Looking for Sunscreen for Child with Sensitive Skin

Updated on June 11, 2009
H.N. asks from Cedar Rapids, IA
32 answers

With summer just getting started I have made sure that we are putting on the sunscreen every time we go outside. After a picnic day my 2 1/2 year old woke up with a rash all around her neck, chest and back. She had really bad scratch marks so it must have been really itchy to her. Unfortunately we didn't take a bath that night after our outdoor adventure. Then another day we played in the pool she had another rash after using the sunscreen. We were using Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50.
I think she may have had an allergic reaction to the sunscreen we were using.

Has anyone experienced this and is there a sunscreen you use for sensitive skin?

Thanks

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So What Happened?

Oh my I am so thankful for all the responses. I got some great ideas for products to try. For right now we are trying the Aveno baby, so far she has not reacted to it. If she seems to have problems with this sunscreen then I may try some of the other ideas from the many suggestions. I never thought sunscreen would cause a little girl to have such a rash, and am thankful for mamasource to ask questions about other products.
Thanks

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K.R.

answers from St. Cloud on

My son had what sounds like the exact same reaction to the exact same sunscreen. We switched to the Banana Boat Baby Tear-Free SPF 50 Continuous Lotion Spray and haven't had a problem since.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.M.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

We've been using California Baby SPF 30 (I got it at Target in the baby aisle) and had no problem. All their products are designed for people with sensitive skin.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

My sister had an allergy to the sun that acted that way - I don't know if they'd still call it an "allergy" to the sun but that's how it was diagnosed in the 70s. just something to keep in mind as you watch her this summer.

1 mom found this helpful

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R.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

My newly-turned four year old has always had very sensitive skin. She would break out from every baby lotion and sunscreen on the market, including Aveeno (which claims to be as gentle as water- yeah right). Our pediatrician and a dermatologist recommended Vanicream SPF 60 and you can get it a your pharmacy. It is relatively expensive, but has no irritants and also no parabens and other potentially dangerous ingredients. Another brand that has worked well for is is Earth's Best and is available at Babies-r-us and probably other retailers as well. One thing about the Vanicream: it is not waterproof, which is one of the reasons it is so good for sensitive skin, but as long as you reapply every few hours you will have no troubles. My girls are both super faired skin with white-blonde hair and netiher have ever experienced a sunburn.

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008/r...

The link above is one web site that has many pages concerning all aspects. I would like to avoid all chemical sun screens, and go 100% physical sun screen (zinc or titanium dioxide, in a CREAM rather than spray). The ingredients listed on the page above are those found in both the Target and the high priced sunscreen.

Vanicream is leisted as low hazard, and Burt's Bees is considered moderate hazard; the web site lists hazards of every ingredient. Spend some time, it is highly technical in some parts, but worth the disection.

Good luck!

P.S. I was told by our Ped that the spray-ons were the worst as far potentially dangerous goes for kids.

2 moms found this helpful

K.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

My cousin is the same way... my aunt orders a special one (like a perspiration medication) so talk to your doctor about prescribing a sunscreen. I do not remember the name of the sunscreen, but I do know that my cousin is allergic to something in the sunscreens and they have tried all the ones you can buy off the shelf.

You can just try all the ones that are sensitive, test on a small area and see what happens. If nothing is working I would talk to you son's doctor about getting a prescription sunscreen.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.N.

answers from Milwaukee on

Sunscreens have so many horrible chemicals in them. It's important to know that the higher the SPF, the harsher the chemical. SPF of 25 is a complete block and as long as you reapply every couple of hours (more with excessive sweating and swimming) it will filter out all the harmful rays. I'd love to send you a free sample of a sunscreen I absolutely swear by. It's by L'Bri Pure n' Natural and aloe vera is the very first ingredient (at lest 80% aloe)and it's a SPF of 26 and it's very gentle and works wonderfully. Let me know if you'd like me to send you a sample.
S.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi, H.. If you're interested in trying a sample of Arbonne's sunscreen let me know. We have a great kids kind that works for people with sensitive skin. I can send you a sample to try first, and there is a 45 day money back guarantee so you can make sure it's going to work if you decide to buy it.

