As the weather is warming up… you need to get ready to slip, slop, slap but which sunscreen is best for baby?
Make sure you check out our sunscreen guide with the latest information for babies and children to help you choose the best product for your family.
It depends which expert you ask. The Australasian College of Dermatologists does not recommend using sunscreen on babies under six months of age because babies’ skin absorbs more chemicals than older children’s or adults’. However, The Cancer Council says that sunscreen can be used occasionally on very small patches of skin on babies under 6 months but stresses that keeping babies out of the sun or using shade or clothing is preferential.
There are two different types of sunscreens: those that sit on top of the skin and provide a physical barrier to the sun and those which use chemicals to absorb the sun’s rays like a sponge.
There are pros and cons to both but dermatologists generally recommend barrier sunscreens for young children as they work as soon as they are applied and are less irritating to the skin. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are natural, broad-spectrum barriers so look for them on your sunscreen’s ingredients list.
The sun’s light is made up of different kinds of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UVA rays are long wave and penetrate deeper into the skin causing skin aging and wrinkling. UVB rays are short wave and the chief cause of sunburn. However, both rays cause skin damage and cancer so it’s important that the sunscreen you choose is broad spectrum (filters both UVA and UVB rays).
The SPF (sun protection factor) refers to the amount of UVB rays that a product filters.
SPF 30 blocks around 97% of UVB rays whereas SPF 50 blocks an estimated 98%. Experts recommend an SPF of at least 30 but, most importantly, that you apply enough sunscreen so that the product can do its job and fulfill its rating.
Read more on Summer sun and bug protection for babies here