Kids Sunscreen Review

Be Healthy, Buy

Sunscreen is just one of those essential, no compromise, must have items we need pretty much all year round now and 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%.

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.

Soleo Organics

Here’s a brand none of us had heard of or used before now, but happy to report it was one of our favourites.

We found the Soleo Organics Every Day Formula to be a lovely silky and easy to apply sunscreen. It didn’t leave us white, oily or sticky and it is not thick – just a nice light / mid weight cream. We recommend their high performance range which is 3 hour water resistant and they also do a moisturising sunscreen which is a great non greasy day to day option.

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. It’s free of nasty chemicals and it’s also fragrance free, which we really liked.

Being a certified organic product you are buying absolute quality, and it feels like it. This product comes in at around $27 for a 80ml tube, so not the cheapest, but we ALL rated this one as one of the nicest on the skin.

A beautiful Western Australian Product that also ticks the important reef safe, sustainability and cruelty free / vegan boxes for us.

For more info and to buy online visit soleoorganics.com/pages/shop

People4Ocean SPF 30

Created by marine biologists and an Australian Spa Brand, LaGaia Unedited, we are no strangers to this beautiful range of products. Honestly, we were first lured in a little while back by the promise of a responsible company who were looking out for our marine eco-systems (and donating a portion of their profits to reef conservation), as well as searching for chem free sun protection that wouldn’t have us looking like the Australian Cricket Team.

This one is our top pick for days on the beach and water sports.

The fact that P4O sun protection is Australian made is also important to us and this one is most certainly made and packaged right here in the land of OZ. We are beach lovers and sea creature lovers, the P4O marketing worked and I am so glad we found this product.

On first application it felt a little oily, however they are beautiful natural oils that soon settle in to make you skin feel lush and glisten. This cream is not a thick zinc but its also not what I would call a ‘dry’ sunscreen.  It won’t leave you white and zinc-y, it doesn’t run or sting little eyes (even with constant kids goggles on, goggles off) and it’s completely safe for pregnant and breastfeeding mums.

Lastly some of the products in the P4O range are vegan and they most definitely do not test any of their products on animals. That’s another win in our book.

Prices start from $29.95 for 100ml

For more info, ingredient list and to shop the range visit www.people4ocean.com

Seed + Sprout SPF 50

I love everything about this brand. Major brand crush here. Just check out their IG stories to get an idea about how passionate they are about not only making products that area environmentally conscious but also products that are top quality and actually work. We tried the SPF 50 untinted sunscreen ($29) and the SPF 50 tinted sunscreen ($35) both of which come in a 80g tin.

Both sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays  and are 100% Reef safe, 100% Plastic-Free, 100% Vegan, 100% Palm Oil Free, Fragrance Free and Made in Australia.

Both were very gentle and sensitive skin kids had no reaction to either one. You don’t need much product and a tin would last for quite a while, the formula is very spreadable.

The tinted one you could wear every day as a natural foundation replacement. I don’t wear much makeup, pretty much never actually and on first look I thought it might be a bit dark for my skin but it wasn’t at all. I also love tin packaging, super easy to throw in your bag and handy for repurposing later. 

If you’re going to be in the water for a long time this is not be the best choice, but if you’re looking for a tinted sunscreen to wear everyday this one is excellent.

$29 for 80g tin | $35 tinted

For more information, ingredients list and to buy online visit www.seedsprout.com.au

Jack 'N Jill Kids Natural Sunscreen

Love love love that these products are specifically made for kids and babies. We tried and tested the Natural Sunscreen with Soothing Chamomile & Calendula 30+. Free from every thing nasty, like parabens, sulphates, palm oil, preservatives, fragrance and colour.

This one is thick. It’s a zinc oxide physical barrier and no one is getting burnt with a good layer of this on them. Applying this sunscreen was a bit of work, and did leave the kids a little whiter than other sun blocks BUT once it was on it settled into the skin and seemed to last and last and last and last.

The consistency wasn’t our favourite, but the effort for application was well worth it. This one is a TRUE water resistant product and while they recommend reapplication after swimming and towel drying, it was evident our screen hadn’t budged, not one bit. Also worth noting, it didn’t run in our eyes when swimming.

My kids actually melt down over the sting of sunscreen in the eyes – is there any thing worse? Last thing, we learnt this Aussie brand has been around for circa 70 years? There’s got to be cred in that right?

Priced at $19.90 for a 100g tube, its pretty great value for a product that will 100% get the job done.

For more info and to buy online visit www.jackandjillkids.com

Simple as That Skin SPF 30

Simple as That applies thin and easily and doesn’t leave any residue on the skin, it’s not greasy nor thick and it absorbs into the skin like a dream. This is our top pick for easiest to apply.

100% natural, organic, vegan and promising fair trade. Subtle hints of rasberry seed oil. What a dreamboat. We have tested both the SPF 30 with Raspberry Seed Oil and the SPF 30 Delicate Skin Children products.

The beautiful subtle aromatics and the fact that it leaves no residue tick some seriously important boxes for me, especially when we are spending the day at the beach. Is there any thing worse than sand that sticks to sunscreen? Yeah, food that gets sand in it probably #unwantedlunchcrunch

$29.00 for 100ml with FREE SHIPPING Australia wide.

