An Esthetician & Mom's Guide to Sunscreens Safe for Kids

I would say the #1 question I get from clients and friends with kids is 'Which sunscreens are safe for my kids?' So I figured I would put together a little guide to help sifting through the dozens and dozens of sunscreens that are on the market. Unfortunately, the majority of sunscreens are not safe, for anyone, especially your kids. And if you need further evidence on why to avoid dangerous sunscreens you can just google their ingredients, or read this article.

Plan Ahead

My first tip when buying sunscreen, plan ahead! Don't wait until you're running out to the beach and realize you're all out and will need to swing by the drugstore on your way. Chances are, you're limiting your possibilities down to a minimum. The photo above and below are all sunscreens currently in our home. I am stocking up for summer and a tropical vacation we have coming up. And not one was purchased at my local drugstore. It's a bummer that the drugstores where everyone seems to go to buy their sunscreens sell the worst ones on the market. 

Read the Labels

I cannot emphasize reading your labels and seeing what the active ingredients are. I have made the mistake in the past of seeing the words zinc or titanium oxide and just chucking it in my cart without turning the bottle over and checking for active ingredients. Just because it has a few safe ingredients does not mean that there are not harmful ones as well. 


Familiarize yourself with the EWG website! It is a lifesaver when it comes to researching sunscreens. From the home page, you'll click 'Consumer Guides', then scroll down to the sunscreen guide and click that. A sunscreen search box will come up and you can input the sunscreen you're researching. The lower the 1-10 rating, the better the product. I try to use only green ratings, 1 or 2 for the kids. This website will rate each ingredient in the sunscreen and their toxicity. It is shocking that 95% of the sunscreens on the shelf at your local market or drugstore rate a 10, toxic and dangerous. And we are talking about sunscreens for babies and kids! Here's a quick link to the worst scoring sunscreens for kids. Yikes! Run!

Get Used to Reapplication

Not gonna lie, safe sunscreens do not last as long as those chemical laden products where you spray on kids and don't have to reapply for hours. Most sunscreens safe for kids (and really all of us) don't last longer than 80 or so minutes. They can be water resistant, but need reapplication after an hour or so in the water. My kids generally don't swim hard for longer than 80 minutes and are in and out of the water taking snack and drink breaks, so reapplication works great for us. Yes, that means more product you are using, but you're also not disrupting your kids hormones and making them susceptible to cancer and other terrible side effects that some sunscreens have on our bodies. 

In Our Cabinets

Finally, the good stuff! Now I will share some sunscreens we have recently purchased and those we keep going back to again and again. All of these receive a 1 or 2 on the EWG safety rating. 

Blue Lizard Sensitive SPF 30- We have used Blue Lizard for years, and are still big fans. My local drugstore used to carry this line, but no longer. I pick up a large bottle on Amazon(great price per ounce) regularly and it's perfect for an extended beach or pool vacation, just one bottle to pack. It got a 1 rating on EWG. Beware of other similar sunscreens by this brand however. I only use the one I have linked because there are a few other 'sport' or differently named products by Blue Lizard that get a 4 rating. 

Badger- This brand is another old faithful sunscreen, and their sticks are fabulous too. Almost every Badger sunscreen gets a low, safe rating of 1. I believe only one got rated a 2. 

Honest Company- Great sunscreens, and usually you can find a good value on them too. On Amazon they have a two pack of SPF 50 going for less than $11, which is a steal for a 1 rated sunscreen. If you are insistent on using a spray, this brand has one that is rated a 3, not the best, but I have yet to find a spray mineral based sunscreen with a lower rating than 3. All the "natural" sunscreens that are spray application like Coola, Kiss My Face, Bare, Alba, none rate lower than a 3. So it's as good as it gets.

ThinkBaby- This is a new sunscreen that we are trying, so far it's great. It got extremely high customer reviews on Amazon, it's competitive in price, SPF 50, and rated a 1. All of the Think sunscreen line rated a 1 so you don't have to be concerned about getting only one specific product by this line. 

Rubber Ducky- I discovered this brand a few years ago and still love it. My preference is the tinted spf which is a 50, versus the untinted spf 30. The con to the tinted is that it is rated a 2 versus the untinted which is a 1. Also, the tinted will stain your clothing, however, it is the only sunscreen my kids ask me to apply. They love the tint and the feel of it, and they love the lack of chalky/white leftover, especially if they are on their way out the door to school. 

So there you have my guide to kids sunscreens. I hope it was informative for you. I would LOVE to know your favorite sunscreen for kids, I am constantly trying new ones and adding ones we love to our list. Please share in the comments so we all can benefit!


Beauty & Clothing Finds

Happy Tuesday everyone! I have had this post half written for awhile, but better late than never is my current motto. But, I've got some really good finds for you guys, like these little sample guys above for basically free. And some cute shopping finds. I have some more pieces to share with you soon, but for now here's what I'm loving. 

The oils by Biossance have been very impressive and I especially love their squalane and vitamin c rose oil. Not be confused with squalEne with an E. Squalene is derived from shark liver oil, but SqualAne is derived from plants, much better. Right now you can get these two little jars pictured above for just the shipping and handling which is $4. Go right now and try them, you can thank me later with presents and kisses. I use them at night after I have cleansed and toned, right before I put on my eye cream. I'm already on week 2 of using them and am not even halfway through. 

