Ask the Moms: What Sunscreen Do You Use?

Summer is here! That means that our kids need to be wearing sunscreen every time they’re outside. At the store today, I was a little overwhelmed with all the sunscreen choices.

The Environmental Working Group has an excellent summer guide with helpful information on sun protection and even a list of the best and worst sunscreens. We have the Loving Naturals sunscreen ( I did a review on it last year- it’s a family owned small business!) and I was pleasantly surprised to see it on this list. I will continue to use it and I think I also might pick up some California Baby.

I encourage shade for kids, big brimmed hats and a high sunscreen.

And remember, sunscreen is important for you too! I try to wear SPF 50 on my face every day.

Do you wear sunscreen? What kind do you like? What are your kids using?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

20 thoughts on “Ask the Moms: What Sunscreen Do You Use?

  1. We don't wear sunscreen much, yet. We limit our sun exposure and wear big brimmed hats when outdoors.

    I will be putting California Baby on Caleb this summer, though. I love their prodructs! 🙂 I may just use that on myself, as well! I'm super sensitive to sunscreen…it makes me break out in a rash so I have to be really careful when I use it! I don't use it much, but I limit my sun exposure and head indoors or shade when I start to turn pinkish 🙂

  2. My daughter already wears sunscreen every single time she is outside. (Summer or not) I also try and get her to wear a hat too especially if it's really sunny. And she already loves wearing her sunglasses. Silly toddler! We love California baby!

  3. I use a store brand when we're out for long periods where they could burn. Otherwise it's shade or short bursts of sun…sun is natural…chemical concoctions on the skin aren't…so I avoid sunscreen unless, as I said, we have no choice in order to avoid a burn. I am personally allergic to every kind I've ever tried…so I do shade…

  4. Just throwing out an opinion…

    Having very fair skin myself, I am aware of the dangers of too much sun and the importance of wearing sunscreen. However, I am also aware that with the huge push for sun protection in recent years, there has been a rise in Vitamin D deficiency. So I've made the decision to allow my children outside for short periods of time without sunscreen.

  5. I use the Loving Naturals sunscreen on the kids every day, after letting them get a few minutes out in the sun. I live in Arizona where the sun is out pretty much 360 days a year and we spend lots of time outside. Both my kids are very sensitive to sun so we keep them covered, after a few minutes. They also take a multivitamin with vitamin D as well as drinking fortified milk and eating things like mushrooms (sometimes) and fish to get more D. We have a serious history of skin cancer in my family so I would rather take the precautions. Also, I read somewhere that getting a severe sunburn before age 18 increases your chances of skin cancer significantly, so we are extra cautious, but I would also like for them to get some Vit D naturally, so typically they get to play outside for about 5-10 minutes, then I slather them up with sunscreen.

    I honestly don't know if it's enough or too much or what, but I would rather give a multivitamin with D than risk a sunburn. Anyone who has had a child with a severe sunburn (as I have had) knows that it is even more painful than having one yourself!

  6. I don't know if its the greek skin tone in my kids (they are 1/8 greek!), but they tan beautifully and never burn. I only use sunscreen at the beach or at the pool. My top choice is BullFrog continuous spray. We have NEVER gotten burned using it, not even when we are out all day at the beach.

  7. I use Aveeno Baby on my kids, my 2nd has a skin reaction to a lot of sunscreens and it has been a trial finding one that works on his skin.

  8. I agree with Kristin that short periods of time in the sun without sunscreen are actually beneficial. In general, we try to go with shade and hats, and only sunscreen if a burn would be unavoidable otherwise. I have very fair skin myself and have used sunscreen a ton for years, but do have concerns about the ingredients in most sunscreens, and haven't been happy with the feel or effectiveness of the “natural” sunscreens I've used. Glad to hear the tips for some good brands!

  9. I am not trying to argue because I am not the kind of person to stir things up:-), BUT most experts also say that many children are Vitamin D deficient. So rather than block the natural benefits of the sun and take an unnatural supplement (even natural ones are not as natural as the sun!), I chose to let them (and me) get natural light in small doses. Walking to and from the car is a great way to get some sun, but if I put sunscreen on them every day, they are not even benefiting from those few minutes.

  10. Okay, I guess I should have said that the only time I put sunscreen on my child is when we are outside for a long time. When I said sunscreen every day, I mean sunscreen every day that you are outside for a long time or whatever. I certainly DO NOT put sunscreen on him every day all day!

    Did you guys really think that I meant I always had sunscreen on my kid?? Sorry for the miscommunication! 🙂

    But I DO put sunscreen on MY face every morning.

  11. First off everyone is entitled to their opinions but though I agree the sun is 'natural' it kind of has nothing to do with the reason I use sunscreen…

    I mean Lightning is natural also but I still do not stand under trees holding a metal pole so I get naturally fried. Some might think those two comparisons are silly but I do not. The damaging effects of uv rays can leave permanent skin damage. You can take a pill to increase vitamin D, you cannot take a pill to get rid of skin cancer.

    I do not make my daughter wear sunscreen for very short periods of time or when in the shade but I am not taking chances as far as longer exposure goes.

    I have very fair, easily burnt skin. I had 3rd degree burns over my whole back and arms before. It hurt SO BAD for weeks and I could not change my clothes without peeling off the raw skin. I still have the scars and when this happened I was outside for only 2 hours!

    Never going through that again or having my daughter go through that. Thanks for having this post as there are a lot of great suggestions! I am thinking of giving California baby a try!

  12. I've recently learned that Sunscreen can speed the process of Skin Cancer. I also learned that an SPF 15 blocks 93% of the rays where as an SPF 50 blocks 97% so not much of a difference. I use an SPF 50 on Avery but use it sparingly now. I only use it if we're in water or plan on being out more than an hour. She uses the SPF 50 protective clothing and hats. So we don't use as much on her. I don't use sunscreen at all. If We'll be out all day I'll use an SPF 15 on my face and nothing on my body. Never have, just not for me. I will protect my daughter for as long as possible though, but will probably stop at around 8, because it can speed the process.
    We are currently using Target brand for her, but we are getting some chemical free ones in the mail for review real soon here!

  13. I wear sunscreen everyday. A face lotion with SPF, and then an all over sunscreen. I don't have a brand preference.
    The only one I can use on my daughter, who has eczema, is Neutrogena pure & free baby sunblock. It's the only one that doesn't irritate her skin. I just use it for my son, too, since it's so gentle.

  14. Glad to see other opinions and know that we can all have a discussions without it getting ugly. 🙂 I feel strongly about staying as natural as possible, but I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make them think I am criticizing them.

  15. Aw Kristin, I don't think you hurt anyones feelings! 🙂 If you feel strongly about staying natural (or anything!) – that's great! Stay true to who you are and what you believe/think. 🙂

  16. I just read this article It is VERY interesting, I recommend you all read it. Also, our chiropractor said alot of the same things this article said, and she will not use sunscreen on her kids. We use sunscreen if at the park or beach for more than an hour. Other than that, we usually play outside with nothing on but a hat. Also we have olive skin and my older daughter and I have never burnt. All just my opinion, its all so confusing, and we are all just trying to do the best we can as parents!!

  17. I didn't mean nothing but hat, and clothing, just no sunscreen, also my youngest is a little fairer than my older daughter and I, so we do put it on her sooner than us.

  18. I never used to wear it but now I have been becoming a little less vain about my tan so… yes my family and I wear it.

    I use Thinkbaby on my daughter and it seems to work great!

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