Good Luck!
N.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from Madison on

I have terrible sunscreen allergies, since I was a kid I break out into a rash, and get puffy and hives. I have finally found some products that work for me. I really like badger sunscreen, they have it at the health foods stores and REI, it is water resistant. Also, Alba has one that I like (but only 1 doesn't have chemical sunscreen in it), and there is another called Soleo Organic natural sunscreen. That last is the only one that doesn't turn me totally white, but I can't use it many days in a row, as there is a mild irritation in it. Anyway, I look at the labels and make sure that the only active ingredient is zinc oxide or titianium dioxide, these are physical sunscreens as they physically block and repel the sunlight from your skin. I also make sure that every ingredient is something that is natural that I recognize. I hope this helps! Remember lightweight long sleeves and hats are good too!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hi H.! Do NOT use the Sunshades mineral sunscreen! My son's skin was damaged by it. It is a terrible product.
I bought a sunscreen from Dr. Mercola - you can go to his website www.mercola.com and they have a totally safe sunscreen and it doesn't bother those in our family with sensitive skin!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi there - we, too, have sensitive skin and each of us reacts differently to different sunscreens, etc. Aveeno is a great product but if you find that it's not working (one of my daughters and myself received sunburns even when using it) our pediatrician recommended sunscreen with zinc oxide. Walgreen's has their own label sunscreen with zinc oxide. I tried it and have been hooked ever since because it works for ALL of us. I have an allergy to the sun and it even helps keep that under control. I highly recommend it.

Good luck with your trials,
-K.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi!

Our son has very sensitive skin . . . we have found that Aveeno Baby has worked amazingly well and did not bother him at all! Great product! Derm and physician recommended!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

If you want something that works well and has no chemicals in it, go with California Baby sunscreen. You can usually buy it at Target or purchase it online. That's all I've ever put on my kids, even on our trip to Florida in January. They didn't get a sunburn or a tan! California Baby products are rated high on the safe cosmetics database list (which means very little chemicals or allergens in the products). Check out their website to see their products. http://www.californiababy.com/

It's a bit more spendy, but worth it knowing your not slathering on a lotion filled with fragrances and chemicals.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

vanicream makes a great sunscreen you can get at target or walgreens.... it's part of their whole line- great for sensitive skin!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.L.

answers from Milwaukee on

H., I always liked the Aveeno. However, I was recently introduced to Arbonne and they have a great skin care line for babies that is botanically based. It is 30 SPF and produced for babies and those with extremely sensitive skin. I can hook you up with a rep if you are interested.
Happy Summer!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi H.
We went through this and tired all the sunscreens listed below. My child is very sensitive. We finally found a suncreen that worked. It is called Blue Lizard Australlian Sunscreen. It is Chemical free and for sensitive skin. The kids like it because the bottle turns blue when exposed to UV light so as soon as they see the bottle turn blue they know its time for sunscreen. I hope you find one that works for you.
K.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

I haven't experienced that at all, but my daughter used to cry when I used one type of sunscreen. Then my doctor recommended Aveeno Baby sunscreen. I don't know if it will help, but you may want to try it.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

We had the exact same problem! First someone recommended Aveeno, and since I love that brand, I did try it but it didn't solve the problem. Maybe it will work for you, though. Then someone recommended the Shaklee brand sunscreen, and it works great! No rash, no red skin, perfect! If you try that, just look online for a Shaklee rep, order it from their website, and it will come right to your house. It's a little expensive, but it lasts a long time and is worth it to keep that little sensitive skin protected.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.E.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

My 5yo son has very sensitive skin and what I use is Coppertone for Face & Neck on his whole body. He has never gotten a burn and we have been using that brand for three years now. Hope this helps!

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D.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

I believe Neutrogena just came out with one and I think Aveeno has one. Both of these brands are usually great fro skin issues.

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M.C.

answers from Duluth on

Today you have to be very careful with products on the market. Personal care products are not regulated by the government. In 1937 personal care product were deregulated. That includes children and infant products too. Personal Care Products are anything you put on your skin, on your hair, in your mouth, eyes, ears, vaginally, rectally. That is a lot of products.

Being a Practical Nutrition Consultant I search for safe products. One of the safest on the market you can get from my web site. http://www.shaklee.net/u2vitality I love these products and they are really safe. The Shaklee company is leader in nutrition and environmental products plus we have a line of skin care that is actually nutrition for the skin.

