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9 Safe Sunscreens For Kids (Including Some You Can Find at Your Drugstore)

Aug 2 2015 - 10:29am

Slather on the lotion! If you thought the breast vs. bottle debate was polarizing, wait until you talk to fellow playground moms about sunscreen. Though lotions and sticks protect little ones' skin from cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays, doctors advise new mamas to use physical barriers — SPF clothing, umbrellas, and shades — rather than lotions on babies younger than 6 months old.

Once tots reach the 6-month mark, keep them protected from the sun without harming them in other ways. The Environmental Working Group's recommendations for the best sunscreens for tots [1] — products that do not contain potential hormone disruptors — is considered the definitive list of safe options. The group recommends staying away from spray-on lotions and powders, as well as those containing oxybenzone or vitamin A. At the top of its list are sunscreens using zinc or titanium for the best UVA/UVB protection without the use of such harmful chemicals. Click through to see nine of its top picks (many of which can be found at your local drugstore — not just at specialty stores).

Drugstore Find: Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50

One of the highest-rated sunscreens [2] on the EWG's site, Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick [3] ($10) is a mineral-based sunscreen using both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to block the sun's rays. Plus, in stick form, it's easy to apply to squirmy tots and fits nicely inside a diaper bag.

Amazon Find: MDSolarSciences Mineral Lotion For Face and Body Sunscreen, SPF 50

MDSolarScience's mineral-based Lotion For Face and Body Sunscreen, SPF 50 [4] ($34) was created by dermatologists and is often prescribed for patients with sensitive skin. The formula earns extremely high marks for its stability [5] on the EWG list.

Drugstore Find: Babyganics Mineral-Based Sunscreen, SPF 50+

The small, travel-size versions of Babyganics 12-Pack Single-Use 50+SPF Mineral-Based Sunscreen Tubes [6] ($12 for 12) are convenient for day trips to the beach or pool, while their strong rating [7], which comes from high zinc oxide content, makes them a must buy for parents.

Online (and Costco) Find: Honest Sunscreen

Jessica Alba [8]'s Honest Company sunscreen [9] ($14) was reformulated last year, making it more effective (and less streaky) than before. The new formula only uses zinc oxide as a sunscreen — so it is safe for babies [10] — and it is packed with organic oils that make it easy to rub in.

Health Food Store Find: Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile and Calendula, SPF 30

One of the highest-rated sunscreens [11] on the EWG list (it has a low health concern), Badger's Baby Sunscreen Lotion [12] ($16) is certified natural, using zinc oxide as a blocker and aloe vera as its base for easy application.

Baby Store Find: Thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Thinkbaby [13], which was already known for its popular bottles and sippy cups, just received an extremely high rating from the EWG [14] for its Thinksport Thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 30+ [15] ($15). The zinc-oxide-based sun blocker does not contain any nanoparticles, making it safe for babies and big kids alike.

Baby Store Find: Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 30

A natural, chemical-free sunscreen, Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen [16] ($16) has a high zinc oxide content to keep skin safe. The highly rated lotion [17] goes on clear, so there are no telltale white streaks on your kids' arms and legs.

Health Food Store Find: Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen For Kids, Unscented, SPF 45

Aubrey Organics [18] Natural Sun Sunscreen For Kids, Unscented, SPF 45 [19] ($16) is made specifically for kids' sensitive skin and is vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and reef safe. It received the EWG's excellent ratings for its UVA protection [20].

Baby Store Find: TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+

TruKid Sunny Days Mineral All Natural Sunscreen [21] ($20) is quickly becoming a favorite of parents and kids alike. The mineral-based lotion, which uses zinc oxide as its sunblock, received the EWG's highest rating [22] for its nontoxic, nonnano, and gluten-free formula.

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