Sunscreen Guidelines for Babies (Plus, 6 Top Product Picks)

by | Read time: 3 minutes

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, no matter what your age. For babies and kids, sun safety – including limiting sun exposure and taking smart steps to protect their delicate and sensitive skin – is critical (and one of the best ways to keep their skin healthy for years to come). With summer here, now’s the perfect time to brush up on best sun protection practices for little ones. Use this guide to prepare for sunny days at the beach, park or your own backyard.

Back View of Baby Sitting in Sand on Beach With Sunscreen & Colorful Shovels to Represent Babies and Sun Safety Tips |

Sunscreen guidelines for babies

Babies have both sensitive skin and a higher skin to bodyweight ratio than adults, which means that any potentially harmful effects of sunscreen will be amplified, making it very important to choose a product carefully.

According to the FDA, sunscreen should not be used on infants under 6 months old. Babies this young should be kept out of the sun if possible, particularly during the brightest hours of the day. If you must take your baby outside, then make sure to cover him or her with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat for the best protection.

For babies over 6 months of age, the FDA advises using any sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher; however, an SPF of 30-50 is highly encouraged for greater protection.

More sunscreen tips

When choosing a sunscreen for babies, look for fragrance-free product to minimize risk of any skin reactions. Phrases like “fragrance free” or “scent free” on the packaging will get you what you need.

Mineral-based sunscreens are also ideal, as they combine the powers of sun-blocking ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens work by physically blocking the sun without penetrating the skin, and therefore are less risky than chemical sunscreens which are absorbed. If the sunscreen leaves a residue after application, that’s a good indicator you’ve got a mineral-based sunscreen that’s safe to use on your baby.

Once you’ve found a sunscreen that meets these guidelines, be sure to apply it often and fully. This means on baby’s ears, feet, hands, back of the neck and anywhere the sun may reach.

To make your decision a little simpler, we’ve rounded up six of our favorite tried and true baby sunscreens. High in SPF and low in ingredients, they’ll help protect your baby and keep your worries at bay.

As always, check with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or before using any new products on your baby.

California Pure Naturals Baby Sunscreen

This zinc-oxide based formula uses the antioxidant powers of cranberry and rosehip oils to give your baby an extra boost of protection.California Pure Naturals Baby Sunscreen |

Babyganics SPF 50

This sunscreen checks all of our boxes and has the added benefit of being waterproof, so you can splash and swim without having to reapply constantly.Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 |

Thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick

Enjoy all the benefits of SPF 30 sunscreen in a non-oily “stick” that makes for a quick, easy and mess-free application.

Thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 |

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen

Depending on the sensitivity of your baby’s skin, this brand offers both fragrance and fragrance-free options to accommodate all.

Thinkbaby Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 | Baby Chamomile & Calendula Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

This eco-friendly option is made with 98% organic ingredients that also happen to be biodegradable and reef-friendly.Badger Baby Chamomile & Calendula Broad Spectrum Sunscreen |

Mambino Organics Sunscreen with Green Tea & Raspberry

This no-frills sunscreen comes with a convenient pre-measured pump to reduce waste and make application a quick and mess-free process.

Mambino Organics Fresh Baby SPF 30 Pure Mineral Face + Body Sunscreen |