If you’re heading outside with your baby, whether for a quick stroll in the park or a day at the beach, protecting your little one from the sun’s bright rays is extra important because that sensitive baby skin is extra susceptible to serious burns. The best form of sun protection is prevention, so try to stay inside or in the shade when the sun is at its strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you do need to be outside in the sun during those times, be sure to take extra precautions, including applying sunscreen and covering your baby.
TC46 connected with Dr Kiran Godse, Dermatology & Cosmetology, Hiranandani Hospital, Fortis Network Hospital. Here he shares some advice about when it comes to babies wearing sunscreen and how to choose one that’s safe.
1. Use sunscreen after your kid turns 6 months
One should begin using sunscreen for their child only after 6 months of age. Before that, the infant’s skin barrier is delicate and not yet fully developed to tolerate sunscreen formulations. Also, parents should look for sunscreen formulas that are preferable without any kind of irritants like artificial fragrances or essential oils. The child should be comfortable with the sunscreen applied.
2. Stay away from sunscreens with essential oils and fragrances
Sunscreen formulas for children should be with physical filters like Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, as these filters are less irritant and good for sensitive skin. Potential irritants like artificial fragrances or essential oils should be avoided. Instead of chemical filters, physical filters should be given preference. Home-made sunscreens are a big NO for anyone. Always use sunscreens with filters and formulations that are well researched & have data proving their protective ability.
3. Apply SPF 30-50, every 2-3 hours when exposed to harsh sunlight
The SPF used for children can be anywhere between 30-50. Sunscreen can be applied every 2-3 hours if the child is constantly outdoors and exposed to UV light for prolonged periods. If reapplication is an issue, using protective clothing and a hat can be beneficial.
As long as the right sunscreen is applied regularly in the right amount, the SPF of the sunscreen doesn’t matter much.
4. Choose any type of sunscreen that is comfortable for your child
Physical filter-based sunscreens with Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide should be used for children. These formulations can be in the form of stick, spray, or lotion, whatever is comfortable for the child considering the surrounding climate. Sunscreens from La Roche Posay, Neutrogena, or La Shield Fisico are safe and work well for children.
5. Be wary of children with skin allergies, it might damage their skin barrier
Children with skin allergies often tend to have sensitive skin with a damaged skin barrier. In such cases, protective clothing will be the best, or Zinc Oxide-based sunscreens can be helpful. Ensure that the sunscreens can be washed off at the end of the day using gentle cleansers with mild surfactants. Rubbing or scrubbing the skin to remove the sunscreen is not advised.
TC46 Recommended Sunscreen For Kids
1. La Shield Fisico Matte Sunscreen Gel
La Shield Fisico Matte Sunscreen Gel SPF 50 is a 100% physical sunscreen and free from chemical filters. It is dermatologically tested and safe for use in individuals with sensitive skin and those allergic to chemical sunscreens. Being water-resistant for up to eight hours, it offers long-lasting protection from UV induced skin damage such as sunburn, redness, tanning, pigmentation, ageing, inflammation. Suitable for all skin types, it is non-irritant and free from preservatives and fragrance.
Price: Rs 630
2. Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick
Another popular pick among skincare brands, Neutrogena Kids Wet Skin Sunscreen helps keep kids protected against sun damage at the beach or the pool with Neutrogena wet skin kids sunscreen stick broad spectrum of SPF 70. Made for active kids, this convenient stick sunscreen is specially formulated to work on wet skin. It instantly cuts through the water, creating broad-spectrum protection with every application. This sunscreen is formulated with clinically proven Helioplex, an advanced sunscreen technology with superior broad-spectrum protection from skin-ageing UVA rays and skin burning UVB rays. This dermatologist-tested sunscreen is hypoallergenic, oil-free, and PABA-free.
Price: Rs 1,174
3. Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion
Cetaphil is a skincare brand that is recommended by dermatologists and is today used by millions of people with sensitive skin from all over the world. Cetaphil Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion SPF 30+ is a liposomal formulation for very high UV protection formulated for kids’ delicate skin. Photostable UV filters offer highly effective UVA and UVB protection. The lotion is absorbed and nourishes delicate skin with glycerin, aloe vera and vitamin E. Free of parabens and fragrance and made with a hypoallergenic formula that is dermatologically tested.
Price: Rs 1,650
4. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Sensitive Areas Stick SPF50+
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Sensitive Areas Stick is on-the-go protection for targeted areas that are more likely to be exposed to the sun and need extra protection, like the ears, nose, scars, moles and small tattoos. With broad UVA/UVB protection and very portable packaging, this is the ideal product to have at all times with you. Apply at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming.
Price: Rs 605
5. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen
It is a mineral-based physical sunscreen that features a breakthrough Purescreen naturally-sourced zinc oxide technology. This gentle formula delivers superior broad-spectrum protection against burning UVB and ageing UVA rays. It is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, oil-free and Paba free.
Price: Rs 840