Kids

5 Best Sunscreen Lotions for Kids (Non-Toxic and EWG Rated)

Summer is approaching, and finding the best sunscreen lotions for kids might sound a bit intimidating.

After all, there are hundreds of sunscreen lotions for children to choose from, but they are not all created equally.

A 2018 report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that nearly 67 percent of sunscreens didn’t work. That is to say these sunscreens provide inadequate sun protection and/or they contained harmful ingredients.

Types of Sunscreen Lotions for Kids

Safest Sunscreen Lotions for Children

There are two main types of sunscreen: mineral and non-mineral based (chemical filters).

Mineral sunscreens

As per the Enviromental Working Group (EWG), there is good evidence that little if any zinc or titanium particles penetrate the skin to reach living tissues. Mineral sunscreens are currently deemed the safest and most effective. (source)

In addition, mineral sunscreens rate better than chemical sunscreens in the EWG sunscreen database.

With that said, some sunscreen products use a combination of mineral ingredients AND other toxic chemicals.

Therefore, when choosing a mineral sunscreen for kids opt for those which active ingredients are zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

And in addition, avoid those which ALSO contain:

  • Oxybenzone (in the active ingredients)
  • Fragrance (bottom of the ingredient list)
  • Retinyl palmitate, retinol, or vitamin A
  • Spray application

Non-mineral sunscreens

Sadly, most of the popular sunscreen brands widely available in the U.S including sunscreen lotions for kids are non-mineral (chemical) sunscreens.

These also tend to be the sunscreens with the most concerning potentially hazardous active ingredients. So, we must dig a little deeper at the ingredients list in the label before purchasing.

If you opt for non-mineral children’s sunscreen, EWG recommends you choose a traditional sunscreen with the active ingredient Avobenzone (3%). This ingredient is critical for reducing UVA damage that can lead to skin aging and cancer.

In addition, ensure that the sunscreen product does not contain:

  • Oxybenzone (in the active ingredients)
  • Fragrance (bottom of the ingredient list)
  • Retinyl palmitate, retinol, or vitamin A
  • Spray application

Harmful ingredients in sunscreen 

Two of the most concerning ingredients found in most sunscreens including those marketed to children include oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin.

EWG has uncovered mounting evidence that one common sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, poses a hazard to human health and the environment, based on their research over the course of 12 years (source).

EWG’S Rating System

EWG (The Environmental Working Group) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

EWG provides information on sunscreen products from the published scientific literature to supplement incomplete data available from companies and the government. The ratings indicate both efficacy and the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product – not the product itself – compared to other sunscreens. The ratings reflect potential health hazards but do not account for the level of exposure or individual susceptibility, factors that determine actual health risks, if any. (source)

In addition, products are rated with a “hazard score” ranging from 1-10 (“1” being least hazardous and “10” being most hazardous). The scoring system takes into consideration five factors:

  • Health hazards associated with listed ingredients
  • UVB protection
  • UVA protection
  • Balance of UVA/UVB protection
  • Sunscreen stability

I know it can be really overwhelming to find the best sunscreen for kids, especially given all of the information available and the health concerns surrounding most children’s sunscreen lotions.

That is why I chose to create a list of the best sunscreen lotions for children based on EWG’s rating system, customer reviews, and personal use.

Living in South Florida, we have used our share of sunscreens over the years, and based on my own experience and EWG’s scoring system, I have narrowed it down to 5 of the best sunscreen lotions for kids.

All of the following sunscreen lotions for kids in this list follow some of the same criteria.

They all are:

  • Mineral-based (using Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient)
  • Score a “1” in EWG’s scoring system
  • Made specifically for children
  • DO NOT contain concerning ingredients, including oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate

5 Best Sunscreen Lotions for Kids (Non-Toxic)

best sunscreen lotions for kids

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1. Babo Botanicals Mineral Sunscreen

Babo Botanicals Mineral Sunscreen is a natural Zinc Oxide Face & Body, Fragrance-Free, and Water-Resistant product. It is EWG Verified, Vegan, and excellent for Extra Sensitive Skin. For Babies & Kids.

2. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 50+ is a customer favorite, and it contains Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient. It is water (up to 80 minutes as per manufacturer) and sweat-resistant.

Related: The Best Beast Essentials for Babies and Kids (The Complete List)

3. All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Lotion

All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Lotion is made of Zinc Oxide, it is coral reef safe, water-resistant, and UVA/UVB broad spectrum SPF 30. It is also an Amazon’s Choice products and has amazing customer reviews.

4. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen 

Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ has one of the best (and most) reviews in Amazon. It also a mineral-based sunscreen, free of biologically harmful chemicals such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, or UV chemical absorbers. 

5. Badger  Kid’s Sunscreen Cream

Badger  Kid’s Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine and Vanilla SPS 30. This Zinc Oxide based children’s sunscreen is water and sweat resistant for 40 minutes, hypoallergenic and coral reef safe and planet-friendly.

This Amazon’s Choise product is also BPA & phthalate-free and skin-soothing base of sunflower oil, beeswax and vitamin E.

In Summary 

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and play in the sun.

But it is also important we are protecting our kids not just from the sun, but from harmful ingredients found in sunscreens for kids.

Having a safe and effective sunscreen lotion for the kids and yourself is a must-have summer and beach essential.

Now that you know the main concerns surrounding children sunscreen lotions and have a list of great options to choose from, narrow down on one that fits you and your family best.

What is the best sunscreen lotion for kids you have come across?

Don’t forget to pin it for later…

nontoxic sunscreen for kids


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