Technically there can only be one best sunscreen for kids, but since we are all unique and special in our own ways, it’s hard to choose just one thing for everyone. Plus, with many options available, it’s difficult to know if the best sunscreen for kids is actually safe for children to use. The Canadian Dermatology Association is a great place to start for informed decisions on products.
We know that mineral formulations like those containing zinc oxide and titanium oxide are safer and effective choices for sunscreen for kids. We also know that lotion and cream formulations are better choices than sprays, but they can be more difficult to apply and the whole process takes a lot longer. Plus, what about older children who have to apply their own sunscreen at daycamps?
But there’s no debate on applying sunscreen being essential for our daily life and for what to bring to the beach, so here are our top choices for best sunscreen for kids and the whole family. All of these products offer broad-spectrum protection with a SPF 30 or higher, have low potential for irritation, are minimally perfumed or non-perfumed, and non-comedogenic.
Aveeno Active Naturals Sensitive Skin SPF 60 & Aveeno Baby Sunscreen SPF 50
Aveeno’s sun care products are easy to find in stores and popular pick among many parents. The Active Naturals formulations gives broad-spectrum sun protection, contains no Oxybenzone, and is water- and sweat-resistant (for up to 80 minutes), oil-free, and non-comedogenic.
Aveeno’s zinc oxide-based baby sunscreen was found to be as mild as water for baby’s skin in the brand’s own clinical tests.
Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+ & Avène Spray for Children SPF 50+
Avène is a French skin care company with excellent sun care products designed to protect sensitive skin. Widely available throughout Canada, Avène’s spray formulations are non-aerosol, so more of the sunscreen ends up on your (or your kid’s) skin and not in your lungs.
Both of these formulations offer very high broad-spectrum UVA-UVB protection for sensitive skin and is water-resistant, photosable, silicone-free, paraben-free, and leaves no white streaks on the skin.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids 50 SPF
Widely available across Canada, La Roche-Posay’s sun care products apply easily to sensitive skin and is safe for reefs and sea life as well. The broad spectrum UVA/UVB face and body sun protection for kids is provides advanced protection in a non-greasy formula. It leaves a translucent white film before being absorbed into the skin, so you can see where it’s been applied.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 110 & Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 50+
Neutrogena’s sun care products are lightweight and fast-absorbing, but they don’t skimp on protection. The Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch sunscreen is SPF 110, the highest SPF value available in Canada. It offers effective, broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays is non-comedogenic and PABA-free.
The stick glides easily for application (and reapplication) on noses and cheeks. The formula is lightweight with a non-greasy finish and provides photostable, broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection that’s water resistant for 80 minutes.
Ombrelle SPF 60 Kids Wet’N Protect, Ombrelle SPF 50+ Kids 100% Mineral & Ombrelle Stick XL SPF 60
Ombrelle’s Wet’N Protect sun care products can be applied on wet skin and provides broad-spectrum UVA-UVB protection to kids’ sensitive skin. The lightweight texture is easy to apply and fast-absorbing, as well as hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance and colorant free.
The Wet’N Protect lotion is suitable for children 6 months and up. Their mineral formulations give broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection that is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and water-resistant for 80 minutes. The stick makes it super easy to apply and reapply sunscreen to those sweet, sensitive noses and cheeks.