Sunscreen Use on Infants?

Updated on April 20, 2010
H.L. asks from Philadelphia, PA
19 answers

Dear Mamas,

My LO is 7 months old and with summer approaching it is time to slather on the sunscreen that much more. I will be talking to my son's pediatrician next week but wanted to see what other Mamas are doing or have done. I'm really concerned about the chemicals on my baby's skin and he has very sensitive skin. (Had a problem with eczema and he's still scratching his face and head but eczema patches on his arms and legs have cleared up.) So my questions are:

When did you put sunscreen on your baby?
What kind did you use?
Did your baby have eczema problems, and if so, what kind of sunscreen did you use?
Any green products out there?

Thanks much in advance for your stories.

6 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much to everyone. You all are awesome and I'm always so thankful to be part of this community. I've checked out the EWG site and The Daily Green. I've yet to decide on which sunscreen I'll get for my son but most likely will try a couple of different ones and see how he does with it. All your input was extremely helpful. Many thanks again. Sending hugs!

Featured Answers



answers from San Diego on

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Arbonne Baby Care "ABC" sunscreen. It is not oily and lasts and lasts. and it smells nice too. I use it on my babies and on my face too.



answers from Atlanta on

I've always put sunscreen on my kids. I'm not very worried about any of it. However, a great place to look for many different products is:

They have an extensive list of sunscreens and their rating for on the body, good for environment and good production.

We usually use Coppertone Kids. I've used Aveeno for babies -it's highly recommended.

More Answers



answers from Cincinnati on

I began putting sunscreen on my baby as soon as he began spending a lot of time outside - around 6 months. My doctor instructed me that having a baby unprotected in the sun was more dangerous than the chemicals in sunscreen, and I personally agree. However, we were able to use protective clothes and shade until he was 6 months old.

We use Badger Natural Sunscreen, which is about $12 at Whole Foods (you can also find it on,, etc.). It is a great green product that really works. My husband looked it up on and it is rated a 0 for harmful chemicals and environmental impact (the best possible rating), which is even better than California Baby, which is rated a 1 and twice the price. It works very well - we've never had a burn (my son is now 14 months old). The only comment I have is that it is very thick and will leave a slight white coating on the skin that is visible, but frankly, I prefer that since then I can see where it is and where I've missed. It also helps to moisturize.

My son has no eczema, but my husband does, and he uses Badger as well. This was a bad year for eczema in general - our pediatrician told us that our son is the only baby in her practice that didn't have a breakout this winter.

Don't waste your money on above SPF 35. I have two dermatologists in my family, and they have both stated that the highest protection the companies know how to consistently make is SPF 30, and anything rated above that does little to nothing additional to protect you.

Finally, though, remember that no matter what brand of sunscreen you pick, try rubbing it into a single spot on your son's skin and watch it for 24 hours for a reaction before you lather up his entire body! Also, sun-screening clothing is a great defense against the sun (right now, Target and BRU are having sales on sun-screened swim-trunks and shirts) and a hat will help protect that delicate scalp underneath his baby hair. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Scranton on

I can appreciate your concern.
There is a sun screen product made by Shaklee that is safe for children/babies 6 mos. and older. It does not contain Avobenzone which tends to decompose when exposed to UV light. It even uses low levels of chemical sunscreens and is safe for sensitive skin.

To find out more, go to

More questions? Contact me through the above web site. I'll be glad to help you all I can.

E. B

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have a friend who is a pediatric dermatologist. She has told me to use Baby Lizard on even my infant for the summer. It is what is called a physical barrier rather than a chemical barrier meaning that it does not soak into the skin (though you rub it enough that the white color goes away). My 2 older kids have VERY sensitive skin and have had no problems with this sunscreen. It can be hard to find though, usually CVS carries it, but I have not seen it in the stores yet. You can probably buy it on line as well, I just have not checked yet. I greatly value and trust the opinion of this doctor.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I use organic sunscreens now & have had great luck w/ them. Both my kids are very sensitive to chemicals & I have a problem w/ putting dangerous chemicals on them to begin with.

This is a GREAT site that every parent should look at:
Hope it helps some!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

Ditto to everything Amanda said. Sunscreen should be worn whenever baby is outside for more than a couple minutes. Any time other than trips to the car or checking the mail, we use sunscreen. One severe sunburn in childhood can double your chance of skin cancer as an adult.

Here is a good website for all things cosmetic related and their safety/green-ness: (I think it is the same people as the website Amanda gave you.)

