The topic of this article may startle you since you have always heard the babies should not be either exposed to sunlight or you should not be smearing sunscreen lotions on your baby’s skin. Let go of this age-old thought since the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have stated that “since no evidence of harm was found from small amounts of sunscreen on babies’ skin, it is considered safe to use sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months of age when they can’t be completely protected by shade and clothing.”
A baby’s skin is thinner than adults and is highly susceptible to the harmful UV rays from the sunlight and overexposure of babies to the UV radiation is one of the prime factors of melanoma and other skin related diseases in the future. Exposure to UV radiation does not only cause sunburn but also causes damage to the eyes, skin and causes skin cancer. According to Australasian College of Dermatologists “The possibility that sun exposure during childhood stimulates the initial mutational step in the development of melanoma is supported by epidemiological research. The cumulative nature of sun damage indicates that babies should be protected from exposure to UV from the day they are born. It is recommended that babies under 12 months are kept away from direct sunlight when UV levels reach 3 or above.”
Vitamin D present in sunlight is important to protect one from osteoporosis, blood pressure and autoimmune diseases. However, exposure to sunlight is limited; enough to produce vitamin D and prolonged exposure causes adverse effects. As per experts, sunlight by 9 AM in the morning is most suitable for producing Vitamin D in the body, and a fair skinned individual needs approximately 10 minutes of exposure to this sunlight while a darn skin requires more amount of time.
The available options in the market either claim to be chemical free or include active minerals. Choosing a mineral based sunscreen, which means choosing one with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is widely recommended as these ingredients sit on top of the skin and provide maximum protection to the skin from the harsh rays of the sun. There are effective and start doing the ‘job’ immediately after application. Chemical based sunscreens perform well as well but need to be applied well in advance before stepping out in the sun- about 15 to 30 minutes in advance. However, before you choose a chemical-based sunscreen, make sure you do a patch test on your baby’s skin since many babies have a sensitive skin and develop rashes with a chemical-based sunscreen.
The Banana boat baby sunscreen is one of the most preferred sunscreens in the market and comes with high SPF, no tears formula and has high SPF. Though reviews state that the sunscreen takes time to blend, the product comes with an easy roll on applicator and the no tear formula makes it mild on babies and causes no irritation to their eyes. The sunscreen stays for long and does not require frequent reapplications. Click here to buy it.
From the house of one of the leading manufacturers of baby products, Chicco, this sunscreen needs no introduction. This sunscreen is what you need to pick to prevent your baby’s skin from any damage by the harsh UV rays of the sun. It is dermatologically tested and is mild on the baby’s skin and is enriched with Vitamin E and physalis providing all round protection from the harsh rays of the sun. The SPF is high- 50 and has no fragrance formula. It is affordable and can be picked from any Chicco outlets or from online stores. You can buy it by clicking here.
Mamaearth Mineral Based Sunscreen has been certified by MedeSafe as a toxic free brand. The SPF 20+ protection with active zinc oxide minerals protects the baby’s skin from the harsh UV rays along with nourishing your baby’s skin with the extracts of shea butter, cocoa butter and calendula extracts. It is clinically tested and is mild to the baby’s skin and causes no allergies or irritation. Click here, to buy it.
From the faithful brand Nivea, this sunscreen is high on SPF and the texture is non-greasy making the application easy. It is free from any toxic chemical, is water resistant and claims to boost the skin’s natural immunity against the UV rays. Click here to buy it.
CeraVe baby sunscreen comes with an SPF of 45 and is water resistant for about 80 minutes making it one of the ideal sunscreens to be used for a beach day and water activities. It contains essential ceramides and the aloe in the formula makes the lotion pretty soothing. It is paraben, sulphate and fragrance free and thus is mild on the skin of the baby and is extremely effective for sensitive skin. You can buy it from here.
This sunscreen is specifically designed for use during water activities and for that summer beach day. The consistency is much thicker than normal sunscreen and with a high SPF of 70, the sunscreen might not be a first pick for regular days but can be safely used during water activities. It is sweat proof, non-comedogenic and provides effective protection to the skin from sun burn. Click here to buy it.
With an SPF of 30, this sunscreen is allergen free and is smooth to the delicate skin of your baby. This sunscreen is heavy on the pocket but claims to block the UVA and UVB rays of the sun and has no fragrance or gluten in its formula. This mineral based sunscreen lotion blends in easily and can be safely picked for a higher budget. Click here to buy it.
One of the costliest sunscreens in the market, Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen Lotion has an SPF of 55 and combines active photo barrier complex thus maintaining a broader spectrum of protection. It is extremely light weight and mild on the baby’s skin and contains oatmeal formula making it waterproof and helps lock the moisture in the baby’s skin. Buy it by clicking here.
This product is slightly on the higher range in terms of pricing, however, with an SPF of 30 and water resistance of about 40 hours, the sunscreen claims to have been derived from 95% natural ingredients. It is smooth on the baby’s skin and is paraben free and gives a soothing and cooling effect on the skin. Click here to buy it.
Kiss my face kids natural mineral sunscreen lotion with broad spectrum SPF 30 provides extensive protection to the skin from the UVA and UVB rays of the sun and is water resistant for about 40 minutes. The mineral based sunscreen enriched with aloe and Vitamin E provides nourishment to the skin and is light weight and fragrance free. Click here to check it out and buy.
From the reputed brand Lotus, this baby sunscreen is lower on SPF, SPF 25 but contains zinc coated micro fine titanium dioxide and Chamomile extract making it an excellent natural sun blocker and is anti-inflammatory and causes a soothing effect on the skin. A daily use sunscreen and is affordable. Click here to buy it.
One of the most trusted brands of baby sunscreens, Sebamed SPF 50 Baby sun lotion is free from parabens, paraffin, peg bonds and acrylamide and does not contain any coloring ingredients. The micro pigments provide effective protection to the skin from sun induced damage and Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 provides additional nourishment to the skin while the natural hydro fructol formula retains the moisture and keeps the skin hydrated. It is easy to apply and does not require frequent reapplication. Click here to buy it.
Pick a sunscreen that is devoid of chemicals as much as possible and contains broad spectrum and high SPF. It is always recommended that while choosing a sunscreen for your baby, look for the ones which contain minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are natural sun blockers and are mild on the skin. Steer clear of products that contain parabens or sulphate.
Just like you consider your skin type while buying any cosmetic, keeping the baby’s skin type in mind while buying a sunscreen is of utmost importance. If your baby’s skin is oily, look for lightweight formula which would prevent the skin from greasing and irritation. If the baby’s skin is dry, look for crème based formula which would provide maximum protection against the harmful rays and also keep the skin smooth and hydrated. However, if the patch test indicates the skin to be sensitive, opt for products that are specifically designed for sensitive baby skin.
Much akin to the way you buy your own sunscreen, consider the purpose of application of sunscreen. There are plenty of varieties available based on the activity and purpose you will be indulging in. Consider the purpose of purchase and opt for water based for water activities, sweat free for outdoor activities and a normal daily use sunscreen if the purpose is to protect the skin during a small walk at the neighborhood.