With summer always on the verge, it’s never too early to start looking for the best sunscreen for babies with eczema.
Oh yes, even though winter is on the rise at the time of this article being written, it’s never too early to start planning for the UVA and UVB rays that are to come this summer.
Run-of-the-mill products don’t even qualify for babies with sensitive skin. So, what sunscreens are the best and do qualify?
- Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby SPF 30
- Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF50
- La-Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids
- All Good SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion
- Badger – Baby Sunscreen Cream
- Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
- California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen
- BurnOut SPF 35 KIDS Physical Sunscreen
- Babo Botanicals Baby Skin SPF 50 Mineral Sheer & Gentle Sunscreen Lotion
- Banana Boat Kids Tear Free SPF 100
- BOB KIDS Brush On SPF 30
- Sunology Kid’s & Baby Safe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Babies need their daily dose of sun. The challenge with eczema though is that the sun can trigger an outbreak and a worse one at that. With your baby learning motor skills, keeping their hands off the rashes can be very difficult.
A specialized sunscreen will soothe the skin, lock in the moisture, and prevent the rashes from getting aggravated. For a working parent, it can be lifesaving as it allows you to travel unhindered with your baby without worrying about a flare-up.
I’ve compiled tons of information for this slightly long and detailed blog post. So, strap in and enjoy the read.
#1 – Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Mineral Sunscreen
The Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection is a physical-barrier sunscreen specially designed for babies with sensitive skin.
It is an SPF-50 sunscreen and offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA & UVB rays.
It has minimal ingredients, most of them naturally sourced, including the zinc oxide. To top it off, it is free of fragrances, parabens, and other toxic synthetics that are known to trigger hormonal imbalances in kids.
The consistency is smooth and even offers excellent coverage on the baby’s skin. So, you need not slather a lot, or reapply every two hours.
More importantly, it is extremely mild and does not aggravate existing rashes or trigger new outbreaks on children with eczema.
The oat kernel soothes irritated skin and helps lock in the moisture even in extremely dry weather conditions.
It does leave the skin looking a tad white, but that’s not really a deal-breaker. Most parents, including me, would be willing to live with that.
- Popular brand with consistently good reviews
- SPF-50 broad-spectrum protection
- Naturally sourced zinc oxide and Oat Kernel
- Soothes irritated skin and locks the moisture
- Nice consistency, mild aroma
- Leaves the skin looking a little white
#2 – Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby SPF 30
Blue Lizard (strange name) is an Australian brand of physical sunscreen for babies, that offers SPF-30 protection from UVA and UVB.
It uses mineral active zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a reflective barrier on the baby’s skin, that prevents UV rays from being absorbed.
No chemical ingredients, no fragrances and no parabens, the formula is as gentle as they come.
Perfect really, for babies with eczema as there are no ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction or aggravate inflamed skin.
Just like most physical sunscreens, the consistency is slightly thick, and you will have to put some effort to really rub it into the skin. But that’s just a minor quibble.
It is completely non-greasy and does not stain clothes. Once applied, it stays on for hours avoiding the need for frequent reapplication.
In fact, it is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. So, if you are heading to the beach, this will keep your child protected even if they enjoy a dip in the ocean.
The bottle cap doubles up as an indicator and turns blue when there are UV rays in the sunlight. This takes the guesswork out of sunscreen application.
- SPF-30 sunscreen for babies
- Excellent customer reviews from parents
- Mineral active zinc oxide formula
- Excellent coverage and stays on for hours
- 40-minutes of water resistance
- Slightly expensive as compared to other brands. But that’s subjective.
#3 – Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF50
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen earns the distinction of being one of the oldest brands of sunscreens around for children. Further, it has remained one of the top-rated sunscreens by EWG for years.
So, it’s backed by years and years of proven performance. We’ll give it that.
It is an SPF-50 physical sunscreen with no toxic chemicals that get absorbed into your baby’s skin. Club this with 80-minute water resistance and you have the perfect sunscreen for the day at the beach or at the pool.
The consistency is, well, thick. But that’s how it’s going to be with physical sunscreens.
What’s great about the Thinkbaby Sunscreen though is that it’s not chalky. So, your child won’t end up looking like a zombie kid. Just kidding.
A little bit provides great coverage and one application typically lasts for a few hours at least. There are adults who use this and claim that a single application lasts for up to 3-days. Go figure.
Oh, this also happens to be one of the most reasonably priced sunscreens for babies with eczema. So, if you live in an area where the sun puts on its hat quite frequently, or if you have more than one child at home, then you might appreciate the humble price tag on this.