And uv protective clothing is a good idea too, especially for pool time. Regular clothing only protects with a level of like spf4 or 8, I can't remember exactly, but it is very low.

In addition to not bothering with any spf higher than 30, don't get combo bug sprays and sunscreens. You need to be applying the sunscreen more often than is safe to apply the bugspray. I also heard another reason not to get high spf was because kids always wear it off before it is time to replace it just based on the spf rating. So getting a lower spf is fine, because you need to be re-applying it more frequently anyway.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We use coconut oil on all of us. After my son's first summer, the peed asked how he got thru the whole summer with no tan lines at all, and I replied the coconut oil. Its great to cook with, for all skin ailments and is a natural sunscreen. A little goes a long way, its quickly absorbed and doesn't stain anything. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Greenmama,
My kids don't have eczema but they do have sensitive skin to most lotions and creams. The two that have worked for me so far are Aveeno Baby (Pediatrician Recommended) SPF 55 Sunscreen and the other is an organic product that I've just started using with success, Alba with SFP 30.
I really like both of them, I was just in FL with my kids for a week and none of them got any sunburn or rashes using a combination of these two products. BTW, I did start using sunscreen on my babies as soon as they were 6 months old!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

there are more and more chemical-free sunscreens out there. My son is allergic to most of them, interestingly only on his face. We use Burt's Bees sunscreen. It's about $13 a tube at the grocery store.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

California baby SPF 30 fragrance free sunscreen is chemical free. And really has no odor (lots of kids are sensitive to fragrance). It is expensive $20 for 3 oz. I just finally bought some b/c I too was worried about putting chemicals on my boys too often. (They are now old enough that we spend hours outside everyday). I didn't really want to spend that much money. But I used it yesterday for the first time. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that a little went a LONG way. Much better coverage than any other sunscreen I've used before. And it really stays on. I had to scrub it off my boys in the bath tub. (The bath was only an hour after we went out side b/c they played with the hoses and became a muddy mess. I assume that if it was later in the day it probably would have been easier to remove.)
Anyway, if you want to see reviews of sunscreens & any other beauty products Environmental working group has a website with great resources. You may need to register in order to view it, but its free. And you can order California baby stuff off their website. Just google them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I did no sunscreen til our trip to Hawaii at 13 months when we were outside all day. I used hats and rash guards and all of the UV rated bathing suits when out and about.

Also, I believe some sun for vitamin D is better.

There are some good products out there. UV Naturals is one that people rave about...personally I found it really greasy and stained clothes.

I use Kinesys, It is an awesome, natural product that sprays on super easy. It is clean with no paba, alcohol, allergy free, etc. I love this stuff. My son used to complain about the other sprays that they smelled. This one is so easy to apply and he doesn't complain at all.

You can get it at some of the health food stores or on line. It is reasonably priced and goes a long way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I started using sunblock on my kids when they turned one. I started out using the Baby Hawaiian Tropic but now my favorite is the Neutrogena 100+ spf. The Neutrogena is more expensive but my kids have never got burnt or broke out from it. My youngest has a little exzema which has never been a problem with the sunblock.



answers from Dallas on

We use Blue Lizard which our pediatric dermatologist recommended. I have very fair red headed children. It is around $12 a tube and can only be found at CVS but it works great!



answers from Indianapolis on

Our daughter has eczema, too (was diagnosed at 12 months). Our Dermatologist recommended a product called Vanicream - they also make several sunscreens that are more like lotions and have few irritants. They're expensive but worth if for babies.

Here's what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about the use of sunscreen in Babies:


answers from Washington DC on

Eczema is also a form of allergies. If you are breast feeding - pay attention to what you are eating and how his body reacts later. If you are using formula - check to see what's in it.

My oldest son has sensitive skin - we use the Banana Boat Tear Free SPF 50. It is waterproof and is great.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My son has eczema and he has horrible reactions to chemical sunscreens. Also-there is a growing concern among dermatoligists that chemical sunscreens CAUSE skin cancer (so if you use a chemical block at least make sure that you use an antioxidant to neutralize the free radicals...some chemcial SS's are including them in the mix). We have had good luck with the Neutrogena product in the pink and black bottle.



answers from York on

I just bought natural/organic sunscreen from Purple Prairie Botanicals (online). I haven't actually used it yet because it just arrived yesterday. However, it was rated as a really good choice for not having chemicals in it on the ewg website. I also purchased lip balm and bug spray from them.


answers from Hartford on

There is an amzing ocmpany that actually clears up eczema! They also have sun-screen, non toxic!
All products are natural/green. Shoot me a message in my profile for details!

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