ewg best sunscreens for kids

EWG’s 2024 Guide to Sunscreens and Best Sunscreens for Kids

The Environmental Working Group released its 18th annual Guide to Sunscreens for 2024, announcing that out of the 1,7000+ sunscreen products they tested, only 1 in 4  are deemed “safe” and offer “balanced UVA and UVB protection”.

“Consumers deserve better,” said Emily Spilman, a program manager for Healthy Living Science at EWG. “Many of the products we reviewed don’t offer balanced UVA and UVB protection.”

“And some ingredients commonly found in sunscreens have been linked to both human and environmental concerns. But they’re still widely used in hundreds of products, even though they have not been tested adequately for safety. It’s outrageous that shoppers may be slathering these potentially harmful chemicals on their skin every day without the reassurance of those safety tests,” said Spilman.

The primary ingredients raising red flags according to EWG are oxybenzone, octinoxate, and fragrance.

But, don’t fret. The high number of sunscreens tested also means 235 sunscreens “measured up to EWG’s rigorous testing standards” and 51 made the list of EWG Verified® sunscreens from top brands like Beautycounter, Babo Botanicals, and Thinkbaby.

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Also interesting to note–the EWG study found that while many recreational sunscreens on the market in the United States can help prevent sunburn, they still do not offer protection against harmful UVA rays which can cause aging and even melanoma.

It sounds like a lot of bad news, but as we mentioned earlier, there are many products out there that passed EWG’s rigorous testing standards that you can easily find on the shelf at your local drugstore.

The 2024 report includes listings of the 48 best sunscreens for kids, best 232 recreational and sport sunscreens, and best 143 daily use SPF products.

Keep in mind–it’s not just sunscreen you need to use daily to protect yourself and your family. Protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses are equally as important. Shade isn’t just a good way to cool off, it’s a great way to stay protected from the sun’s rays as well, so consider purchasing a beach tent or canopy for your family trips to the beach.

Related: Our Favorite Family-Friendly Beaches in Tampa Bay

The EWG shares these 6 tips on how to choose the right protection for your kids and keep them sun safe:

  1. Avoid products with oxybenzone. This chemical penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and block the male sex hormone androgen.
  2. Stay away from sunscreens with SPF values higher than 50+. High SPF values do not provide increased UVA protection and may fool you into thinking you’re safe from sun damage.
  3. Avoid sprays. These popular products don’t provide a thick and uniform coating on skin. They also pose inhalation concerns.
  4. Cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses.
  5. Avoid intense sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  6. Stay away from Vitamin A in sunscreens. Government studies link the use of retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, to the formation of skin tumors and lesions when it’s applied to sun-exposed skin.


Here are a few of the best-scoring sunscreens for kids we’ve seen on store shelves in Tampa Bay according to EWG’s 2024 report:

  • Thinkbaby Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • Thinksport Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
  • Babo Botanicals Baby Face Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
  • Supergroup! Sunnyscreen Babies + Kiddos Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
  • Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Simply Protect Baby Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
  • California Baby Everyday Year-Round Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
  • Blue Lizard Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50

Read the full list of best sunscreens for kids here.