Many of us have started using sunscreens to protect ourselves from sun tanning and skin darkening. By now, the most important thing in your skin care routine may well be your sunscreen. As a new mommy, one of the most important tasks that a mom does is to protect the baby’s gentle skin – she chooses the best baby moisturiser, most gentle baby washes, and chooses the most skin friendly textiles for baby’s use. But should she add baby sunscreen to the skin care kit? That’s a question many mothers have. Let’s answer that in this blog.
As per US FDA, which is the organization that most of us look up to for the latest sunscreen guidelines, sunscreens are not recommended in infants. By infants we mean any baby less than 1 year old. However, the FDA also adds that in babies above 6 months, if need be, a sunscreen can be used to protect the baby when there is harsh sunlight. However, we recommend restricting the use of sunscreens for babies and children overall, unless it is absolutely necessary, say for vacations, or extreme sun exposures. For regular daily use, it is better to use physical methods of sun protection like clothing, staying in the shade, and wearing hats.
Now, what is the best sunscreen to use for babies?
As we just saw, the first rule is this: sunscreen applications are not routinely recommended for babies. But when clearly needed, the only sunscreen that is considered safe for a baby is a physical sunscreen without chemical filters. As of now, only zinc and titanium mineral filters are FDA approved for use in young babies. These two filters are GRASE I as per the US FDA – which means ‘Generally Regarded as Safe and Effective’. So look for a sunscreen that contains only mineral filters.
What do you mean, only mineral filters?
Nowadays, there are many sunscreen formulations which contain both chemical and mineral filters, but state only the zinc or titanium in their label. These are still to be considered as chemical sunscreens.
The simplest way to choose a kids safe sunscreen is to use a pregnancy safe sunscreen, as these sunscreens are also specifically tested to not have endocrine disruptors. We recommend that you check out the non nano, mineral only, zinc based SAFESCREEN Brigade Road, for your baby, whenever they do need a sunscreen in addition to the default physical protection recommended above.