Slather your children’s skin in sun lotion that will protect first and foremost, while not ruining their clothes. These are our tried and tested favourites.

Whether you’re staycationing or venturing further afield this summer, choosing the right brand of SPF to add to your family beach bag can be a minefield. Obviously, protection is the number one factor when choosing the formula for your little ones. But when it comes to kids’ sunscreen, many can ruin clothes, attract sand like a magnet, or irritate sensitive skins. We’ve compiled a list of nine of the best children’s SPFs – from sprays to sticks, and those suitable for tots to teens – to help you enjoy family summer holidays with all the protection you need.

Ultrasun Kids Sunscreen 50+

Great for little ones with sensitive skin, this unscented sunscreen from Ultrasun offers 95 per cent protection from UVA and 50+SPF from UVB. They’ve updated the formula for 2021, adding in Celligent®, a clever ingredient that offers boosted protection against cell and DNA protection in little ones, who haven’t yet had a chance to build up their own natural defences. £28. Buy it here.

Bioderma Photoderm Kid SPF50+

A great high protection option for 12 months+, the mousse texture is super easy to apply to wriggly tots and sinks straight in, without leaving a sticky residue. £14.50. Buy it here.

Eau Thermale Avene, SPF50

Avene’s SPF is rich in their thermal spring waters, making it soothing and gentle on irritable skins. The lightweight, fluid texture leaves no white cast yet offers broad-spectrum, highly waterproof protection. A great, gentle option for sensitive skins. £16. Buy it here.

Soltan Once SPF30

Soltan’s kids range offers the highest level of UVA protection (recap: UVA are the rays that cause long-term skin damage and ageing, UVB are the ones that burn). The 8hr Protect and Play formula can give parents and care givers peace of mind as it offers long-lasting protection in a hypoallergenic, water-resistant formula at an accessible high-street price. £5. Buy it here.

La Roche Posay, Anthelios Pocket Kids SPF50+

A great on-the-go bottle size (and perfect for school bags), La Roche Posay’s Anthelios sunscreen has been specifically formulated for sun intolerant, sensitive skin, prone to prickly heat. Enriched with La Roche Posay’s 1700 year-old thermal spring water, the non-greasy, non-sticky lotion has a velvety, moisturising texture and a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, tested by dermatologists. £10. Buy it here.

Green People Organic Children’s Sun Cream SPF30

Green People’s natural sunscreen ticks all boxes for eco-conscious parents – with a ‘reef safe’ formula), biodegradable sugar-cane packaging and 84% organic ingredients. Most importantly it offers 97 per cent UVB protection, too. Easily absorbed (unlike a lot of natural sunscreens), it’s suitable for sensitive – even eczema prone – skins. Plus, for every purchase, Green People makes a donation to the Marine Conservation Society. £21. Buy it here.

Nivea Sun Kids Protect Care Lotion SPF50

Nivea’s 5* UVA and UVB protection starts working immediately, meaning you can hit the beach, apply and play in minutes. Extra water resistant, it’s perfect for a day in the waves as its ‘ocean friendly’ formula is free from reef-harming chemicals, microplastics and is readily biodegradable, too. £5.99. Buy it here.

Child’s Farm Sun Lotion SPF50

Child’s Farm’s new dermatologist tested sunscreen for sensitive, dry and eczema prone skin offers all the water-resistant, broad spectrum protection you’d want in a children’s SPF, with moisturising and hydrating ingredients to keep their skin happy and healthy all summer long. £12. Buy it here.

Neutrogena Pure & Free Sunscreen Stick SPF60

Neutrogena’s 100 per cent naturally sourced baby sunscreen is a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a protective screen to shield baby’s skin from the sun. Whilst no baby under 12 months should be directly exposed to the sun’s rays, this easy-to-apply stick means on-the-go protection on sunny days in an extra-gentle, weightless formula. £16.67. Buy it here.

P20 Kids

A great option if you’re looking for a long-wear sunscreen, P20 Kids SPF50 offers 10 hours protection, or up to three if in the water. It offers impressive coverage, and is a gentle hypoallergenic, allergy-certified formula that, for all its long-wear capabilities, leaves no white cast on the skin. Buy it here.

By Lydia Mansi
August 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.