Which sunscreen is best for kids?

Whether your family is playing at the beach, hiking in the woods or BBQing in the back garden, you want to know that your kids are properly protected from the sun. But it’s hard to know which sunscreen is best. What do I need to look out for? Which SPF should I use? (What even is SPF anyway?)

Below we’re giving you everything you need to know to safely enjoy sunny days with your adventurous little ones.

What age should children start using sunscreen?

Children can start using a toddler-safe sunscreen once they reach six months. Before that you need to keep babies safe from the sun using other methods — namely protective clothing, hats and plenty of shade.

What should you look for in a childs sunscreen?

Children’s skin is sensitive to the sun’s rays — and also more delicate than grown-up skin when it comes to chemical ingredients. So you want a sunscreen that offers high SPF protection but avoids any nasty characters in the ingredients list.

There’s most likely going to be some splashing or swimming — you did remember to pack a towel, didn’t you? — so a sunscreen with high water resistance is vital.

Another bonus feature are skin-friendly ingredients that will moisturise and nourish while they protect (ours packs in vitamins E, B3 and B5). Look out for naturally plant-derived extracts and components.

Which factor sunscreen should children use?

‘SPF’ stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’ and measures how effectively sunscreen will protect skin from harmful UVB rays. Professionals recommend young children wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen. Our Toddle Sun and Wind Balm offers SPF 50+.
Some sunscreens are described as ‘broad spectrum’, meaning they protect against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Some very high SPF sunscreens only offer protection against UVB radiation, meaning there’s an increased risk of damaging the skin (or in the worst cases developing skin cancer). We’re proud to say our sunscreen will protect your family against both UVA and UVB rays.

Do toddlers with sensitive skin need special sunscreen?

Children’s skin is generally more sensitive than adults’, so you’ll want to make sure you’re not introducing any potential irritating chemicals, which are present in some standard sunscreens.

For children, including toddlers with especially sensitive skin, we recommend a mineral sunscreen rather than a chemical one.

Chemical vs. mineral sunscreens

Chemical sunscreens work by being absorbed into the skin, where their active ingredients prevent the skin from sun damage. Effective? Yes, but more likely to cause irritation and allergic reactions. As they are absorbed, some of the harsh chemicals in these types of sunscreen can end up in the bloodstream — and some have suggested potential risks with long-term use.

Conversely, mineral sunscreens (like the Toddle Sun and Wind Balm) work by forming a protective surface on the skin. Imagine a thin, reflective ‘second-skin’ which causes harmful UVA and UVB rays to bounce off and not get through to damage the skin.

Our mineral sunscreen uses titanium dioxide alongside a host of skin-friendly plant ingredients like lemon oil and green tea. Titanium dioxide sounds tough, but it is a gentle and inert natural mineral which is great for sensitive skin but powerful at keeping the sun’s radiation at bay.

When and how often should I put sunscreen on my child?

We know. Kids want to run off and play as soon as possible, but to get the full benefit from your sunscreen you should apply it 20 minutes before exposure to the sun.

Even with very high SPF sunscreen, the amount of protection decreases over time. To keep protected, reapply sunscreen every couple of hours.

What else can I do to protect my child from the sun?

Our children are wild young things, but they are more sensitive to dehydration and heat stroke than us grown-ups.

Make sure they get regular shade, particularly from very hot midday sun. Hats keep the head and neck shady and cool.

Dehydration can be an issue, especially when kids are very active in hot weather. Keep hydrated all day long (they may be able to remember the name of every kind of dinosaur, but they’ll probably need reminding to keep drinking water).

Toddle Sun and Wind Balm

Our signature Sun and Wind Balm is specially formulated for your little adventurers. Very high protection (SPF 50+) against UVA and UVB rays is provided by a mix of effective, all-natural ingredients like lemon oil, green tea and liquorice.

Its super water resistance is up for the challenge of mini splashers, paddlers and garden-hose dodgers, and it’s loaded with skin-soothing plants and natural vitamins (C, E, B3 and B5).
We want to keep our natural world in tip-top condition, so our Sun and Wind Balm is organic, completely vegan and packaged in a super nifty polymer made from sugar cane (which is fully recyclable). What’s not to love?

Grab a Toddle Sun and Wind Balm and get on out there!

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