Safest Sunscreens for Kids
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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:
- 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.