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Sunscreen for children: are aerosols as effective as creams?

Appreciated for their practicality, are children’s sun sprays as protective for the skin of little ones as tubes? Response elements.

All parents of children under six years old know the hassle of applying sunscreen.

Every summer it’s the same circus. As soon as we arrive at the beach or at the edge of the pool, our little treasures rush to wave their clothes, ready to run into the water before we have even spread the bath towel on the sand or on the deckchair.

So, to save time and curb their impatience, we may be tempted to prefer a sunscreen spray rather than a tube of cream. But do these necessarily more volatile sprays also protect their fragile skin? And above all, are they safe for their health?

Pay attention to the composition of sunscreen

Easier to apply than the skin of babies and children, Solar aerosols also have the great advantage of penetrating the skin more quickly. But this also means that, unlike tube sunscreens, these sprays use chemical UV filters. Among the latter, Octorylene which, over time, degrades into Benzophenone, an allergen also suspected of being an endocrine disruptor and classified by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) as a “possible carcinogen for humans”.

Additionally, aerosol sunscreens contain propellants, which are liquefied gases, that are more likely to be inhaled by infants and children due to their volatile composition. It is therefore essential to use them correctly for use without health risks.


On the other hand, in terms of effectiveness, sun sprays are as effective as lotions, provided they are used correctly:

  • Choose a spray with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 50 to block 98% of UVB rays emitted by the sun (a full screen, FPS 50+ still remains the best protection).
  • Apply a sufficient amount of cream to all areas of the body exposed to the sun, repeating every two hours and after each swim. To make sure you apply enough cream, count the equivalent of two fingers of your hand for your child's face and the equivalent of a small glass on the body (we have the references we deserve).
  • Apply sunscreen twenty minutes before exposure.
  • Don't forget to combine sunscreen application with a hat and sunglasses.

Read also: Protecting your children from the sun is non-negotiableand we explain why

And the best sunscreen is…

If you don't know which sunscreen to turn to to protect your baby or toddler's skin this summer, UFC-Que Choisir published an extensive comparison of 41 references in mid-May.

And the best sunscreen for kids is… a spray! Designed for application on the face and body, French brand Respire's SPF 50 sunscreen has a rating of 14.3/20. It offers children excellent protection against UVB rays and good protection against UVA rays.

Other recommended references are:

  • Avène 50+ spray for children (rated 14/20)
  • Waterlover 50+ moisturizing sun cream by Biotherm (rated 14/20)
  • High protection sun spray 50 by Mustela (rated 14/20)
  • Garnier Sensitive expert + mist 50+ sun spray for children (13.9/20)

Finally, it's important to remember that it's worth it It's best to avoid sun exposure between noon and 4 p.m. AND Children under one year of age should not be exposed to the sun, even for a short period. Finally, whatever your age and the sun protection used, it is best to install the towel, if possible, in the shade or, failing that, under the umbrella.


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Source: Madmoizelle

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