Top 3 Chemical-FREE Sunscreens for my little one!

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We have been lucky to have really nice weather (finally) over the last week!  With the sun, I’m back on my routine to protect Ella’s skin as much as possible.  There is nothing like the softness of baby skin so I try to do what I can to protect it from sun damage.

When Ella was less than a year old, I started to do my research on sunscreens with a few objectives in mind.

1. Safe and chemical free

2. water resistant (as we are in our pool a lot)

2. the right SPF factor (which I found was between 25-35 SPF for the regular amount of time we were out in the sun)

3. ensure insignificant exposure to phthalates and parabens

Since Ella was 6 months, I have only used chemical free sunscreens on her skin.  In addition to the sunscreen, I treat her clothes to add SPF30 protection which lasts for 20 washes, is easy to do and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and we’re set for the summer!

After looking at the list that the Environmental Working Group puts out yearly on chemical free sunscreens, I narrowed it down to the ones with a low hazard score (which makes it the safest on the market) while also being water resistant (that’s the tricky part to also get water resistance). I started to read countless reviews (hours and hours worth) and purchased a bunch based on the top reviews.  From the many sunscreens I’ve tried with the top reviews (Badger, Nature’s Gate, Green Beaver, Thinkbaby, TruKid along with the ones below) here are my top 3 chemical free and water resistant sunscreens.

1. photo 1 (4)Burn Out Kids – I find this one extremely easy to apply, very effective with it’s sun protection and is the most water resistant even after 3hrs in the pool with one application!  In addition, there is almost no whiteness left behind on the skin since this is the down side of most natural sunscreens (both water resistant ones and non-water resistant).





photo 1 (6)2. California Baby – I’ve always been a fan of many of the California Baby products.  Their sunscreen is a little thicker so requires a bit more blending into the skin but still fairly easy to apply.  There is a whiteness left behind on the skin but not overly noticeable.  Water resistance and protection against the sun is just as good as Burn Out Kids.  We used this one in Greece with Ella when she was 1yrs old and her skin didn’t even tan after a whole day sight-seeing in the Mediterranean sun!  I put this as #2 on the list as the price is a little more than Burn Out Kids which is just as effective.



photo 1 (7) 3. Goddess Garden – Easy to apply similar to Burn Out Kids and leaves a little whiteness behind similar to the California Baby.  I do find the the water resistance is not as good as the two above but will still last for the 40 minutes in the water as indicated on the bottle.  The sunscreen in the manual spray bottle is a little runnier so you have to apply it fairly quickly but it does absorb into the skin with less effort.  The cream option is thicker and takes a little more blending to get into the skin so it comes down to choice.  The advantage of Goddess Garden is that it is a mineral only product and organic.  If we are not in the water for long, I prefer this brand due to the fact that it’s organic.



For the ones that I didn’t choose although still water resistant and chemical free, the reasons came down to one or all of the factors below depending on the brand.

  • Thick and difficult to apply
  • left behind too much of a white residue
  • greasy on the skin
  • water resistance not as good/did not last as long

Although these sunscreens cost about 3-4 times that of “regular” sunscreens (approximately $14-$22/bottle), not applying chemicals against my daughter’s skin is worth it for me.  It’s funny that I’ll spend about $80 on sunscreen each summer for Ella yet I hesitate to spend that on something for myself!

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56 thoughts on “Top 3 Chemical-FREE Sunscreens for my little one!

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  12. Sunscreen kind of scares me a bit so this is so helpful to know. Thanks for linking up to Share WIth Me. I hope you will continue to link up when Mummy Fever takes over SWM on June1st. She is an amazing blogger and great blog supporter too. #sharewithme

  13. Oh, I love California Baby (CB) because I can see exactly where I’ve smeared it on my pale babe (eek–toddler this summer). Thank you for listing exactly what you were looking in a sunscreen as well as listing a few options, as I may wish to have back-ups when I can’t seem to afford CB. Thank you so much–I am new to linky’s but will have to pin your post for future reference. X, Lace #whatevertheweather

