Sunscreen is excellent for your skin’s health – and there is a vast body of evidence to support this1,2. Although there is very little evidence to suggest any potential harm from regular sunscreen3, 4, many people choose to use natural sunscreen for a variety of reasons. We take a look at the most effective and one of the safest natural sunscreens for babies and those with sensitive skin.
Our biggest natural sunscreen buying tips
- Choose broad-spectrum sunscreen
A broad spectrum choice will help to protect against both UVA (which leads to DNA damage that can cause skin cancers) and UVB (which burns the skin and causes skin cancer)5.
- Choose SPF 30+ or higher
Look for a high factor sunscreen to maximise the protection of your skin. Remember: the higher the rating, the better6.
- Avoid oxybenzone
The common sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone is absorbed into the skin and the bloodstream readily. Unfortunately, this compound can cause allergies and possibly hormone disruption7.
- Choose a sunscreen with zinc oxide
Zinc oxide provides an alternative to oxybenzone and creates a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s dangerous rays. Search for a sunscreen with at least 7% zinc oxide.
- Look local
Keep in mind that over-the-counter sunscreens in Australia are accurately SPF-rated and quality controlled8. It’s not possible to assure the rating of sunscreens that are produced and sold overseas.
Our top 10 sunscreens: Natural sunscreen for babies and sensitive skin
The following are our picks for broad-spectrum sunscreens that are developed with sensitive skin in mind:
- Eco Baby SPF 30+ Natural Sunscreen
Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection.
- Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
An Australian-made broad-spectrum formulation with 3-hour water resistance.
- California Baby Broad Spectrum SPF 30+A hypoallergenic formula ideal for face, body and sensitive skin.
- Burt's Bees Baby Sunscreen SPF 30
Water-resistant broad-spectrum formula with Vitamin E and coconut extract.
- MINERAL Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
Ultra-light mineral sunscreen ideal for hypersensitive and allergic skin.
- Wotnot Sunscreen SPF 30
All-natural organic, broad-spectrum protection and nourishment for sensitive and eczema/psoriasis/rosacea-prone skin for baby (3months+) and the whole family.
- Invisible Zinc® Face + Body Sunscreen SPF 30+ UVA – UVBA face and body sunscreen with moisturising ingredients.
- MooGoo Natural Sunscreen SPF 40
A moisturiser-style sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection.
- Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF 50
A light, non-greasy broad-spectrum sunscreen with water-resistant properties.
- Little Innoscents Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 plus
An Australian-made sunscreen with up to 4 hours of water resistance.
A final word on nanoparticles
Many sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect skin from UV rays, and very effectively. The white residue that this can leave on the skin, however, has prompted many sunscreen manufacturers to break down the ingredients into much tinier nanoparticles for smoother application.
There has been some concern – though scant evidence - that these nanoparticles can be absorbed into our body with adverse effects9. However, it is vitally important not to let this stop you from using sunscreen altogether. If you have any questions about choosing the safest sunscreen for babies and sensitive skin, it’s best to ask your skin doctor.
It’s crucial to create physical barriers between the skin and the sun, including UV-rated clothing, high factor sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses when outside, plus staying in the shade as much as you possibly can. If you do experience sunburn and want a natural skin remedy to soothe the redness, discover these natural remedies for sunburnt skin.