- No chemicals
- Top-rated sunscreen by the EWG
- Perfect for sensitive skin
- Non-greasy, non-chalky formula
- Reasonably priced
#4 – La-Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo Kids
La-Roche-Posay or LRP, a brand owned by Lo Real, is renowned for its gentle formulations and is widely recommended by dermatologists and paediatricians for kids with sensitive skin.
This is their Anthelios Dermo Kids sunscreen with an SPF-60 rating, for extremely hot and sunny conditions.
It is a physical sunscreen, like the rest on this list of best sunscreens for babies. But it has a light texture which is easier to apply as compared to the thicker, heavier sunscreens.
Also, it does not form a chalky layer on the skin. So, if you have a tough time applying a thick physical sunscreen to a squirmy, restless baby, then this might be just what you were looking for.
Apart from active minerals which block UVA and UVB, the La-Roche-Posay sunscreen contains Vitamin-E and their signature, ‘thermal spring water’ as the base.
The result is a gentle and tear-free formula that doesn’t run into the eyes or trigger eczema flare-ups. In fact, it helps retain moisture in the skin.
No chemicals, fragrance, or parabens by the way.
Some parents have mentioned that it tends to stain clothes. However, there have only been a few instances of this. So, I can’t really comment on whether it occurred due to the sunscreen.
- Dermatologist recommended formula
- Gentle and tear-free
- No chemicals
- Non-greasy formula that’s easy to apply
- Some users have mentioned that it stains white clothes
#5 – All Good SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion
This coral-reef safe sunscreen from ‘All Good Products’ has an impressive SPF rating of 30 and is one of the highest-rated sunscreens by the EWG. (More on this later)
It is a very gentle formula, perfect for kids and adults who suffer from eczema.
The primary ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide which provides consistent protection from UVA and UVB rays for hours after application. Further, it comes with organic chamomile in the kid’s formula that soothes chapped and irritated skin (existing eczema patches).
The formula for adults contains organic green tea, rose hips and buriti oil instead.
Completely non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, it has a very light texture, perfect for parents who hate rubbing thick sunscreens on their babies.
Just a tiny dab of the sunscreen provides excellent coverage and it does not leave a white film on the skin. At least not as severe as many other sunscreens do.
It is water-resistant for 80-minutes. Slather it on and head to the kiddie pool.
- SPF 30 sunscreen with non-nano zinc
- Organic chamomile soothes eczema patches
- Non-comedogenic, Fragrance-free
- Coral-reef safe formula
- 80-minutes water resistance
- None so far
#6 – Badger – Baby Sunscreen Cream
This Baby Sunscreen Cream from Badger contains only 6-ingredients. Fewer the ingredients, the less likely it is to spring surprises on your child’s skin.
The primary ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide, just like the All-Good Sunscreen. It does a great job at blocking harmful rays.
But it has an organic sunflower oil base along with beeswax and Vitamin-E. Further, there’s calendula which will soothe any existing patches or flare-ups. While these do a phenomenal job of moisturizing the skin, it also makes the texture a little pasty.
So, you will need a fair amount of cream to cover your child’s body from head to toe. Also, it’s a little difficult to rub into the skin.
On a positive note, it has an SPF-30 rating, is completely free of toxic chemicals, does not harm corals and comes with a glowing recommendation by the EWG.
Personally, I wouldn’t care less about the chalky texture or a white film as long as it does what it’s supposed to do. But that’s just me.
- Minimal ingredients
- Non-Nano Mineral Zinc Oxide
- Organic Sunflower Oil Base
- Beeswax and Vitamin-E for moisturizing
- Calendula to soothe flare-ups
- EWG recommended
- Thick and pasty texture
- Need a fair amount to cover a child’s body completely
#7 – Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
The Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen lotion is a zinc-oxide based physical sunscreen with a bunch of botanical ingredients thrown in for good measure.
There’s shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil that help hydrate dry and irritated skin.
The deep moisturization ingredients serve a dual purpose.
- It helps apply the lotion evenly on the skin
- The extra moisturization is very useful for kids with eczema. The skin doesn’t feel dried out after a while.
The texture is light, and it forms a very thin white film on the skin which fades after a few minutes after applying. It’s not overly greasy or chalky. Nor does it make the child look like a powder-coated donut.
The Baby Bum sunscreen is cruelty-free and does not contain any harmful chemicals or fragrances.
