PSA: Sunscreen — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

PSA: Sunscreen

It seems everyday someone asks about sunscreen. So I thought I would give my 2 cents since well skin is my profession. I am a dermatology Nurse Practitioner and have been practicing dermatology for 12 years thus I see children and adults everyday in regards to skin, skin cancer etc and this includes being in the know in regards to the safety of sunscreen.

First let me start by saying there is a big difference between Sunscreen and Sunblock

Suncreen is 100% NOT safe for infants under 6 months old. Honestly I would never put sunscreen on my child at any age Period. Sunscreen is a chemical blocker that use simply gets absorbed into the top of the skin in a chemical thus reflecting the suns rays and not allowing them to penetrate. These chemicals however are not safe for infants.

 Sunblock is a Physical sunblocker which is 100% safe from the day your child is born up to the very elderly. Sunblock is a product that literally creates a shield on the top of your skin and get absorbed and will block out the harmful rays.

Many companies Mislabel their products calling themselves sunscreen and sunblock interchangebly.  You need to look for the active ingredient.

 Avobenzont; Homosalate; Octisalate, Octocrylene  and Oxybenzone, : ARE CHEMICAL BLOCKERS aka Sunscreen. NEVER use this on your child this is what pediatricians do not want you to use on your children.

 

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as the active ingredients is a PHYSICAL BLOCKER and this is absolutely safe for your child at birth. As noted with the American Academy of Dermatology. THe active ingredients are actually pretty much the same as diaper rash paste.

 

The key is putting it on 30 minutes before going outside. Physical blockers need time to get absorbed into the top layers of the skin. ALso you must reapply every 2 hours of continuous sun exposure. Long sleeve shirts, wide brim hats and sunglasses are also recommended. They sell bathing suit coverups and bathing suits with a UV protection.

Recommended Sunblocks by the AAD are as Follows:

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Pure and Free

Blue Lizard

California Baby

That is pretty much it and its a short list. Most of the issue with sunscreen and babies origionally came from PABA however that is rarely if ever used. The use of chemical sunscreens nowadays can cause your child to develop a contact allergy.

 

ETA: I am currently a SAHM for the next year or two so I actually have not worked in derm since my daughter was born.

Kander320
«134

Re: PSA: Sunscreen

  • Thanks for this!  I was feeling totally lost and confused re: sunblock/screen and I appreciate the recs you made.
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  • Which one would you put on your DD? 
  • I personally on my little  girl EVERYDAY even if we do not go outside is Neutrogena Pure and Free.

    On myself, I use Elta MD...oh I forgot to add that one!!

    One thing that I think is important is that you use it daily because it will teach them the importance of using it. If you start now just like brushing teeth your child will learn it as a daily hygiene habit and think it is common daily practice.

  • Question for you: California Baby has SPF 30 Sunscreen and an SPF 30 Sunblock stick...is the sunscreen still unsafe?

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  • image Mereou12:

    Question for you: California Baby has SPF 30 Sunscreen and an SPF 30 Sunblock stick...is the sunscreen still unsafe?

    If it is for you either one. If it is for your baby I wouldnt use the stick. For it to stay in a semi solid form they have to put binders in it which can cause sensitivity to your baby.

    California baby is one of the companies that uses the terms screen and block interchangely which is actually incorrect but the sunscreen is just fine. It is chemical, paba, dye and fragerance free.

  • Thank You!    Can add to your list?    Little Twig Sunscreen is also a physical blocker (mislabelled).    It has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and the rest of the ingredients are natural.    I think it's relatively new on the market, but I like it.
  • image skinnursemandee:
    image Mereou12:

    Question for you: California Baby has SPF 30 Sunscreen and an SPF 30 Sunblock stick...is the sunscreen still unsafe?

    If it is for you either one. If it is for your baby I wouldnt use the stick. For it to stay in a semi solid form they have to put binders in it which can cause sensitivity to your baby.

    California baby is one of the companies that uses the terms screen and block interchangely which is actually incorrect but the sunscreen is just fine. It is chemical, paba, dye and fragerance free.

    Awesome info...Thank you!

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  • Oh crap!!! I used one today on my baby...Just one time isn't going to cause any damage is it? I can go get the right stuff this weekend.
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  • image Aliliv:
    Thank You!    Can add to your list?    Little Twig Sunscreen is also a physical blocker (mislabelled).    It has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and the rest of the ingredients are natural.    I think it's relatively new on the market, but I like it.
    Where do you get it? If it is Titanium/Zinc I would love to add it to my list of recs.
  • Thank you so much for posting this!

    I thought I had been using Aveeno baby Sensitive on my DD1 but I just checked and I'm happy to find that I've actually been using Neutrogena Pure and Free! Yay for one that made your list :)

    Thanks again. This is all very important info. that I bet most of us weren't completely aware of.

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  • image RandiDeeAnn:
    Oh crap!!! I used one today on my baby...Just one time isn't going to cause any damage is it? I can go get the right stuff this weekend.
    No no, it wont harm your baby with one use at all. Just be on the look out for any rash anytime from now through the next 2 weeks.

