– Doctors often agree that it’s healthy for children to play outdoors. However, this means exposing your child to sunlight. Taking steps to protect Baby from the sun now can help to decrease the risk of future skin cancer and sun-related skin damage. Some parents steer clear of chemical sunscreens and prefer to use natural products, especially if their child has extra sensitive skin or is prone to skin allergies. At drugstore.com, we have an array of natural sun care products just for children. read more about sun care »
A mineral sunscreen is a sunscreen product that uses natural substances to provide sun protection. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two natural substances for use as active ingredients in sunscreen: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals serve as a barrier over the skin, reflecting UV rays. Natural sunscreens may also contain other natural ingredients, such as plant oils to give products pleasing scents and moisturizing properties. Generally, natural sunscreens have fewer chemical additives and preservatives than other sunscreen products.
Why Use Natural Sunscreen?
Natural sunscreens are preferred by many modern parents. Many moms and dads now consider themselves green parents, meaning that they try to use products that are eco-friendly and naturally based whenever possible. For these moms and dads, natural sunscreens may be a better fit for their lifestyles and the ideal way to protect their children from the effects of the sun. Other parents prefer natural sunscreen due to concerns about their babies' skin. Infants and toddlers have very delicate skin that can be easily irritated by ingredients that are otherwise safe for adults. Using natural sunscreens can reduce children's exposure to these potential irritants.
How to Choose SPF
Purchasing a sunscreen with the right sun protection factor or SPF level for your child is of the utmost importance. In order to understand SPF levels, you must first know a bit about ultraviolet light. UV comes in two harmful forms: UVA and UVB. UVB is responsible for causing sunburn, while UVA can cause premature signs of aging and skin cancer with repeated exposure. The SPF level of a sunscreen tells you how much of the UVB in the environment a natural sunscreen can block. The higher the SPF rating, the greater the protection will be. For example, an SPF 30 sunscreen filters out 97 percent of UVB, while an SPF 50 sunscreen filters out 98 percent. Keep in mind that the SPF level only refers to UVB protection. In order to fully protect your baby from the sun, be sure to choose a product with broad-spectrum protection. This indicates that the product also protects the skin from UVA.
Important Sun Safety Tips for Babies
Babies who are under 6 months of age do not have enough melanin in their skin to be safe in the sun, and most pediatricians advise against the use of sunscreen in babies who are younger than 6 months old. Keep younger babies out of the sun as much as possible. Talk to your doctor about which SPF level is best for your baby's needs.