Sure, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen — and there are plenty of ways to add to your kid’s sun protection using clothing with SPF. But there’s no substitute for sunscreen, and it’s a known fact that not all sunblock is created equal. Every year, the Environmental Working Group digs up all the details on commercial sunscreens for kids and gives them a rating based on safety. They take into consideration product packaging, the usability of each sunscreen and the amount of harmful chemicals used in the product. For instance, EWG filtered out products with ingredients that it considers worrisome, like formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.
The watchdog nonprofit researches, scrutinizes and tests hundreds of sun protection offerings with one goal: to tell consumers which sunscreens specifically marketed for use on babies and kids belong on children’s skin and which ones are better left on the shelf.
So, before you put a bottle of sunscreen in your cart, make sure you flip it over and check the ingredient list to ensure you aren’t rubbing an ineffective sunscreen with troublesome ingredients onto your child’s skin. We’ve taken the EWG’s recs into account and have rounded up some of the best and safest sunscreens out there right now, for your little one’s sensitive skin. Take a look, and play safe!
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A version of this article was originally published in May 2016.