     

  • I PPH Mandee's info on skin stuff!! :)

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  • I LOVE Blue Lizard = FYI - you can usually special order it from CVS!

    TY for the info!

  • image skinnursemandee:
    image Aliliv:
    Thank You!    Can add to your list?    Little Twig Sunscreen is also a physical blocker (mislabelled).    It has zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and the rest of the ingredients are natural.    I think it's relatively new on the market, but I like it.
    Where do you get it? If it is Titanium/Zinc I would love to add it to my list of recs.

     http://www.littletwig.com/products/suncare/

     Apparently their products are certified organic (whatever that means......I'm always a little leary of labelling). I'd love to hear what you think of their ingredient list - it's pretty long, so I'm also kind of leary of that as well - but, at least I understand what most of the stuff is minus a few things....... maybe it's not that good, but Olivia always react to sunscreen/blocks and it's hard finding ones accessible to me that she doesn't get extremely dry skin/eczema patches from. (We've tried blue lizard and the neutragena's - california baby was decent for her, but it's pretty pricey and hard to come by here).   Again, thanks for your explanation on the sun care situation!!!

  • Thank you sooo much.  This is one of my biggest concerns!  And now I'll be a little more aware of what to put on her.  My friends with older LOs think I'm a little overbearing with putting sunblock on her, but it's my daughter and I want what is best for her.  Not what they think is best for her.  Now I need to go check to make sure that I have sunblock not sunscreen lol!

     

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  • Thanks for the info! I bought Coppertone Water Babies and it says the active ingredients are Zinc Oxide (14.5%), Octinoxate (7.5%) and Octisalate (5%). Is this one of the chemical/sunscreen ones?
  • image BlueKJ:
    Thanks for the info! I bought Coppertone Water Babies and it says the active ingredients are Zinc Oxide (14.5%), Octinoxate (7.5%) and Octisalate (5%). Is this one of the chemical/sunscreen ones?
    Yes this is a chemical blocker. Coppertone, banana boat suck asss

     

    Let me add, I have had children as young as 4 years old with premelanoma. You can NEVER use too much sun protection! In Australia it is actually a LAW. Your child must have long sleeves, a hat and sunscreen to go to school each day.

  • image MrsCarroll.6-10-07:

    I PPH Mandee's info on skin stuff!! :)

    Oh no, I PPH You!!!!!!!!!!! and your beautiful little lady!
  • Thank you SO MUCH for posting this!!! Smile
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  • Thanks so much for clearing up mine and other bumpies confusion! Smile I actually called the pedi the other day to ask if I could use anything for DS...
  • Little Twig Ingredients

    Micronized Zinc Oxide, Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Deionized Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safllower) Oil, Caprylic/capric, Triglyceride, Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Cetyl Ricinoleate, C12-C14 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosqualane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Lavandula Angustifolia(Lavender) Extract*, Chamomillia Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Arnica Montana Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*, Alpha Amylase, Aloe Barbadensis Extract*, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid *Certified Organic

    These 3 especially jump out at me.

    Lecithin is a fat emulsifier and is used to lower cholestrol and when injected into the skin dissolves fat.   (I actually have it in liquid form and inject it into the fat pads under eyes to reduce the baggy eye lid appearence in my patients).

    Arnica is an anti-inflammatory and should not be used daily by a child because it can thin blood if used in excess that is why teething tabs need to be used as needed and not daily. Sunblock should be safe enough to use everyday.

    Citric acid absolutely not! Babies should have no contact with anything citrus or citric acid until I believe they are 1 year old.

  • This may sound really silly... but...

    We're going on a cruise to the Bahamas (I believe) in September.  What type of sunblock should I use?  I don't plan on keeping LO out in the sun for long periods of time but I do want her to be well protected when she is. 

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  • image skinnursemandee:

    Little Twig Ingredients

    Micronized Zinc Oxide, Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Deionized Water, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safllower) Oil, Caprylic/capric, Triglyceride, Glycerin, Emulsifying Wax, Cetyl Ricinoleate, C12-C14 Alkyl Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phytosqualane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Lavandula Angustifolia(Lavender) Extract*, Chamomillia Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Arnica Montana Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract*, Alpha Amylase, Aloe Barbadensis Extract*, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Allantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid *Certified Organic

    These 3 especially jump out at me.

    Lecithin is a fat emulsifier and is used to lower cholestrol and when injected into the skin dissolves fat.   (I actually have it in liquid form and inject it into the fat pads under eyes to reduce the baggy eye lid appearence in my patients).

    Arnica is an anti-inflammatory and should not be used daily by a child because it can thin blood if used in excess that is why teething tabs need to be used as needed and not daily. Sunblock should be safe enough to use everyday.

    Citric acid absolutely not! Babies should have no contact with anything citrus or citric acid until I believe they are 1 year old.

