The Best Sun Protection for the Whole Family

Summer weather is right around the corner in Michigan. Many of us are already thinking about how to keep ourselves and our little ones protected from the sun. With seemingly endless products on the market for sun protection, I’ve done some of the research for you to help narrow down your decisions as we head into warmer days. These are the best sun protection products for the whole family.

At Lansing Mom we always recommend our tried and true favorites, while these are some of our favorite items in our home, this post does contain some Amazon affiliate links! Hoppy Shopping Mamas!

Best Sunscreens

When looking for a sunscreen for your family, there are a few things to consider. SPF is important, and kids and babies generally need high SPF to protect their sensitive skin. Ingredients also matter. According to Healthline, mineral sunscreens contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are the most highly recommended ingredients for children as they are less irritating for sensitive skin. Mineral sunscreens also minimize the risk of harmful chemical exposure. These minerals sit on top of the skin to block the sun’s rays rather than being absorbed into the skin.

While most sunscreen ingredients are either considered generally safe or are undergoing further research, you should try to avoid sunscreens with the ingredient oxybenzone. This chemical may have hormonal properties, says the AAP.

The best sunscreens for you and your kids are relative and depends on what’s most important to you. The important thing is simply using something to protect your family’s skin from the sun. Here are a few different options:

For Babies

Thinkbaby is one of the best overall sunscreens for babies. It is eco-friendly, dermatologist-recommended. At around $20 for six ounces, it is on the pricier side.

For something more economical, Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby Sunscreen is a great option at around $10 for six ounces.

For Kids

Evereden Premium Mineral Sunscreen is one of the best on the market for kids and is noted for being super easy to apply. But at around $25 for two ounces, this is definitely an investment.

For a budget pick, Coppertone Pure & Simple Kids is only about $11 for 6 ounces and also comes in a spray option. 

Daily Sun Protection for Grown Ups

I am a huge proponent of daily sun protection year-round, but it’s especially important in the spring and summer when sun exposure increases. There are a wide range of products available, but my personal go-to is La Roche Posay Anthelios Tinted Face Sunscreen. They also make an un-tinted version of this, but the tint smooths out complexion and can be nice when you’re in a hurry. The downsides to this product are its price point and that the tint only comes in one shade, so it certainly doesn’t work for everyone.

CeraVe makes a Hydrating Mineral tinted Sunscreen (and an un-tinted version too) specifically for the face that is not greasy and more affordable. This is another great option that is dermatologist-developed and made with healthy ingredients.

Protective Clothing 

When it comes to protective clothing, more coverage is better. Of course, this isn’t always practical when temperatures rise, but keeping this in mind can be helpful when trying to dress your family for summer activities. For water activities, rash guards and sun hats are great options for keeping everyone covered while still able to enjoy the pool or beach, etc. Here are some great options for sun protective clothing:

For Babies and Kids 

iPlay One Piece SunSuit – perfect for any water activities, this one piece swimsuit is almost full coverage but light enough to keep kids cool.

NoZone Sun Protective Baby Swimsuit – this one has full long sleeves, a zipper in the front, and diaper access on the bottom. Beach lovers swear by this suit! 

Rashguards – These are shirts that can be worn over a regular swim suit or are a part of a swimsuit already. Target has some great ones as well as iPlay and Boden.

Sun Hats – While any hat that shades your kid’s neck and face is great, consider getting one with SPF protection. BANZ hats are reversible and adjustable and completely machine washable.

For Adults

The same general clothing types apply for adults for great sun protection. Coolibar is a great brand that sells a wide variety of shirts, pants, hats, and swim suits for men and women. 

If you’re outdoors in an athletic capacity, Solumbra offers clothing for hiking, marathons, and mountain biking.

General Tips and Reminders

Here are some quick, general tips and reminders from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to help keep you and your family protected from the sun this summer:

  1. Reapply sunscreen every 1–2 hours and after swimming or sweating.
  2. Seek shade between 10 AM – 4 PM when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
  3. Use sunscreen and lip balm with SPF 30.
  4. Cover as much skin as possible by wearing tightly woven clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses.
  5. Anyone, regardless of skin color, can develop skin cancer. 
  6. UV rays can pass through clouds to reach your skin.
  7. One or more sunburns in childhood doubles a person’s lifetime risk of melanoma.

Looking to beat the heat this summer? Check out how to Save Your Summer Sanity With A Quiet Time.


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