Sun Protection & How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Kids

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Neutrogena. I received samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Now that summer is officially here, the days are getting longer and hotter than ever. While we are thrilled to spend more time outdoors running around and splashing about, the extra hours of sunlight also mean more need to protect the delicate skin of our family members, especially little ones.

My boys have sensitive skin that often burns easily. As infants both suffered from mild eczema. That’s why it’s essential they wear a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen every time we are out and about. The sun’s rays can do some serious damage in a matter of minutes; it’s a frightening statistic when you hear that sunburns in children increase the odds of developing skin cancer later in life.

sunblock for kids

So my go-to brand for sun protection has always been Neutrogena® — I’ve suffered from a number of skin problems throughout life (from acne to sunburns), and love how gentle yet powerful the products have been — they are ideal for sensitive skin! That’s one of the reasons I use the Neutrogena baby line for my own kids.

Recently, the National Eczema Association awarded Neutrogena with it’s Seal of Acceptance. Products include:

  • NEUTROGENA® Pure & Free® Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45+
  • NEUTROGENA® Pure & Free® Baby Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum 60
  • NEUTROGENA® Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
  • NEUTROGENA® Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 60+
  • NEUTROGENA® Pure & Free™ Liquid Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

With this recognition, Neutrogena is providing adults and babies with eczema/sensitive skin a safe sunscreen option that protects using naturally sourced sunscreen ingredients.

The Pure & Free™ Liquid Sunscreen is a new one to me that I think is ideal for easy application under make-up. It also offers a higher SPF which I really need this season. And Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion is a top choice for anyone who needs extra protection.

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I’ve tried a plethora of sunscreens over the years for myself and my family, and wanted to share a few tips for parents or caregivers on how to find the right sunscreen for their families.

Learn what to look for when choosing the right sunscreen to protect your kids from the sun's harmful rays!

How to choose the best sunscreen for kids:

1. Sun Protection Factor (SPF).

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a sunscreen is how much sun protection you’ll need. Throughout the year, I rock moisturizer that already contains an SPF 15; however come summer that number has to be at least 30 to prevent sunburns. That means for extra sensitive, kid’s skin, an SPF of  30-45 is best…but even better is an SPF of 50, when playing directly under the sun.

In addition to SPF, you should look for a broad-spectrum label which is designed to protect against both UVA/UVB light types that can damage skin.

Note: Interestingly enough, many resources indicate that SPF 50 is the highest SPF that exists. So those over 50 only provide a small increase in UVB protection.

2. Application Method.

Sunscreens come in so many forms these days, from lotions and sprays to sunscreen sticks and wipes. These are supposed to make them easier to work with. For myself or any other adult, the lotions or sprays work well. But for little kids, sunscreen sprays are a big no-no because they have the potential to be inhaled! That’s why I really appreciate Neutrogena’s baby sunscreen stick that I can easily rub on my little one’s cheeks, nose and neck in one stroke. Nine out of ten times I have to wrestle my toddler to get sunblock on his face, so this has been a lifesaver!

3. Type of Activity.

If the kids will be in the pool or sprinkler, consider purchasing a water-resistant sunscreen. This will minimize the amount of sunblock you need to apply, but with ALL types of sun protection reapplication is always key to prevent burns!

beach day

4. Ingredients.

Oftentimes active ingredients and chemicals are required for the ideal result, but I still try to avoid harsh chemicals at all costs when it comes to products my children will be using. I usually look for all natural ingredients that are safe on sensitive skin. I love that Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Baby sunscreen stick is 100% naturally-sourced, fragrance free and ideal for hypoallergenic skin.

With young children, it’s important to look for extra gentle formulas that are ideal for delicate skin. Check the labels carefully to find what works for your family!

They say that knowledge is power. So knowing that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer, yet only 20% use SPF daily propels me to choose skin health for me and my family!

Have you used Neutrogena sunscreens on your children? What do you look for when choosing a form of sun protection?



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  1. I too have kids with sensitive skin, I think they get it from me! Thank you for the tips on selecting sunscreen, I always wonder what’s best with the SPF and the different activities they do. I’ll be picking up a bottle of pure & free, I love using Neutrogena for myself.
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  2. I think Neutrogena makes the best sunscreen for kids.. my daughter has super sensitive skin and it never bothers her.
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  3. Erica Pallutch says:

    This is such a good read. I have 2 little girls and I really want to go out and buy the Neutrogena now to try it on them.

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