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December 29, 2021

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Growing up in a sun-drenched country Aussie kids learn pretty early on that they need to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide before heading out into the harsh sun. If you’re searching for a great sunscreen for kids that’s gentle on their sensitive skin, there’s now a great range to choose from.

A great tip for getting kids used to applying sunscreen is to model the behaviour – monkey see, monkey do! If your baby and toddler watches you apply sunscreen regularly, they’ll want to do the same. And then it won’t be such a struggle, it just becomes part of their routine. One of the main things to remember is that, according to the Cancer Council, using sunscreen on babies under six-months-old isn’t recommended. So you’ll need to make sure babies are protected from the sun in other ways – shade, clothing and hats.

Make sure you check out our sunscreen for kids tips and information at the end of the article.

Best Sunscreen for Kids

From vegan to dermatologically tested for delicate skin, these sunscreens for kids are some of the popular recommendations from other mums.

Cancer Councils Kids Sunscreen

Cancer Council SPF 50+ Kids 110ml Tube, $7.24

A tried and tested sunscreen for kids the Cancer Council SPF50+ has been specially-formulated and dermatologically tested for delicate skin, and is water resistant for four hours. The gentle formula has been created without parabens or fragrances and is made in Australia.

Water resistant: Yes
Reapplication: Every 2 hours
Ingredients: Actives: 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor 4% w/w, Octocrylene 4% w/w, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane 3% w/w, Ethylhexyl Triazone 3% w/w Preservatives: Octanohydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerol

Cancer Council Kids SPF 50+ Sunscreen Mouths of Mum Review:

‘This is the only sunscreen I use for my kids. They have never reacted in any way and have never been sunburnt. It doesn’t absorb into the skin quickly which makes it easier to tell if you have covered them properly. Highly recommend.’ More Reviews: Cancer Council Kids SPF 50+ Sunscreen

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 Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen

Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, $24.95

An SPF 30 and UVA/UVB broad-spectrum protection sunscreen that doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals or toxins. The clear, non-greasy sunscreen is also easy to apply and is perfect for babies over six months and anyone with sensitive skin in the family.

Water resistant: 3 hours
Reapplication: Every 1-2 hours
Ingredients: Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Grape Vine (Vitis Vinifera) Seed Oil, Silica, Shea (Butyrospermum Parkii) Butter, Candelilla (Euphorbia Cerifera Cera) Wax, Bees Wax (Cera Alba ), Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis Seed) Oil, Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Aqua, Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius) Seed Oil, Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Rosehip (Rosa Canina) Fruit Oil.

Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 Mouths of Mum Review:

‘This is a great all natural product. It is zinc based but rubs in really easily and in non-greasy. I use it on my baby’s skin because it has no chemicals.’ More Reviews: Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 

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Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen Roll On

Banana Boat SPF 50+ Baby 75ml Roll On, $5.49 

The roll-on bottle makes this kid and baby-friendly sunscreen super easy to apply. The SPF 50+ provides UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum protection and even though it’s in a roll-on, it won’t run into the eyes so it’s also great for the face.

Water resistant: 4 hours
Reapplication: 2 hours
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Butyl Methoxybidenzoylmethane 5%, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor 4%, Octocrylene 2%, Bemotrizinol 1% Contains: Preservatives: Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxybenzoates

Banana Boat SPF 50+ Baby Roll On Mouths of Mum Review:

‘This works really well on babies. It’s a product which doesn’t react on baby’s gentle skin, and the roll-on function is perfect for applying to a squirmy baby.’ More Reviews: Banana Boat SPF 50+ Baby Roll On

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Nivea Sun Kids Sunscreen

 

Nivea Sun Kids SPF 50+ Sunscreen Roll On, $6.39

The active natural minerals in this sunscreen for kids is great for protecting young, delicate skin. And it’s fragrance-free so kids won’t turn up their noses!

Water resistant: 4 hours
Reapplication: 2 hours
Ingredients: Zinc oxide 50 mg/g, Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutyl phenol 25 mg/g, Bemotrizinol 20 mg/g, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor 10 mg/g. Contains: Phenoxyethanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Nivea Sun Kids Sunscreen Roll On Mouths of Mum Review:

‘This product is great for on the go sunscreen. It is easy to pack in my kids bags for swimming or sports. I find the rolling allows for them to not miss spots.’ More Reviews: Nivea Kids Sunscreen Roll On

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 Wotnot Naturals

wotnot Natural Sunscreen for kids

 Wotnot Natural Sunscreen, $19.95

Glides on easily and made from natural ingredients so it’s suitable for sensitive skin. It’s also palm-oil free and reef friendly, and helps nourish the skin while protecting it.

Water resistant:
Reapplication:
Ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Candelilla Wax, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Shea Butter, GMO-Free Vitamin E, Purified Water, Aloe Vera*, Silica, Naticide (All-Natural Preservative).

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 Little Innoscents

Little Innoscents Sunscreen for kids and babies

 

 

Little Innoscents Natural Sun Lotion, $19.99

Aussie made and cruelty-free, there’s a lot to love about this kid-friendly, mineral-based sun protection. Specifically designed for children, as well as including Zinc Oxide it also contains nourishing ingredients like Vitamin, E, Green Tea, Cucumber and Rosehip extract.

