2013 Best Natural and Non-Toxic Sunscreens for Babies and Children

July 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

Safbaby 2013 Favorite Sunscreens for Children

We have put to the test a wide variety of non-toxic, healthy, natural, mineral based sunscreens and are happy to give you the low down on them all.

We personally put each and every tube of sunscreen mentioned here to the test. There is nothing worse than buying an expensive tube of “natural sunscreen” and feeling like you’re all wrapped in saran wrap baking in the sun. We give you the low down as to how these sunscreens smell, feel, how they rub in, their consistency, their ingredients and other personal insights that will be of paramount help for you in considering the sunscreen that is right for your baby or child.

When purchasing a sunblock there are certain chemicals you should keep away from your children. What these chemicals are, what are nanoparticles, and how much sun is healthy exposure for Vitamin D support will also be addressed here. Yeah, all you need to know to keep your kids safe in the summer sun is right here! Pass it on and have a safe and sunny summer.

Toxic Sunscreen Chemicals That Are Dangerous To Our Health

Have you heard that some sunscreens actually give you cancer? Yep, you read that correctly. Some people get all freaked out about sun exposure, but if you are using a toxic sunscreen you may be doing more damage than sun exposure alone. Sun exposure damages our skin over time and if we can reduce the harmful exposure dramatically while our babies and children are young, we can greatly reduce their lifetime exposure. What a great offering to our kids long term health and well being!

What ingredients should I stay away from?

  • Fragrance that is not botanical derived

  • Parabens

  • Oxybenzone

  • Octinoxate

  • PABA

  • Homosalate

Why are they dangerous? Some of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, mimic estrogen in our bodies and cause cancer cells to grow more rapidly in lab tests.

Want some sun protection tips for infants and toddlers that help reduce harmful sun exposure without sunscreen? Check one of our older posts titled Sun Protection Tips For Infants and Toddlers.

Vitamin D and Healthy Sun Exposure For Kids

When it comes to sun and our little ones, a little bit is great, but too much exposure to damaging UVA and UVB rays can be harmful. Our children have such delicate skin and and the first line of defense in keeping our kids safe in the sun is a good sunhat and SPF clothing. But, if you are anything like our family, you better have a tube of healthy sunscreen available and ready to go because we like being outdoors. But just how much sun is healthy and how much is harmful?

Our children and babies have such delicate skin, so extra precaution is necessary to make sure we are not crossing that line of healthy exposure for them. Although some amounts of sun exposure is crucial for good healthy and optimal Vitamin D levels, over exposure can be very harmful. So, how much exposure is necessary for our kids? On average, expose your child to the sun before 10 am and after 2 p.m. for 10-25 minutes, depending on factors such as skin tone (dark skin tone will need more sun exposure than light skin), child’s age and delicacy of skin, the season, cloud cover, and pollution. As a parent you will know your child’s skin and can plan accordingly. For instance, my little girl is very fair (blond hair/ blue eyes) and I make sure that her sun exposure comes from the sun when it is not anywhere near mid day sunshine or sunscreen goes on (that is what I shoot for anyways).

Safbaby’s Favorite Organic/Mineral Based Sunscreens Safe For Kids

Healthy Sunscreens are Mineral Based/Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide and we have tested quite a few. We put them to the test in the yard, in the ocean, sweating at outdoor play and lounging pool side. Here is what we found:

Badger Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Kids Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion

Badger-Sunscreen-SPF30KidsActive Sunscreen Ingredient: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 12%

Other Sunscreen Ingredients:
*Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Juice, *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, *Sucrose Cocoate (from Coconut), Water, *Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Citric Acid (from Non-GMO Corn), Leuconostoc Ferment Filtrate (from Radish), *Glycerin (from Sustainable Palm), *Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Essential Oil, *Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), Gluconolactone (from Non-GMO Corn), *Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) CO2 Extract, Xanthan Gum, *Lecithin (from Soybean), Cellulose Gum. * = Certified Organic
100% Certified Natural by NPA
87% Certified Organic by NSF

These citrus essential oils are non-phototoxic and non-photosensitizing.

* = Certified Organic

Additional Info:   

  • Safe, chemical-free, broad spectrum protection from UVA & UVB using the mineral Zinc Oxide.
  • 100% Certified Natural and 87% Certified Organic.
  • Smells great! Lightly fragranced with non-photosensitizing essential oils of Tangerine & Vanilla in a soothing Aloe Vera base.
  • Hypoallergenic – safe for the most sensitive skin.
  • BPA & phthalate-free tube from 40% PCR recycled #2 plastic.
  • No animal testing.
  • Biodegradable and safe for coral reefs and other ecosystems.

SAFBABY review:

My daughter actually said these words out loud today when I put this on her body during our hike: “I like the way this feels on my skin.” This is huge! My daughter is so picky about sunscreen, and truth be told she puts up huge resistance for any sunscreen except for the toxic aerosol spray ones that dry super fast onto the skin. To hear those words out of her mouth was like sweet music to my ears.