Sun Protection of SPF 30 for Body #32519. Plus a very awesome product called
"Calming complex Item # 32507. What calming complex does it makes the skin stop reacting to situation. So if you get wind, sun burned, or heat rash a chemical reaction start penetration through the 7 layers of skin causing pain and discomfort. The Calming Complex stops the chemical reaction, lessening the effects if you get into a situation like that. Many men use it for shaving. It has all kinds of uses.

We have a full line of baby/infant products & kids line called Shakleebaby and Shakleekids. I have specials going on with both lines. If you’re interested contact me.

Visit my 3 min flash video;

http://content.shaklee.com/shaklee/flash/show.php?video=Baby

Part of the special is for the mom in the house, keeping you healthy is very important so you can care for your little one.

I hope this helped.

M.
Practical Nutrition Consultant
http://www.shaklee.net/u2vitality
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
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B.T.

answers from Sioux Falls on

Hello H.,

My son has senitive skin as well. He is only 6 months old but we have been using Aveeno baby sunscreen and it doesn't seem to bother him at all. I hope this helps have a great weekend.

B.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Are you sure it is not just heat rash? My kids when they get too hot get a rash on the back of there necks from heat regardless if they have sunscreen on or not. Just a thought.

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H.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

My youngest child also broke out from Water Babies lotion. For some reason, the Ocean Potion Baby (SPF 50?) didn't seem to make her break out at all. Not sure if it will work for you or not. I hope you're able to find something that works for both of you!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

Try a different brand. My daughter always broke out after using Target Brand baby sunblock but didn't break out after any other brands.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.C.

answers from Davenport on

We use Aveno Baby-it is a little pricey, but we have never had a problem with it. My two boys have pretty sensitive skin. We use it daily it on a burn we have to protect on my 14 month old, and he has had no reaction. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

K.K.

answers from Appleton on

Hi H., My daughter has VERY sensitive skin with many products. I have opted to use more organic/natural products for her and starting for the rest of us as well. The brand for sunscreen I use on her is Alba Botanica and you can get it at most stores if you look. Otherwise a natural food store would have it or a Free Market. I also believe that Walgreens carry's the product. Here is a link to the brand and all it makes. http://www.albabotanica.com/?id=72&pid=140

We haven't had any reactions with her skin and we've used this for a coupld years now. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.H.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

The spray on seems better, less chemicals and it soaks in faster I think. We always use a sun shirt and sun hat when we're out and if its less then a half hour we dont do sunscreen b/c of his sensitive skin and need for vitamin D. Look for something that says free on it, paba free and paraban free is best, but there are other makers that seem ok to. Burts Bees is pretty good, or we're using coppertone clear spray on. You only need a 30spf b/c higher then that doesn't really make a huge difference, then just reapply every 2 hrs or every hour if in the water a lot. It took us a whole summer of testing but this is what we've found from personal use and a few hours of research, good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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R.C.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi H.,
All you have to do is look at the label and if the sunscreen's active ingredient is titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide you daughter should most likely be fine. I knew this as a nurse practitioner student, but purchased what smelled good to me for my son (Aveeno). He broke out in hives. Sure enough, I got one that had the titanium dioxide (Neutrogena Baby) and no problems. Any brand should be fine as long as you look at the active ingredients.

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H.S.

answers from Omaha on

My son did broke out in hives with water babies sun screen a couple of years ago, so then we switched to Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces and Tender places. He also reacted to that this year. So I then switched to Banana Boat Baby. We haven't had any reactions to the Banana Boat yet, but a big key for us is getting it washed off after using it. My ped recommended Nutragena (sp?). I hope you find one that works.

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S.O.

answers from Wausau on

Hey H.,
My son and nephew are allergic to sunscreens also. We haven't figured out exactly what ingredient it is yet, but my sister-in-law went to the health food store and bought an organic sunscreen and that works great for my nephew. I found a wellness company that manufactures all natural products. Their sunscreen is great! It's called sunshades and they have 3 different ones, classic, mineral, and spray on. We have the mineral one and he hasn't broken out. Let me know if you are interested in learning about the wellness company.
S.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.K.

answers from Des Moines on

My son had a similar experience and we found that Arbonne Baby sunscreen works wonderfully. I'm not sure if you can order it on their website or if you have to find a rep. I've found it available on ebay as well. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from La Crosse on

Try California Baby. No perfumes, chemicals, pretty basic. Its wonderful for my son with sensitive skin. We wear it everyday!

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