By the way, this is also available as a SPF-30 sunscreen roll-on stick that is easier to apply than the lotion. If you have older kids who can apply it themselves, then the stick might be a better option. Comes in a conveniently sized container that is perfect for travel.
- Mineral-based physical sunscreen with botanical ingredients
- Shea and cocoa butter for moisturizing the skin
- Coconut oil base allows easy application
- SPF 30
- No parabens or synthetic irritants
- Also available as a rub-on stick
- Slightly expensive as compared to some of the other brands in this list of best sunscreens for babies with eczema
#8 – California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen
A consistently high rating by the EWG is what brought my attention to the California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen.
And I wasn’t disappointed one bit by what I found.
This is a very gentle sunscreen that has been around since 1995. In fact, it does not even contain Oat Kernels, which is often added to many baby sunscreens as a humectant. So, if your child is allergic to oat, this might be a great option for you.
No nuts, no gluten, no soy, no dairy either.
It is a titanium oxide-based physical sunscreen that deflects UVA and UVB rays. It does not contain oxybenzone or other chemicals that can harm your child, or damage coral reefs when washed into the ocean.
Talking about the ocean, it is water-resistant for up to 80-minutes.
The consistency is thick but non-greasy. Also, a dime-sized offers excellent coverage. So, you won’t be slathering more than what’s required. (No layering needed)
- Won multiple awards including Web MD, she knows Parenting
- Highly rated by the EWG
- A non-allergic formula that does not contain nuts
- No gluten, no dairy
- Water-resistant for 80-minutes
- Excellent coverage
- Leaves a white, noticeable coating on the skin. So, may not be suited for everyday use.
#9 – BurnOut SPF 35 KIDS Physical Sunscreen
Rated ‘1’ (the highest) by EWG, this one from BurnOut is one of the best sunscreens for babies with eczema.
It has a light consistency, is non-greasy and ideal for delicate baby skin. You can apply it easily on your child’s skin and it does not run into the eyes even if they sweat. No tears!
Also, no white streaks all over if you rub it completely.
Apart from 18.9% of non-nano Zinc Oxide, which is one of the highest concentrations of the mineral, it also contains a bunch of botanical extracts including Pomegranate and Plantain.
Both of these are very effective emollients and help retain moisture in the skin. The pomegranate also soothes inflamed patches for children who already have eczema break outs on the body.
The standout ingredient though is Helionori, which is a patented ingredient extracted from Porphyra umbilicalis (L.) or red seaweed. Helionori is added as a natural UVA filter, something that’s found lacking in most sunscreens.
However, the extra zinc oxide may dry your skin out. If you notice it, use moisture generously before you apply the sunscreen. That should solve the problem.
- SPF 35
- Top-rated sunscreen by EWG
- 18.9% Zinc Oxide
- Botanical extracts of Pomegranate and Plantain
- Perfect for sensitive skin with eczema and rosacea
- Helionori, extracted from red seaweed for UVA protection
- Non-greasy, light texture
- Might dry your skin out. Use a good moisturizer as a workaround
- Has a botanical aroma that some people dislike
#10 – Babo Botanicals Baby Skin SPF 50 Mineral Sheer & Gentle Sunscreen Lotion
This Gentle sunscreen lotion from Babo Botanicals ticks all the right boxes.
It is 100% Non-nano zinc oxide based. So, it’s a mineral physical sunscreen that does not contain any harmful synthetics.
Further, it does not contain soy, dairy, or gluten. Offers up to 80-mins of resistance to water exposure, which means that even on a humid day, it wouldn’t sweat off for more than an hour. That means less-frequent re-applications.
Lastly, it has a very light consistency, is easy to apply, and does not leave your child’s face a chalky mess.
The only possible niggle is that it has is a medicinal aroma.
The formula itself is non-scented. But it does have a mild medicinal aroma, especially when it dries off. That’s just a minor inconvenience. Definitely not a deal-breaker.
- SPF 50 sunscreen
- 100% non-nano zinc oxide formula
- No gluten, dairy or soy
- 80-mins of water resistance
- Light consistency, does not make your face chalky
- Has a mild medical aroma when it dries.
#11 – Banana Boat Kids Tear Free SPF 100
Banana Boat’s Kiddie Sunscreen with an SPF 100 rating is perfect for the holidays when your kids will be spending a lot more time outside than normal.
Ditto if you have kids who participate in sporting events or in summer camps that keep them in the sun for long.
This paediatrician-tested formula is mild enough to be used on sensitive, eczema-prone skin. It has no fragrance and does not trigger allergic reactions.
