Finding the best sunscreen for kids with eczema can be daunting and overwhelming with so many choices. Do you have questions about the different UV lights and how to protect against them? How about the difference between the various types of sunscreen such as chemical and physical blocker? Read through this article to see what sunscreens to use for children with eczema.
I don’t want to put up a bunch of products like other affiliate marketers do trying to sell their products. I think it’s misleading. I really want to portray products that I have extensively reviewed that meet the criteria that I have laid out in this article. I plan to continue updating this page with more products that meet our standards of what is an acceptable product for babies and children with eczema. In the meantime, I want to talk about the best sunscreen for kids with eczema in this article.
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Best Sunscreen For Babies with Eczema
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen- BEST Overall
This product is free of BPA, phthalate, paraben, fragrance. It has an EWG* rating of 1, which means there is a low hazard to health. It provides water resistance for 40 minutes. This is a physical blocker sunscreen, which contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. People have liked that it has protected them from sunburns, especially those who are fair skinned. Many parents with babies suffering from eczema have tolerated this product well. Some people have complained that this lotion is thick but most people did not have problems.
This is the whole package: chemical free, excellent EWG score, long-lasting, contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide!
* see below for more info on EWG score
Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion- Best Plant-Based Ingredient
Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion- Best Feel
Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream SPF 30: Best Non-GMO
This product is free of BPA and phthalate. It provides water resistance for up to 40 minutes. Organic and non-GMO ingredients used in the manufacturing process. Badger baby is a physical blocker sunscreen and contains zinc oxide. People have liked that it has protects them from sunburns and that babies with eczema have seen improvement in their skin. Some people have complained that this lotion is thick and leaves a white cast.
This product contains Lavender and Rosemary essential oils which may repel mosquitoes. It provides water-resistant for 80 minutes. It is free of phthalates, 1,4 dioxane, PABA, paraben, oxybenzone, avobenzone. This is a physical blocker sunscreen, which contains zinc oxide (24.5%). Some people have stated the sunscreen is thick, but most people didn’t mind. It’s normal for zinc products to be like this, however, once you rub it on skin, it blends well. Also, some people have stated that it does leave a white cast, which is common with zinc products, but easily comes off.
It is made in Canada and has an EWG* score of 1 (low hazard).
In your search for the best sunscreen for kids with eczema, there are many things to consider. Take a look at common features to look for in a sunscreen.
What are the different types of sunscreens?
- There are two categories of sunscreen: physical blockers and chemical blockers
- Physical blockers– also called mineral reflectors because the minerals in these sunscreens such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide block the UV rays from the sun. The benefit of using these products is that they are less irritating to sensitive skin so better tolerated. Unfortunately, it does leave a white cast (ie smear).
- Chemical blockers– chemicals such as avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone absorb the UVA and UVB rays and convert them into heat and release from the body. They are more resistant to water and sweat, but can irritate sensitive skin.
What are UVA and UVB?
- UV is UltraViolet radiation from the sun that is damaging to skin
- UVA causes skin damage, wrinkling and some role in skin cancer.
- UVB is a key cause of skin cancer (such as melanoma) and SPF measures protection against UVB (1), (2)
Photo courtesy of MD Anderson
- UVA can penetrate to dermis layer and damage the collagen/elastic, which can cause photoaging (ie wrinkles)
- UVB affects up to the epidermis layer, but because it has high energy, it can damage at the DNA level and thus cause cancer such as melanoma and other types of skin cancer
- UVB can cause contribute to cataract formation (3)
Do I still need sunscreen when it’s cloudy?
UV rays can penetrate through clouds, which is why it’s important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days
What times are best to go out?
Even though you wear sunscreen and other protective clothing, you should still avoid going out and being in the sun from 10AM- 4PM because that’s when UVB radiation is at the highest intensity
What to look for in sunscreens for babies with eczema?
- Consider using sunscreen that are physical blockers (ie titanium dioxide, zinc oxide) as they are less irritating to sensitive skin especially children with eczema.
- Look for broad spectrum sunscreen that block out UVA and UVB
- Water resistant sunscreen
- SPF 30 or higher
- Alcohol free products
- Look for sunscreen with thicker consistency as it’s easier to apply adequate amounts than watery products.
Is higher SPF mean better or longer acting?
- SPF = sun protection factor.
- This number means how long it will take for your skin to turn red versus any time without sunscreen
- For example, SPF 30 means that will take 30 times longer for your skin to turn red than if you were NOT using sunscreen
- The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using at least SPF 30 and reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours or right after swimming/sweating (4)
Where do I apply sunscreen?
Everywhere on the body but especially lips, nose, ear, neck, hands , feet. These are areas that are exposed the most but many people don’t think about applying sunscreen to these areas.
What do EWG ratings mean?
EWG stands for Environmental Working Group. They research products (such as shampoo, cleaners, water) that are commonly used by people that may contain harmful ingredients. They look at risks for cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicities. They give a hazard score of low (1-2), moderate (3-6), high (7-10). There’s also data reliability score, which indicates if there’s enoguh data supporting claims. The score is more meaningful if it has a low hazard score and high reliability score. (5)
Image courtesy of EWG
There are many types of sunscreen and many different ingredients. It can be overwhelming as you look for the best sunscreen for kids with eczema because of all the options. In general, for children with sensitive skin and eczema, physical barrier sunscreens (ie zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are the least irritating to the skin and more tolerable. Look for products that are broad spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB.
Use products that are at least SPF 30. It’s important to protect skin against sun damage because it is cumulative. In other words, the damage you accumulate from sun exposure adds up over time. For example, the sun damage you had since you were 10 years old stays that way. Let’s pretend you stopped being in sun for 10 years, but when you go back in the sun, your body picks up from where it started. So it’s very important to start early from sun protection.
I hope this helps you in your quest to find the best sunscreen for kids with eczema!