Sunscreen is just one of those essential, no compromise, must have items we need pretty much all year round now. The Cancer Council recommends using sunscreen every day on days when the UV Index is forecast to be 3 or above and sunscreen should be part of your daily morning routine on these days.

Finding one for kids that most importantly works but also is easy to apply and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin is actually quite hard. Take it from this eczema Mum, not all kids sunscreens are created equal.

We asked Adelaide based dermatologist Dr Annabel Stevenson from Dermatology SA for some information and advice about choosing sunscreen for our families. Here’s what she said…

Sunscreens can be divided into “physical blockers” (i.e. contain microscopic metal particles that reflect the sun) or “chemical blockers” (i.e. contain ingredients that absorb UV rays). The safest ingredients for children are “physical blockers”, for example zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as they are gentler on sensitive skin. Creams and lotions are better than sprays for even coverage.
Sunscreen use is really important. Studies have shown that any sunburn during childhood almost doubles the risk of developing melanoma in adulthood. Regular sunscreen use of at least SPF 15+ reduces your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by 78%.

Did you know that SPF50+ only offers marginally better protection than SPF30. SPF50+ filters out 98% of UVB radiation, while SPF30 blocks out 96.7% of UVB.

Annabel’s Tips

  • Sunscreen is best applied 20 minutes prior to going outside, and should be reapplied every two hours. Use SPF 50+ if possible, but at least 30+.
  • If using a chemical blocker sunscreen, the ‘kids’ formulations often exclude the ingredients that are most likely to cause rashes. If using sprays, then ensure you are applying it with adequate density to the skin – a brief dusting may not be enough to protect from the sun.
  • Modelling sunscreen use to your children will promote their use.
  • Don’t forget that the best protection against the sun are clothes, hats, sunglasses and seeking out shade.
  • Australian guidelines recommend keeping infants younger than 12 months out of direct sun altogether, although if sun avoidance just isn’t possible, a physical blocker sunscreen on the exposed areas should be used, and washed off when coming out of the sun.

So, in the lead up to summer we’ve done the hard work for you and put some a bunch of sunscreens to the KiA kids test. Some were already favourites we’ve been using for a while and we’ve added a few new brands that we have been hearing good things about.

One thing we discovered for certain is that not all sunscreens are made the same and you really need to work out what you need from your sunscreen.

  • Will you be in and out of the water a lot?
  • Do your kids have really sensitive skin or will you be using it on a baby?
  • Are you looking for something tinted or rubs in clear?
  • Do you need something that is super easy to rub in or are you OK to work a bit harder on application for something that will stay on for hours?

You actually may need to buy a couple of different brands to use for different situations and different family members depending on where and when you’ll be using it. The good news is that we actually like ALL of the ones we tested below and would be happy to recommend any of them. Take a read below and find out which ones will suit your family this summer.

We Are Feel Good inc.

Australian made skincare products suitable for all skin types. All products are gentle, nourishing and non-greasy. Containing no parabens, PABAs, oxybenzone or octinoxate.

  • SPF 50+
  • 4 hours water resistant 
  • Available in 75 ml, 200 ml, 400 ml. 

Aussie made, dermatologically tested and clinically proven

To order online or search for stockists, click here

SurfMud / SurfBaby

SurfMud is made by surfers, for surfers

SurfMud and SurfBaby are both SPF 30 and 4 hours water resistant. Both are made here in Australia from natural, reef safe ingredients. This really is a great option for families who spend a lot of time in the pool, at the beach or in the water.

  • SPF30
  • 4 hours water resistant
  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB
  • Made in Australia
  • Reef safe, non-toxic and hypoallergenic
  • Not tested on animals

For more info and to buy online visit

Petite Skin Co SPF 50 Face Sunscreen for Tween / Teens

Petite Skin Co specialise in first skincare habits and routines for tween and teens. Their SPF 50 Face Sunscreen is a UVA + UVB Broad Spectrum Mineral Face Sunscreen that’s perfect to incorporate into their morning skincare routine. It’s a physical zinc barrier, while being easy to apply and will never clog pores. In warmer months it can also replace moisturiser for kids with oilier skin types.

