Sunscreen Woes

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

Frances loves swimming, so we’ve been hitting the pool pretty regularly this summer. I’m a bit paranoid about her getting a sunburn since her skin is still that perfect newborn white, so I try to keep her in the shade and slather her with plenty of sunscreen. I’m running into some problems with the sunscreen, however, and it’s driving me crazy!

Episencial Sunny Screen SPF 35 is so difficult to apply, and Franci isn’t happy about it. I make sure to put it on before we even leave the house so we’re not trying to do it pool side, but it still doesn’t absorb by the time we get to the pool. So there she is, sticky and white as a ghost with streaks all over, and once she’s wet she becomes as slippery as a greased watermelon! I’m afraid she’s going to slip through my fingers.

My annoyance doesn’t end when we leave the pool because it’s so hard to wash the sunscreen off of her. Even with lots of soap and water, I find bits of sunscreen on her for days. It leaves me wondering if I should just use conventional sunscreen if I have to wash it off after every use anyway.

Are there any baby sunscreens out there that are safe and effective but won’t drive me crazy? What sunscreen do you use on your kids?


  1. Check out Honest company sunscreen. I’ve used it on babies and it comes off easily. It runs in nicely as well. My whole family uses it.

  2. I thought you weren’t supposed to use sunscreen of any kind on babies until they were six months old. ?? I don’t remember where I read this, so this could be old (or completely fabricated) information!

  3. Sarah, I’ve heard good things about Honest Co. I might have to place an order with them soon!

    Rebecca, the 6 month recommendation is common, but I’m not sure where it came from. All the mom’s in my breastfeeding group say their pediatricians (including mine) say two months.

    I think maybe I should get a UV shirt or something so I don’t have to put as much sunscreen on.

  4. I never heard it until after Audrey was already over 6 months old. I had of course been slathering her in sunscreen all along. Ha!

    A UV shirt is a very good idea. Would help with the slipperyness and reduce the amount of sunscreen in general. Sounds like a good opportunity for another article!

  5. California baby has a stick that is very easy to put on the nose, cheeks, ears, etc…

  6. Heather L says

    We always use UV shirt with uv protectant shorts also…and a wide brimmed uv hat—even for my daughter.

  7. Yup, Costco has UV SKinz (shirt, shorts, hat) for $17.xx They’re great quality and from what I last heard, the UV protection comes from the way the fabric is woven vs. a sprayed on UV deflector. In addition, that Swimways Spring Float she’s in should come with a canopy (which is excellent!), if not swap it in for the model that has it. The new Badger line is great sunscreen with less ghosting. You may want to give them a try or see what SafeMama has to say on these:

  8. I use the sunscreen from the HONEST company, but its only 30 spf. I’ve also use the THINKBABY brand which is spf 50. Both are great! I think Babyganics may also have a good sunscreen.

  9. I feel like there is always going to be a trade-off between safe ingredients and rubbing in nicely. The barrier type sunscreens don’t need to be rubbed in to work. So you could just apply liberally and let her look goofy without a lot of rubbing. I recently got neutrogena baby pure and free sunscreen for a friend with a new baby. I haven’t heard yet if she used it or liked it but it looked really nice and had a short ingredient list.

  10. Beverley says

    check this website for safe sunscreens

  11. Badger Sunscreen is one of the best on the EWG list mentioned above. We love it for our baby!

  12. Thanks for all of your recommendations! I’m glad to know there are some good sunscreens out there, and we plan to try some out soon.

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