Having eczema means there are far fewer things you can put on your skin. Any scented or soap-based products can cause flare-ups, as can all number of chemical ingredients. This makes it very hard when buying everyday products, such as sunblock, especially for children. In this article, we will explain What the best sunblock for children with eczema is from years of experience dealing with eczema and recommendation from fellow sufferers.
As many as 1 in 5 children will suffer from eczema before they turn two. This prominence of the condition translates to many little rashy beings who need sunblock. Baby sunblocks often are already tailored for sensitive skin, but with eczema kids, you need that little something extra special.
Eczema responds well to fresh air and sunshine, and sufferers are encouraged to get out a bit every day if possible. One of the worst triggers for the condition is staying inside all the time, with artificial heating and cooling blowing constantly on your skin. So, you know you should be sending your children outside to play in the sun, but they should still, of course, be wearing sunscreen.
But how do you find a good sunblock for babies or children with eczema? Their young skin is so sensitive that any regular product might itch and cause them to scratch. Thankfully there are a few great brands on the market to help you solve this problem. Organic skincare has become revolutionary in the last few years, and now there is quite a selection to choose from.
Why is regular sunblock not suitable for children with eczema?
Some chemicals are drying and irritating on the skin, removing already desperately needed moisture. This causes the skin to dry out even further and crack and split. Eczema is due in part to having a weak skin barrier, which lets chemicals into the skin more easily, and drains the moisture out.
Chemical preservatives keep products free from bacteria and from going off but also irritate the skin.
Look for things that say, ‘sensitive skin’ on the packaging, also look for things that ‘unscented’ or ‘fragrance-free’. Usually natural and organic products don’t contain anything that you need to avoid but read the ingredients on the label to be sure. Look for organic preservatives like neem oil and grapeseed oil.
Ingredients to watch out for in any product for little eczema sufferers include:
- Salicylic acid
- Glycolic acid
- Preservatives like methylparaben and butylparaben
- Benzophenones – also known as oxybenzone, Eusolex 4360, methanone, Uvinal M40, diphenylketone and any other chemical name ending with ‘-benzophenone’
- Parabens – listed as methylparaben (E218), ethylparaben (E214), propylparaben (E216), butylparaben or heptylparaben (E209) and any other chemical name ending in -paraben
- MCI/MI (methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone)
Ingredients in sunscreen that are also low risk:
- Titanium dioxide
- Zinc oxide
- Avobenzone (4-tert-butyl-4′-methoxy-dibenzoylmethane or Parsol 1789)
- Cinnamates (cinoxate, octinoxate and anything ending -cinnamate)
What are the best sunblock products for babies and children with eczema?
Different types of sunscreen
Generally, sunscreen works in one of two ways; it contains mineral ingredients which reflect or deflect the UV rays in the sun, or it contains chemical sunscreens which absorb the UV into their properties and remove its power.
For people with eczema, the mineral-based sunblock is usually a better choice. It tends tosit on the surface of the skin and may be less irritating. The chemical-based ones are more absorbed into the skin, which can get through the thin skin’s barrier and cause flare-ups and irritation. Chemical sunblocks also tend to warm up the skin because they are absorbing the sun’s heat, so will heat up your eczema baby too.
Mineral based ones have the extra bonus of not needing to be reapplied as often, which as parents all know, makes life with kids easier.
A lot of products are a combination formula, but you can look for combinations with a higher mineral content.
Tips for protecting little eczema sufferers
- Put a lovely thick rich moisturiser or emollient on your child about half an hour before applying the sunscreen (don’t let them go out in the sun in just the moisturiser though, this makes him more susceptible to burns)
- Thinner, lighter feeling sunscreens tend to be more comfortable for eczema babies
- If you are going to the beach, put the sunblock on and let it completely dry away from the sand, such as at home or in the car. Sand mixed with the sunscreen is very irritating and itchy.
- Patch test your child’s skin at home first, don’t just cover them head to toe in the stuff to begin with. Even low risk ingredients may still cause flare-ups for some people.
- You still need to cover up in every way possible. Make sure your child wears a hat, and a shirt, even a UV protected sun-suit if they will submit to it. The little sunsuits are super-cute and make you just want to cuddle your babies (that could just be me).
- Make sure they are well hydrated
- Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Set up in the shade wherever possible or invest in a light beach tent.
PRODUCT REVIEW RESULTS
Your baby’s world just got a little bigger! It’s a big, wide world out there and your baby wants at it. But sunburn and damage to sensitive skin isn’t anything you want them to explore. Our mineral-based SPF formulas provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and glides on smooth for effortless application. Non-allergenic and tear free, so it can go on whatever part of your baby the sun’s gonna shine. Visit Babyganics website CLICK HERE!
We buy ours from AMAZON click the link for prices and availability.
This is combination formula, which means it is both mineral- and chemical-based, but there is a higher active content of minerals. It is a light creamy solution which goes on easily and non-greasy and dries quickly. It contains aloe so is a good moisturiser. It has good water resistance and won’t just wash off in the pool and leave your little one exposed to the sun’s harsh rays.
This one is free from parabens, MCI/MI, phthalates, petrochemicals, alcohol, lanolin, artificial perfumes and colourants.
Rating on Amazon: 4.5 stars
A combination formula with a light, creamy consistency and dries easily without streaking or itching. It has a lovely moisturising base made with aloe and calendula. It has a good high SPF and is also very water-resistant. This product is free from parabens, lanolin, artificial colourants, although it is fragranced.
Rating on Amazon: 4.8 stars
A beautiful skin product for itchy babies and a trusted brand name for parents. This is a combination formula and has a lovely milky consistency that goes on easily and dries quickly. It is water resistant a bit but won’t last quite as long as some other products. It is free from MCI/MI, phthalates, lanolin, artificial colourants, but does contain fragrance and chemical preservatives.
Rating on Amazon: 4.6 stars
Badger All-Natural Sunscreen SPF30
The very cute picture of a mama badger carrying her tiny baby badger around in a wicker carrier is almost enough reason alone to buy this product. Mostly mineral based, and made with all eco-friendly ingredients, this contains a natural moisturiser and no scent. It is water resistant for forty minutes. There is also a baby sunscreen worth checking out as well.
Safe, Effective, & Responsible. This simple formula has no added essential oil fragrance for those with sensitivities, or those who just prefer no added scents. All natural organic sunscreen for the whole family. Our biodegradable and environmentally friendly sunscreens are rich in organic ingredients, water resistant for at least
40 minutes, safe for children of all ages, block both UVA and UVB rays, and thoroughly moisturizing while they protect you from the sun. Our tubes are made of BPA- and Phthalate-free #2 recyclable plastic. Previously sun-shy Badgers can now be sighted around the world with their noses happily pointed towards the warm, luxurious sunshine! We’ll meet you at the beach! Though we have not added any scent (Unscented), it still retains the subtle natural scent of organic beeswax.
Rating on Amazon: 3.5 stars
Free from parabens, colourants, fragrances and most chemicals and preservatives, this is a very good brand for soothing very young skin. Their nappy rash cream is faultless, and this is an excellent product as well. This has a longer water resistance and a very high SPF, has a mineral base and is very moisturising.
Rating on Amazon: unrated
As with every adored little eczema child, some products will work, and some things won’t. There could be nothing obvious in the ingredients list that causes a flare-up, and the label could have ‘sensitive’ written all over it, but your little one still might react badly to it. Try things out and have that extra touch of patience that eczema parents inevitably have to have, when buying yet another product which should be so easy, but once again isn’t.
Just keep swimming, eczema parents, just keep swimming!