When you’re reading labels, make sure they say broad-spectrum protection with UVA and UVB coverage. UVA and UVB rays are the rays that cause skin damage and skin cancer, and it’s important that both are listed on the label.
Choose ingredients that aren’t absorbed into skin
It’s important to know the difference between a sunscreen that is absorbed into the skin and one that sits on top of the skin, blocking the rays.
Look for the ingredients titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in the ideal sunscreen for your infant, toddler, or preschooler.
When looking at the SPF, the sun protection factor, make sure it’s at least a 15, but know that an SPF of 100 isn’t 85 times stronger or longer protecting than an SPF of 15. Read the labels to know how often you need to reapply the sunscreen.
Lotions, sprays, or sticks?
When shopping, there’s so many options out there. Stay away from the sprays. The sprays contain chemicals that can be inadvertently inhaled into the lungs, so you want to avoid that. Stick with the lotions and sticks, which are nice for your older preschoolers to help apply the sunscreen themselves.
Specific product recommendations
Finally, check out the Environmental Working Group’s 2021 Guide to Sunscreens to see how your sunscreen is rated for safety and effectiveness. You can look up the products you already own to see their safety level, and you can also see new products.