Sunscreen for Toddler with Senstive Skin

Updated on November 02, 2008
C.C. asks from Parker, CO
30 answers

My 2.5 yr old has developed a sensitivity to sunscreen on his face. He gets a flat blotchy red rash that looks like a sunburn. I've been using the baby sunscreens thinking those would be more gentle. It only happens on his face -

Does anyone have a recommendation for a super gentle hypo-allergenic sunscreen appropriate for a toddler with sensitive skin?

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So What Happened?

Hi everyone! thanks for taking the time to respond. I know several people who sell Arbonne so I will ask them about theirs. I'll probably also visit the Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage in my area to see what they have.

My ped. did not recommend a brand, just something that was labeled "sensitive skin" - fragrance free, dye free, alcohol free, etc.

I think the word she used was "hat". . . hahaha!

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C.C.

answers from Billings on

Arbonne baby care sunscreen. free of dyes,animal by products,fragrances,mineral oil, and hypoallergenic. You can find it at arbonne.com
It also works great for people with eczema. good luck

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M.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My daughter is 4 and has horrible eczema...sunscreen always makes it worse. I finally tried a sunscreen called Badger from Whole Foods and it is fabulous!!! It causes no problems on her skin...the only active ingredient in it is Zinc Oxide which is why it is so gentle. It is pricey but well worth it and a little goes a long way. Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Denver on

My daughter is the same way.. I use Dermalogica Super Sensitive Sunscreen spf 30.. there are no chemical sunscreens in it. We use it practically everyday. It really is awesome!! You can get it at the Oxford Spa downtown, you can get it at Ulta on Colo blvd/ Yale.

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G.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi C.-
You may have already heard this, but I've used Aveeno sunscreen. My girls have always been allergic to regular kids' sunscreens when they are little, but I've had good luck with Aveeno!

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C.L.

answers from Provo on

Our DD used to get the same type of rash with sunblocks, including the ones prescribed by the pediatrician for sensitive skin, I'm sad to say.

What I found helped a lot was to continue to use the best one for sensitive skin, this was the one that took the longest for her to react to, and then give her a bath as soon as we came inside. That minimized the rash and we'd put aloe vera on her skin immediately after the bath. That also helped a lot.

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M.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter recently had an appointment with a pediatric dermatologist, and her recommendation for sunscreen was Vanicream. My kids get excema (dry, red, scaly, irritated) skin on their arms and trunk in summer after repeated use spray-on sunscreen (swim lessons.)my research has turned up the lowest price here: http://www.americarx.com/SearchProducts.aspx?SearchText=v...
I will be ordering this sunscreen, but have not used this product yet. All reviews I have read on this product are complimentary. There is a mention that the product is a bit oily. The doc said it's a case of trial and error. I hope this helps!

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S.T.

answers from Denver on

Neutrogena sunscreen (not waterproof) for sensitive skin or the Ultra Sheer line (does have a waterproof formula) from Neutrogena are both great and were recommended by our pediatric dermatologist for my daughter who also has very sensitive skin. Our very favorites both for her and for us parents too!

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L.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

If you head to your local Whole Foods store you can find sunscreens without any chemicals in them for about $15. I prefer California Baby or Badger sunscreen. You have to be careful even at healthfood stores, though. Check the ingredients on the back to make sure that the sunscreen you're choosing is paraben free, homosalate-free, octinoxate-free, and Parsol 1789-free. The California Baby and Badger sunscreens don't have any of those things. Natural stuff that should be easy on your sons' skin while still keeping them safe from the sun.
Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Billings on

Burt's Bees makes a natural sunscreen. I have tried it on my kids. It is sort of a weird consistancy, and it turns your face white, but it works!

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J.L.

answers from Denver on

California Baby sunscreen rocks. Check it out at californiababy.com.

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N.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

C. -
I have two little boys with sensitive skin and have gone through many sunscreens with your same results. The only lotion type sunscreen I found that didn't cause this problem I found at a organic store, Wild Oats (I believe it's called Whole Foods now). This works very well for face and body. I don't recall the name, but the bottle was purple and white. Sorry, I am not at home or I would look for you.
I have now switched and use a powder for sunscreen for my boys face. The brand is called Colorescience. It is pricey, but works so well and lasts a long time. I found mine at a salon called Star 21 in Sugar House, I love it!

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi C.,

Arbonne has a great sunscreen in their ABC (Arbonne Baby Care) line. I'd be happy to send you a sample.

Blessings,
J. B.

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K.J.

answers from Casper on

my daughter gets the same type of rash from sunscreen. I use the alocohol free spray sunscreen. if the doesn't work theres also another one that i think is lotion free or soemthing. but they are both with the other "regular" sunscreens.

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D.K.

answers from Denver on

Call your Dermotologist and they have stuff typically in their office that is wonderful.

Right now with sunscreens they are full of bad stuff, so getting one directly from your Dermotologist will lessen that too. I have been reading a lot about this sunscreen stuff and go to cosmeticdatabase.com and read about how dangerous some of this stuff can be (ingredients in sunscreens). Look up the brand you are using and it will break down the ingredients for you and tell you if it is bad or not. So maybe your son is having a bad reaction to those ingredients.

Not getting a sunburn is very important, but I let my kids have 30 of unprotected sunlight every day and they need the Vitamin D desperately too in the sun so unless you are out for along time maybe just let him go without. Neither of my kids have had sunburns. I just discussed all of this with my Dermotologist a few weeks ago. It is real information.

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A.I.

answers from Fort Collins on

Hi C. C,
As an adult with sensitive skin, I use Alba. It can be purchased at any health food store. Ask for advice at the store, they may know of something even more sensitive skin friendly!
(I couldn't use sunscreen as a kid because it made my face completely break out in hives.)

