Looking for the best sunscreen for your family? As a parent, you’re always on the lookout for things that could potentially harm your kids. So here are a few tips to make sure you pick out a great sunscreen:
Go Physical. Rather than a chemical sunscreen, MomTricks suggests shopping for a physical sunscreen instead. Physical sunscreen stays on the surface of the skin. That’s how it reflects UV rays. Chemical sunscreen, though, seeps into the skin. While there’s actually no scientific data to prove that it’s dangerous, why take chances with your family’s health? Chemicals might prove too much for a children’s sensitive skin and result in rashes.
- Choose Water-Resistant. You all need lots of sun protection, especially if the entire family is spending time at the beach. However, even if you’re not taking the kids on a swimming trip, making sure they’re protected from the harsh rays of the sun is still important. Keep your family safe from sunburn. With a water-resistant sunscreen, you know they’re protected even when they sweat.
- Go for Hypoallergenic Ingredients. If your kids have sensitive skin, then going for sunscreens that are non-toxic and hypoallergenic is better. This way, you chemicals won’t irritate your children’s skin.
- Look for Zinc. The Huffington Post suggests going for sunscreens that have list physical sun blockers among their ingredients. This includes zinc oxide along with titanium dioxide. Since these ingredients create a physical barrier against sun and skin, you’re protected from sunburn in the safest way possible.
- Fragrance-Free is Better. When you pick a natural sunscreen from trusted brands like The Honest Company, make sure it’s unscented. Scents usually come with phthalates which are chemicals that possibly contain carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization. MedicineNet defines carcinogen as anything that can cause cancer. That’s something you definitely don’t want anywhere near you, much less anyone in your family.
Other Tips to Remember
When it’s finally time to slather on the sunscreen, make sure to remember a few of these tips from Baby Center to ensure full-on sun protection:
- Use Generously. Are your kids in a hurry to jump into the water? Don’t rush through the sunscreen application, no matter how restless they are. Take your time. Make sure you slather on the sunscreen generously. A thin coat will wear off faster. That could lead to painful sunburns as well as require more frequent reapplications. You wouldn’t want them to end up sunburned after less than 2 hours in the sun. So start right by applying thick coats. This will keep your family’s skin safe from sunburn and your kids from melanoma complications in the future.
- Don’t Forget About Burn-Prone Areas. It’s important to make sure burn-prone areas area covered. These include the nose, ears and back of the neck as well as the shoulders. Picking out sunscreens in bright colors—that eventually fade when absorbed into the skin—come in handy here since it’s easier to tell if you’ve missed an inch or not of your child’s skin. That also keeps you from covering the same ground.
- Physical Sunscreens Work Faster. Physical sunscreen works as soon as you apply it on the skin. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, need more time as the chemicals have to be absorbed into the skin before the solution works. After hours cooped up in the car, the minute your kids see the beach they’re more likely to run to the beach than wait for you to apply sunscreen. As soon as you’re done with the sunscreen, they’ll probably leap straight into the water. If you used a chemical sunscreen, there might not be enough time for the chemicals to be absorbed into the skin, thus rendering the sunscreen useless. That’s why a physical sunscreen works better than a chemical one.
- Reapply Often. Expect a waterproof natural sunscreen to last longer. But don’t trust the 8-hour promise of sun protection. That’s only true if your kids keep still the entire day. Every time they sweat, run or brush up against anything, a little of the sunscreen wears off. So when’s the best time to reapply sunscreen? Every 2-3 hours. If you’re going to stay for more than a day or two, it’ll be a good idea to pack along extra bottles of your preferred sunscreen so you won’t run out on your holiday vacation.
- Sunscreen isn’t everything. While natural sunscreen is definitely on your must-have list, it’s not the only one on your list. Make sure you’re covered in other ways too. Bring along sunshades to counter the glare. Make everyone wear hats when the temperature turns hot and humid. Pack along long-sleeved clothes they could wear out of the water.
All it takes is a bad case of sunburn for allergies or skin cancer to set in. So don’t take chances. Follow these tips to ensure your family’s comfort and protection under the bright, beaming sun.