The Best Sunscreens Of 2014 Are In. Did Your Favorite Make The List?

Thanks to a family history of skin cancer, and a few scares of my own, I am extra cautions when it comes to protecting my son from the sun's rays. Some of you may remember the umbrella stroller trick from when Ollie was still to young for sunscreen... 

I don't care if it looked silly, my kid was cool and safe!

Everyday without fail when I know Ollie will have an opportunity for prolonged sun exposure, I cover him in sunscreen, 15-30 minutes before we go outside. I want to make sure he understands from a very young age that putting on sunscreen is essential before going outside to play. 

Of course, while I am a huge advocate for avoiding prolonged sun exposure all together, I know that is not always easy during the summer months. In fact, I LOVE being outside, and so does Ollie, so I make sure I take the necessary steps to make our fun-in-the-sun safe! 

1. Wear Sunscreen--reapplying as needed
2. Wear a hat and sunglasses
3. Stay in the shade whenever possible

Here are some tips from on the best way to protect your child in the sun.

·  Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find shade under a tree, umbrella, or the stroller canopy.
·  When possible, dress yourself and your kids in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, like lightweight cotton pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.  
·  Select clothes made with a tight weave - they protect better than clothes with a looser weave. If you’re not sure how tight a fabric’s weave is, hold it up to see how much light shines through. The less light, the better.
·  Wear a hat or cap with a brim that faces forward to shield the face.
·  Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when UV rays are strongest.
·  Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection (look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child).
·  Use sunscreen.

FUN FACT: When it comes to choosing the right sunscreen, The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen that offers the following:
  • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays).
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or greater.
  • Water resistance.

We all know using a really good sunscreen is the key to safe fun in the sun, but do we all know the difference between, "best" and "safest"? Just because it says, SPF 55, it doesn't mean it is safe to use on your child's sensitive skin. To find the best and safest sun care products for my family, I turn to the EnvironmentalWorking Group. For those of you who do not know, The Environmental Working Group, is the nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization. Their mission is to "Serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment." 

Each year, the EWG does a study of over a thousand sunscreen products available on the American market. The products are rated on five factors encompassing overall ingredient safety and product efficacy in providing sun protection, then given a rating from zero to five. This year, only 149 products passed the test, with only a few getting the top honors of a 0-2 low hazard rating.  

To see if your favorite sunscreen made the list of the best sunscreens of 2014, CLICK HERE!

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit