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Safest Sunscreens for Kids

by Lindsay Hutton

Are you looking for a natural, mineral-based sunscreen for your child? The EWG recently updated their list of best chemical-free sunscreens for 2013. Check out this list of the top picks, and use our sunscreen guide for all ages to find a product that works for you whole family.

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Young boy applying sunscreen

Environmental Working Group (EWG) Rating System


The EWG offers a rated, comprehensive list of over 1,700 sunscreens, making it easy to find a safe and effective brand for your child. They use a rating system on a scale of 0-10, with zero being the lowest hazard risk, and ten being the highest.

Aside from the rating, the EWG offers a list of ingredients to look for and to avoid on each product.

Active ingredients to look for include:

  • zinc oxide
  • titanium dioxide
  • avobenzone or mexoryl SX

These options are the best for children, people with sensitive skin, and for optimal UVA protection. It is also best to use a cream-based sunscreen with a broad-based spectrum, and with an SPF of 30+ for pool or beach use. Water-resistant brands are also good for these activities, as well as for use during exercise.

Ingredients to avoid include:

  • oxybenzone
  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
  • added insect repellents

In addition, avoid sprays or powders, since these can pose an inhalation risk, and anything with an SPF of 50+.

Although some of the EWG's picks cost a little more than typical sunscreens, they tend to be a lot thicker, so you end up using less. The following is a list of the top-rated sunscreens for kids within a reasonable price range, from lowest to highest price per ounce. Read on to find the right one for your child.

Next: BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen
(6 oz)

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