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Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released their 2019 list of the healthiest sunscreens you can feel comfortable slathering on your kids.

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

Photo: iStockphoto

If you find yourself standing in the sunscreen aisle scrutinizing ingredients lists and trying to figure out the best sunscreens for kids, you might want to check out the latest list of best-scoring sunscreens for kids chosen by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Every year, the organization evaluates sunscreens on the market and gives them a hazard score (where 1 is the best score and 10 is the worst), filtering out ingredients that the organization considers harmful, such as formaldehyde-releasing chemicals.

The list also shows preference to fragrance-free formulas and those that are water-resistant,  because they “offer greater staying power.” This year, at the end of all their analysis, they were left with a list of 51 sunscreens that they deemed the best sunscreens for kids. These five known brands scored high marks:

Some of the other criteria the EWG considers in its hazard scoring is the amount of UVA and UVB protection, and whether it contains oxybenzone and vitamin A. Though Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society insist these ingredients are safe, the EWG points to animal studies that show the potential for hormone disruption and tumor development, though no harmful effects have been proven in humans.

The organization also favors lotions over sprays (which kids can inhale) and SPFs in the range of 30 to 50, because higher numbers offer a false sense of security.

No matter what sunscreen you choose, it’s important to ensure your child is protected from the sun, because UV exposure is linked to skin cancer later in life. And, as the EWG points out, sunscreen should be a last resort.

The organization recommends parents protect kids by covering them well with clothing, planning outdoor activities for early or late in the day (not around noon when the sun is at its strongest), strapping on sunglasses to protect their eyes and finding shady spots to enjoy the great outdoors.

Want more sunscreen recommendations? These will take you from the best trampolines to beachside resorts.

Here are our top sunscreen picks for 2023

La Roche-Posay Athelios XL Melt-in Cream SPF 50

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

Get head-to-toe protection against UVA and UVB rays with this new take on an old favourite. The cream literally “melts” into your skin for a non-greasy finish that leaves skin feeling soft.

This one also made our list of the best sunscreens for kids overall.

Aleva Naturals Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

The whole family can use this tube of broad spectrum sunblock that also contains skin moisturizers like coconut oil and avocado oil.

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Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

This tube is one-and-done for the whole family for a day at the beach. Water resistant up to 80 minutes and gentle enough for the littlest littles.

Vichy Ideal Soleil Lip Protection Stick SPF 30

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

Protect pouts big and small from UV damage and the drying effects of the sun with this nourishing balm.

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

A blend of rich organic jojoba and soothing aloe nourishes your skin while this water-resistant formula shields from sun damage, whether you’re on the dock or swimming in the lake.

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COOLA Rosiliance BB+ Cream SPF 30

Best sunscreens for kids, as rated by the EWG

Moms, you need this one just for you. It’s a tinted moisturizer and BB cream loaded with skin-nourishing ingredients and a mineral broad spectrum SPF 30, all in one. It stays put with a barely-there feel and will save you at least two skincare steps in the morning. And did we mention the delicate rose scent?


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This article was originally published on May 22, 2019

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