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Best sunscreen for kids 2022: Spray, mist and lotion SPF formulas


If you’re planning on jetting off on a sunny holiday with the kids or are just preparing for a fun-filled summer, you’re probably thinking ahead to stocking up on the essentials – including sun protection.

When choosing a sun cream for babies and children, there’s a few variables to consider such as UV star rating and SPF (sun protection factor). These elements will tell you the strength of the formula and how much defense they offer against long-wave UVA and short-wave UVB rays. It’s a good idea to get clued up on the basic details such as why a sun cream’s UV rating is so important, so we’ve created an in-depth guide here.

In terms of the basics, the NHS recommends that babies under six months should be kept out of direct strong sunlight completely, and all babies and children should wear an SPF of at least 30 – preferably 50 – from March to October in the UK. It’s important to also be aware that UV radiation is present all year round, so children’s skin can still burn even when it’s cloudy.

“Children’s delicate skin is more vulnerable to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation compared to adults and so it is particularly important to keep children protected when out in the sun,” Dr Hiva Fassihi from OneWelbeck Skin Health & Allergy explains.

Dr Fassihi also advises protecting your children’s skin with additional measures: “Parents should not rely on sunscreen alone for their children. Sunscreens should be used in conjunction with sensible sun-exposure behaviour and appropriate use of UV protective hats and clothing (UPF50), especially when on sunny holidays abroad.”

Finally, don’t forget that whichever sunscreen you choose, it should be applied generously 20 to 30 minutes before your children go outside, particularly during the spring and summer months, and re-applied regularly especially after swimming.

How we tested

We tested a range of sun creams suitable for newborns, toddlers and children on a week-long holiday in the sun as well as day to day. We also included formulas that were suitable for extra-sensitive skin as some of our little testers were eczema-prone. As well as value for money, our favourites were selected based on their UV rating, ease of application, feeling on the skin and gentle yet efficacious ingredients. It’s also worth noting that they were all used by the whole family, not just our little ones.

The best sunscreens for kids in 2022 are:

  • Best kids sunscreen overall – La Roche-Posay anthelios dermo-kids invisible mist SPF50+: £20.50,
  • Best value for money kids sunscreen – Cien Kids sun spray SPF50+: £8.49,
  • Best kids sunscreen for babies with eczema – La Roche-Posay anthelios dermo-paediatrics lotion SPF50+: £11,
  • Best ocean-friendly formula kids sunscreen – Organic Children sun lotion: £21.50,
  • Best kids sunscreen for enhanced protection – Ultra Sun extreme kids SPF 50+: £30,
  • Best kids sunscreenfor exotic destinations – Incognito mineral sun cream insect repellent SPF30: £21.99,
  • Best kids sunscreenfor babies and toddlers – Child’s Farm sun lotion spray SPF50: £8.40,
  • Best kids sunscreenfor the whole family – SOS serum: £16,
  • Best natural kids sunscreen – MooGoo natural sunscreen SPF30: £15,
  • Best kids sunscreen with organic ingredients – Alteya Organics kids and baby sunscreen SPF30: £14.15,

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