Looking for the best sunscreen for kids? We’ve got you covered. According to Environmental Working Group (EWG)—a non-profit group that examines and researches the components of our favorite everyday products—your average brand name sunscreen products on shelves today can often be ineffective, toxic and even have misleading packaging. So, what’s a parent to do? Thankfully, EWG took the work out of it for you, examining sunscreen lotion products marketed with terms like “baby,” “kids,” “children,” “little,” and “pediatric." When picking the best products, EWG looked for things like staying power, validated SPF claims and lack of potentially harmful ingredients like oxybenzone (which can trigger allergic reactions) and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A that can potentially speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies).
It’s also important to note that the non-profit has not identified any real differences between the types of sunscreen products marketed to kids and to adults (with the exception of packaging, of course). Who would’ve thought? Nevertheless, here's a selection from EWG’s very best sunscreen for kids this year (we also went the extra mile to make sure they had good ratings from users on Amazon, too—just because something is "safe" doesn't always make it nice to use!). Check out EWG's website for the full list and to see their (eek!) worst-scoring kids’ sunscreens in case they're your usual go-to's.
For more summer fun, check out our list of the best summer activities for kids!
The best sunscreen for kids
Thinksport for Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50
This product is free of chemicals like avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, paba and 1,4 dioxane, plus it offers broad-spectrum coverage. It also has a very mild smell, a non-greasy feel and absorbs easily. $10, amazon.com
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Get screened with TruKid—it's made without vitamin a or gluten, plus it provides water-resistant broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays. It also comes in a BPA-free tube and is allegedly "reef friendly," as it's made of mineral-based and sustainably sourced zinc. $37–$38.50, amazon.com
Hate smelly sunscreen? This one's fragrance-free, plus its great for sensitive skin (and won't burn your eyes even after dipping into the pool). Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, this SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection product is also biodegradable! $15, amazon.com
Made with 10% zinc oxide and 5% titanium dioxide, this UVA/UVB protective product is paraben free, fragrance free and chemical free. And though design specifics vary by bottle, this Australian sunscreen's bottle and/or cap changes color when UVA rays are present. $12, amazon.com
Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
Grab a cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny-certified product to ensure your little one is protected from the sun. This one contains non-nano zinc oxide and organic oils, plus it's also free of gluten, pthalates and parabens. Last...it's made here in the USA! Woohoo! $18.80, amazon.com
Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
This sunscreen is great for the environment and your kiddos! It is 100% biodegradable, it contains organic ingredients like aloe vera and sunflower oil, and it also comes in a recyclable bottle. $16.50, amazon.com
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer, SPF 50
I mean...this has to be awesome. It even has "cool" in its name! It's 100% natural, paraben free, preservative free and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Ingredients like cocoa and shea butter also make it smell divine! $36, amazon.com
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
You'll love that this kids' sunscreen only has six ingredients, plus it's 95% Certified Organic! It's also hypoallergenic, biodegradable and water/sweat resistant for up to 40 minutes. $13.75, amazon.com
ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
This product has a laundry list of things it's done without (it's also vegan and not tested on animals). It's also 100% mineral! We'd call this a win-win. $45, amazon.com
Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
This cool kids' sunscreen is organic and comes without parabens and petrochemicals, plus it offers non-GMO vitamins, botanicals and plant extracts. It's even biodegradable, cruelty-free and vegan. $20, amazon.com