Good luck,

A. I.

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

We use Vanicream per our allergist's recommendation. They make a sunscreen that I would think works well.

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S.H.

answers from Denver on

I HIGHLY recommend any products made by California Baby. They are more expensive but well, well worth it.
Good luck!
S.

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A.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My nephew is allergic to sunscreen and also to the chlorine in swimming pools (breaks out in hives all over his body). My sister uses Burts Bees suncreen which not only protects him from the sun, but provides a protective layer between him and the chlorine and all the other sunscreens floating around in the pool from other kids. It has made a world of difference for him. Hope this helps!

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L.O.

answers from Pueblo on

I use nothing but Arbonne because it is proven pure, safe and beneficial! Also you may want to get educated yourself on sunscreens. If you are using anything over a SPF30 you are most likely causing a chemical burn. The SPF is not what most people think. The higher the number the more protection right? No! IF you have an spf 30 that means you can be in the sun 30x longer if you didn't have any protection at all. But the higher the number the more chemicals are used to "protect". If you would like more info please email me and I would be happy to help.

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B.B.

answers from Missoula on

Hi C.,
I'm guessing that you have been using a sunscreen with a chemical sunblock (probably avobenzone). A lot of people have a difficult time tolerating this, so I would suggest a product with a physical sunblock (titanium dioxide) which tends to be less irritating to sensitive skin. I work in a medical spa that sells lots of skin care products and our most popular physical sunblock is made by SkinCeuticals (www.skinceuticals.com) and is called Physical UV Defense. I think you can buy it on their website. It is what I use on my son, who turns one next week. It is a bit pricey, so if you are looking for something a bit less expensive, just check the labels at the drugstore and try something with titanium dioxide.
I have also heard good things about Aveeno Baby sunscreen, but I have not tried it or read the label.
Good luck!

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J.O.

answers from Fort Collins on

There are two basic types of sunscreens - chemical sunscreens (majority) and physical blockers (those with 7% or more zinc or titanium dioxide). Many people have sensitivities to the chemical sunblocks, so you might want to try the others. The hard part is finding a good one. I found Nutrogena Sensitive Skin at the grocery store, but FYI, it is not waterproof. If you search Environmental Working Group website, they have a publication on the pros and cons of each type of sunscreen and which ones are recommended.

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

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N.H.

answers from Missoula on

My daughter has eczema and I use Aveeno Baby sunscreen. Works for her.

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L.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Try Arbonne. It is hypo-allergenic, dermatologist tested, made without fragrances or dyes (which can cause irritation), formulated especially for sensitive skin, and there is a 45 day money back guarantee. Contact me for more information. I would be happy to get you a sample. [email protected]____.com

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H.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My 2 year old has Celiac Disease and the sensitive skin that accompanies it!!! We use Aveeno SPF 85 with NO problem and in a pinch I use my Clinique City Block on him!
Good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

In my research in the last year and a half because of my 2 year old's skin. I have found that it's mostly the perservatives that we are allergic to especially Methyl Propyl and BeautylParaben. Even the baby products have the parabens in them, and they are very estrogenic.
Pure Virgin Coconut Oil is a great natural sunscreen. It is a little expensive, but it lasts a long time, because such a little bit goes a long way. In the beginning you do need to reapply every two hours or so, until his skin gets used to it. Then you can go longer and longer in between. And if he or you ever get sunburned, putting that on will soothe and turn it to a tan. I absolutely love it for me and my family. It is also very moisturizing, and wonderful for children because it has lauric acid in it, which is also found in breast milk. Basically it's good for brain growth, skin and everything else in and out of the body. I know it sounds strange, but it's wonderful. Tropical Traditions is the website I order it from. I think it's just www.tropicaltraditions.com

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

'Baby' sunscreen really has very little difference from the 'regular' stuff, especially as far as allergens. It kind of comes down to what he's allergic to - if it's the active ingredient or one of the other, inactive, ingredients.
My step-dad is allergic to sunscreen and can only use a "bonding-base" sunscreen. I'm not sure what exactly that is, or what brand.

When dealing with an allergy with someone as young as your son, you don't want to experiment on your own. Talk to your pediatrician. He may refer you to an allergist or a dermatologist.

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R.E.

answers from Denver on

I use oil of olay senstive skin on my little girl, because she is under 6 mo. I know they sa not to use sun screen on the really young ones. But we are outside all the time and she hasn't had any problems. Good luck.

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P.M.

answers from Great Falls on

Have you tried Badger Balm products, which contain mostly organic and/or natural based products? I believe Burt's Bees products also have some sunscreen products.

My 21 month old son has sensitive skin as well. Though most sun screens for kids haven't caused a reaction, I like the Aveeno and Neutragena brands also.

I hope you find something that works for your son!

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A.S.

answers from Denver on

Have you tried Mary Kay sunscreen? It's the only kind I use on my face and my kids faces.

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M.S.

answers from Denver on

I'll echo that you need to go to a physical sunscreen - this is titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Walgreen's makes one that's not too expensive. So does Neutrogena. My daughter can NOT tolerate avobenzene - and its in most every major brand. I'd try to remember what's happened over the last couple months and see if you can reduce it to one or two ingredients. Makes it a little easier to find something to use in a pinch (like when TSA takes your bottle even though its under 4 oz!!). Don't forget old-fashioned "sunscreen" - wide brimmed hat, loose long sleeve shirt, loose long sleeve pants and a rash guard for swimming. My kids very much prefer to wear coverups because they don't like the way sunscreen feels. Much cheaper in the long run too! :)
Good luck.

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