Ultimate Sunscreen for Kids Guide

With our kids guide, you can find out everything you need to know before buying or using the product including what factor sun cream should my child use and can you use sun cream on a baby. If you're ready to buy or want to see our selection, visit our sunscreen for kids page.

Sunscreen for Kids FAQs

What factor sun cream should my child use?

With so much information online about the damage of harmful UV rays and which sun protection lotion you should use, it's hard to know what to believe. Whilst we're no dermatology experts here at Cosmetify, we do know that when it comes to sun protection, it's better to be safe than sorry.

When it comes to choosing which sun protection product to buy, there are two elements to consider: SPF and UVA Star Rating. SPF relates to protecting against UV rays, whereas UVA measures the amount of UVA radiation protection. Your child's skin is likely to be more sensitive and prone to burning, therefore we recommend using a SPF rating of 50 to fully prevent UV rays from penetrating their skin. The UVA rating is typically placed on the back of the bottle - a rating of four or five stars represents the best value.

If your child is a touch older, around the mid teens or older, and has darker skin, then they can usually get away with using SPF30, though it's best to have another bottle of factor 50 just in case.

Can you use sun cream on a baby?

You should never use sun cream on a baby less than six months old. Ideally, you want to keep your baby out of direct sunlight for the first six months of its life, otherwise its sensitive skin is exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun. Baby skin doesn't fully mature until its 32 weeks old, which means its particularly susceptible to burning and damage to the skin.

Obviously, you don't want your child to spend its first six months permanently stuck inside. It's best to take your child out with a pram fully covering its body, and doing so on a cloudy or overcast day. If the sun comes out during the day, make sure your child is fully covered and wearing a sun hat if necessary.

When your child reaches six months or older, you can now apply sun cream of a high rating. We suggest SPF30 and a lotion that is rich in minerals to nourish and soothe your child's skin whilst simultaneously protecting it.

Can I use adult sun cream on a child?

Children have more sensitive skin than adults, therefore the sun cream they need has to be tailored towards sensitive skin, otherwise it will lead to irritation, redness and bumps. Most child sun cream contains more minerals, which produce a calming and soothing effect on your child's skin. If you've run out of child sun cream and you only have adult sun cream left, then that's better than no sun cream at all, however, it may lead to irritation on your child's skin.

Many brands now cater to children, offering specific formulas that are purposely designed to nourish and protect their skin. Your child is unlikely to pay too much attention to their sun protection bottle, so you may have to constantly remind them to reapply, or just do it yourself.

Make sure you use a thick layer of sun cream each time, especially on particularly sunny and warm days. Sweat dissolves sun protection potently, so a thick layer will last for longer.

What is the best sun cream for kids?

Family holidays in sunny locations are one of the highlights of growing up, so nothing should deter you from jetting off to Spain or somewhere more exotic in the summer months. However, whilst we're enjoying drinks by the pool or lounging around on the golden sands of the beach, it's easy to forget to protect your skin. And if you forget, your children definitely will.

Luckily, we haven't forgotten about your sun care needs here at Cosmetify. There are various brands that tailor specific formulas purposely designed for children. SPF ratings of 50 and 30 cater to all skin types, tones and ages, catering to the pale skin of a six-year-old or the dark complexion of a teenager.

Nivea, Ambre Solaire and Calypso offer powerful sun protection for children of all ages, coming in bright colored bottles so you don't forget to put them in your beach bag. Two bottles should last one child for a week long holiday, maybe one bottle per child if you're careful. A bottle costs less than £10 which represents great value for money for a week of protected skin and a stress-free mind.

If you want more recommendations, read our blog on the best baby sunscreens.