Best Sunscreen For Babies and Kids In India
Summer is here. It’s time for vacation, beaches and outings and along comes scorching sun and nasty sunburns.
Babies and young kids are especially prone to getting sunburnt as their skin is yet to mature like adults. Experts have also found that those who develop major sunburn during childhood are twice prone to developing skin cancer during adulthood. Hence, it is quite important to apply sunscreen to babies before they venture out in summers.
Many parents might think why to apply chemical laden sunscreen on their baby without realizing the harmful effects of sunlight. It is true that sunlight provides Vitamin D which is essential for bone development and overall well-being. But it is better to expose yourselves and your baby to mild sunlight you typically get before 9 am in the morning. In most locations, sunlight post 10 am is quite harsh. The UVA and UVB in the sunlight penetrate deep in to the skin causing sunburn, aging and contributing to skin cancer. Moreover, chemicals used in most sunscreens are found not to be carcinogenic or cause any adverse side effects to baby skin. Hence, sunscreen is always a better choice.
How Do You Choose Sunscreen For Your Baby?
Now, let us take a look at some of the important aspects you have to take care of while choosing a sunscreen.
Chemical or Mineral Based?
Sunscreen lotions available in the market are either chemical based or mineral based. Chemical based sunscreens contain carbon based compounds like oxybenzone which chemically changes the ultra-violet rays to heat and releases heat from the skin.
Mineral based sunscreens on the other hand contain Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide. It acts as physical barriers that prevents UV rays from entering the skin. Mineral based sunscreen or physical sunscreen reflects the UV rays and scatters them away. This type of sunscreen is also called sunblock.
Sun Protecting Factor (SPF)
SPF measures the level of UVB protection provided by a sunscreen or sunblock. It also indicates the average duration the skin is protected from sunburn when applied.
For example, if your skin is capable of withstanding sunrays for 10 minutes without getting sunburnt, then by applying SPF 30 sunscreen, your skin will be able to withstand 30 x 10=300 minutes of sun exposure without getting sunburnt. However, if your skin can withstand only 5 minutes of sun exposure without getting sunburnt, then SPF 30 sunscreen will protect your skin for only 5 x 30=150 minutes of sun exposure.
Take this measurement with a pinch of salt, as the duration your skin is able to withstand sunburn depends a lot on the intensity of sunrays and how fair your skin is ( fairer the skin, lower tolerance to sunburn).
SPF also indicates the level of UVB protection. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB, while SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB.
Experts are of the opinion that at least SPF 30 sunscreen is required for babies. No matter how high or low the SPF is, when exposed continuously to sun, you have to reapply the sunscreen lotion every 2 hours as it could get wiped away due to sweating.
Other factors to consider are the ingredients used. Check the list of ingredients to see if there are anything that could affect the baby adversely. Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Octisalate are some of the common chemicals that has to be avoided. The list we give below does not include any sunblock that contain any such harmful chemicals.
It is also recommended to opt for hypoallergenic, fragrance-free sunscreens. Water-resistant sunscreens are also great as it reduces the need for frequent application.
Note- It is not advisable to apply sunscreen on babies less than 6 months of age. It is better to wear hat and fully covered light cotton clothes to protect such young babies against harmful UV rays.
Best Sunscreen in India For Babies & Kids
While most of our best lists have at least 5 items, this one falls short. This is because we have picked only those sunscreen that steers absolutely clear of any harmful ingredients. We also look for above average user reviews as well as a moderate price. Even so, some of the top picks are a bit pricey being imported, but have garnered rave reviews from users as well as dermatologists.
Ingredients- Purified Water, Zinc Oxide, Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Wheatgerm Oil, Calendula Extracts, Aloevera Extract, Vitamin E, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium sorbate, Sodium benzoate & Lavender Essential Oil, Enriched with our Secret Mama’s Love oil
Mamaearth Sunscreen (or Sunblock) is a hypoallergenic option that has SPF of 20. Zinc Oxide is the component in this sunscreen that acts as a physical barrier and reflects away the harmful UV rays, while Shea butter, olive oil and Aloe Vera extracts keep the skin soft and supple. The Zinc Oxide base keeps it waterproof for 30-45 minutes too.
Talking about the drawbacks, as it has a SPF of just 20, you may have to reapply the sunscreen every 45-60 minutes when you venture out to beach or anywhere with continuous exposure to sun. Also, Mamearth sunscreen is not exactly fragrance-free. It is lavender fragranced—whether it is mild or not depends a lot on personal preference.
Active Ingredients: Homosalate (15%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Titanium Dioxide (2.4%) Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isohexadecane, Ozokerite, Cetyl/PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, PEG 8, C30 38 Olefin/Isopropyl Maleate/MA Copolymer, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopbutylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Alumin
With a SPF of 50, Banana boat sunscreen lotion is one of the favourite options of moms across the globe. The titanium dioxide in the lotion acts as a barrier and provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. As it is water resistant for about 80 minutes after application, it is ideal when babies and young kids go swimming or to the beach during summers. The formulation is tear and alcohol free too. So, you don’t have to worry about it stinging your little one’s eyes. Being an imported product, it is expensive comparatively.
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Ingredients: Water, Isopropyl Myristate, Light Liquid Paraffin, Hydrogenated Polyisobutylene, Aluminium Starch Octanylsuccinate, Glycerin, PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Magnesium Sulphate, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance
Titanium dioxide is the active ingredient in Lotus Herbal Sun block cream that reflects harmful UVA and UVB rays away from the skin. In addition, the extracts of Chamomile gently nourishes the skin too. The formulation is non-greasy and fairly water-resistant too. Incidence of rashes and reactions are also few, making it a good choice for babies and young kids.
Paediatrician tested to be absolutely safe for babies and young kids, Badger Balm sunscreen cream is one of the top picks by the Environment Working Groups. The active ingredient Zinc Oxide acts as a sun block reflecting away harmful UVA and UVB rays. Other ingredients like extracts of sunflower, chamomile, marigold, seabuck thorn, beeswax and tocopherol are considered to be fairly harmless too. Once applied, the sunscreen remains water resistant for about 40 minutes, after which re-application might be required. Being thick, you might have to put in more time than usual for applying over your baby’s skin.