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How to find the best kids suncream

Protect your child's skin with NIVEA

How to find the best kids suncream

When little ones go to play outside, it’s important to make sure that their delicate skin is protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But with so many products on the market, it can be tough to know which kids suncream to choose. Here’s our guide to finding the best sunscreen for kids.
Kids playing in the water

What is the best sun cream for kids?

Keeping children safe whilst they’re playing out in the sunshine is very important to protect them from getting sunburn - which can lead to health complications later in life as well as being very painful when the skin is initially exposed to the sun.

 

As far as finding the best sunscreen for kids, the answer can vary based on a few factors such as formulas and varying levels of protection. 

What to look for when choosing the best sunscreen for kids?

Understanding the correct type of activity for the activities your child is going to be up to on any given day can help make sure that you’re buying the correct product for your child’s needs. When researching kids suncream online, you may want to consider the following things:
mother and daughter, laughing

Formula

There are so many different kinds of sun cream for kids on the market that it’s easy to find one that suits your child. 

Some might prefer a creamy texture such as a lotion (which is great for making sure that you haven’t missed any spots!), or some might prefer a spray-on oil that dries quickly and is easy to apply. This can be especially helpful for kids when they’re more focused on going out to play!

There is no one-size fits all answer, so choose one that works best for you and your child. 

 

baby playing on the beach

Water-resistance

A water-resistant suncream is crucial if it’s likely your child is going to be going for a swim in the ocean, a pool at a hotel or even just in their paddling pool in your back garden. It’ll mean that you’ll need to reapply sunscreen to your kids less frequently, and so they’ll be protected from the sun for a longer period of time. 

For example, the NIVEA Kids Ultra Protect & Play SPF50+ has been formulated to be extra water- and sand-resistant. This means it won’t wash away when your kids go for a splash! While some sunscreens are water-resistant, that doesn’t stop them from washing off the skin when exposed to water. With this in mind, it’s always important to reapply once out of the water.

 

Nivea Sun Kids Sensitive Unperfumed Roll-On

UVA

On many bottles of kids suncream products, you’re likely to see terms like “UVA protection” used. Simply put, UVA (Ultraviolet A) is “long wavelength” - it’s a type of UV radiation that causes premature ageing and other skin issues. It can penetrate several layers of skin and lead to long-lasting damage - so ensuring that you have sunscreen to hand that protects against these kinds of rays is very important. 

Quite often on kids suncream you’ll see a UVA star rating. This indicates how much protection you’re getting from UVA rays, in the same way that SPF levels do. UVA star ratings are ordered like so: 

- One star - Minimum protection
- Two star - Moderate protection
- Three star - Good protection
- Four star - Superior protection
- Five star - Ultra protection

Of course, it makes sense to opt for a kids suncream that has five star protection - there is no reason to choose a product with a lower level of protection. And that is best paired with a high level SPF too. 

little girl using Nivea sun cream roll-on

SPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. What many people don’t know is that SPF protects your skin from a different type of UV radiation, known as UVB - or “short wavelength”.

UVB rays are responsible for making your skin burn when you’re exposed to the sun for too long, which can lead to some serious health complications later in life. It is possible to be exposed to UVB rays even on a cloudy day, which is why there are many skincare products such as moisturisers that have SPF built in.

Which SPF should I choose for my children?

As mentioned above, the higher the SPF the more protection you’re getting from the sun’s UVB rays - which is important information when you’re trying to protect your child’s skin. 

Most kids suncream is available with SPFs 15, 30 and 50; but what is the difference between them? In summary, the difference is the percentage of protection you’re getting: 

  • SPF15 - blocks around 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF30 - blocks around 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF50 - block round 98% of UVB rays

 

Should I use factor 50 or factor 30 on my child?

There is no reason to choose a lower SPF for a kids suncream - it’s always best to select the highest SPF you can so that your child has the highest level of protection from the sun. With this in mind, it's best to go for SPF50 wherever possible.

It is important to understand that just because the SPF is higher, doesn’t mean it lasts any longer than a sunscreen with a lower SPF. You will still need to reapply the suncream for kids just as frequently to ensure that they’re getting the best level of protection from the sun.

girl playing in the water

Sunscreen for children with sensitive skin

Of course, not all children are the same, and as such they may have different needs when it comes to choosing a kids suncream for them - especially if you have a child with sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema. 


When purchasing a sunscreen for children, keep an eye out for any ingredients that may aggravate their sensitive skin - such as ones that are heavily fragranced.

 

The NIVEA Kids Sensitive Roll-On SPF50 sunscreen is the perfect choice for children with sensitive skin, as the gentle formula is enhanced with chamomile to soothe the skin. It’s also fragrance-free! 

NIVEA Kids Sensitive Roll-On SPF50 sunscreen

What’s the difference between kids suncream and one for adults?

Kids running on the beach

When you’re out and about, you might only have your own suncream to hand instead of one specifically for your child. While you can use that as a quick fix, it's important to understand that kids suncream is purposefully formulated so that it doesn't include any ingredients that might irritate your child’s delicate skin. 


Children have thinner, more absorbent skin than adults do, which makes their skin especially susceptible to damage.

 

So it is important to choose a sunscreen that has been specifically developed with children in mind.