Needing Sensitive Skin Sunblock for Toddler

Updated on July 01, 2009
L.M. asks from Kirkland, WA
32 answers

Hi,

My two year old son has been breaking out with red, inflamed bumps on his face and neck after we apply sunblock. We've tried Water Babies and Baby Blanket brands so far this year, and both have the same result. His arms and legs seem tougher and don't react, but I also apply it the most carefully to his face, neck and ears. I can try and stay in the shade, keep him indoors during peak hours, and keep a hat on him, but that's just not quite enough with our busy lifestyle. Any suggestions for sunblock brands that work for you are appreciated! Thank you in advance!

3 moms found this helpful

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J.C.

answers from Medford on

Try California Baby. It is top rated for baby sunscreens by the Enviorenmental Working Group. I'm attaching the link to their sunscreen review database:
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/sunscreens2008/i...
They review sunscreens on their protection effectiveness as well as their health safety. For example, they will tell you whether they contain harmful carcinogens or potential allergens. There are other sunscreens with higher ratings than the California Baby that might even be gentler, but I don't know if they are concerned with possible stinging in the eyes (although I think they all do a little). Some of the sunscreens are brands I've never heard of and will probably only be available online.

Hope that helps!

2 moms found this helpful
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W.C.

answers from Seattle on

Try going out without putting the sunblock on him. If he still has the bumps, it is probably heat rash. Things to do for heat rash are to dress him lightly, keep him in the shade, and keep him in a hat. If you son is fair skinned and light hair he is probably more prone to heat rash. If he has the rash, you can cool him down by a wet wash rag.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.T.

answers from Seattle on

We LOVE the Sunshades Mineral Sunblock from Melaleuca. It's been absolutely amazing. It's the only thing my daughter can use that doesn't make her scratch until she bleeds.

C.-WAHM to 5 y/o virtual twins
Owner: http://www.BeHappierAtHome.com

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

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I.G.

answers from Seattle on

I would second california baby - though it can be tough to find. When it was sold out last time I was looking for sunscreen, we bought Nature's Gate sunblock.

Whatever you buy, I would suggest you find something with a short ingredient list and preferable physical UV-blockers like Zincoxide or titanium-oxide, they tend to cause less reactions that the chemical UV-blockers.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful
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C.S.

answers from Medford on

Hi L., my 3 year old has very sensitive skin also and I recently tried Neutrogena sensitive skin spf 60 and he hasn't broken out in a rash at all from it.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.R.

answers from Seattle on

You might try Jason's Sunbrella from Whole Foods. Its not very expensive and it works well for my little ones.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.N.

answers from Portland on

CA Baby is awesome, and I hear that Badger is great too. I have really sensitive skin (and bad eczema), and I use the CA Baby too and have had no problems at all. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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A.E.

answers from Portland on

My little guy (almost 2 yrs) has extensive birth-marking on his body and sensitive skin, so I don't use chemicals on him. I've been using Nature's Baby Organics Diaper Cream (www.naturesbabyproducts.com or Costco). It has a high percentage of Zinc Oxide, so it seems to work just fine for playing in our sunny yard. If we were planning to spend a day at the pool or beach, I would try Aubrey Organics Sunblock (www.aubrey-organics.com)

Good luck!
~A.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.P.

answers from Portland on

If it works on his legs and arms w/o problem as you mentioned, try getting an oil-free "Face" version for only his face. These have a slightly different make-up in them. Neither I nor my 9 y.o. can wear "regular" sunscreen on our faces, so we've been through many different brands till I finally gave up and got some from the dermatologist. Spendy, but worth not having to deal with the break outs.
I think Nutrogena makes a "face" brand that works, or try some thing from the natural section. Also, ask a pharmacist at the drug store. Some of those sunblocks are pretty rough, and not really intended for the sensitive areas of the face and neck.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.S.

answers from Portland on

Again, California Baby is by far the best sunscreen in not only having the least toxic and most gentle/safe ingredients, but also in how well it works against the broad spectrum of sun rays (UVA & UVB rays) so I think it's worth every penny (about $18 at Target). It's quite thick so it goes a long way so i think you'll find it to be worth the price too.
Good luck!

S.
www.hazelaid.com
All natural, organic, handmade hazelwood necklaces for the relief of eczema, acid reflux, & teething pain for babies and their families.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.W.

answers from Portland on

California Baby. Just order it, so you don't have to look for it. Another GREAT thing about them that hasn't been mentioned here is that they use BPA-free ingredients AND packaging.

Make sure you're not using too harsh/high of an SPF; I've read on this board that 35 is plenty and 50 can easily cause problems. Also, and I've read this in multiple places, the key is liberal and frequent application, not necessarily a high SPF. Even a high SPF lotion's effectiveness is cut down severely by applying it too thinly or sporadically, so it's better to get a lower SPF and slather it on instead.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.G.

answers from Portland on

L.,

You have probably heard this already, but just in case...you should try a mineral sunblock instead of the chemical ones. www.cosmeticsdatabase.com lists products by "safety", i.e. least amount of chemicals. The easiest sunblock to find that they recommend is by California baby and it is chemical free. Good luck.

K.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter has exima and I have very sensitive skin. We use Banana boat-Baby tear free. it is hypoallergenic, 50 SPF, and waterproof.
I stay away from anything with a sent. for example, we can only wash our cloaths in tide free ad clear.
I was a bit dessperate to find a sunblock too a few months ago.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.W.

answers from Seattle on

We've had good luck with California Baby. I got some at Target recently. It's expensive, but I like that there are no unnecessary ingredients in it, like fragrance!

