Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?

The ingredients in many store-bought sunscreens can be dangerous, especially for babies. We're sharing safer baby sunscreen options.

Published May 16, 2018
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When we think of “sunscreen,” we think of protection. A shield. A screen between the sun and your baby to prevent burning and nourish their tender little skin simultaneously. However, most moms don’t know that the ingredients in many store-bought sunscreens are dangerous. In fact, after understanding how toxic the ingredients are in most sunscreen brands, it might make you think twice before you apply sunscreen to your baby or go outside altogether.

The Environmental Working Group recently did studies revealing that the chemicals commonly used in sunscreen are endocrine disruptors, estrogenic, carcinogenic, and may interfere with thyroid and other hormone processes in the body.1 They also came out with an article (here) listing their “hall of shame” sunscreens, many of which are popular brands that are highly toxic to use and apply on yourself and your baby. 2 Of the 1,400+ sunscreens tested by the EWG, also tested nearly 1,500 different sunscreens – and out of all of those tested, here’s what they concluded:2

  • Only 5% met their safety standards
  • Over 40% were listed as potentially contributing to skin cancer

The chemicals found in toxic sunscreens include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octisalate
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Parabens
  • Fragrance
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phthalates

The most popular chemical, oxybenzone, is found in 96% of sunscreens.2 And a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that this chemical could reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women.2 Not to mention, the other chemicals listed have been known to contribute to horrible diseases and health issues, including cancer.

Now that you’ve had a chance to see the risks involving many sunscreens, let’s talk about a safer option:

Mineral Sunscreens

You can use two types of sunscreen on your baby: chemical or mineral. We know now that a chemical sunscreen is risky (and, for me, not an option). However, some mineral sunscreens also consist of non-nano particles, which means that the particles are too “big” to seep into your baby’s pores, therefore giving a better barrier against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

7 Baby and Kids Sunscreen Brands We Love and Trust:

1. Thinkbaby Natural Sunblock

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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Thinkbaby is a top option for baby sunscreen as it is natural, water-resistant, and recommended by dermatologists. It is zinc-oxide-based and full of natural ingredients like aloe vera and jojoba oil that will keep your baby safe during a hot summer day. Even Drew Barrymore loves it!3

2. California Baby Hypoallergenic Sunscreen

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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This sunscreen is readily available at many department stores, including Walmart. It claims to last up to 80 minutes in the sun and is also excellent protection for adults and older kids with sensitive skin, so the whole family can use it!

We love California Baby products because of the great ingredients they use. In this sunscreen, they include lemongrass and cedar. These ingredients are very effective at repelling mosquitoes and other biting insects.4 So not only are you protecting your baby from the sun’s harmful rays with this sunscreen, but you are also protecting your baby from getting bitten!

3. Supergoop! Sunnyscreen 100% Mineral Stick

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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This clean baby mineral stick sunscreen is a 100% non-nano mineral formula that checks all the boxes. It has non-toxic ingredients, is pediatrician-tested, hypoallergenic, and fragrance and silicone-free. We love Supergoop products. It’s so easy, convenient, and quick to put on!

4. Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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This plant-based mineral sunscreen formula contains natural zinc oxide, coconut oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter, which all help to nourish and hydrate your baby’s skin. Their products are pediatrician and dermatologist tested, and we love that their products are vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, silicone-free, phthalate-free, and dye-free to meet the needs of delicate baby skin. Another reason why I love this brand so much? Not only are they good quality, but their products smell so good! You can also purchase a convenient face stick!

5. Hello Bello Mineral Baby Sunscreen

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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Hello Bello is a great budget-friendly brand that you can find almost anywhere. Their mineral baby sunscreen contains ingredients we love, including shea butter, green tea, and avocado. Bonus: it smells great!

6. Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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This ultralight-weight sunscreen checks off many of our boxes: it is long-lasting, water-resistant, zinc-based, and contains no harsh chemicals. As a bonus, it is also safe for the environment and gentle enough for baby, yet strong enough for mom and dad.

7. Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen

Are the Ingredients in Baby Sunscreen Dangerous?
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Babyganics is a trusted brand for baby products, and their sunscreen is no different. The mineral-based lotion is plant-derived and filled with certified organic ingredients. It is also tear-free and non-allergenic, so you don’t have to worry when rubbing it all over your baby’s body.

Using sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun is extremely important. But it is essential for us, as moms, to choose a sunscreen for our babies with organic, non-toxic, highly safe ingredients and super effective protection from the sun’s rays.

For more, check out the best baby sunscreens to protect your kids.

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Hannah Crews is a wife, a mom of two, and a former news reporter and morning show host. Her humor, entertaining personality, and creativity are used to make a positive… Read more

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