Sunscreen – Questions and Answers

What are the best top five sunscreens to use on babies and children?

For the summer holidays and sunny days, Avène High Protection Mineral Cream SPF 50 is ideal!

For year-round protection, Environ RAD SPF 15 is a fab one as it is antioxidant protection to protect from environmental stressors whilst also protecting from UVA and UVB rays and is suitable for babies older than six months. MooGoo Anti-Ageing SPF 15 Face Cream is another way to get them antioxidants on to babies and is suitable for even the newly-born minis. I know I sound bananas suggesting anti-ageing cream for babies but if it works, it works, regardless of its title.

Should children wear sunscreen everyday?

My vote would be antioxidant protection all year round and to definitely protect from UVB rays with a broad-spectrum SPF in the Summer. There is no harm in protecting from both all year round but it is not entirely necessary.

What do the stars mean on the bottle?

The stars you see on a bottle of sunscreen are showing you the ratio of UVA protection compared to UVB protection. The more stars alongside a high SPF (such as 30 or 50), the better. Your SPF number tells you how much the sunscreen protects from UVB rays and your stars show you how well protected you’ll be from UVA rays. It is an incredibly confusing system. You sometimes also see “UVA” with a circle around it, which signifies the product provides UVA protection. Just remember, the SPF number alone means nada when it comes to whether a product is protecting you from UVA rays!

What strength sunscreen should they wear?

When it comes to direct sun exposure on holidays or when it is sunny in Ireland, kids should be wearing at least factor 30 but preferably factor 50 and you should ensure that they are wearing a sun cream with adequate UVA protection.

It often says on the back of sunscreen bottles to not apply it on babies under six months. I would say that best practice would be swaddling mini head to toe when in sunlight. There are also sun-protectant clothes available nowadays – the wonder of science!

Does the sunscreen need to be UVA and UVB and what do they mean?

Broad spectrum sunscreen (AKA sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays) is best for the times in which the little ones will be in the heated sun, as UVB rays are the ones that reach the epidermal layers, cause sun burn and are closely linked to skin cancer. For the majority of the year, UVA protection is the key, as UVA rays are the rays that reach the dermis, that we get all year round in Ireland and cause the physical signs of sun damage later in life (age spots, sun spots, non-genetic freckles, wrinkling). UVA rays are also linked to skin cancer.

What is best for sensitive skin?

Some say that sensitive skin is best suited towards physical sunblocks, ie. mineral-based SPFs. However, fully mineral-based sunscreens may not stay on as well and so a combination product will stay on and may suit sensitive skin better. My personal favourite is IMAGE Prevention+ Matte SPF 32 which is suitable for sensitive skin and, coincidentally, an effective makeup primer.

Goes on easy for wriggly babies – easy to absorb?

A spray formulation is the best way to go for especially wriggly babies – all you have to do is spritz, rub and repeat over all their little limbs!

How long does a water resistant last for?

Usually it will be 40 minutes to 80 minutes and it will say it on the sunscreen itself. If it says “water-resistant” but doesn’t specify how long, work off the basis that it is 40 minutes. Always re-apply sunscreen after getting out of the water – this goes for both your mini and you!

How long before you before you let your child in the sun after you put their sun screen on?

You need to give sunscreen about 15 to 20 minutes to absorb into the skin and protect it properly. Pop it on before you start packing up your supplies for the day.

Links to where you will find the amazing Skin nerd (aka Jennifer Rock Ceo)

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If you have any questions regarding skin Jennifer is the lady to go to! Jennifer also has a brilliant online consultancy service. So you don’t even have to leave your sitting room! Which is extremely handy when you have little babies to look after.

Hope you enjoyed the post!

Thanks a mil

Eimear xx


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