The citrus smell is divine and not too strong. It is like the smell of happiness. There is the tiniest shade of white on the skin, but if you rub it all the way in, that disappears! The tube is also really great. The cap screws on tight and I just threw it into my backpack with no concerns of leaking. It comes out of the tube really nicely too, making application of this sunscreen pretty easy. More awesome bonuses!!!

I like all the ingredients that are in the sunscreen, its very natural. Its a great sunscreen for the whole family to use head to toe when we are not planning on swimming.

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Badger’s website BadgerBalm.com or on  Amazon.com.

Buy from Amazon.com

Badger SPF 34 Anti-Bug Sunscreen

Active Bug Repellent Ingredients (15.5%):
10% *Ricinus Communis (Organic Castor) Oil & Essential Oils of 2.5% *Cymbopogon Nardus (Organic Citronella), 1.25% *Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Organic Lemongrass), 1% *Cedrus Atlantica (Organic Cedar), 0.5% *Rosmarinus Officinalis (Organic Rosemary), and 0.25% *Pelargonium Graveolens (Organic Geranium).

Active Sunscreen Ingredient:
Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 20%

Other Ingredients:
*Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, and *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax)

* = Certified Organic

100% Certified Natural by NPA
95% Certified Organic by NSF

Additional Info:

  • Deet-free bug repellent – safe for the whole family.
  • Broad Spectrum sunscreen protection from UVA & UVB rays using the mineral Zinc Oxide – NO oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, or added Vitamin A.
  • Water and sweat resistant for at least 40 minutes.
  • Certified Organic base of Olive Oil, Beeswax, & Castor Oil is ultra-moisturizing and soothing.
  • BPA & phthalate-free tube from 40% PCR recycled #2 plastic.
  • No animal testing.
  • Biodegradable and safe for coral reefs and other ecosystems.

SAFBABY review:

It takes a little more effort to rub in than the average organic sunscreen because it is a bit on the dry side. The very strong Citronella scent did not bother our testers. It may be too much for those that are sensitive to strong smells, but if you are wanting protection from those pesty bugs, here it is! It is water resistant and we think it is a perfect sun screen for a hike.

There is a whitish tint after applied. If you are already a fan of Badger products, this one will not disappoint you either.

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Badger’s website BadgerBalm.com or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Badger SPF 35 All Season Face Stick

Active Sunscreen Ingredient:
Non-Nano Uncoated Zinc Oxide 22.5%

Other Ingredients:
*Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, *Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), *Theobroma Cacao (Organic Cocoa) Butter, *Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea) Butter, and Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E).

* = Certified Organic

100% Certified Natural by NPA
95% Certified Organic by NSF

Additional Info:

  • Sport Sunscreen Stick with No Added Fragrance
  • Contains Organic Ingredients
  • Broad Spectrum protection from UVA & UVB rays using the mineral Zinc Oxide – NO oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, or added Vitamin A.
  • Water Resistant for 80 minutes; biodegradable.
  • Certified Organic base of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Beeswax, Jojoba & Cocoa Butter is ultra-moisturizing and soothing.

SAFBABY review:

Unlike other sticks I have tried, this zinc sunscreen stick applied easily and evenly. I love the way it travels in purse easily, is not messy and can be applied quickly to face, lips, ears or smaller body parts exposed to the sun.

My daughter is especially sensitive to the sun right under her eyes, and I like how I can apply this stick on her face easily, around her eyes too!

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Badger’s website BadgerBalm.com or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Episencial SPF35 Baby Time Sunny Sunscreen

 sunnySunscreen_composite_2-copy

Active Ingredient:
Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen) 11%, Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen) 5.5%

Inactive Ingredients:Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkylmethacrylate Copolymer, (C12-C15) Alkyl Benzoate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Flower, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea), Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Carthamus Tinctorius (Organic Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Cetearyl Glucoside, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin (Plant Derived),Glyceryl Stearate Se, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Isostearic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Water (Aqua),Xanthan Gum (Natural Thickener)

Additional Info from their site:

  • Ages: timeless for all ages, 0 – 150 years
  • Uses: UVA/UVB protection, water resistant 80 mins
  • Benefits: moisturizing, transparent, balancing
  • Safety: doctor recommended, EWG top safety rated
  • Smells Like: unscented, like fresh air
  • Feels Like: cooling, safe, hydrating

SAFBABY review:

We put this one on to play in our yard. I applied it onto my child’s skin while she was completely dry and was able to rub in the slight white tint. She is 6 years old and is incredibly picky about the way natural sunscreens feel on her skin. Because of that I was so surprised when I saw her use this one on her own free will the other day when it was sitting out on my table!

I applied it to my skin and you can certainly tell that it is water resistant, and at the same time it is not too heavy. We really like this sunscreen and give it two thumbs up for water play time!