I also highly recommend the EWG website link the other momma sent. It's an eye opener!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.R.

answers from Seattle on

Hi L.,

We just had the same problem with Baby Blanket and Banana Boat on our 2 year old. I called her pediatrician and he recommended Neutrogena Pure and Free or Blue Lizard. I couldn't find Blue Lizard anywhere but online (and with the awesome weather that we've been having, who wants to wait for that?!). I found the Neutrogena one at Target for $9.99 (the best price I've seen so far)and it's been great! Hope this helps!
~L.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.L.

answers from Seattle on

Avenno works well, we use the lotion and the sunscreen. We love it.

1 mom found this helpful
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Y.G.

answers from Portland on

Good morning! I feel for your little guy and you! With this fabulous weather you want to be able to be outside enjoying it safely!

I highly suggest Arbonne's Baby Care SPF 30+ Sunscreen!!! If you haven't heard of Arbonne, they are a company who make pure, safe, and beneficial skin care products. They are 100% vegan and their products do not contain chemical fragrances or mineral oil... both of which may be reacting to your son's sensitive skin.

I have so many friends who swear by this sunscreen for their kids! And it is the only brand I use.

If you'd like a sample I'd be happy to send you one to try for your little guy. I truly think you'll love the results!

Best of luck! :)Y. Golemo [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
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N.E.

answers from Seattle on

L., Sunrider has the best sunblock that I have ever found. Find it under Sunrider.com online. Look under products. The "milk" version is best on little ones. The best part is that ALL the Sunrider products are made in the same facility that manufactures food products - so you know the FDA knows these are all food grade items! Good luck! Feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com if you have questions.

1 mom found this helpful
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Y.B.

answers from Seattle on

Try California Baby. My son has sensitive skin and so far we have not had any problems.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.H.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter who is now 9 yrs had that same reaction to sunscreen. My pediatrician advised me to use a lower spf. We switched to spf 30 and her bumps went away. Hope that helps.

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J.R.

answers from Richland on

We have used Aveno and Bannana Boat our our sensitive skin toddler and that seems to work the best for us.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from Seattle on

I have had the exact same problem with my son. Water babies and coppertone sport make my son breakout on his face, neck and arms. The only one I have found that works for him is Banana Boat Kids Dri-Blok. It is and SPF 30 and it is not greasy or sticky. Sand does not stick to it. That is what made me try it in the first place. Banana Boat Ultra Mist Kids Spray sunblock works well too. Banana boat products seem to work the best for my kids. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from Seattle on

Try Califoirnia Baby first, then UV Naturals if California Baby doesn't work. UV Naturals is great but pricey and a bit sticky for toddlers, otherwise that would be my first suggestion. California Baby is great, more lotion like and protects my 3 year old red head perfectly!

Good Luck,
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Corvallis on

A frind of mines son has the same problem, but he breaks out anywhere it is applied. I know she bought some sunblock from the co op (store that sells natural stuff). She hasnt had any problems with this brand (sorry I dont onow what it is). I also suggest looking online for sunblock for sensitive skin.

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R.C.

answers from Portland on

We like the Jason, I think it's SPF 46, and mineral sunscreens. It should be available at most natural food stores.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

Hi L.-
Arbonne International has a line of baby products for sensative skin. My kids have exema and usually react to products, but the ABC products are free of the harsh chemicals that hurt especially sensative skin. I can send you a sample to try out if you want. I'm in the Vancouver area. ###-###-####. Hope this helps. A.

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R.S.

answers from Seattle on

I found that Banana Boat works on my pale, sensitive-skinned children. We got the SPF 50 tearless spray for around $8 a bottle, but it is easy to put on and they have not had break out since we started using it a week ago.

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C.W.

answers from Seattle on

Without a doubt, California Baby. Works fabulously for me and my son (now 18mos). Plus, it is less toxic (about a 1 out of a scale of up to 10). So you can feel good about knowing your baby is protected from the damaging effects of the sun but also by not putting toxins and carcinogens in your precious one's body. :)

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A.H.

answers from Portland on

I would go to New Seasons and look at all of their options. They have several natural brands, some are fragrance-free and mostly chemical-free (except for the blocking agents, of course). Neutrogena also makes a sunblock that is fragrance free that I have used a lot (I have sensitive skin), and I like it. Aveeno makes one for kids that I currently use on my son and he hasn't had any reactions.

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T.C.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter is sensitive too. She gets allergy like symptoms from most sun blocks, and we have found that the "no ad" type is working well without side effects!

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R.S.

answers from Portland on

My aunt referred me to this site for other stuff, but it rates all cosmetics by toxicity. It shows California Baby one of the best, as moms have stated. Check it out for all your cosmetics. Search skindeep.com or follow the link below.
http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php?category=baby...

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J.N.

answers from Seattle on

We can't use Baby Blanket or Bananna Boat. They both make my daughter break out. We like Jason's and Aveeno Baby. I have heard that Blue Lizard and Kiehl's are great for sensative skin, but haven't tried them. Have you tried the Water Babies face stick? The one that is shaped like a big chapstick? I can't use the regular lotion, but the stick doesn't bother my daughter.

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