8 Gentle and Effective Sunscreens To Keep Your Kids Safe This Summer

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Photo: Stocksy/Sofie Delauw
Sunscreen is important for everyone, but it's essential for children. Anytime they're outside, whether that's playing at the park or building sand castles at the beach, slathering on sunscreen for kids is a must. It protects them from painful sunburns, but it also prevents skin cancer down the line.

Before buying sunscreen for kids, there are some factors to consider. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, experts recommend using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. On top of that, it's always best to choose something that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as both of those ingredients are more gentle on your child's sensitive skin and are less likely to cause irritation.

Once you have a great sunscreen on hand, the key is applying it at least every two hours. You can even have your kiddo wear a rash guard for extra protection, like this option that offers UPF 50+ sun protection. These are the best sunscreens to keep your child safe—and they're so good you'll probably borrow them for yourself, too.

The best sunscreen for kids

1. Aveeno Kids Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Sunscreen, $9

sunscreen for kids

This SPF 50 sunscreen contains naturally-sourced 100 percent zinc oxide, as well as oats for an extra-soothing effect. It's also tear-free and fragrance-free.

2. Blue Lizard SPF 30+ Kids Australian Sunscreen, $14

Your kids can get in on the fun of Blue Lizard's iconic color-changing bottles, too. This mineral-based formula doesn't contain fragrance or preservatives, and it's sweat and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

3. Two Peas Organics Mineral Sunscreen for Baby & Family, $15

This sunscreen is so gentle and effective you can use it on your kiddos and yourself. It has SPF 50, is fragrance and chemical-free, and is an extra-thick zinc oxide formula.

4. Babyganics SPF 50+ Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, $17 for 2

sunscreen for kids

Putting sunscreen on your kids is easy with this certified organic spray version. It's also dermatologist-tested and gentle on the skin, as it's formulated with zinc oxide and made without fragrance and other irritants.

5. Baby Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion, $14

sunscreen for kids

This sunscreen is made for babies, toddlers, and kids of all skin types from a gentle plant-based formula that contains zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter. Aside from protecting their skin, it also nourishes and hydrates.

6. Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen, $16

This sheer, gentle formula is vegan, reef-safe, and made from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. If you're okay with light scents, you'll love that this one uses lavender essential oil.

7. Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby Mineral-Based Sunscreen, $9

sunscreen for kids

This SPF 50 sunscreen is formulated with naturally-sourced zinc oxide, has natural botanicals like tea leaf, sea kelp, and lotus, and doesn't contain any fragrance or parabens. You can use it on babies, kids, and even yourself.

8. Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen Mineral Lotion for Kids, $15

sunscreen for kids

Aside from the SPF 50 protection and gentle zinc oxide and titanium dioxide formula, this sunscreen has the added bonus of having a matte finish which means no more greasiness.

How to apply sunscreen the right way:

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