Six years ago, my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease called Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM). JDM can be exacerbated by the sun so we became much more diligent about sunscreen. It’s not easy to escape the sun in south Louisiana but there are options to help lessen the effects. I’m the type of girl who loves products & shopping for products so we’ve tried many different things.
Different Types of Sunscreen
I learned there are two major types of sunscreen: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens use chemicals that soak into the skin and block UV radiation. These include benzophenones (oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, dioxybenzone), menthyl anthranilate, and avobenzone. Physical sunscreens use ingredients that are blockers or barriers on the skin. These ingredients include zinc and titanium dioxide. This sunscreen sits on top of the skin and is not absorbed. It’s up to you to decide which you prefer for your family.
Our Favorite Beach Sunscreen for Kids
Our hands down favorite for the beach or any prolonged sun exposure is ThinkBaby/ThinkSport. It’s the same stuff no matter which name. It’s non toxic, free of PABA, parabens, & nano particles. This stuff does go on white but that goes away. When applying to Daisy’s body for a day at the beach, I appreciate the white as it helps me cover every inch of her. She has been on the beach several times for hours at a time (she loves digging in the sand) and not even had a tan line. We also have really loved everything from Sun Bum.
Editor’s Note: If you need more tips on taking your little one to the beach, please check out our post on taking baby to the beach!
Our Favorite Everyday
If you want something that blends in better to the skin, we’ve had great luck with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer. I asked other moms of JDM kiddos which sunscreen their families love and that one was an overall favorite. Moms report it goes on without leaving a greasy or white residue. We also love colorscience Sunforgettable Brush On Sunscreen SPF 30. Now that Daisy is older, the ease of this one is unbeatable (expensive though).
Other Good Sun-Blocking Options
Other options we use to help block UV are hats/shirts from Sunday Afternoon. We make Daisy wear her hat when she’s on the playground at school and it really helps. She also wears long sleeve swim suit tops and shorts from Lands End. They fit well & keep her well protected. She doesn’t complain about them being uncomfortable or hot.
A Few Other Tips
It’s important to note that sunscreen has expiration dates that must be followed for it to be effective. Also, be sure to use enough sunscreen every time you apply (& reapply & reapply). There are a ton of options when it comes to sun screen and keeping kids safe from the sun, and there’s nothing worse than wasting a bunch of money on a product that doesn’t really work for you. I’d love it if other people shared their favorites and why they liked them so much.