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Best sunscreen for babies & kids 2021

Keep harmful rays at bay for your little ones with these high protection sun lotions

The school holidays are here - hurrah! And if the paddling pool has taken up permanent residence in your garden, get the suncream for children out so they can enjoy it as safely as can be.

With temperatures sky high, it’s incredibly important to apply adequate sun cream, not just on yourself but on babies, toddlers and children, whose skin is more delicate and sensitive to UV damage.

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While little ones often love to play out in the sun - whether on holiday or at home - it is advisable to keep them out of direct sunlight as much as possible, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest.

There is an increasing number of sun care products available formulated especially with children in mind, many of which contain natural and organic ingredients and are suitable for their gentle skin, including for those who suffer from eczema and sensitive skin and offering UVA and UBV protection.

MORE: Best paddling pools for kids to give them a summer to remember

What’s the difference between UVA and UVB protection?

Medical Expert & Skin Specialist, Dr Ejikeme explains the differences between UVA and UVB: “UVA is prevalent every day of the year. You cannot feel it on your skin but if there is sunlight, UVA will be penetrating the skin. UVB you can feel on the skin - it's the burning we feel when we are out in the sunshine that causes sunburns, freckles and tans.

“Whilst UVB is what causes our sunburns, its level of skin penetration is far more superficial to UVA, which penetrates the skin deepest. Both, however, can cause skin cancers.”

What type of sunscreen is best for babies and children?

A sunscreen with a high SPF factor, that offers both UVA and UVB protection, is the best sunscreen to buy for babies and children. Look for ones that offer upwards of eight hours protection, to minimise the amount of times you have to apply it to your wriggly toddler, and if they’re playing in or around water, always look for a water resistant sunblock.

What's the best SPF for kids?

Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People, recommends an SPF30 or higher. “An SPF30 sun lotion, when applied properly, protects you against 97% of UVB rays. “It is important to apply liberally and frequently to achieve and maintain this level of protection, especially when in and out of water.”

When should you apply suncare to kids?

Apply at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply frequently, especially after bathing, recommends Charlotte. “Try to avoid the heat of the day between 10am-3pm and babies under six months should avoid all sun exposure. And lastly, they should always wear a wide-brimmed sun hat, preferably tied on.”

Best suncream for babies and children


Nivea Sun Kids roll on SPF 50+, £3.99, Superdrug


Applying sun cream to toddlers and children can be difficult to say the least, which is where this genius product comes in handy. Available in a small roll on that is easy to apply and carry around, it is a great alternative to sprays and heavy creams, with a fast-absorbing and non-sticky formula.

Reapply frequently throughout the day.

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Child’s Farm 50+ SPF sun cream, £11.99, Boots


Designed especially for young and sensitive skin, this Childs Farm sun cream has a high SPF of 67 to protect them from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It is also clinically proven to be suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin, making it an ideal choice for all skin types.

Reapply every 1-2 hours, and after swimming.


Ultrasun Kids SPF50+ high protection sun cream for kids, £28, John Lewis


Created for active youngsters, Ultrasun Kids benefits from a high SPF of 50 plus an additional ingredient, Celligent, which helps to protect the DNA in children’s skin. It’s fast-absorbing and non-greasy so you won’t have to spend ages rubbing it in. Suitable for any age.


Anthelios Pocket Kids Lotion SPF50+, £7.50, La Roche Posay


All parents need a handy sized sun cream for on the go sun protection, and La Roche Posay’s pocket kids lotion is the perfect beach bag or tote bag size. Suitable for sensitive skins, it has a high SPF50+ protection and has the added benefit of moisturising the skin with a gorgeous velvety texture while it protects.

Reapply throughout the day, and after swimming.


Reimann P20 kids SPF50+ sun care, £12.79, Boots


We love Reimann P20 for kids for it’s high SPF and gentle formula. But perhaps the reason it’s loved by parents the most is that one application lasts up to 10 hours, and three hours in the water.

A great product to apply before school or nursery to keep them protected all day long.


Ladival Kids’ Sun Spray SPF50, £12.60, Notino


This range is scientifically proven to protect children's skin against four times more of the sun's rays than standard UVA and UVB sunscreens. The kids range is free from perfume, colourants, preservatives and emulsifiers, ensuring it is suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin while maintaining a non-greasy, water-resistant formula.

Reapply frequently throughout the day.

MORE: Can children use adult sunscreen? Find out here


Organic Children scent-free suncream for kids SPF30, £21, Green People 


Suitable for sensitive skins and prickly-heat sufferers, Organic Children’s sun cream uses soothing Aloe Vera to hydrate, soothe and protect. It’s scent-free too – perfect for kids who aren’t keen on the smell of other sun cream.

Reapply every 2-4 hours and after swimming.


Mustela High protection sun spray SPF 50, £18.33, Escentual


Named the number one baby skincare specialist in Europe, Mustela offers a complete sun care range with an SPF 50+ to keep little one's skin protected from sun damage. The products all contain the special ingredient Avocado Perseose® to reinforce the skin barrier and prevent damage.

Reapply every two hours.


Eucerin Sun Kids Spray SPF 50+, £13, Feelunique


As well as protecting children's skin from short term sunburn, this non-greasy Eucerin Sun Kids Spray also provides biological cell protection to reduce the risk of long term UV-induced skin damage.

An SPF of 50+ will protect them from the sun's harmful UV rays, while an extra water-resistant formula will ensure protection both in and out of the water – perfect for active kids.

Reapply frequently throughout the day.


Evy Sunscreen mousse for kids SPF 30, £19.99, Face The Future


Previously voted Sweden's No 1 safest sunscreen, Evy Sun Mousse is now available in the UK. What makes this product unique is that it is formulated in an easy to apply mousse, which can also be used on the hair and scalp. Unlike some creams, the mousse absorbs into the top layer of the skin for enhanced protection against deeper penetrating UVA rays.

Reapply every six hours.


Incognito Mineral Suncream Insect Repellant SPF30, £21.99, Holland & Barratt


Combining three products in one, this unique sun cream also has a built in moisturiser and insect repellent, and is suitable for children aged two and over. We love this cream as it offers a DEET free formula to protect children from bites while maintaining effective SPF coverage and providing protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays.

Reapply throughout the day.


Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Advanced Anti-Sand Spray SPF50+, £7, Boots


Not only do we love the extremely high SPF and hypoallergenic make-up of this suncare spray, but it is designed to repel sand, stopping your little one from feeling itchy or irritated from sand particles. Genius!


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