Shop Petite Skin Co HERE


    Just because sunscreen is a non-negotiable, year-round thing, applying it doesn’t have to be boring.

    Kids and adults alike will love this super FUN range from Australian brand Sundust.
    Sundust Bio Glitter SPF50+ Sunscreen looks great and contains no nasty chemicals, making sun safety fun for both kids and adults.
    All sunscreen is made here in Australia and meets the highest TGA regulations.

    • 4 hr water resistant
    • No Plastic
    • No Parabens
    • No Fragrance
    • Safe for you and the reef
    • Suitable for sensitive skin
    • Made and owned in Australia

    Available online here 

    Surf Life Saving KIDS Whipped Mousse SPF50 Sunscreen

    A light and airy Whipped Mousse Sunscreen formulation that is a first in the Australian Market. Surf Life Saving KIDS Whipped Mousse SPF50 sunscreen is easy to apply, offering strong SPF50 protection in a light as air Mousse formula that is as FUN as it is NEW. Whip some joy into your everyday family sun care routine, make it a fun activity that makes Kids smile ! This new SPF 50 Light whipped mousse provides serious sun protection while offering a silky-smooth foaming effect when applying on the skin. Light as Air – Easy to apply; absorbs rapidly and is not sticky or greasy.

    Available in Woolworths or Big W stores

      Soleo Organics

      There are three sunscreens in the Soleo range. Everyday extra light ($27.95) Face moisturising sunscreen ($44.95) and High performance range which is 3 hour water resistant ($30.95)

      Multi Award winning, this sunscreen has been given a number 1 rating by the EWG (Environmental Working Group), meaning their products contain ingredients that are of low hazard to the environment and your health. This is a zinc based sunscreen and it’s also fragrance free. Being a certified organic product you are buying absolute quality, and it feels like it. 

      • SPF30
      • 3 hours water resistant (high performance)
      • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB
      • Australian made
      • Multi award winning
      • Reef safe
      • Not tested on animals

      For more info and to buy online visit

      Little Urchin

      Here’s story behind this brand. An Aussie dad, not happy with the chemical laden cream he found used by his daughter’s child care, spent the next several months trying to come up with his own! Using only rich essential oils and nature’s most potent skin-nourishing ingredients, the team perfected their product. 4hrs water resistance and both reef and ocean safe. Also comes in a mini roll on zinc stick for chucking in your bag all year round or for doing smaller areas such as faces. 

      • Clear Zinc SPF50
      • 4 hours water resistant
      • Broad Spectrum UVA & UVB
      • Australian Made & Owned
      • Not Tested on Animals

        For more info and to buy online visit

        Hello Sunshine

        Made from natural ingredients, it’s 100% preservative and paraben free, this is a really gentle formulation.
        It’s 2 hours water resistant, preservative and paraben free.

        The also do a handy little SPF50 facestick and these are GREAT. 3 hours water resistant perfect for adding some extra coverage to the face.
        The stick made application super easy and the size is perfect to throw in a school bag or handbag.

        Available in both tinted and original. Grab one for the school bags.

        • SPF40+ sunscreen SPF50+ facestick
        • 2021 finalist for the favourite SunSmart product in Australia
        • 100% preservative free
        • 2 hours water resistant (3 for face stick)
        • Provides both UVA and UVB protection

        $32.95 for 100g tube | $14.95 for the facestick

        More info, ingredients list and to buy online visit

        New Day Skin

        New Day Skin’s face sunscreen has either a Green Apple or Vanilla scent!

        • They are 50+ SPF. So many facial suncreams have a lower SPF but with New Day Skin, your face can be as protected as the rest of your body
        • It’s lightweight & easy to rub in
        • Australian made 
        • Reef & ocean safe plus vegan AND cruelty free.
        • For a face suncream, it is a decent size! 100ml will last you awhile unlike other teeny facial suncreams.