    Thanks!    I was kind of wondering about some of the ingredients, but I don't have enough info. to decipher some of this stuff.      I'll stick with California Baby!

  • image jhenry1204:

    This may sound really silly... but...

    We're going on a cruise to the Bahamas (I believe) in September.  What type of sunblock should I use?  I don't plan on keeping LO out in the sun for long periods of time but I do want her to be well protected when she is. 

    I would go for the big gun which is Neutrogena Sensitive Skin, It is the thickest of all of them listed. Just be sure to use precautions like hat etc Also.... For all of us mommy's to little girls, be sure to put it in the part of your baby's hair as they get older. I have had MANY female patients with skin cancer on their scalps from scalp burns.

    ALso put it behind babies ears and in the ear (obviously not in the ear canal but in the front part of the ear)

  • image skinnursemandee:
    image jhenry1204:

    This may sound really silly... but...

    We're going on a cruise to the Bahamas (I believe) in September.  What type of sunblock should I use?  I don't plan on keeping LO out in the sun for long periods of time but I do want her to be well protected when she is. 

    I would go for the big gun which is Neutrogena Sensitive Skin, It is the thickest of all of them listed. Just be sure to use precautions like hat etc Also.... For all of us mommy's to little girls, be sure to put it in the part of your baby's hair as they get older. I have had MANY female patients with skin cancer on their scalps from scalp burns.

    ALso put it behind babies ears and in the ear (obviously not in the ear canal but in the front part of the ear)

    Awesome!  Thank you!

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  • This is great!  Thanks Mandee!
  • Yes

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  • WOW, thank you so much for this! I thought I was ok because I was using Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 55 but I just checked out the ingredients and its definitely sunscreen! Here is a list of the active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosafate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.8%, Oxybenzone 6%
  • What do you think about Burt's Bees Sunscreen?

    Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30
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    Chemical-Free Sunscreen SPF 30

    High protection from the sun's harmful rays, naturally.

    100% Natural

    How it Works

    This 100% natural, non-whitening formula provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and helps keep skin hydrated without using chemical sunscreen actives like octinoxate and oxybenzone. Instead, titanium dioxide, a naturally-occurring mineral creates a micro-fine barrier on your skin to reflect the sun's harmful rays. Our natural sunscreen is effective immediately upon application and safe for kids.

    How to Use It

    Apply generously and evenly before sun exposure. Reapply as needed or after swimming, perspiring or towel drying. Use carefully. This product may discolor clothing.

    Titanium Dioxide

    Featured Ingredient

    Titanium Dioxide ? Occurring naturally as the mineral rutile, this substance is used chiefly as a white pigment and as an opacifier. It reflects light, so (when identified as such) can be considered a natural sun block.

    Ingredients: Active ingredient: titanium dioxide (8.58%)
    Inactive Ingredients: water, cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, glycerin, stearic acid, fragrance, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hydrated silica, sucrose distearate, calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, crataegus oxyacanthus (hawthorn) stem extract, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) extract, hydrastis canadensis (golden seal) extract, symphtum officinale (comfrey) extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, alginic acid, acacia senegal gum, xanthan gum, beta carotene, sucrose stearate, lecithin, aluminium hydroxide, sodium borate, glucose, sodium chloride, canola oil, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase

     

  • WOW!AMAZING POST! THANKS SO MUCH! WHAT ABOUT EARTHS BEST?
  • Thank you! This actually helps alot.
  • This post is awesome.  I'm gonna print it to take with me when I go buy sunscreen and I'm going to buy some this weekend!
    ds #1 | our perfect miracle born 39w1d | 12.9.2009 loss #1 | natural m/c 7/2010 (~8w) loss #2 | chemical pregnancy 6/2011 (4w4d) loss #3 | chemical pregnancy 7/2011 (4w3d) loss #4 | natural m/c 11/2011 (10w1d) RPL Testing 12/2011. Results 100% normal. ds #2 | our 2nd perfect miracle born 36w3d | 12.31.2012
  • thanks for the post!  I need to trade out my banana boat and Coppertone this weekend.  Luckily I have not opened either one yet.
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  • Useful information. Thanks.

    Now, how to remember it....

     

  • image skinnursemandee:

    I personally on my little  girl EVERYDAY even if we do not go outside is Neutrogena Pure and Free.

    this is what I bought last weekend.  thanks for posting this.

  • Wow, this is wonderful information thank you so much.

     

    I saw that you like the Neutrogena products; I use the Neutrogena Spectrum Sunblock SPF 100.  Does the spf number make a difference? Am I better off with a 35 vs 100? Also, I cycle on the weekends and spend a total of 6 hours under the sun, I was told by a dermatologist to put the sunscreen on the night before a ride so the skin would absorb it and then to reapply 30 mins before I went out, what are your thoughts on this?

  • Thanks for explaining this, great info!
  • One of the best posts I have seen on The Bump!  If any of the admins are viewing... this should be made into some type of article and posted with the other important facts.  I was never aware of the differences and definitely would have used the wrong product.
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