 

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Episencial’s  website  or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Green Screen SPF32 Organic Sunscreen

GreenScreen SPF32Ingredients:

Green Screen® Organic SPF 32 Sunscreen ONLY contains the following EIGHT organic and natural edible-grade ingredients:
1. 25% Zinc Oxide
2. Eldorado Springs Artesian Water
3. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4. Organic Jojoba Oil
5. Vegetable Glycerin
6. Organic Shea Butter
7. Vegetable Emulsifying Wax
8. Vegetable Vitamin E

Additional Info:

  • Healthy – non-nano, not-micronized Zinc Oxide as its sole active ingredient; Zinc Oxide is the only sunscreen active ingredient FDA-approved for children under 6 months of age.
  • Safe – contains simply eight edible-grade, 86% certified organic ingredients and is completely petrochemical-free
  • Effective – provides 97% UV absorption across the entire UVA & UVB spectrum
  • Unique formula - gluten-free, corn-free and vegan
  • Fragrance-free & non-comedogenic
  • Ecosystem approved – biodegradable formula is safe for reefs and the aquatic environment & packaged in 100% recyclable tubes
  • Cruelty-free – never tested on animals – only tested on humans per FDA OTC Sunscreen Monograph regulations
  • Dermatologist recommended for children

SAFBABY review:

Green Screen feels a little bit heavy on skin and leaves a mild white tint. The scent is extremely mild to fragrance free. It almost feels as if the lotion adheres to the top layer of the skin, not necessarily penetrating the skin.

We really love that this Green Screen® Organic SPF 32 Sunscreen is made from only EIGHT edible-grade organic (86% certified organic!) and natural ingredients and that this sunscreen is approved for use on children under 6 months of age, which illustrates its safety for all of us. Another product they offer is the same sunscreen, but tinted.

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Green Screen’s website Kabanaskincare.com or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Little Twig SPF 30 Extra Mild Unscented Sunscreen

Ingredients:
Micronized Zinc Oxide, Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Deionized Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safllower) Oil, Caprylic/capric, Triglyceride, Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Cetyl Ricinoleate, C12-C14 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosqualane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Lavandula Angustifolia(Lavender) Extract*, Chamomillia Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Arnica Montana Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*, Alpha Amylase, Aloe Barbadensis Extract*, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid

*Certified Organic

Additional Info:

  •  for 6 months and up
  • Water Resistent
  • No Nanoparticles
  • Paraben Free
  • Pediatrician Tested
  • Phthalate Free
  • No Mineral Oil
  • Non-Irritating and Hypoallergenic, ideal for Sensitive Skin

SAFBABY review:

This sun screen had a very mild scent and the packaging/tube is just super cute. Little Twig sunscreen goes on very easily and spreads well. This one is a keeper if you have a squirmy kid who does not enjoy getting sunscreen applied to them because of how easy and effortlessly it applies onto skin. A little amount goes a long way and it leaves a faint whitish tint to the skin.

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on Little Twig’s website or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

thinkbaby SPF 50 sunscreen

Active Ingredient:
Zinc Oxide 20% (Non-nano)

Inactive Ingredients:
Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate (Coconut Based), Pine Wood Resin, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Magnesium Sulfate (Epson Salt), Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Tcopherols (Vitamin E), Olive Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid (made from Vegetable), Papaya

Additional Info:

  • Free of biologically harmful chemicals (No Avobenzone, Oxybenzone or UV Chemical absorbers)
  • Highest SPF 50+ per FDA 2012 Rules
  • Highest level of Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection per FDA 2012 Rules
  • Highest level of water resistance (80 minutes) per FDA 2012 Rules
  • Non-nano formulation – Average particle size >100micron
  • Non-aerosol formulation (High concern of both ineffectiveness and particulates being inhaled)
  • Paraben, phthalate, PABA and 1,4 dioxane free

SAFBABY review:

There is a smell of fruity beeswax. When applying to skin it spreads easily and leaves a very faint whitish tint. This sunscreen is pretty runny however and comes out of the tube very easy, almost too easy because you often end up pouring out more than you truly need which may end up being wasteful.

This sunscreen feels good on the skin and rubs in easy. Nice feature if you have a squirmy kid who doesn’t like too much fuss rubbing sunscreen in.

Note from Founder of thinkbaby (as we have not tested the new Formula): The formula is actually much improved from the 2010 version. The 2010 version was fairly sticky and a little goopy. This is a common complaint with natural sunscreens.

Where to purchase:

Buy sunscreen  directly on think baby’s website or on  Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

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Category: 0-1 yr, 1-3 yrs, 3-5 yrs, 5+ yrs, Product Reviews, Skin Care

  • Robyn C

    We use the Episencial Sunny Sunscreen. It may not leave a white tint on Caucasian kids, but it totally leaves a white tint on brown (“African American/Caucasian”) kids. My children’s skin looks purple for awhile after putting it on. The purple tint is worth the toxin-free formula, but I have a feeling that someday, my kids are going to rebel.

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