It’s now officially Spring, which means sunnier and warmer weather is on the way. To get yourself prepped for the Spring and Summer sunshine, you might be thinking about what sunscreen to get for your baby. With so many sunscreen choices, you may wonder- what is the best sunscreen for babies. Don’t fret! The Baby Pibu team is here to help you decide which sunscreen is best for your baby.
What the label says is important:
- You should choose a sunscreen that says “Broad spectrum, SPF 30+.”
- Broad spectrum means both UVA and UVB coverage while SPF means UVB coverage. SPF 30 means 97% coverage, so that is why higher SPFs are not so necessary. Instead of focusing on a higher SPF, focus on re-slathering on the sunscreen every 1 ½ to 2 hours and after water exposure. Re-slathering the sunscreen is key! It is important to have a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Both UVA and UVB contribute to sunburns, which ultimately increase your risk of skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Choose zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the active ingredients in the sunscreen:
- The best sunscreen for your baby is a chemical-free sunscreen, since it is one in which the active ingredients are not chemicals but minerals, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical blockers of both UVA and UVB rays. Since they are not chemicals, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are non-irritating to baby’s skin and gentler on the eyes. It is best to keep using these sunscreens from baby to toddler years because of this low irritation. For the years past babyhood and toddlerhood, these products are still great to use on the face. Watch out for nanoparticle-sized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide because of the concern of absorption through the skin to the rest of the body. Rather, micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are best. The micronized versions will leave a whitish residue on the skin after application, and that is a good thing to see.
Choose safe inactive ingredients that are not phototoxic or photoallergic:
- Inactive ingredients in a sunscreen product produce the “feel” of the product. These ingredients make up the vehicle of the product so that the product feels like a lotion versus a foam versus a spray. Even though natural seems better, be cautious of sunscreens with “natural” ingredients. Some natural ingredients can actually be photoallergic or phototoxic. What that means is that a certain ingredient in combination with the sun rays may lead to an allergic reaction (photoallergic) or sunburn (phototoxic). Examples of plant-based ingredients leading to a photoallergic or phototoxic reaction are lime, lemon oil, orange oils, parsnip, parsley, and celery. Note these as you are browsing through the ingredients on the label.
- Some inactive ingredients that can give some added SPF through their natural SPF characteristics are shea butter, coconut oil, carrot extract, and jojoba seed oil.
To make it really simple, the Baby Pibu team offers this: the best sunscreen for baby is one that says “Broad spectrum, SPF 30+,” that uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as its active ingredients, and that uses inactive ingredients which are not phototoxic or photoallergic.
So, there you go! Happy shopping for your Baby Sunscreen.