Your next stop for beauty samples needs to be Odacite. Once I sampled a few and figured out which oils I love, I have purchased full size bottles of them, more than once. I'll share a few of the oils that I would recommend for different skin types. I have dry and dehydrated skin that easily clogs, but as I age I notice loss of elasticity the most. If you have aging skin like me I would recommend you try Ma+N Elasticity. I would recommend for ALL skin types the Ac+R Youthful Glow and the Ba+S Eye Contour. If you've got oily skin or breakout Gr+G or Jo+L. Again, all you pay is the shipping and handling and you get 3 little vials in the photo above. They're precious oils so savor those samples. But I always recommend trying a product first before you commit, and for a few dollars you could get a week or so of the product to really try it out. 

Ok, another new product in my purse that I am a tad bit obsessed with is Lanolips, holy moly! No parabens or mineral oil, none of those chemicals, and it is heavenly. And I mean thick and velvety. If you're not an Ulta member yet, you need to be. I signed up for their rewards program and got a lovely $3.50 coupon in my inbox that I was able to apply to this baby and little surprises like that are always sweet. Who doesn't like to save a few dollars? Plus I purchase all my makeup needs at Ulta, they've got everything

I usually share my favorites over on my Insta Stories, and demonstrate how I use them, but I might incorporate sharing them on the blog too. I like to share what works for me because maybe it'll work for one of you. 

Now onto a basic that has quickly become a favorite in my closet. I threw this jacket in my suitcase for a recent road trip and I wore it the entire trip! It's super versatile and thin enough you can layer it easily. I recently discovered Tobi and you cannot beat their prices. A few other pieces that made it into my cart, this top which Greta is already eyeing, and this romper for an upcoming beach summer vacation. 


Spring Cleaning with Lemi Shine

*This post is in partnership with Lemi Shine, all opinions are my own. 

I love when new products make household chores safer AND more effective. There's absolutely no reason in this day and age to subject our families to toxic chemicals, and I was thrilled when Lemi Shine reached out for a collaboration. Sharing fun things with My Life at Playtime readers is something that I get very excited about. Almost as excited as I get about spring cleaning. No, I'm serious. I kind of love big, deep cleaning jobs. There's a lot of satisfaction and 'feel good-ing' once my house is spic 'n span, at least for the few seconds it lasts anyways. 

Especially when things are not in my control, that's when I concentrate on the things I can control. And cleaning is one of them. When I'm stressed out or worried about something, I get to cleaning. It's therapeutic. So is list making. Here, I'll demonstrate. 

Spring Cleaning To Do List in our home includes:

  • closet clean outs for the kids
  • vacuum mattresses
  • deep clean of dishwasher
  • bathroom deep clean-wipe down all surface top to bottom
  • change A/C filters
  • deep clean garbage disposal
  • clean out HEPA filters in air purifiers
  • deep clean washing machine

Don't you feel better already?! :)

Lemi Shine has a whole range of products that helped me this spring cleaning season and I would love to highlight a few favorites! How can you not be excited about cleaning with this lineup?!

  • Lemi Shine Everyday Cleaner- this product had me at the first spray. It smells like I just squeezed a fresh lemon all over. I love the natural ingredients in this, but I don't have to sacrifice power or effectiveness. Thanks to their trademarked GunkGuard it creates an invisible protective barrier which makes surfaces last cleaner longer. And we all want our spring cleaning to last as long as possible!
  • Lemi Shine Dish Detergent Booster- my kids unload and load the dishwasher on Saturdays. Since I do this chore every single other day of the week, it's only fair. The problem is they often leave a good amount of dishes and glasses IN the dishwasher complaining "they're not clean enough". In comes this little green product(I have it there on the counter in the first photo). If you've got hard water like we do, the minerals cause a film to remain after your regular washing cycles. This booster along with Lemi Shine Dishwashing Detergent Pods have solved our Saturday chore complaints and our dishes are clean freak clean. 
  • Lemi Shine Concentrated Dishsoap- I'm a bit of a dish soap snob, it's hard for me to change when I like something, but just like the Everyday Cleaner, I cannot help but LOVE the Lemi Shine Concentrated Dishsoap. You guys, the citric extracts in it are amazing! Not just amazing in smell, but in the soapiness and effectiveness. If I use a drop of this stuff, it really lathers. I've used dish soaps in the past where you have to use an entire tablespoon to get a good lather going, but not this one. Two soapy thumbs up!

I am also a huge fan of their appliance deep cleaners, they have one for the washing machine, dishwasher and garbage disposal. I'm all about preserving our appliances, and taking good care of them is the best way to stretch out their lives. Just run a wash or a load with one of their cute little deep cleaners and your appliances are good to go. 

Don't take my word for it though. Click on any of the Lemi Shine products I've linked to and will take you to their site where you can find coupons and find the store nearest you that carries them. 

Happy Spring Cleaning friends! Let me know what you try and what is on your spring cleaning list!