Water resistant: 4 hours
Reapplication: 1-2 hours
Ingredients:  Beeswax, Shea Butter, Silica, Zinc Oxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Grape Vine Seed Oil, Zinc Oxide, Silica, Shea Butter, Aluminum Starch, Octenylsuccinate Salt, Candelilla wax, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Aqua, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Safflower Oil, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil

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 Thinkbaby

Thinkbaby sunscreen for kids

 

Thinkbaby Sunscreen, $24.71

Ditch harmful chemicals with this gentle, mineral-based formula that’s highly-effective, reef-friendly and broad-spectrum. Water resistant but won’t leave baby and kids’ skin feeling oily, so perfect for applying for all-year-round play.

Water resistant: 80 minutes
Reapplication: 2 hours
Ingredients: Zinc oxide 20% Sunscreen, Inactive Ingredients: Water, caprylic/capric triglyceride, polyglyceryl-4 stearate (and) cetyl dimethicone (and) hexyl laurate, glycerin, hydrogenated methyl abietate, cetyl dimethicone, magnesium sulfate, caprylhydroxamic acid (and) glyceryl caprylate (and) glycerin, hydrogenated castor oil, sorbitan sesquioleate, carica papaya (papaya) fruit extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, simmondsia chineses (jojoba) seed oil, tocopherol, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, hyaluronic acid.

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 Simple As That

 Simple As That Sunscreen for kids

 

Simple As That Sunscreen For Children, $29.95

Formulated by a pharmacist specifically for kids, this is a natural and lightweight sunscreen that’s gentle on their young skin. With Green Tea and Rose Hip oil it nourishes as well as protects. Can be used on the face and body, it’s vegan and contains 100% natural ingredients. It’s also Australian, organic, fair trade and cruelty free – so much good!

Water resistant: 1-2 hours
Reapplication: 1-2 hours
Ingredients: Zinc Oxide. Inactive Ingredients: Aqua, Isoamyl Laurate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sorbitan Stearate, Glyceryl Isostearate, Xanthan Gum, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Cetearyl Glucoside, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sucrose Cocoate, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract

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What to look for in sunscreen

The Melanoma Institute of Australia recommends using sunscreen that:

  • Has the highest possible SPF. In Australia, that’s SPF 50+
  • Is broad-spectrum, which means it protects fro UVA and UVB rays
  • Is water resistant if swimming or exercising

How to use sunscreen properly

Most people don’t use anywhere near enough sunscreen. Usually only half or even just a quarter of what’s needed. Apply sunscreen to clean and dry skin, using around one teaspoon for each arm, leg, body front, body back and face (which includes the neck and ears). That should work out to around seven teaspoons across the entire body.

Keep an eye on the time – most sunscreens need to be reapplied every one to two hours.

How to be sun safe in Australia

We all grew up with the sun smart message to slip, slop, slap. But that has now been expanded to include seek and slide. So if you need a refresher, here are the five ways to protect you and your family from skin cancer:

  • Slip: on clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Slop: on an SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply reguarly.
  • Slap: on a hat that protects your face, neck and ears.
  • Seek: shade when outdoors.
  • Slide: on some sunglasses.

Sun protection for babies and infants

According to the Cancer Council a baby’s delicate skin makes them susceptible to damage from the sun. And there’s evidence to suggest that sun exposure as a child makes an impact on our lifetime risk of skin cancer. To protect babies from the sun, it’s recommended that we use a combination of sun protection measures when the UV Index levels hit three or above.

The best tip for getting children used to sunscreen (rather than squirming their way out of it!) is to start young. Make it part of your routine, let them watch you applying sunscreen and it will become second nature, like popping on their shoes and hat.

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  • We’ve tried a few of these and sadly a lot of them have flared up our kids eczema. The one we have found to be the best is Cetaphil Kids and it’s not on this list.

    Reply

  • never heard of some of these but will keep a look out. Thanks for the info

    Reply

  • We use WotNot for our 8 month old. It does leave a lot of residue on your hands though.

    Reply

  • I buy the Cancer Council sunscreen 50+ for my family

    Reply

  • Cheap one from Coles suits us just fine.

    Reply

  • We have used quite a few of these. Thankfully my kids are very good about applying it and reapplying.

    Reply

  • I had a good remainder of how essential slip, slop, slap this weekend after forgetting to use some. Ending like with a toasted face. Haha

    Reply

  • What a awesome and useful article. Thanks!

    Reply

  • This info is timely and much appreciated, thanks!

    Reply

  • I thought the banana boat one had been pulled from the shelf?

    Reply

  • I’m currently poking fo a sunscreen that my 3 year old is able to apply. She is going to kinder this year and the kinder advises that she bring a roll on. She has sensitive skin so we need to be careful. The Cancer Council sunscreen is the one that we’ve been using, but it’s really greasy. MooGoo is great for sensitive skin and uses zinc. It is also a little greasy. I’m wondering if anyone has come across a good quality 50+, broad spectrum sunscreen that’s active ingredient is zinc that isn’t greasy? I’m also thinking of purchasing a sponge like roll on applicator from Amazon that you can refill. Has anyone else used these? I’ve included a picture.

    Reply

  • Great info. My kids have very pale sensitive skin so I’m always looking for a good, gentle sunscreen. Love the little innocents brand…

    Reply

  • Ironic that you’re highlighting Banana Boat while also publicising a recall of some of their products.

    Reply

  • Thank you. A few brands I have not heard of before. Always good to get information to help.

    Reply

  • Thanks for posting. Good to know what other option and brands are out there.

    Reply

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