Confused about which suncream to use? Here’s what the bloggers say!

Last week I posted on Instagram and Facebook about a little mama fail that I had – one that I am still feeling the bitter sting of mum guilt for: I didn’t put sun cream on the kids.

It was overcast, it wasn’t *that* hot and I was so busy I just. Didn’t. Think. And now I feel atrocious. Admittedly the kids didn’t burn badly, but they did burn (or catch the sun as one or two of you kindly told me to call it so I felt *slightly* less horrendous) and I hate the fact that they have. Toby turned to me earlier in the week and told me that his little shoulders felt sore, so in my rooting around for after sun – in the depths of the suitcase, as you do – I recalled one of the mum’s at preschool stopping me and asking me for a blog post about sun cream, how to choose it and what the hell is the good, the bad and down right rip off with it.

Yet here I am with three slightly pink children and I don’t feel like I have enough knowledge on the whole thing myself SO I’ve asked my friends in the blogging community to share their tips and here they are:

What do they recommend?

Hannah from Hi Baby Blog on her trial with Soltan when she went to New York:

“During the 4/5 snow days we had I made sure Matt, Luisa and myself had the Soltan once cream on. It lasts for 8 hours which was really handy for us as we were really busy trying to get out of the house on time with a toddler. I really like the formula of the Soltan once face in particular as it’s super moisturising. I used it in place of my usual moisturiser and found it also helped with the dryness that comes from being in an out of well-heated shops and restaurants. Another bonus is that it’s water resistant so no need to worry about being caught in a shower or jumping in the pool if you’re using it during the summer.”

Jade from Raising the Rings also votes for Soltan for a skiing holiday (or anywhere in the world!):

“Boots Soltan Once is our ‘go to’ product because it provides such good coverage and it offers 5* protection! I take a big bottle for applying in the apartment and carry around the Boots Soltan Once Face cream to top up when we stop for a chocolat chaud (avec chantilly) obviously!”

Danielle from Someone’s Mum has issues with her eldest child’s sensitive skin:

“Biggest has really, really sensitive skin and they (sun creams) all make him come up in nasty red and even bleeding patches. We found a really good sensitive skin one called Proderm, the reviews on Amazon are amazing.”

Amy from All Things Amy is recommending Mustela:

“Mustela suncream is perfect for little skin! I’m also super pale and burn just looking at the sun so I’ve been using it too! Would recommend it to anyone.”

Louise from With Love from Lou has two different types:

“For facial sun protection I use the body shop’s skin defence multi-protection essence and then for regular sun protection I use the spray on Nivea one. I think it’s called protect and refresh. It’s brilliant and even the kids don’t mind using it as it’s sort of halfway between a cream and an oil so it doesn’t take forever to rub in.”

Expat Queen Laura from Life with Baby Kicks has tried them ALL and reckons it’s less brand more application:

“I have tried them all!!! Here is a more using one. I use Boots Soltan on the boys, the water play stuff and reapply. I like the Mustela sun cream too. To be honest I have probably tried them all and just make sure to reapply reapply reapply!”

Lianne from Anklebiters Adventures is loving Aldi’s own brand!

“My two have really sensitive skin so have to be careful – we were on a day out and I had forgotten sun cream the closest shop was Aldi so bought their kids sensitive one for £2.79 is the best cream I’ve used for them – no reaction and goes on lovely – won’t use anything else now.”

Sarah from Arthur Wears uses SPF make up to help her out:

“I’ve not blogged about it – but the best thing for my face is actually the bareMinerals original power foundation. It has SPF and I layer it with the complexion rescue cream which is also spf. The company also sell a powder sunscreen for face and body which I use alongside it and my face never ever burns, it doesn’t melt off and I don’t get any breakouts which usually happens for me with sun cream.”

Emma from Ready, Freddie, GO recommends Nivea colour spray:

“We always use the Nivea coloured spray as it really helps encourage Freddie to have it on without a chase. We keep in the fridge too. Also aloe Vera gel/ leaves are the boss for sunburn!”

Helena from Baby Foote has tried a few and recommends two:

I have reviewed the child’s farm stuff. I love the smell of the after sun, and the sunscreen is a physical blocker not a chemical blocker so there’s less chance of a nasty reaction. I’ve also reviewed Arbonne ABC sunscreen, which is also a physical blocker.

A third vote for Soltan from Maria from Happy Mummy:

Totally recommend Boots Soltan Once 3 hour water play 6 hour protection factor 50 Spray – easy and quick to put on and handy if you forget to reapply!”

Sinead from CheekiMummy says whichever brand you buy, go spray top:

“Fork out a couple of extra quid and buy the spray on (like a deodorant tin, not the old plastic pump spray that gets manky!)

Saved us much drama and mess.”

Jenny from Monkey and Mouse has some fab advice:

“I sunburn so easily and have learnt from (many) mistakes. I always use Factor 50 sun cream and the Nivea brand is the best I have found for sensitive skin and rubbing into the skin easily. Try and get the spray bottles for kids as it’s a lot easier (and more fun for them) to spray it on. Reapply sun cream after being in the water and every couple of hours. If you burn easily then go for the ‘oh so sexy’ look and wear a t-shirt in the water, otherwise the water magnifies the suns rays and you will get burnt very badly (it has happened to me, even through a t-shirt!).”

Victoria from Mummy Times Two has three bottles on the go:

“I buy factor 50 for the children, and always have three bottles on the go. One to send into school, one for in the car and one in the baby changing bag. Of course if you are less disorganised than me, one bottle is probably fine.”

