Finding the right suntan lotion for your little one can be a minefield. With so many brands on the market, it’s hard to know what’s going to benefit them and which could cause more problems. We’ve tried to break it down into some easy to look out for tips.
Know your ratings
A UVB rating of five is great, but without a matching rating of UVA five it won’t cut the mustard. Most suntan lotion now features an easy to understand star system. Just check it lists both UVA and UVB protection.
Don’t store it
It can be tempting to stock up on sun cream in the sales, but sadly sun cream loses its strength the longer you have it. Be sure to check how long you’ve had your sun cream before you use it. If you can, mark the date you bought it with a sharpie on the bottle. If you’ve had it for a year remember that it will have now gone down by at least one factor.
Know when to re-apply
There’s loads of all day long sun creams out there, but do they really mean one application and that’s it? No. If you’re in and out of the water, towelling off or taking clothes on and off, it will come off and become less resistant to the sun.
You won’t need to top it up as often as normal cream, but make sure you keep an eye on them and top up at least once or even twice throughout the day. A dermatologist advises that ordinary sun cream needs reapplying every two hours – and a generous application is best.
Very high factors aren’t always best
If your child is prone to heat rash, super high factors can make this worse. By using a factor 30 instead of a 50 it can allow the skin to breath more under the cream, meaning you’re less prone to heat rash. You’ll obviously need to top up more often, but it can be more beneficial for children to wear a slightly lower factor and have it applied more often, especially if you’re travelling somewhere super-hot.
Test before you go
Always try and test your sun cream before you go away, to check your child doesn’t have a reaction to it. Even if you already use the brand for skincare, still test the sun cream before you go. Some can cause irritation, heat rash, or just upset the skin’s balance. Most will do miniature sizes, so try that first and see how you get on.