With the warm weather fast approaching we’re spending more and more time outside-at the beach, at the park, camping, out for bike rides, you name it. The sunshine is infectious and a sight for sore eyes after a long winter-but if you’re not careful,it’ll burn you-bad. Even with hats and proper clothing, you still need to have a great sunscreen on to help protect your skin and the skin of your little.
Like anything, when you first try a sunscreen on a little 6 months or older, do a test patch to make sure they don’t react to it, before you liberally apply it all over.
Children 6 months and younger are not recommended to use sunscreen due quite simply to the fact that an adult and a baby’s skin are different. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, a infant’s skin is not only thinner then an adult’s, but also lacks a working acid mantle, which is the film on your skin surface that helps protect against bacteria, viruses and water loss. Because of these two things, a small baby is more likely to absorb the dangerous chemicals in a lot of the generic, unnatural sunscreens. And well, we all know tiny babes love to get whatever body part they can into their mouths, and the ingredients in any sunscreen are not meant to be ingested. This is why before 6 months it’s best to try and keep little out of direct sunlight and dress them in appropriate clothing to protect them from the sun.
No matter what age your little is, I highly recommend you try to go as natural as possible when it comes to sunscreen. A lot of generic sunscreens are laden down with chemicals, and may do their job protecting you from the sun, but could potentially cause other health concerns. Sunscreens made from physical and mineral agents like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are going to be a lot less likely to irritate a little’s skin then the chemical sunscreens. Also, it’s strongly recommended to avoid spray sunscreen for use on children. The potential of a squirmy little inhaling it as they’re being lathered is dangerous, but if it’s your only option, spray it onto your hands first before applying it to the body. The same is recommended with adults using spray on sunscreen.
Check out Healthy Child, Healthy World for a great list (it is American) of the top sunscreens to avoid for children, and some chemical ingredients to watch out for when purchasing sunscreen.
- Substance by Matter Company Sun Cream-$18.95 CDN for 6 oz. This is the sunscreen we use personally for our family, and I love it. It’s thick and spreads really well, a whole bottle will last you roughly the season, even with applying it daily. We use the scented (natural scent, no synthetic perfumes), but they do have an unscented version as well. It’s made in Toronto and is as natural as they come. Because of the high zinc content, try your best to apply it before getting yourself or little dressed to avoid the white smudgies-which do easily wash out if unavoidable. Find it at Well.ca, Liam and Lauren Baby and SnuggleBugz.
- Badger Balm Sunscreen Cream-$21.99-$23.49 CDN for 87 ml. Another one of the top rated sunscreens for children, this one is available in a variety of different natural scents. It, like Substance, is also available in stick format, which can be easier to apply to little faces. Available at Well.ca and Parenting by Nature.
A really great, comprehensive site to check out is EWG’s Guide to Sunscreen. It’s an extensive, well researched and credible list and ratings of most major brands of sunscreen and which ones are top for protection and safety.
Have fun in the sun! ☀️☀️☀️