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EWG’s Best & Worst Sunscreens for Kids

When it comes to choosing sunscreen for children, it's important to understand which products are safe, and which have problematic ingredients.
By EWG.org
Published: May 24, 2016
Last updated: May 24, 2017

There are more than 239 beach and sport sunscreens with a green rating in EWG’s 2017 Sunscreen Guide. We took a closer look at the best-rated sunscreens specifically marketed for use on babies and kids. We selected the best scoring 19 products:

How we made the list:

EWG examined every product in this year’s Sunscreen Guide with an overall score of 1, and a green rating for ingredient hazards. We selected products unambiguously marketed for use on babies and children by including those with the terms “baby,” “kids,” “little,” “children” and “pediatric” in the product or brand name. We did not review product images, which are more subjective, and note that some of our other best scoring sunscreens include packaging that suggests use on babies and children.

This year, 49 baby and kid sunscreens score a 1 in our database. Of those, 30 are lotions. The other 19 are sunscreen sticks. Some studies indicate that people tend to apply too little sunscreen when using sticks, so those products are not listed here.

For brands with multiple products that scored a 1, we selected one product to display, choosing a fragrance-free version when available, or a water resistant or “sport” formulation over other formulations, as those tend to offer greater staying power.

We reviewed product packaging and usability of top-rated products. We do not display products on the best-scoring kids list if they are not currently available for purchase, do not follow labeling guidelines, or if their packaging raises contamination concerns.

Parents should know that the Food and Drug Administration does not set any criteria or additional requirements for sunscreen and body care products marketed to children. EWG has not identified any systematic differences between the types of products marketed to children and the general population.

Disclaimer: Sunscreen manufacturers frequently reformulate their ingredients and packaging. EWG’s 2017 sunscreen database gathers information from sunscreen companies directly and reviews products sold by major retailers. When purchasing a sunscreen, you should check the ingredients to make sure they match those for the product listed in the database.

So here are EWG’s 19 best sunscreen lotions for kids in 2017:

Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50
Babytime! by Episencial Sunny Sunscreen, SPF 35
Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
Bare Republic Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby, SPF 30+
BurnOut KIDS Sunscreen, SPF 35
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Caribbean Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 30
Goddess Garden Organics Baby Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Sunscreen, SPF 30
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Sunology Natural Sunscreen Kids, SPF 50
Sunumbra Sunkids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 40
ThinkSport Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30

Read more about how EWG.org made its decisions

EWG’s Worst Scoring Sunscreens for Kids

There are a lot of sunscreens on the market. Parents have some good choices, but there are other products you should avoid. Forty-six products marketed to children earn an EWG sunscreen rating of 7 to 10, the worst scores for products in this year’s Sunscreen Guide.

Twelve of these sunscreens for kids and babies have several strikes against them: oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate and SPFs above 50+. Five have an additional strike for being aerosol sprays that don’t provide a thick, even coating on skin and that can expose sensitive young lungs to potentially hazardous chemicals. Two products score 10 because, in addition to other formulation concerns, the labeled SPF is very different than EWG’s estimated value.

Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70
Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70
Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70
Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Water Babies, SPF 70+
Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Kids, SPF 55
Coppertone Sunscreen Stick Water Babies, SPF 55
Coppertone Sunscreen Water Babies Foaming Lotion, SPF 70
CVS Health Children’s Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55
Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Sticks, SPF 55

Read more about how EWG.org determined which sunscreens would make the Worst list.

Copyright © 2017 Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org. Reproduced with permission.

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