  14. I’m sure this will be so helpful to lots of people – here in the UK I use Childs Farm suncream for the same reasons. Thanks for linking to #sharewithme hope to see you again

  15. I homed in on this post from #TheList because just this week we’ve patch-tested our little girl’s skin with a ‘regular’ suncream to see if she’s now tolerant of the chemicals. Unfortunately they still bring her skin out in little red bumps that are quite angry and itchy. The cream only reacts in the sun (the irony!). It happened for the first time around 2 years ago (she’s now 6) and at the time we did a ton of research and spent a ton of money on trial and error to see which brand might be good. We finally came across Sunsense which is Australian and available online . We thought the Ozzies might know a thing about sun skincare… Some arrived in the post today as it happens (on a beautiful Saturday and so far, so good but I am definitely bookmarking this page just in case… Thanks 🙂

    1. It’s crazy that they would make kids sunscreen with products that they would be so sensitive to and I can only imagine the stress you went through. I’m glad you found something that worked for your little one!

  16. Very useful list this. Just yesterday my eldest had a friend round for a playdate and they both ran off with sunscreen and applied it. Not a problem for my daughter, but I had no idea if her friend might be allergic to something! Thankfully she wasn’t but one of these products might have been a better option just in case. #BinkyLinky

    1. It’s funny I wouldn’t have thought about the whole issue with being allergic for a sunscreen until now. Always focused on things you eat but never on a cream. Glad that your daughter’s friend didn’t have any reaction to it.

  17. I’ve not heard of these brands before, but I always use Nivea for my girls and it’s always worked well. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  18. Thank you so much for such a detailed review. I own one baby sunscreen for my boys but I haven’t actually used it yet… but now I feel good about looking for one knowing all the safety info from your post. Thank you so much!!

  19. Thanks for sharing this I think it’s so important to keep your little ones protected. I apply sunscreen regularly for my baby girl and avoid sitting out in the sun between 11-3! #BinkyLinky

  20. This is a great list. I didn’t know you should treat the clothes too. Thank you so much for sharing this information on #whatevertheweather x

  21. This is a great article. I’ve always used Jason’s which has worked really well plus smells divine but my girls have started rubbing it into their eyes and getting really sore, so I’m on the lookout for a new one. Will have to see if any of those you’ve listed are stocked here in the UK #whatevertheweather

  22. This is fantastic! It is nice to know that there are effective and safe natural sun screen options! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for these this summer! Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Party this week, I hope you will party with us again next week!

  23. This is great to read as my son has such bad allergies and sensitive skin. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  24. I have to check these out. We will be spending a lot of time outside and at the waterpark this summer. Thanks for sharing these great tips over on Feature Fridays. I hope you will come back next week

    1. I haven’t had much success with finding a natural bug spray that works unfortunately although I’ve only used a few. I will keep searching and post something once I find some that work! Thanks for the request.

  25. We were very lucky to find the California Baby sunscreen on sale in Target near the end of summer last year. We get through so much of it it was still worth buying!

  26. Thanks for sharing this! I have been researching and trying out different safer sunscreens for my family. We are all super fair and burn pretty quickly so it can be a challenge. I’ve used and liked California Baby before but will definitely check out the other two on your list. (I am always checking out products on EWG, great resource). Thanks!

    Visiting from the Share with me blog hop.

    1. I was really surprised at how well they work without any chemicals. I am starting to reach make-up now on EWG’s site as well. Now that’s a category that is laced with things that we don’t want to be apply onto our skin!

  27. Thank you so much for this! I struggle to find quality chemical-free sunscreen for my kids (and some of the chemical-free ones are so heavy, my kids hate wearing them).

    Thank you for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    I hope you’ll stop by again tomorrow!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  28. Great list Minh! And perfect for the summer weather now. I’m a fan of California Baby too but I do like the spray bottles. I usually spray it on my hand and then apply it. I like that it’s not as think so it doesn’t take as much work to blend. Thanks again for hosting this week!

  29. This is great. I’m always trying to find the best sunscreen for the kiddos. I’ve tried the California Baby but I’ll remember the others when shopping this summer. Visiting from Crafty Mom Saturday. Pinning.

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