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Best Overall: Babyganics Sunscreen Spray at Amazon
"It’s non-allergenic and tear free for kids, and water resistant up to 80 minutes."
Best Budget: Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Spray Sunscreen at Amazon
"Rings in at a budget-friendly price point and offers quick and easy coverage."
Best Drugstore: Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Face Sunscreen Stick at Amazon
"Dermatologists like that this stick has mineral ingredients, so it won't cause skin allergies."
Best Natural: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen Stick at Amazon
"The SPF 30 formula is fragrance free and doesn't include paraben or phthalates."
Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Kids Sunscreen at Amazon
"Appropriate for kids aged 3 and up with a formula tested to cooperate with sensitive skin."
Best for Babies: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen at Amazon
"Formulated for babies’ delicate skin with naturally-sourced zinc oxide."
"This spray-on sunscreen is made with botanical ingredients like aloe leaf juice and avocado oil."
Best Stick: Supergoop Mineral Sunscreen Stick at Supergoop
"Blends easily on squirmy kids, so it's a great option for UV protection while you're on the go."
Best For Swimming: Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen at Amazon
"The bottle cap changes color in UV light to let you know when you need to reapply sunscreen."
Best for Sports: Supergoop PLAY Everyday Lotion at Amazon
"It’s sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, making it an ideal option for sports."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Babyganics Sunscreen Spray
In order for any sunscreen to have maximum effectiveness—extra important for kids’ delicate skin—it must be used properly and in adequate volume. “It is a good idea to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside to allow it to set,” instructs dermatologist Brendan Camp. “And remember to reapply about every two hours or after swimming or sweating.” With that guideline in mind, our best overall pick goes to Babyganics SPF 50 spray. The spray is non-aerosol, meaning it’s better for the environment and also amounts to less waste in the air, resulting in a more targeted application. It’s non-allergenic and tear-free for kids, and water-resistant up to 80 minutes.
Best Budget: Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Spray Sunscreen
Banana Boat’s spray option offers quick and easy coverage, in a fragrance-free formula meant to be mild for skin and tear free for kids’ eyes. Plus, this one rings in at a decidedly budget-friendly price point so you can buy in bulk and apply liberally. “I recommend using SPF 30 or higher and remember to reapply every two hours, and after water exposure or sweating,” says dermatologist Marisa Garshick. This spray offers SPF 50+ protection from the sun's harmful rays and is pediatrician tested. “It is well known that sun exposure in childhood can impact skin cancers and aging when you are older, so it is important to be safe in the sun in childhood.”
Best Drugstore: Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Face Sunscreen Stick
Aveeno’s oil-free sunscreen stick is a great on-the-go option, and its mineral composition ticks an important box on dermatologists’ list of recommendations for child sun protection. “Look for sunscreens that contain mineral ingredients like zinc oxide by itself or in combination with titanium dioxide,” says New York-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. “Kids' skin tends to be more sensitive than adults, so mineral blockers are a good option since they are not likely to cause skin allergies or irritation.” This SPF 50 version contains oats to soothe skin, and naturally sourced 100 percent zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are active ingredients. It's sweat and water resistant, and TSA friendly to boot.
Best Natural: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen Stick
Dr. Garshick recommends Thinkbaby’s stick, calling it, “easy to apply and a great option for children.” The SPF 30 formula with 80-minute water resistance and broad-spectrum coverage rubs in easily without feeling oily. It’s also notable for what it doesn’t include: avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalates, or UV chemical absorbers. And it’s fragrance free, which fits with Dr. Zeichner's recommendation to “stay away from products with synthetic fragrances, as they can cause skin reactions.”
Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Kids Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay makes its Anthelios sunscreen for kids aged 3 and up with a formula tested to cooperate even with the most sensitive skin. It’s just right for anywhere on kids’ (and adults’) bodies, with antioxidants, vitamin E, and a soothing texture that makes skin feel truly soft and moisturized. It provides broad-spectrum SPF 60 protection and is water-resistant up to 80 minutes. Plus, it won’t run into kids’ eyes or cause irritation when sweating or in the water.
Best for Babies: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen
“For children younger than six months, minimize sunscreen use, but use it when necessary,” Dr. Camp recommends. “Sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are less likely to irritate a baby’s skin.” So when you are using sunscreen on your infants, Neutrogena’s Pure & Free formulation fits the bill. It’s 100 percent mineral-based and formulated for babies’ delicate skin with naturally-sourced zinc oxide. This approach provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection by creating a screen between baby's skin and the sun’s rays. It’s also free of chemicals, fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and dyes. And it’s tear free, hypoallergenic, and water resistant up to 80 minutes for those extended days playing outside.
Best Spray: Alba Botanica Tropical Fruit Clear Spray
There’s no denying the ease of a spray sunscreen for kids, who might be inclined to try to wiggle their way out of the sunscreen application process and turn it into a highly challenging feat. Alba’s lightweight SPF 50 version is water-resistant up to 80 minutes. It’s made with botanical ingredients like aloe leaf juice and avocado oil. As an added bonus, it's also coral-reef friendly, biodegradable, and not tested on animals, so you can feel good about buying it, too.
Best Stick: Supergoop Mineral Sunscreen Stick
“Supergoop’s mineral-based sunscreen stick contains zinc oxide,” explains Dr. Camp, who personally recommends the product. It’s hydrating, water resistant, and also easy to blend even on squirmy kids, so it's a great option for UV protection while you're on the go. The 100 percent mineral sunscreen stick is made with olive fruit extract and works for face, lips, ears—anywhere. It’s also reef safe and cruelty free, with environmentally friendly packaging. Just remember, “when using a sunscreen stick, it is recommended to do four passes back and forth to apply sufficient product,” Dr. Camp says.
Best For Swimming: Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen
Blue Lizard Baby gets high marks from multiple dermatologists we consulted. “I love this sunscreen for babies and children and it is great for those with sensitive skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “The color-changing bottle or cap changes color in UV light so you know when you need to apply sunscreen—and that’s also fun for the kids.” Beyond that fun and functional novelty, the mineral-based sunscreen has no chemicals, no parabens, and no fragrances; rather it uses only zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to shield the sun's rays.
Best for Sports: Supergoop PLAY Everyday Lotion
Supergoop’s broad-spectrum SPF 50 lotion works for both your face and body with a hydrating formula that absorbs fast and performs well. It’s sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, making it ideal for sports. Kids also love the non-sticky feel. Plus, it’s a lotion versus a spray, which might have an advantage: “Lotions and stick sunscreens may protect better than sprays because they provide better skin coverage,” Dr. Camp says.
Best for Face: Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick
“For those looking for a stick option, this is a great mineral-based sunscreen that is safe on children and easy to apply,” says Dr. Garshick. The lightweight and non-greasy face sunscreen affords UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection and is water resistant up to 80 minutes. This vegan formula is specifically made for kids (including babies) with naturally moisturizing ingredients, including natural zinc oxide, coconut oil, and shea and cocoa butters. It’s also hypoallergenic, and free from paraben, sulfate, and silicone.
Best for Lips: Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen
For protecting and moisturizing kids’ delicate lips, Dr. Camp recommends this lip sunblock, which he describes as “soft and smooth and contains titanium and zinc.” Vanicream's option with an angled applicator tip has broad-spectrum protection SPF 30 and is water resistant up to 80 minutes (and kids won’t mind reapplying this soothing product).