Dermatologist Questions Sunscreen

What SPF in sunscreen is ideal for baby's skin?

My daughter is 4 years old and has recently started swimming. However, due to the chlorine water and the sun her skin keep getting burnt. I wanted to start using sunscreen for her and hence want to check what SPF value should I look for when buying a sunscreen for a child. Is there any specific cream you would recommend?

4 Answers

I recommend sunscreen with zinc in it. Neutrogena sensitive has zinc. The others have chemical sunscreens in them and they are not physical blockers. La roche posay also has zinc. It is what I recommend to all my patients and family.
I am glad your daughter has the opportunity to swim, but it is extremely important to protect her skin against sunburn at this age to prevent cancer later in life. I see to many of them that could have been prevented. The ideal combination would be to wear some protective clothing specially designed for swimming and sunscreen on uncovered areas. I often recommend physical sunscreen for kids who have very sensitive skin and whatever the type of sunscreen you use, you should apply it 20 min before sun exposure. I cannot recommend a specific brand, but you have to be careful as some cheap brands and some natural sunscreens also give a false sense of safety. The technology for a good sunscreen is quite complex and a cheaper version might not protect her. Also, some natural sunscreen have plants that have anti-inflammatory properties so the skin does not turn red, but the sun rays still penetrate the skin and cause damage.

Dr. Coulibaly
Zinc and titanium are still the best topical sunscreens in America. I like spf over 50. Children's skin is less tolerant of sun than adults' because the outer layer is more poorly developed in children.
Would use a physical sunscreen SPF 15 or over.