The consistency is thick though. And it leaves a noticeable white coating on the skin. On a positive note, it takes the guesswork out of the application as parents will know just which parts are left uncovered.
All said and done, this is not a physical sunscreen. It contains 2.5% Avobenzone and 3.5% Oxybenzone. Making this more of a chemical sunscreen, in which some people prefer using sunscreens that don’t contain these ingredients as the research on them is not conclusive yet.
If you would like to avoid these ingredients, I recommend that you check some of the other sunscreens in this list of best sunscreens for babies with eczema.
The Banana Boat Kids lotion is also available in milder, SPF 30 & 50 formulations.
- Highest SPF rating in this list
- Paediatrician-tested gentle formula
- Ideal for sensitive skin with eczema
- 80-mins of water resistance
- Non-greasy formula that does not run into the eyes or cause tears
- A small amount provides ample coverage
- Contains avobenzone and oxybenzone
#12 – BOB KIDS Brush On SPF 30
The BOB Kids Brush On Sunscreen is a no-mess, easy way to get protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
Unlike conventional sunscreens which are either thick creams or lotions, this is a powdered formula that comes in a container with a dab-on, soft brush.
Just pop open the container, twist at the bottom to dispense the powdered sunscreen and brush it on like you’d apply makeup.
No white streaks, no rubbing on the skin, no greasy mess. It’s a lot easier to apply to a fussy child who wouldn’t stay still.
It is a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide only. No toxic chemicals. And it is water-resistant for 80-minutes. So, you can dab it on even when you are heading snorkelling. (Reef-friendly)
With zero parabens and phthalates, it is completely safe for kids with eczema or sensitive skin.
The convenience does come at a cost though as it is more expensive than other brands. But if we are travelling and looking for a quick, convenient way to apply sunscreen, we wouldn’t mind the extra buck.
- SPF 30, Mineral-based physical sunscreen
- Easy dab-on soft brush
- Powdered form makes it easy to apply
- No streaky white mess
- Zinc Oxide
- Safe and gentle for kids with eczema
- More expensive than lotions and creams
#13 – Sunology Kid’s & Baby Safe Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
This Kid’s and Baby Safe Mineral Sunscreen from Sunology was among the top-rated sunscreens by the EWG in the past.
It is an SPF50 broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from UVA and UVB rays.
Also, it contains Moringa oil, which is rich in antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, that prevent your skin from drying out due to the zinc and titanium oxide application.
The consistency of the lotion is slightly thick. But the coverage is excellent. It doesn’t leave a white layer if you rub it on well.
The formula is gentle enough for use with your child’s eczema-prone skin. It does not run into the eyes or sting.
One of the best aspects of this sunscreen is that it stays on for hours after application. Technically, it is supposed to last for up to 80-minutes in water. But most people who’ve used it find traces of the sunscreen hours later in their shower.
So yes, it stays on and it offers excellent sun protection. What else can you ask for?
By the way, don’t be thrown off if you see Vitamin A mentioned in the ingredient list. That’s Vitamin A occurring naturally in the moringa oil. Not synthetic Vitamin A added externally. So, it’s completely safe and beneficial.
- Top-rated sunscreen by the EWG
- Contains moringa oil that is rich in antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and Vit C
- Thick consistency but excellent coverage
- Invisible coverage if you rub it into the skin
- 80-minutes water resistance
Buying Guide For The Best Sunscreen For Babies With Eczema
The rates of Melanoma, which is among the most aggressive forms of skin cancer has almost tripled in the recent past, according to the National Cancer Institute.
So, it’s not surprising that paediatricians are recommending sunscreen usage for children as young as 6-months.
But parents who have children with eczema-prone skin, have their task cut out trying to find a sunscreen that suits their kids.
Chemicals are out of the question.
Anything slightly greasy might trigger an outbreak. Most sunscreens will sting if applied on existing eczema rashes.
Overly thick and it’s a pain to apply and cover. Higher SPF ratings may be misleading by overpromising sun protection.
Whew! How then do you narrow down on the best sunscreen for babies with eczema?
Here’s a brief buying guide to help you navigate through the labyrinth.
The Ingredient list
The Ingredient list is your best friend while trying to find sunscreens for babies with sensitive skin.
As I mentioned earlier, the fewer the ingredients, the better it is.
But you also need to pay equal attention to the actual ingredients mentioned in the list, both active and inactive.
Considering that I’ve ruled out chemical sunscreens altogether, there are two minerals that are primarily used in physical sunscreens.
