Best type of sunscreen for children, according to a Dermatologist

Best type of sunscreen for children, according to a Dermatologist

I have a good friend who is a dermatologist so whenever I have any skin questions, she is the one person I call.  Especially when it comes to sunblock and ESPECIALLY when it comes to sunblock for kids.  She recommends sunblock with zinc oxide. It is one of the most effective sun protectors available, blocking both short and long UVA rays and all UVB rays. Further, it is the only active ingredient approved by the FDA for infants under 6 months.  A close second, she says, is titanium dioxide. For babies in particular, she advises choosing a sunscreen with the highest SPF protection available.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it recommends that all kids, regardless of skin tone, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. 

In general she says, people don’t apply as much sunscreen as they should, so it can get diluted. If you’re spending a day in the sun, she recommends every hour and a half to two hours, especially if your child has been swimming or sweating a lot.

Here in my home, we have tried many different kinds and some have fared better than others.  Below, I share with you the one’s we have found to be most effective in the over and under $20.00 ranges.  


  1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen 60+SPF (+$20). The accolades here go without saying, as this Dermatologist-recommended sunscreen has won top honors from Consumer reports multiple years in a row. Its fast-absorbing formula melts into your skin, until you forget you are even wearing it.

  2. Neutrogena Ultra sheer dry-touch sunscreen SPF 100 (- $20). This is one of the best Drug store buys you can find. This lightweight formula feels great on the skin and absorbs fast.  It doesn’t clog pores and it does not leave residue.  It has a solid following, which speaks to the reason it’s been a number one performing drugstore sunblock for years!


  1. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby SPF 30 ( $20). Blue Lizard contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, providing broad spectrum UV protection and is incredibly water resistant.  The bottle cap is designed as an indicator, turning a blue color in harmful UV light

  2. Aveeno Baby continuous protection Zinc Oxide mineral sunscreen SPF 50 (under $20). Its SPF 50 is enriched with colloidal oatmeal, which keeps the baby's delicate skin barrier well hydrated.


  1. Over $20, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids sunscreen SPF 60 (over $20). Formulated with antioxidants and vitamin E, this is as gentle for babies as it is for children and protects against free radicals, while the SPF 60 shields UVA and UVB rays. Dermatologist tested, this product is free of parabens, oil and fragrances, making it good for even the most sensitive skin.

  2. All Good Kid’s sunscreen SPF 30 (under $20). This formula contains Zinc Oxide and is specifically formulated for kids.  In addition to protecting skin, this lightweight lotion also uses organic green tea, rosehip oil and chamomile.  It’s also water resistant for 80 minutes and rubs in easily.

Any sunscreen is better than none, but it is important to acknowledge they are not all the same. Make sure whichever you decide to go with, that you do in fact read the ingredients. For optimal protection it is also important to apply every 2 hours, especially during the sun’s most dangerous time (10-3pm).  Have a safe and Happy Summer!

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