 
Our SummaryGentle enough for delicate skin, this mineral foam sunscreen is fun for kids, protects from harmful rays, and is fully reef-friendly.This travel-size mineral sunscreen is made of natural and soothing ingredients that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.This nongreasy sunscreen stick protects kids' sensitive skin through water and sweat for up to 80 minutes of full-spectrum UV protection.Safe for the coral reef, this kid-friendly sunscreen offers powerful sun protection without additives or allergens.This dermatologist-recommended sunscreen for kids is loved by parents because of its long-time sun protection even through water and sweat.
ProsTear-free, comes in two colors, pleasant scents, long-lasting.Creamy texture, easy to smooth on skin, light scent, great sun protection.Easy to apply, high SPF rating, great for sensitive skin.Works well, not greasy, no streaks, moisturizing.Great for kids and adults, light scent, mess-free.
ConsMay leave white streaks on the skin.Feels sticky.Stick is small.May be difficult to apply.Leaves a white film on skin.
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The Best Sunscreen for Kids

A little boy sitting on the beach with sunscreen in the shape of a sun on his back.
Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Sunscreen for Kids

Young mother applying protective sunscreen on her daughter's nose at the beach.
Rido/Shutterstock.com

Why buy sunscreen for kids?

If you’re a parent or a caregiver, you already know the importance of protecting your children from sunburn. It can be painful, and UV rays can cause several adverse health issues, including skin cancer. That’s why it’s essential to have high-quality sunscreen available at all times to keep your kids protected. If you’re like most busy parents, you may want to keep one tube of sunscreen in the house, one in the diaper bag, one in the car, one in your purse, and one at daycare.

What should you consider when buying sunscreen for kids?

  • UV Protection Rating: While there is some debate about the effectiveness of UV ratings above 50, most of the sunscreen on this list is rated 50 or higher. That means the sunscreen will last, work well against UVA and UVB rays, and stay in place. However, it’s a good idea to treat sunscreen above 50 just like a 50-rated sunscreen and reapply accordingly for the best protection.
  • Ingredients: Zinc is a common ingredient in effective sunscreen. There can be allergens in sunscreen that can cause breakouts or redness, particularly if you or your child has sensitive skin. Always check the labels to ensure there aren’t any ingredients such as PABA, parabens, phthalates, or other common allergens that may cause a reaction.
  • Fluid Ounces: Sunscreen comes in bottles of all shapes and sizes. Many people enjoy having a travel-size bottle of sunscreen to carry around in a gym bag, beach bag, purse, or diaper bag to keep handy. Just be sure if you’re looking for a full-size bottle to read the fluid ounces in your sunscreen before buying it.

Does sunscreen expire?

Sunscreen should retain its original strength for at least three years after purchasing it. Unless your specific brand has a use-by date, it should be effective for three years or longer. If the bottle does not have a date, then write the purchase date and discard it once three years have passed since then.

Our Picks for the Best Sunscreen for Kids

Most Fun for Kids

Banana Boat Kids' Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Foam

Gentle enough for delicate skin, this mineral foam sunscreen is fun for kids, protects from harmful rays, and is fully reef-friendly.

Pros: This twin pack of colorful foam sunscreen will make applying it even more fun and exciting for your kiddos. Once you apply and rub it in, the green or purple tint will disappear into a clear finish. This sunscreen is packed with 100% natural, kid-friendly, tear-free fragrances and ingredients, so you can apply it confidently so your child is getting the best.

Cons: This sunscreen may leave white streaks on your child’s skin.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for environmentally safe and protective sunscreen for your little ones, this may be an excellent option. This two-pack offers long-lasting protection with fun colors that your children will love.

 

Great for Sensitive Skin

Aveeno Kids' Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen

This travel-size mineral sunscreen is made of natural and soothing ingredients that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Pros: The creamy texture of this SPF 50 sunscreen smoothes on your child’s skin effortlessly while locking in moisture. It has very little smell to it, making it a great choice for those with sensitive noses. It is formulated with 100% zinc oxide, is sweat- and water-resistant for all your kid’s activities, and should last up to 80 minutes.

Cons: This sunscreen can feel a little sticky after you apply it.

Bottom Line: This gentle formula is packed in a great travel-size sunscreen for your diaper bag or beach bag and offers high sun protection without harmful additives.

 

Best Sunscreen Stick

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids' Water-Resistant Sunscreen Stick

This nongreasy sunscreen stick protects kids' sensitive skin through water and sweat for up to 80 minutes of full-spectrum UV protection.

Pros: This sunscreen applies as easily as a deodorant stick and has a high SPF of 70 that delivers on its promises. It is made with a nongreasy, water-resistant formula for slick but effective application for up to 80 minutes. There are zero parabens and oils, making this a safe and simple go-to solution for your child’s sun-protection needs.

Cons: This sunscreen stick is smaller than many people had expected.

Bottom Line: Whether your kid’s skin is wet or dry, this stick sunscreen is your best bet for easy and effective application. Keep your child comfortable and protected with this efficient product.

 

Best Natural Choice

Two Peas Organics - All-Natural Organic Sunscreen Lotion

Safe for the coral reef, this kid-friendly sunscreen offers powerful sun protection without additives or allergens.

Pros: This organic sunscreen may be gentle in formula, but it is strong and effective in its protection with an SPF of 30 and from UVA and UVB. It has a thick consistency with 20% zinc oxide that can help against sunburn and decrease the chances of any skin damage or early aging. It is free of any chemicals and additives, so you know what you are putting on your child’s skin without worry.

Cons: This formula is thick and a little challenging to apply.

Bottom Line: If you and your kiddos spend time in the sun, this clean sunscreen is an excellent choice for your family. Save your money and worries with this safe formula in a two-pack.

 

Also Great

Coppertone Kids' Sunscreen Lotion

This dermatologist-recommended sunscreen for kids is loved by parents because of its long-time sun protection even through water and sweat.

Pros: Remain confident and protected with Coppertone’s kid-friendly sunscreen that applies simply as a lotion. It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, tested by dermatologists, and contains no harsh chemicals, parabens, or dyes.

Cons: This sunscreen may leave a white film on the skin.

Bottom Line: A reliable sunscreen for the whole family is what you need to enjoy some fun in the sun, and this is exactly what you’ll get from this brand.

Final Thoughts

Ensure your children get the most out of their time outdoors without worrying about their skin’s protection by implementing a reliable sunscreen into their routine. Whether splashing in the pool or playing a sport, sunscreen can be applied with spray, lotion, or as a stick to fit your child’s lifestyle needs. Take your kid’s skincare to the next level with one of our top sunscreens.

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »
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