Every year, we have turned to the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens to help us make more educated decisions about what are the safest sunscreens to slather on our kids (and ourselves) each summer. But we often find that when you break down the prices, whoa — it’s expensive to get safe sunscreens for kids! Especially considering how much we’re using.
So this year we thought we’d take a good look at their short list of the EWG Best Kids’ Sunscreens, find the average prices online (generally from Amazon, Drugstore.com, or the brand’s own website if the product isn’t widely available at chain stores), then break it down to price per ounce.
This way, we’re saving you the guesswork when it comes to balancing budget with safe choices.
Especially considering you should be applying about a full ounce of sunscreen on your body for proper protection — a little less for smaller bodies. Think, the amount that would fill a shot glass. That means a 4-ounce tube of sunscreen may only be 8 applications at best on smaller children. Which is why we decided to look at the prices of the best sunscreens to begin with.
Because let’s be honest, we all just try to do the best we can for our kids. And that means sometimes realizing that you can find a $3/oz sunscreen that’s just as terrific as the $13/oz sunscreen and putting away the guilt, along with the winter sweaters.
A Few Disclaimers:
*We want to remind you that with EWG sunscreen scores from 1 to 10, a lower number (1-2) is considered “best.” These products all were ranked 1 by the EWG that’s not to say that a 2 or a 3 is a “worse’ choice.
*Note that factors that go into the EWG ranking system don’t just include toxins you should avoid, but ingredients like fragrance, SPFs that are too high without adding effectiveness, spray formulations, and misleading marketing.
*Always do your own research behind the scores, since you may find a product you like gets dinged because of a factor you may not care about so much, like whether it incorporates lavender. That doesn’t necessarily make it “unsafe” at all.
*Because these products are mainly kid-specific (though a few are specifically baby-safe) and all ranked 1 only, also check our 2015 list of the safest sunscreens for kids and babies which offers a broader range of highly recommended sunscreen options for your family.
*Just another reminder that we specifically looked at baby and kid-formulations. So you may have a fabulous, affordable option already in hand that’s made just for everyone, though it doesn’t make this list, and that’s okay too.
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Related: The best bug sprays for Zika virus protection and how to apply them safely.
Safest sunscreens for kids under $2.50/ounce
Substance Baby Natural Sun Care Creme, SPF 30 | $14.oo for 6 oz | price per ounce $2.33
Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 | $14.22 for 6 oz | price per ounce $2.37
Safest sunscreens for kids between $4-$5 /ounce
Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ | $18.75 for 4.3 oz | price per ounce $4.36
BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 35 | $14.98 for 3.4 oz | price per ounce $4.41
Bare Belly Organics Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30 | $17.95 for 4 oz | price per ounce $4.49
Thinksport for Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+ | $13.60 for 3 oz | price per ounce $4.53
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30 | $13.84 for 2.9 oz | price per ounce $4.77
Safest sunscreens for kids between $5-$6 /ounce
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30 | $18.79 for 3.4 oz | price per ounce $5.53
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+ | $27.69 for 5 oz | price per ounce $5.54
All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 | $17.28 for 3 oz | price per ounce $5.76
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33 | $17.32 for 3 oz | price per ounce $5.77
Safest sunscreens for kids between $7-9/ounce
Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion For Baby, SPF 45 | $25.20 for 3.4 oz | price per ounce $7.41
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+ | $21.51 for 2.9 oz | price per ounce $7.42
Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50 | $14.99 for 2 oz | price per ounce $7.50
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+ | $14.99 for 2 oz | price per ounce $7.50
Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32 | $29.99 for 4 oz | price per ounce $7.50
Sunumbra Sunkids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 40 | $28.70 for 3.5 oz | price per ounce $8.20
Safest sunscreens for kids above $9 /ounce
Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 | $30 for 3.2 oz | price per ounce $9.38
Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 | $19.99 for 2 oz | price per ounce $10
babyhampton beach*bum sunscreen, SPF 30 | $43.97 for 4 oz | price per ounce $10.99
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer, SPF 50 | $39.79 for 3 oz | price per ounce $13.26
ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30 | $34.95 for 2.6 oz | price per ounce $13.44
Visit the EWG list of Best Kids’ Sunscreens for 2016 for more information about the product details and how they were selected. For baby specific sunscreens, please check out the more complete EWG 10th Annual Guide to Sunscreen which also includes products rated 1-3.
Please note that almost all of these product prices are based on current Amazon Prime pricing or the best prices we could find online at time of publishing, which may fluctuate. Shipping costs may not be factored in. And of course you may be able to find any of these products for a little more — or a little less — through other retailers including your local drugstore. Keep an eye out for sales or discounts for buying in bulk!