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How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Baby


By Sarah Parker Ward

With an infant by your side, you want to get outside to enjoy that summer sunshine! But keeping your little one safe from the sun’s damaging UV rays is rightfully top of mind. Choosing a sunscreen for your baby can become quite the task with so many different options, so here are some helpful guidelines.

How to choose the right sunscreen for your baby

What to Look For on the Label

  • Have you noticed some sunscreens marked “broad-spectrum”? These solutions are the way to go as they offer balanced protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Find a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) between 15 and 50. Generally, 15 or 30 is fine for most babies.
  • Opt for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for the most sensitive parts of baby’s bitty body, including the nose, cheeks, tops of the ears, and shoulders.


A baby’s skin needs special protection from the sun and irritating chemicals. That’s why NEUTROGENA® created Pure & Free® Baby sunscreen, 100-percent naturally-sourced sunscreen ingredients.


Tips for Applying Sunscreen to Young Children

  • Infants & babies under 6 months: Keep baby in the shade and out of the direct sunlight. In addition to dressing them in tight-weave clothing, use an umbrella, stroller cover, or another source of shade to block sunrays which – don’t forget – can travel through a cloudy sky. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can also help protect their eyes.  If shade and protective clothing are unavailable, use sunscreen on only small, especially sun-sensitive areas of the skin like the nose and cheeks.
  • Babies older than 6 months: Apply sunscreen liberally to all areas of the body, being particularly careful around the eyes. If the sunscreen irritates their skin, try a different brand or talk with your child’s doctor.

Remember, sunscreens are only protective when used correctly! For children of all ages, apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours. If you’re enjoying waterplay, you may need to reapply even more often. If your child is less than 12 months old and does get a sunburn, call your baby’s doctor.


Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information was used from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Mayo Clinic.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2018

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