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Spending time outdoors is a terrific way to create family memories. Just be sure your outing includes sunscreen, which reduces the risk of sunburn and skin cancer. Slathering sunblock on your child is especially important – whether it's cloudy or sunny – because of their delicate skin.
So which sunscreen is the best for babies and kids? Here are eight picks that pass safety guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics. All provide broad-spectrum coverage and contain the mineral zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both), which acts as a barrier against harmful UV rays and does not absorb into the skin.
Ready for fun in the sun? Be sure to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before heading outside, and don't forget to reapply it!
Best all-around sunscreen
Baby Bum Sunscreen Lotion
Brought to you by Sun Bum, a favored American brand among beach-goers in the know, Baby Bum mineral sunscreen is plant-based, cruelty-free, and reef friendly. Parents like it because it doesn't contain harmful chemicals, fragrances, or dyes, making it ideal for a child's sensitive skin. It also boasts one of the highest percentages of zinc oxide – 20 percent – in a lotion. It applies easily with a non-oily feel. And it's water resistant up to 80 minutes.
Available at Amazon starting at $13.95
Best sunscreen for eczema
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion
Pediatricians have long recommended Aveeno skincare products for children. And now Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection sunscreen tops the list of safe-for-sensitive-skin sunblocks. In fact, this lotion has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance for its unscented, hypoallergenic formula. It's also tear-free and water- and sweat-resistant.
Available at Amazon starting at $14.91
Best sunscreen for sensitive skin
Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
This fast-absorbing, non-whitening, and lightweight sunblock is designed with very sensitive skin in mind. It's free of common allergens and chemicals, making it safe not only for babies but for our delicate reef systems as well. And that's party why this sunscreen has been clinically tested and rated no. 1 in safety by Environment Working Group. The non-nano zinc formula also contains moisturizing botanicals, including calendula flower extract, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and jojoba oil.
Available at Amazon starting at $13.59
Best sunscreen in high-tech bottle
Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen
It's easy to teach your little one about sun safety with the innovative Smart Bottle feature of this broad-spectrum sunscreen. Your child will be thrilled to watch the bottle turn from white to pink in harmful UV light as a reminder to stay protected when outdoors. And you will be pleased with its fragrance-free, paraben-free, and chemical-free mineral formula, which provides a barrier between your child and the sun – it won't absorb into the skin the way some sunscreens can.
Available at Amazon starting at $27.45
Best drugstore sunscreen
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion
Protecting your child from dangerous UVA and UVB rays is a no-brainer with this widely available sunscreen. Neutrogena Pure & Free sunblock is so safe for sensitive skin that it's been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. It's also one of the top brands commonly recommend by dermatologists. The zinc oxide formula is also fragrance-free and tear-free, making it a wise choice for active kids having fun in the sun. Just remember to reapply!
Available at Walgreens starting at $10.99
Best eco-friendly sunscreen
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen
Thinkbaby was among the first companies to produce BPA-free baby bottles, so it's little surprise that Thinkbaby is leading the charge of suncare products that are safe for our littlest humans as well as our biggest ecosystems. This award-winning mineral sunscreen provides broad-spectrum coverage without any harsh chemicals. It's also water resistant up to 80 minutes. And while it may have a slight whitening effect because of the non-nano zinc, it applies easily without the oily feeling or obtrusive smell of traditional sunscreens.
Available at Amazon starting at $17.99
Best moisturizing sunscreen
COOLA Baby Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer
This mineral sunscreen moisturizer pairs the sun-fighting power of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide with the skin-nourishing elements of avocado and coconut oils, plus shea and cocoa butters. What's more, the sensitive-skin formula contains 70 percent certified organic ingredients and no harmful chemical actives. It's also antioxidant enriched. While the lotion is somewhat thick, you can relax with confidence that your child is well protected from damaging rays while preventing dry, irritated skin.
Available at Amazon starting at $36.00
Best stick sunscreen
Baby Bum Sunscreen Face Stick
When your squirming toddler is eager to run and play, sometimes all you have time for is a once-and-done application. This pocket-size roll-on face stick goes on easily with a non-oily feel. It features all the same sun-protecting qualities of a standard lotion, just in a handier container. With just a few swipes, your little can get back to playing safely in the sun – just be sure to reapply every 80 minutes.
Available at Amazon starting at $9.95