Sunscreen Formulated For Babies And Kids Is A Total Lie And Waste Of Money

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Baby And Kid Sunscreen If you are like me, when the weather heats up you spend approximately half of your summer stalking pharmacy and big box stores for Buy One Get One Free sales on sunscreen for babies and kids. I have no idea what my kids are doing with the sunscreen – maybe drinking it? Can that get you high? – but I always run out of it and between me applying it to them and my daughter applying it to herself and dumping half of it on the patio so I can shriek to the dog trying to lap it up that THAT IS NOT MELTED ICE CREAM I go through a lot of specially formulated sunscreen for babies and kids during the summer. Which Consumer Reports has now discovered is a total waste of money, because they read labels and I don’t. From

“There’s no safer ingredient just for kids,” said Consumer Reports’ Patricia Calvo. “Manufacturers use the same active ingredients in kids’ sunscreens as they do in adult sunscreens.”

For example, comparing Coppertone Ultra Guard and Coppertone Water Babies side by side shows the ingredients are the same.

Coppertone’s bottle claims it’s the number one pediatrician-recommended brand.  The company said it surveys pediatricians to find out which brand they recommend.

“You might think that pediatrician-tested or pediatrician-recommended mans that the sunscreen is safer, but those terms aren’t regulated,”  Calvo said. “The FDA does not hold kids’ sunscreen to a higher safety standard than adult sunscreen.”

D’oh. So same exact product but just in a label clearly marked kids and usually in a pastel colored bottle. Consumer Reports also warns against using the spray on version of sunscreen, because that has been found to be a lung irritant if inhaled by babies or small children.

 “And, some sprays contain titanium dioxide, and if you breathe in those sunscreens it could be a potential cancer risk.”


The report then goes on to say that one of the best products you can buy for sun protection is the Walmart store brand SPF 50.

All of my kids tend to get some degree of color in the summer no matter how much sunscreen they use, and I’m one of those people who immediately bursts into flames if I even go outside so I’ve always been sort of hyper-diligent when it comes to sunscreen usage in my family. Now I can just buy the cheap generic store brands and spend the rest of my money on popsicles. And booze. And ingredients to make booze popsicles.