- Zinc Oxide: Almost 90% of sunscreens for babies use Zinc Oxide to create a physical barrier that will reflect UVA and UVB rays. It is completely safe for children with super sensitive skin, and conditions like eczema.
- Titanium Dioxide: Many brands use Titanium Dioxide along with Zinc Oxide or as an alternative to it. Titanium Dioxide is as safe as Zinc Oxide for use on sensitive skin. But it is considered to be less effective at blocking long-wave UVA rays.
Given a choice to select one from the two, I’d pick Zinc Oxide any day. But even a combo of the two isn’t a bad choice at all.
- Inactive Ingredients: Inactive ingredients make up 70% of the sunscreen formulation. And many a time, it is in this list that the manufacturers sneak in parabens, alcohols and other potential allergens like ‘methylisothiazolinone’, which is a preservative that is notorious for triggering allergies. So, watch out.
Most manufacturers have stopped using almost 12 other ingredients that were commonly used earlier in sunscreens, following an FDA crackdown a few years ago.
- Ingredients to watch out for: Keep an eye out for oxybenzone, which is known to cause hormonal side effects in children, and avobenzone, which is known to damage coral reefs when washed into the ocean. Other than this, there’s Octinoxate, Octisalate, Homosalate, Octocrylene. These ingredients have been linked with toxicity and get absorbed rapidly into the skin. Any sunscreen with these ingredients is best avoided.
The SPF Number
There is a misconception among parents that a high SPF is an indicator of a very effective sunscreen. Sadly, that’s not the case.
The SPF is touted by manufacturers as a multiplier that gives an indication of the time duration to which your child will be protected from the sun.
For example, if your child can only stand for one minute in the sun without getting sunburnt, a sunscreen with SPF 100 should protect them for 100 minutes.
That’s misleading and overpromising. Do not rely solely on the SPF number while selecting the best sunscreen for babies with eczema.
Besides, the SPF is only an indicator of how effective the sunscreen is at blocking Ultraviolet B rays that cause Melanoma. It does not indicate the effectiveness of the sunscreen in blocking UVA rays which penetrate deeper.
The ingredients are clearly more important, along with customer reviews. If you find a product with positive customer reviews and favourable ingredients, even SPF 30 – 50 will suffice.
Consistency And Ease Of Application
This is subjective. But it would be fair to say that most parents prefer sunscreens that aren’t too thick and greasy and are non-staining.
The caveat is that every physical sunscreen that contains non-nanosized particles of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide will leave a noticeable white coating on the body. It’s the old school variety of sunscreen. Simple but effective.
The extent of the visibility of this layer varies from one brand to the other. Some sunscreens disappear if you rub it gently into the skin. These are better suited for daily use, considering that children can go outside without a white chalky layer on their face.
Others just stick out like a sore thumb turning you into a zombie.
But there are many who consider this white layer as a mark of the effectiveness of the sunscreen. Also, it helps them apply it evenly on their kids as it makes it easier to detect a missed spot.
I have tried to highlight the ease of application and the visibility of the white layer after application in this list.
I hope that it allows you to make an informed selection.
The EWG Rating
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, activist group that researches and advocates consumer goods that are safe for use and are free of toxic ingredients.
Sunscreens are one of the products that they have been researching for years. In fact, they have been instrumental in creating awareness about toxic ingredients in sunscreens.
They rate sunscreens for adults and babies on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the highest. So, any sunscreen in this list that comes with an EWG rating is completely safe for use.
But it’s not the be-all, end-all. So, I’ve included as many facts and details as possible about every product on this list.
The price is the last thing that I’d consider while selecting the best sunscreen for my eczema baby.
But I get it.
Sometimes, you’ve got to pinch pennies. You have more than one child or have a large family. And if everybody is outdoorsy, well, you will be needing truckloads of sunscreen.
Even then, I’d consider the price last.
If everything else is in order, pick the most economical one that you can find.
That sums up our list of the best sunscreens for babies with eczema.
My top picks are the ‘Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunscreen’ and the Aussie brand ‘Blue Lizard’ sunscreen.
But these are not the only ones that I recommend. I have listed some terrific options in this list for babies of all ages and parents with all types of preferences.
Like the Thinkbaby Safe and the La-Roche-Posay Anthelios for parents who prefer a non-chalky sunscreen.
The BOB KIDS Brush-On for parents who hate applying greasy lotions. And so on. I hope this buying guide helped inform you of some of the best sunscreens out there for your child. Time to have fun in the sun now!