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11 Dermatologist-Approved Sunscreens for Kids

By Brigitt Earley of Oprah Daily | Slide 1 of 12: We've said it before, but it's so important, we'll say it again: Sunscreen should be a non-negotiable element of any skincare routine—and, yes, that includes kids and babies. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group's report on the best sunscreen for kids, "a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer."Of course, the only foolproof way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid UV exposure, but that's not exactly practical. While experts do recommend limiting time in the sun during prime hours when UV rays are strongest—between 10 am and 4 pm.—your day of family fun at the beach or pool may not allow for that. Plus, like adults, kids should wear sunscreen at any time of the day—even in the winter months. Across the board, the dermatologists we spoke to agree that a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen (which contains physical sun-blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) lotion is your best bet, since they offer the broadest protection against UVA and UVB rays and are gentler on kids' sensitive skin. Sunscreen should also be labeled at least SPF 30 to SPF 50 (no, 100 isn't necessary) to properly protect exposed skin. To help you select the best of the best for your most precious, we asked dermatologists to share the best sunscreens for kids and babies, including budget-friendly drugstore picks (hello, Banana Boat!), highly-rated options for children with eczema and sensitive skin, and a sunscreen spray for particularly squirmy little ones.

We've said it before, but it's so important, we'll say it again: Sunscreen should be a non-negotiable element of any skincare routine—and, yes, that includes kids and babies. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group's report on the best sunscreen for kids, "a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer."

Of course, the only foolproof way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid UV exposure, but that's not exactly practical. While experts do recommend limiting time in the sun during prime hours when UV rays are strongest—between 10 am and 4 pm.—your day of family fun at the beach or pool may not allow for that. Plus, like adults, kids should wear sunscreen at any time of the day—even in the winter months.

Across the board, the dermatologists we spoke to agree that a broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen (which contains physical sun-blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) lotion is your best bet, since they offer the broadest protection against UVA and UVB rays and are gentler on kids' sensitive skin. Sunscreen should also be labeled at least SPF 30 to SPF 50 (no, 100 isn't necessary) to properly protect exposed skin.

To help you select the best of the best for your most precious, we asked dermatologists to share the best sunscreens for kids and babies, including budget-friendly drugstore picks (hello, Banana Boat!), highly-rated options for children with eczema and sensitive skin, and a sunscreen spray for particularly squirmy little ones.

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