Before you head out to the beach, pool or playground this summer, be sure to study your SPF. The available selection of sunscreens can be overwhelming, and it’s often difficult to determine which products are both effective AND free of harsh chemicals. We’ve rounded up our favorites (and the Environmental Working Group’s, too!) to ensure you and your squad can enjoy the warm weather days without worries. Scroll down to see our picks.
Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Made with soothing ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter, this fragrance-free sunscreen from Baby Bum is made with 20% zinc oxide but still rubs in well, and comes with SPF 50. The 3 oz. size is also perfect for travel!
Available at amazon.com, $13.93.
SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen from Hello Bello
If you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard's line of products for babies and kids that's okay: Hello Bello is busy producing amazing, plant-based skincare anyway. We are in love with their SPF 50 Sunscreen Mineral Lotion which is the only FDA-approved broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVB, UVA2 and UVA1. It has organic botanicals including calendula, green tea and avocado, is reef-friendly, water resistant up to 80 minutes, hypoallergenic, vegan, cruelty-free and full of moisturizing shea, cocoa and coconut oils. Phew! Need another reason to buy it? It's good for all skin types including moms!
Find it at hellobello or at Walmart, priced under $9.
Reef-Safe All Natural Sunscreen from Jersey Kids
Not only is this all-natural sunscreen safe and effective, but it's also eco-and earth-friendly. Designated as reef-safe sunscreen, you won't find any nano zinc oxide, petrochemical or fragrances. Super portable and perfect for re-application sessions, you can choose between two natural scents: vanilla or orange.
Available at jerserykids.com, $15 for .56oz tube.
SeaStar Sparkle SPF50+
A glittery sunscreen that's biodegradable and safe for reefs and other ocean life? It's a mermaid's match made in heaven. We love this fun sunscreen that's loaded with protective ingredients like antioxidants, provides broad-spectrum coverage and has a fresh coco-lime scent. You'll get 80 minutes of water resistance out of one application, and your little one will glow!
Available at sunshineglitter.com, $18.50 for 4oz.
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50 Plus
Red Tricycle's Editorial Director credits Thinkbaby's Safe Sunscreen SPF 50 Plus for protecting her beach babe's skin from California's harmful rays. The mineral-based sunscreen rubs into skin incredibly easy without any oily residue. It's free of biologically harmful chemicals and contains absolutely no avobenzone, oxybenzone, or UV chemical absorbers. Learn more about Thinkbaby here.
Available at amazon.com, starting at $9.91 based on size
Sunology Mineral Sunscreen for Kids SPF 50
With a formula inspired by nature, this all-natural sunscreen won’t burn the skin or eyes. Active ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and it's formulated without oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, PABA, or parabens. An essential oil complex helps to moisturize skin, and it’s completely fragrance-free.
Available at sunology.com, $14.99.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
The folks down under know good sun protection: Blue Lizard Australian sunscreens have been pediatrician recommended and dermatologist trusted for over 20 years. They contain no skin-irritating fragrances or parabens, and this one is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. With 10% zinc oxide and 5% titanium dioxide, it provides true broad-spectrum protection from UV rays for the most vulnerable skin.
Available at amazon.com, $26.99.
All Good Kid's Sunscreen, SPF 30
This lightweight sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes but still doesn’t feel greasy. Organic green tea, rose hips, and buriti oil repair damaged skin, and chamomile soothes sensitive babes. Non-nanoparticle zinc oxide offers the most effective broad-spectrum sun protection possible without the danger of being absorbed by marine life or being disruptive to reef growth processes.
Available at amazon.com, $15.19.
Hawaiian Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 50
Containing aloe vera, hibiscus, and extracts of wild pansy, cucumber, and melon, this biodegradable sunscreen smells so delicious that your kiddos just might tolerate application. Reef safe, no nano-technology is used in the emulsification process of this sunscreen—but with 19% zinc oxide, it still provides potent protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Available at hawaiiansol.net, $18.
Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Non-allergenic and tear-free, this mineral-based, broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection offers smooth application. Pediatrician and dermatologist approved, the lightweight consistency is nourishing on delicate skin. Did we mention the awesome price tag?
Available at target.com, $.9.79.
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
COOLA’s tinted moisturizer might already be on your bathroom shelf, so consider adding their pediatrician-tested sun stick to your baby’s beach bag. It’s 70%+ organic and holds up wonderfully after water exposure. We love that it contains tamanu oil, which functions as a natural UV protectant with healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Sage extract acts as an antiseptic and helps heal skin—and a strong lineup of shea butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil hydrates and soothes.
Available at walmart.com, $20.99.
Tom's of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
They make more than toothpaste! Protect your baby’s skin with Tom’s of Main’s “just what is necessary” approach using only five ingredients. The fragrance-free formula provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 through zinc oxide to ensure your baby has safe and effective protection against warm summer rays. Pediatrician tested, it’s also hypoallergenic; free of artificial colors, fragrances, and preservatives; and is never, ever tested on animals.
Available at amazon.com, $11.95.
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
Formulated with 87% certified organic ingredients, this hypoallergenic sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It is made with non-nano mineral only actives and blended with nourishing sunflower oil. Expect a whitish tint to remain on the skin after application—but you’ll know it’s working!
Available at amazon.com, $14.94.
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance as a suitable sunscreen for persons with sensitive skin conditions, this winner provides 100% mineral sun protection that is made for baby's delicate skin. The gentle formula promises superior broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection by creating a screen between baby's skin and the sun’s rays. It’s also free of irritating chemicals, fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and dyes, so it’s suitable for use on even the most sensitive skin.
Available at target.com, $10.99.
BadgerKids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
The scrumptious scent of tangerine and vanilla might convince you that you’re frosting a cupcake instead of rubbing in powerful, planet-friendly sun protection. With a skin-soothing base of sunflower oil, beeswax, and vitamin E, it’s also reef safe and biodegradable. We also love that the tube is recyclable!
Available at amazon.com, $13.78.
All images courtesy retailers.
Feature photo Istock