Can adults use sunscreens for babies and kids?

I’m a bad mommy and my boy doesn’t know it; I like to nick his sunscreen. I also like to check out new sunscreens for babies and kids, with the excuse that they’re meant for him but I always end up trying them out first. In fact, I’ve ended up just using his sunscreen at the pool many a times because I was too lazy to pack another tube. So the question that begs asking is: are sunscreens for babies and kids good enough for adults?

Contain active sun protection ingredients
My answer is yes, if they contain active ingredients that provide broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. To know which are the active ingredients, you can check out my last post about the best and safest sunscreen ingredients.

Contain lesser amount of potential skin irritants
Because children’s skin are far more delicate, I would recommend for them to use physical sunblocks or mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and not those that are chemical based. This is because their skin is thinner than ours and they can absorb more potential irritants. As such, most sunblocks or sunscreens developed for infants and children are suitable for sensitive skin due to lesser amount of ingredients that could irritate their skin. Hence, they’re suitable for adults. And since we’re on the topic, mothers may like to know that it is not recommended to have babies under one out under direct sunlight for prolonged period even with protection because their skin is five times thinner than ours (source).

Adult-friendly sunblocks and sunscreens
There are many adult-friendly baby sun protection products in the market that offer UVA/UVB protection and are petroleum, paraben and fragrance free. I’ve tried Earth’s Best Baby’s Sunblock Chemical Free Sunblock SPF 30+ and Baby Blanklet Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Stick SPF45+. I am currently testing out Marie Veronique Organics Kids Safe Screen. Another one that I’m looking forward to trying is Yes To Carrots 100% Natural Daily Sunscreen with SPF 30 that hasn’t been launched yet.

Adult formulations not suitable for kids
However, having said that children’s sunscreens are suitable for us, I still prefer to use a formulation that is developed for adult skin because they would usually contain beneficial ingredients that can help us fight skin aging or pigmentation. These ingredients are typically not found in children’s products as they don’t need it. For this reason, I wouldn’t use my sunscreens on my boy as these ingredients are obviously not useful for him at all. The only exception are those that contain minimum ingredients besides zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.

So have you tried using any sunscreens for children that you like?


  1. florence says:

    The sunscreen that my boys using is from Japan.It is call sunplay baby milk spf 33.This is suitable for babies & kids.

  2. sesame says:

    Oh Sunplay has items for babies too? Interesting.

  3. Rennie says:

    Hahaha. Guilty as charged. I often used products made for kids/babies not limiting to sunscreen. I also find that products made for kids especially sunscreen are much for forgiving on my sensitive skin. Haha.

  4. florence says:

    HI seasame,they have for the babies,but I had not seen in Sg or maybe I overlook.My boys been using this on face for yrs.

  5. sesame says:

    I should think so since they usually contain lesser ingredients. It’s a wise choice for sensitive skin. ?

  6. sesame says:

    I haven’t seen it in Singapore. Only saw the normal adult version.

  7. Burn or Shiver says:

    I don’t know about sunscreens, but baby lotions don’t seem so great for adult skin….
    I went on an overnight trip and forgot my lotion, and all I could find was Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Lotion. I would think that would be better for me, but I ended up getting a reaction to it, and I had to stay overnight in the hospital after being admitted to the ER.
    I’m still on meds to help with the rash and swelling from the baby lotion, and the trip was one month ago. :/

  8. sesame says:

    I guess it depends…I don’t have so much experience with the lotions but their shampoos aren’t great although I like their body wash because of the smell.

  9. bobina says:

    I use baby sunlotion all the time. why not?

  10. Michelle says:

    Hi Sesame,
    Here is a list of ingredient in a baby line spf30 that is 100% all-natural,plant-based. I was curious what you thought of the ingredients and if this looks like a good product. They say the key ingredients are Oat, aloe and shea butter oils and is ideal for baby, children and extremely sensitive types.

    Octinoxate 7.5% Science Sunscreen agent
    Octisalate 5.0% Science Sunscreen agent
    Oxybenzone 2.0% Science Sunscreen agent
    Zinc Oxide 10.0% Science Sunscreen agent

    Water (Solvent)
    Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate (Skin-conditioning agent emollient)
    Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Skin-conditioning agent emollient)
    Cyclopentasiloxane (Skin-conditioning agent,emollient)
    Cetyl Dimethicone (Skin-conditioning agent,emollient)
    Glycerin (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Butylene Glycol (Solvent)
    Cyclohexasiloxane (Skin-conditioning agent,emollient)
    Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone (Skin-conditioning agent,emollient)
    Hexyl Laurate (Skin-conditioning agent,
    Ceresin (Viscosity-increasing agent,
    Neopentyl Glycol Diisostearate (Skin-conditioning agent,emollient)
    Magnesium Sulfate (Bulking agent)
    Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Skin-conditioning agent,occlusive)
    Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Skin-conditioning agent,occlusive)
    Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil(Skin-conditioning agent,occlusive)
    Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract (skin-conditioning agent
    Plantago Major Leaf Extract (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Triethoxycaprylylsilane (Binder)
    Tocopheryl Acetate (Skin-conditioning agent,antioxidant)
    Retinyl Palmitate (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Ascorbyl Palmitate (Antioxidant)
    Panthenol Science (Skin-conditioning agent)
    Hydrogenated Lecithin (Skin- conditioning agent)
    Sodium Chloride (Viscosity-increasing agent,aqueous)
    Caprylyl Glycol (Skin-conditioning agent, emollient)
    Caprylhydroxamic Acid (Chelating agent)
    Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Dipteryx Odorata Seed Extract (Aromatic agent)
    Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil (Aromatic agent)
    Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil (Aromatic agent)

  11. sesame says:

    Oh geez…that’s a lot of ingredients in a baby’s product! I don’t like the look of it especially Retinyl Palmitate. That one has come up a lot in the news as it is reported to accelerate skin cancer.

  12. Phiona says:

    Hi viva, would like to know if u can recommend any good sunscreen for my 10mth bb. Have u tried Dr Robin for kids?

  13. Sesame says:

    Hi Phiona: no, I have not heard of Dr Robin. I googled and found that it contains Zinc Oxide (10%), Titanium Dioxide (5%), which is kinda common with most natural sunscreens. It looks okay to me unless you have issues with Titanium Dioxide. In that case, you have to source for full zinc oxide ones and Marie Veronique Organics has one.

  14. CK says:

    I want to try Clarins sunscreen for kids! Any comments? I think Missha also has one for kids.

  15. CK says:

    I don’t mind the fragrance!

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