For more info, ingredient list and to shop the range visit www.simpleasthat.com.au

WotNot Natural Sunscreens

Wotnot Natural Sunscreen ia natural and nourishing for all skin types. Approved by the Eczema Association it’s a good option for families with sensitive skin.

We tried 3 of their sunscreen products.  SPF30 baby sunscreen (green tube) SPF30 natural sunscreen (orange tube) and their brand new SPF40 mineral make up/sunscreen all containting beautiful certified organic ingredients.

The sunscreen spreads extremely easy and rubbed in nice and quick, with no overpowering fragrance. Another positive is that it’s approved by the Eczema Association so that’s a big plus as so many people these days have skin irritations and on further research, we found this one actually treats these types of conditions, as well as providing great sun coverage.

The WotNot Mineral Make up can easily replace your current BB cream or mineral make up. She’s got some coverage let me tell you! A tiny bit goes a long way. The tint is lovely and light and as well as protecting your face from UV-B & aging UV-A rays it also does a great job of covering up blemishes. Very easy to apply you can throw it on in the morning and be confident that your face will be protected and looking fresh all day.

We love the brand and their mission to make natural organic & eco-friendly products, particularly when it comes to safe sunscreens for babies and the nasty chemicals that can be sometimes be found even in those that claim to be natural. They use certified organic ingredients including aloe vera and jojoba oil and is reef friendly too. We would definitely use this for the little crew again.

It’s also a great price at

$19.99 for 100g tube
$28.99 for the 150g sensitive skin
$29.95 for SPF40 mineral make up

For more info, ingredients list and to buy online visit
wotnot.com.au/collections/suncare

Beachfox

Possibly one more for us adults, older kids/teens the Beachfox range is straight outta Manly and boy does it smell goooood.

This sunscreen is a clear SPF50 spray, which we have tried it on my sensitive skin kids and they didn’t sting at all. Our teen testers loved this one for its quick application and found it spread really easy. Anything which attracts the kids to sun safety is a win in our books!

It’s four hour water and sweat resistant making it a great choice for active lifestyles and can be sprayed on dry or wet skin! We love that. (Spray makes application so easy yeah?)

Lime, grapefruit, coconut or vanilla. Funky packaging, Aussie made, not tested on animals – it’s another win in our opinion. We tried it out on our hard to please teens and they loved it. Check them out on Instagram, all the cool kids are wearing this sunscreen! This is our pick for active older kids and adults

Retailing for $29 per 200ml bottle or grab one in each scent, 4 for under $100

For more info and to buy online visit www.beachfox.com.au

Little Urchin

We love the 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 wiht his own! Using only rich essential oils and nature’s most potent skin-nourishing ingredients, the team perfected their product.

The reviews on their page speak for themselves. 5 stars across the board! With so many happy customers you can rest assured you will love this (and their whole range just quietly) one. Safe for your family, safe fro the ocean, just don’t fall in the trap of using too much as this bottle will go a long way!

3hrs water resistance and both reef and ocean safe. Give it a further applicaiton after a couple of hours if you get a bit sweaty, and whack on another coat after a swim or dry off with a towel.

$24.95 for a 100g bottle will get you started in this range.

For more info and to buy online visit www.littleurchin.com.au

Surf Baby

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, beach days, water sports you’ve probably seen Surf Mud natural zinc around. It’s a very popular sunscreen choice for Nippers, Surfers and people who need some serious water resistance in their sunscreen.

Surf Baby is their kids option and with its 4 hour water resistance it’s an excellent choice for kids who are in and out and in and out and in and out of the water because reapplying on wet kids skin is bloody hard work! It’s a hypoallergenic, mineral based, non-nano Zinc sunscreen (aka no nasties). No dramas on my excema kids skin and no overpowering smell. 

Made right here in Australia from natural, reef safe ingredients. The formula is quick thick and a little harder to apply but BOY when it’s on, it stays on so it’s worth spending a little bit of extra time in the application because you know that you’re not going to have to reapply for at least a few hours. The kids can be in and out of the water for ages and you can be confident that they will be covered, and it also won’t run into your eyes when it gets wet or you sweat.

This does makes it a little harder to remove than some of the thinner products we tried, but nothing that a warm flannel or baby wipe can’t take care of.

It’s also really well priced at $25 for 125g tube.

Recommended age 6 months +
For more info and to buy online visit surfmud.com/surf-baby-natural-sunscreen-for-babies-and-kids/

Hello Sunshine SPF 40

Hello Sunshine SPF40 Natural Sunscreen is another great option for younger kids. Really easy to rub in without being greasy and we think it smells like marshmallows.

Made from natural ingredients, it’s 100% preservative and paraben free, so another really gentle formulation – we had no nasty reactions to this one at all.
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. 

They were also recently chosen as a 2021 finalist for the favourite SunSmart product in Australia, so they’re onto a winning formula that’s for sure.

This is a great all rounder family option. We love their SPF50 facesticks. Available in both tinted and original. Grab one for the school bags.

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

More info, ingredients list and to buy online visit
123nourishme.com.au

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 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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