        Grab it via the New Day Skin website, they have some bundle deals to save you some $ too!

        Hit up their website to grab yours:

        Cetaphil Sun SPF 50+ Kids Lotion

        Designed for kids aged 1 year and older, Cetaphil® Sun Kids Liposomal Lotion SPF 50+ provides very high UV protection for delicate skin. Formulated with UV filters, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Glycerin, it evenly spreads across the skin and offers 4 hours of water resistance. Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested , this sunscreen is also fragrance free, non-greasy and paraben free. 

        It’s suitable for sensitve skin and like the entire Cetaphil range it’s great for kids that suffer from eczema.

        • SPF50+
        • 150ml
        • Sun protection for kid’s sensitive skin
        • 4 hours water resistant
        • Fragrance free
        • Non-greasy
        • Provides both UVA and UVB protection

        RRP $21.95
        Often on sale at Chemist Warehouse here

        Ocean Australia

        Reef-friendly, ethically produced and Aussie made – Ocean Australia’s range of SPF 50+ is great for the whole family. 

        Crafted with Shea Butter and Vitamin E it feels more like a moisturiser than a sunscreen. All products offer 4 hours of water resistance coverage and are suitable for sensitive skin. Containing only natural ingredients, it’s free of chemical UV filters, fragrance and paraben free which means zero toxic chemicals on your body or in our waterways. 

        • 100% natural suncare
        • Free of chemical UV filters
        • Broad spectrum mineral UVA +UVB
        • 4 hours water resistant
        • Dermatologically tested
        • Suitable for sensitive skin
        • Cruelty free & vegan

        Available at Coles or online here!

        Quick Screen by The Quick Flick

        Quick Screen is a 4 in 1 SPF, Moisturiser, Primer and Blue Light Defence. It’s ultra lightweight and fast absorbing so it’s great for your face. Tiquid option as the perfect primer for the teens who wear make up, but it is also great for the smaller kids too. 

        • SPF 50+ UVA/UVB and HEV Blue Light defence
        • TGA Listed & Made in Western Australia

        Shop online here

        Wotnot Natural Sunscreen

        Wotnot Natural Sunscreen ia natural and nourishing for all skin types. Approved by the Eczema Association too!

        SPF30 baby sunscreen (green tube) SPF30 natural sunscreen (orange tube) and SPF40 mineral make up/sunscreen all contain beautiful certified organic, mostly edible ingredients.
        The WotNot Mineral Make Up combines SPF40, plant collagen AND mineral makeup so is a huge timesaver in the mornings!  A tiny bit goes a long way.  There are five shades to choose from, including untinted. 

        Their mission is to make natural organic & eco-friendly products, particularly when it comes to safe sunscreens for babies. They use certified organic ingredients including aloe vera and jojoba oil and is reef friendly too.

        • SPF30
        • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB
        • Reef safe

        For more info, ingredients list and to buy online visit

        Solmates Refillable Sunscreen Applicator

        And once you’ve chosen the sunscreen that works for your family, let us let you in on a little game changer product that will make putting the stuff on SO MUCH easier. Solmates 50ml refillable sunscreen applicator works like a deodorant roller. Simply unscrew the cap, fill with your sunscreen of choice roll it on and rub it in! Also means you don’t have to lug the full size bottle around with you, just squeeze in what you need for the day and off you go! 

        Shop online here

        Dr Annabel Stevenson is a consultant dermatologist who has an interest in paediatric dermatology and hair disorders. She consults at Dermatology SA, (Dulwich and Salisbury) as well as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
        Ph: 8332 4155 Instagram @aussie.derm

        We received some (not all) of the above sunscreens free of charge for the purpose of this review however as for all reviews from Kids in Adelaide the above is honest and in our own words.

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