How to Choose Sunscreen for Kids and Top 5 Sunscreen Brands in India

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Summer vacations might be over but summers sure aren’t over in India yet. One of the biggest concerns of parents during summers are protecting their young ones from the dangerous effects of Sun.  We all know that sunscreen is an important product in protection of our skin from the harmful rays of sun. But do you know how to choose the perfect sunscreen for kids and what sunscreen brands are easily available in India and how well they fare on effectiveness meter?

If your answer is no, don’t worry because here is the complete lowdown on buying the perfect sunscreens for kids. The first thing to check out is the . Although these are not specifically for India but they give a very good idea on how to narrow down your choice of kids sunscreen. Another post which you must read is one by Swati which debunks a lot of

HOW TO CHOOSE SUNSCREEN FOR KIDS 

UV Protection

Ultraviolet rays are generally of three kinds – UVA, UVB and UVC. You should look for suscreen with Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Why broad spectrum? Because Products which have been labelled and tested for Broad Spectrum SPF 15 or higher provide much better protection from skin cancer and skin aging due to sun.

SPF

The Sun protection factor indicates the sunburn protection level provided by the sunscreen. A Sunscreen SPF of 15-30 is great for kids’ sunscreens. Higher SPF does not guarantee better sun protection and infact FDA has banned the use of labels like SPF 70, SPF 100 etc and anything more SPF 50 has to be labeled SPF 50+. SPF 30-SPF 50 provides protection against 97%-98% of the Sun’s UVB rays. This post by Swati is an excellent explanation about the new guidelines.

Water-resistant

FDA has banned the use of terms like Water-proof, sunblock or sweatproof because these claims overstate their effectiveness. However, choose a water-resistant Sunscreen which will provide upto 2 hours of protection without reapplication and immediate protection after application.

Sunscreen Ingredients

Avoid sunscreens which contain PABA (Para Amino Benzoic Acid) or Retinyl Palmitate because these might cause allergenic reactions like Rashes and even increase the risk of cancer. You must avoid using powder based or spray sunscreen because these contain particles which can be inhaled. The cream should be hypoallergenic and fragrance free too.

Application

Liberally apply sunscreen on your kids on all the exposed areas of the body. Try to avoid spending time in sun during peak hours i.e. between 10 a.m to 2 p.m. If kids go for swimming or are sweating a lot it is advisable to reapply sunscreen after every 2 hours. Invest in hats, umbrellas, sunglasses for kids too to give a broader protection from Sun.

FIVE SUNSCREEN BRANDS IN INDIA 

Lotus Herbals Kids Sun Block –

With an SPF 25, Lotus Herbals Kids claims to ontains extracts of chamomile flowers for soothing and nourishment of a child’s skin. Provides complete UVA & UVB protection for tan & sun burn prevention.  It is also labelled sweat & water proof and non greasy.

Contains Parabens and Fragrance. To be used for kids 6 months and above. Price Rs 195/- for 100 gms.

 Chicco Sun Milk (Very High Protection)

SPF 50+ and claims to be specifically formulated for the skin of children. It is fragrance free and though I have not checked out the list of ingredients but it can be used for kids from birth onwards. Price Rs 899/- for 200 ml.

Seba Med Sun Lotion

SPF 50+ and has a UVA filter of 98% and UVB filter of 50+. Water and Sweat resistant for up to 6 hours. Again I have not seen the list of ingredients but they have clear guidelines at the back of the product regarding the fact that application of high SPF sunscreen alone does not guarantee protection. It is alcohol and perfume free. It is also marked for very sensitive and sun intolerant skin. Price Rs 1,500/- for 150 ml.

Nivea Sun Kids Caring

SPF 50+ and is a broad spectrum sunscreen. It claims to provide immediate protection from sun and is water resistant. Contains Parabens and has fragrance too. Price Rs 350/- (approx.) for 200 ml.

Imported Brands

 If you want to buy imported brands which are available in India, you can go for California Baby, Banana Boats, Aveeno etc. But be sure about the shop from where you purchase the products because there are lots of fakes around.

If you have some one who can get products for you from US then you can go for these brands which have been highly recommended for 2012- Aubrey Organics Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin Lotion, Aveeno Sun Natural Protection Mineral Block Baby SPF 50 Stick, Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Lotion SPF 50 (8 oz, $14) and Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen Stick(0.7 ounce, $9)

I realize there are no Organic Sunscreens for kids available in India. If you know of any do let me know.

 I hope these tips help you to buy the perfect sunscreen for your kids.

What are your go-to brands for sunscreens? I would love to hear your thoughts

and suggestions through comments below. 

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