The Best Mineral Sunscreen Lotions To Use On Your Kids In 2023
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As a mom of two young kids living in Northwest Florida, I can’t tell you how many sunscreens I’ve tried out until I found a couple of brands that safely work with my kids’ sensitive skin.
When we first moved to the area five years ago, I made a naive mistake of purchasing a chemical sunscreen by a popular brand, and it made my son’s skin break out in a terrible rash. I felt horrible.
That mistake made me “wake up” and start making wiser, more mindful decisions when it came to skincare products for my entire family—particularly sun protection—and mineral sunscreen has become part of our everyday skincare routine.
What Is The Difference Between Mineral And Chemical Sunscreen?
Chemical and mineral sunscreens are two of the most popular types of sunscreen available in stores today. Both offer excellent protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but there are some key differences between the two that should be taken into consideration when choosing a sunscreen—especially for young children.
Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, which is then released from the skin. These sunscreens typically contain a combination of active ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, and octocrylene.
While they are very effective at blocking UV rays, some people may experience skin irritation or sensitivity to these ingredients, just like my son did at the time.
Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, contain physical blockers such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients work by reflecting and scattering UV rays away from the skin, rather than absorbing them.
Mineral sunscreens are generally considered to be less irritating than chemical sunscreens, and they are also more effective at blocking UVA rays, which can cause long-term skin damage.
What Are The Benefits Of Mineral Sunscreen For Kids?
Mineral sunscreen is a great option for kids, as it offers many beneficial features. As a mom who has tried both chemical and mineral sunscreen on my children, I can honestly say that these facts below are true.
- Mineral sunscreen is made from natural minerals which are not absorbed into the skin, and therefore do not cause irritation or other skin sensitivities.
- Mineral sunscreen is water-resistant, so it will stay on even after swimming or sweating. This is especially important for kids who are active and spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Mineral sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals that can have negative impacts on the endocrine system.
- Mineral sunscreen has a more pleasant smell, and oftentimes goes on sheer, which means it’s easier to spread and makes life for moms with squirmy toddlers a lot easier.
- Mineral sunscreen often contains natural oils, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower seed oil, which nourish and hydrate the skin in addition to providing UV protection.
- Mineral sunscreen lotions can be used by the whole family!
At What Age Can Children Wear Mineral Sunscreen?
Every child needs sun protection, and The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that all children wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
When it comes to age, babies as young as 6 months old can wear sunscreen, and mineral sunscreen is recommended due to their delicate skin that is susceptible to irritation and hormone disruptions.
If you have a baby that is younger than six months old, the rule of thumb is to just keep them out of the sun, and have them covered in lightweight, breathable clothing and sunglasses with UV protection.
Bamboo fabric is fabulous for babies, especially since it has natural UV protection, but it’s hard to find swimsuits made from bamboo. Primary is one of my favorite online sustainable clothing stores for purchasing bamboo clothing, and they have a really fun swimsuit collection for babies and kids.
With that said, below are my favorite mineral sunscreens that I have personally used on my two children, and I highly recommend them for anyone with kids that have sensitive skin, eczema or keratosis pilaris (like one of my children).
These mineral sunscreen lotions are also all hypoallergenic as well as vegan, cruelty-free, and reef safe. In other words, they’re safe for your little ones and the planet.
5 Best Chemical-Free Sun Block Lotions For Fun In The Sun!
Evereden Mineral Sunscreen Lotions
Evereden has two amazing mineral sunscreen lotions and I own the SPF 50. Both are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and this is by far the best sunscreen lotion that my kids and I have ever worn. It is so sheer and smells so lovely, that we don’t even feel like we are wearing it.
When I first got this lotion in the mail, I tested it out on my son’s arm since he is the most sensitive out of all of us, and it indeed proved to be hypoallergenic. Now his skin is fine after having it on all day long, and he is always protected from the hot Florida sun without breaking out in hives.
Both can be used on babies as young as 6 months old, and when you purchase these directly on the Evereden website, you can get 15% off on your purchase with my special code ECOMOM at checkout!
- 100% Mineral Non-Nano UV Filters
- Serum-like fluid texture that absorbs quickly without a white-cast
- Time-release technology for all-day, vitamin e-rich hydration
- Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB and Blue Light Protection
- Water & Sweat Resistant
- Non-comedogenic/ Suitable for face and body
- Must be reapplied every 40 minutes
Hello Bello Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
Hello Bello is a mineral sunscreen lotion made with zinc oxide that my kids and I absolutely love using, and it was the first mineral sunscreen that I ever purchased. It is a great alternative to chemical sunscreens, is easy to apply, and in my opinion has a lovely subtle citrus like scent.
It provides excellent protection from the sun’s harmful rays, and the lotion is lightweight and non-greasy, making it perfect for everyday use. It’s not as sheer as EverEden (above), but is still a great sunscreen to have on hand—I’ve been very pleased with it.
- Lightweight and non-greasy formula
- Made with non-nano zinc oxide
- Made without synthetic fragrance, phthalates, parabens, oxybenzone and octinoxate
- Reef friendly
- Up to 80 minutes of active protection
Think Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
ThinkBaby is an excellent mineral sunscreen lotion made with zinc oxide that is specifically designed for kids, and I used it on my daughter when she was a baby a few years ago. It is made with natural and organic ingredients, and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
With its non-greasy, lightweight formula, ThinkBaby is easy to apply and won’t leave your kids feeling sticky or uncomfortable. It is definitely a great choice for parents looking for an affordable, safe and effective sunscreen for their children—especially babies.
- Organic and mineral based with Zinc Oxide
- Non-greasy and goes on easily
- Biodegradable and reef-friendly
- Up to 80 minutes of active protection
- Comes in a tube made of environmentally friendly packaging that does not contain BPA, vinyl, or phthalates
Earth Mama Uber-Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
I love the Earth Mama brand—especially their uber-sensitive sunscreen lotion made with non-nano zinc and calming organic colloidal oatmeal. If your child suffers from eczema, this little gem is perfect for their “uber” sensitive skin. It’s a little thicker than other sunscreen lotions, but totally worth it.
This is a fantastic sunscreen that is super gentle on sensitive skin, and provides excellent protection from the sun’s harmful rays. I love that it is made with natural and organic ingredients that are safe for children’s skin and the environment.
- Made with organic colloidal oatmeal and organic Shea butter
- Reef friendly: made with non-nano zinc
- Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection
- Water Resistant
- Up to 40 minutes of active protection
Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen
The Babo Botanicals mineral sunscreen lotion for babies and kids is made with zinc oxide and 24 plant-based ingredients including nourishing shea butter. It goes on smoothly and has zero fragrance—perfect for sensitive noises who prefer unscented lotions.
Babo botanicals is gentle on baby’s skin, and provides protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, making it a great choice for those who are spending time outdoors.
- Formulated with zinc oxide and moisturizing sunflower oil
- Water Resistant
- Active for up to 80 minutes
- Made with 24 plant-based ingredients, including the brand’s certified organic Nutri-Soothe™ Herbal Blend
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