The 8 Best Kids' Sunscreens -- and the 8 Most Dangerous

Liz Alterman | May 23, 2017 Big Kid

Sunscreen Kids
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If you're planning on stocking up on sunscreen for summer, remember: Not all products are created equal. The Environmental Working Group has released its 2017 list of the best and worst sunscreens for kids. So, before you shop, take a look at this list and feel good about what you're putting on your children's skin. 

According to the EWG, 75 percent of the products the organization examined offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients such as oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. 

Scary, right? More concerning is the fact that despite growing awareness of the dangers of exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation, melanoma rates have tripled over the past three decades, EWG states. Even with a high-quality sunscreen, the organization advises those who'll be outdoors to consider wearing protective clothing and taking advantage of shades spots where possible.

Take a look at EWG's recommendations for which products to use -- and which to avoid -- for a summer that's healthy for your little ones' skin.

  • Worst: Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100

    1

    Based on EWG's modeling, Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100, provides moderate UVA protection and a poor balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF.

    The EWG also cautions against using SPF levels above 50, as sun worshippers often assume that they get twice as much protection from SPF 100 sunscreen as from SPF 50.

    "In reality, the extra protection is negligible," the organization states. 

    Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100, $12.99/6 oz; Amazon

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  • Worst: Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70

    2

    Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70, contains retinyl palmitate, which may damage sun-exposed skin, according to EWG. So instead of protecting your little one's skin, you may be harming it. 

    Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70, $19.75/6 oz; Amazon

  • Worst: Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100

    3

    When it comes to Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100, EWG estimates the SPF of this product to be much less than the advertised value.

    "SPF values above 50 offers a false sense of security," the organization cautions. 

    It also contains oxybenzone, a hormone disrupting chemical.

    Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100, $8.49/7.2 oz; Amazon 

  • Worst: Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70

    4

    Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70 Sprays pose an inhalation risk and may not cover the skin completely, according to EWG.

    Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray Kids, SPF 70, $22.65/6 oz; Amazon

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  • Worst: Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70+

    5

    Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70+ is flawed in multiple areas, according to EWG. It's a spray, which poses an inhalation risk; at the same time, its SPF is above 50, giving sunbathers a false sense of security against the sun's raise. Further, it contains oxybenzone, a hormone disrupting chemical.

    Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 70+, $37.63/5 oz; Amazon

  • Worst: Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick - SPF 55

    6

    The EWG found that Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick - SPF 55 scores poorly and is a bad choice for sun protection. Further, it contains oxybenzone, a hormone disrupting chemical and poses a moderate health risk.

    Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Stick - SPF 55, $6.90/.06 oz; Amazon

  • Worst: Coppertone Water Babies Foaming Lotion SPF 70+

    7

    EWG found that the ingredients in Coppertone Water Babies Foaming Lotion SPF 70+ contain a high health concern. The group recommends finding an alternative to this product, which also contains oxybenzone, a hormone disrupting chemical. 

    Coppertone Water Babies Foaming Lotion SPF 70+, $27.05/pack of 2, 6 oz; Amazon

  • Worst: Coppertone WaterBABIES Stick SPF 55

    8

    The EWG found that overall Coppertone WaterBABIES Stick SPF 55 product scores poorly and is a bad choice for sun protection. Additionally, its ingredients pose a moderate health concern.

    Coppertone WaterBABIES Stick SPF 55, $8.28/.06 oz; Amazon

  • Best: All Good Kid's Sunscreen, SPF 30

    9

    All Good Kid's Sunscreen, SPF 30, is made with organic green tea extract and rose hips, which features anti-aging properties. It's also GMO free, gluten-free, paraben-free, vegan, PABA-free, non-nanoparticle.

    All Good Kid's Sunscreen, SPF 30, $12.79/3.2 oz; Amazon

  • Best: Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50

    10

    Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50, is made with natural oatmeal and mineral zinc oxide. 

    Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 50, $26.66/3-pack, 3.3 oz; Amazon

  • Best: All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

    11

    Zinc oxide is a main ingredient in All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, making it an excellent choice for UVA protection.

    All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, $9.79/3 oz; Amazon

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  • Best: Blue Lizard Australian SUNSCREEN SPF 30+, Baby, SPF 30+

    12

    According to EWG, Blue Lizard Australian SUNSCREEN SPF 30+, Baby, SPF 30+, provides good UVA protection and a good balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF. It's also dermatologist-recommended as it's paraben-, fragrance-, and chemical-free, as well gentle on a little one's sensitive skin.  

    Blue Lizard Australian SUNSCREEN SPF 30+, Baby, SPF 30+, $25.96/8.75 oz; Amazon

  • Best: Episencial Babytime Sunny Sunscreen

    13

    Pediatrician-developed, Episencial Babytime Sunny Sunscreen scores well and is a top choice for sun protection, according to EWG. It's also lightweight, and free of petroleum, fragrance, harsh chemicals, and gluten.

    Episencial Babytime Sunny Sunscreen, $9.65/2.7 oz; Amazon

  • Best: Bare Republic Baby Mineral SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Lotion

    14

    Bare Republic Baby Mineral SPF 50 Baby Sunscreen Lotion contains avocado oil and coconut oil as well as shea butter, which keeps baby skin soft, nourished, and protected from moisture loss.

    Bare Republic Baby Mineral SPF 50, $14.99/3.4 oz; Amazon

  • Best: Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

    15

    Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+, is one of the best you can buy, according to EWG. Based on the organization's modeling, this product provides excellent UVA protection and an excellent balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF. The ingredients in this product pose a low health concern, which is comforting to moms and dads.  

    Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+, $19.75/4.3 oz; Amazon

  • Best: Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream - SPF 30 - All Natural & Certified Organic

    16

    Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream - SPF 30 - All Natural & Certified Organic offers excellent UVA protection and a good balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF, according to EWG.

    Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream - SPF 30 - All Natural & Certified Organic, $13.59/2.7 oz; Amazon

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