Sunscreen Favorites for Baby and Mama

BY GENA KITTNER

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For many, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to summer, which means more time spent outdoors, soaking up rays.

Not to brag, but here in Tucson, this has been our norm for months. It also means mamas here have been obsessing about sunburns and drenching our little ones with sunscreen since March.

A quick roundup yielded close to half a dozen sunscreen sticks, sprays and lotions in my house. We stash them everywhere — in the stroller, beach bag, hiking backpack, my purse — because you never know when you’re going to need to apply an extra layer of sunscreen.

As you get ready to restock your sunscreen supply, here’s a rundown of some of my favs for baby and mom.

Sunscreen favorites for mom and baby. Advice from a mom who lives in Tucson and has to be prepared with sunscreen year-round!

Moisturizers with Sunscreens

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer
SPF 15
Cost: $11.39
I feel this is totally old-school (or old lady) of me, but I’ve used this moisturizer with sunscreen for years and am perfectly happy with the results. The sunscreen protection is solid for everyday use, but I double-up with something stronger or wear a hat while at the beach, zoo or other prolonged sunny outing.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen
SPF 30
Cost: $8.99
This is my new favorite. I discovered it last spring and wear it almost daily on my arms and chest. I’m quick to get “turnpike arm” (where your left arm is more tan than your right) by just driving around doing errands, which is an indication to me I should be applying some baseline sunblock. This lotion has little-to-no smell and is a nice moisturizer to boot.

Sunscreen Sticks

Neutrogena Ultrasheer Face and Body Stick
SPF 70
Cost: $7.51
I love this one for kiddos and adults. It goes on clear and is great for kids’ faces (the bigger stick makes application quick and painless even for the squirmiest child). And while a little greasy, its coverage is solid. I use it on my face, neck and ears when I want serious protection. I’ve also applied it directly to my scalp along my part — because scalp burns SUCK.

Aveeno Baby Sun Natural Protection and Neutrogena Baby Sunblock Stick
SPF 60
Cost: $10.58 and $21.57 (for three)
While different brands, these two work essentially the same to me. Nice and small, I keep one in my purse and another in my beach bag. Both go on white as opposed to clear, which is nice because you know exactly what spots you missed, but kind of a pain in that they don’t rub in well. Another plus is you can use these on infants, starting at 6 months.

Sunscreen Sprays

Coppertone Clearly Sheer Sunscreen Spray
SPF 30
Cost: $6.97
This is a new find this season. The spray lives up to its name and doesn’t leave you with the greasy, must-shower feeling after wearing. I save this spray for me and use the Coppertone Sport, SPF 50, as the primary sunscreen for Ellie.

Coppertone Sport Clear Continuous Spray
SPF 50
Cost: $18.55 (for two)
This one’s greasy and smells like a day at the beach, but I find the sweat-proof element effective and the spray essential for quickly applying (and reapplying) before the mad-dash to the pool/sprinkler/splash pad.

These are some of my favorites, but I’d love to hear what sunscreen or other UV protectors you and your family use and love. Here in Tucson, with its 350+ days of sunshine, you can never have enough.


Gena is a Midwest transplant living in TucsoGena Kittnern, Arizona with her husband and 3-year-old daughter, Ellie. When not killing scorpions, Gena writes about food and family. Follow her on Twitter @genakittner, and check out her previous posts on Mommy Sanest.

2 thoughts on “Sunscreen Favorites for Baby and Mama

  1. I am having a sunscreen crisis right now that started when I was in Arizona. I was using Emme’s sunscreen on my face (you know, the hypo-allergenic, organic, free-of-everything stuff) and completely broke out. Then I got home, tried a different sunscreen (not a kid-specific one) and broke out again. The moral of the story is that I think I need to see a dermatologist.

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