Julie from Picking up Toys reviewed Suncream applicators and thinks they bring independence and fun:

“We think that Solar Buddies Sunscreen Applicators are a must have for applying sunscreen, they are a revelation and there’s no more of that “Mum, get off me” nonsense you usually get when trying to get the wrigglers to stand still and put it on. Instead you’ll have kids all proud as punch to be doing it for themselves.”

Naomi from NomiPalony recommends organic AND long lasting:

“My kids are prone to eczema and we try to avoid nasty chemicals so we love this organic suncream from Green People but, I also use this all day suncream on my son for school as I want him to have protection all day. He’s only in reception class but the teachers won’t apply it for them and he would do a crap job himself so this gives me peace of mind.

Neither of mine have ever burned using these, or had reactions.”

Mary from Over 40 and a Mum to One found her perfect suncream on review:

“We reviewed the Sun Sense toddler milk a couple of years ago and I loved how easy it is to apply – we still use it now.”

Leandra from LarabeeUK is another roll on mama:

I got T, aged 5 the Nivea roll on, he can apply it himself without making too much mess which means I know he’s covered and soccer school or school are happy because he can do it himself. We use Aloe Vera gel kept in the fridge for after sun.”

Steph from Hello Baby Blog is up for spending a bit more for that good protection:

“Sunsense is incredible for the kids. We first used it in Australia and I was so happy when they finally started to sell it over here. Its not cheap but doesn’t irritate their skin like other creams and goes on a dream! I’m also a huge advocate of Clinique city block for myself and I suffer really badly with prickly heat, or used to until I went to a homeopath and I no longer get it! I take sulphur tablets to keep it at bay and urtica urens if I start to feel it itching.”

Lisa from Mummy Gummie recommends Riemanns P20:

We always use Riemanns P20! It’s great although pretty pricey. Only need to apply once a day generally and it’s really water resistant so you genuinely don’t need to reapply after getting wet! It’s suitable for children too.

Another vote for Child’s Farm from Sarah from A Mundane Life.

We buy the child’s farm factor 50 for sensitive skin as my daughter has eczema that we have to treat with multiple creams and steroids. We found this one was the gentlest on her skin and didn’t cause her eczema to get worse.

Lucy from Real Mum Reviews warns us away from “Once a day” creams:

“… I was therefore slightly concerned to hear the results of the latest Which report – which found that so called “all day” protection, including UltraSun, can last just 6-8 hours, despite not being exposed to physical activity or swimming (factors which may affect the impact of such products). Their tests found that a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 could actually drop to just SPF 8 over the course of a day… Interestingly the report also highlighted that in Australia, claims of “once a day” protection have been completely banned, as they do not wish brands to claim that reapplication of sunscreen is not required.”

Mel from Le Coin de Mel also vouches for Sunsense because it’s kind to eczema:

“When my 3rd was diagnosed with eczema, our dermatology nurse recommended Australian brand Sunsense. We’ve never looked back! Every summer, I get a few of these roll ons with SPF50 and all my children have been applying it themselves since they were toddlers. There’s always one in my handbag, one at preschool, one in the pram. Brilliant stuff!”

Too late? How to deal with Sunburn:

Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids on how to deal with burns:

“Tepid showers (even though a cold shower seems more inviting when you’re burned), and natural yoghurt on sunburn is so soothing, if a bit messy!”

Ami from Through Ami’s Eyes also uses yoghurt to sooth those burns:

“My biggest tip re sunburn is natural yogurt!!! Slap that stuff all over yourself like there is no tomorrow. Leave it for about 20 mins and then have a cold shower. Brings the sunburn right down and is so much cheaper than all the fancy after sun stuff.”

Sam from Porridge and Parenting has a great tip about after sun:

“Keep your after sun in the fridge so it’s nice and cold and more soothing. I burn no matter how much cream I put on because I’m a fair skinned freckled redhead so I slap on the factor 50 and just try and avoid it to be honest.”

Beth from Twinderelmo uses Aloe Vera when she burns:

“Try to avoid the midday sun if possible and always cover your shoulders as this is always the most painful place to get sunburn
Aloe Vera is very soothing for sunburn along with regular cool showers and slather on aftersun.”

Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me is also all about the Aloe Vera:

“I have found that Aloe Vera is the best for sun burn. However we do keep after sun creams in our fridge so it lovely and cold when applied. I also try and avoid the sun between 11-3, as I’m so pale and burn terribly.”

I have found Aloe Vera gel great for when I had sunburn. It’s good for any burns or stings so would really recommend it for holidays. I haven’t tried it on the kids (yet) as thankfully they seem to tan well & not burn. My little boy has been using Aldi’s Lacura kids suncream for the past few weeks and hasn’t had any sunburn despite the fact he spends hours in the garden everyday!

Jen from Just Average Jen says bump packs are great:

“Those bruise soothers that are full of gel and keep in the fridge are good if a young one has a bit of sunburn that’s not that bad but feels a bit warm as they can control it themselves and feel better quickly.”

Jo from Pickle and Poppet shares a strange local tip from her time in the Dominican:

“This will sound nuts but when I went to the Dominican I burned quite badly – one of the locals squeezed lemon juice over my arm and it took the sting out straight away. Failing that, aloe vera works well too.”

You weren’t the only one that didn’t know:

Carly from This Crazy Mama didn’t know…

“At work yesterday we were doing a talk about sun cream and sun safety at our baby group so did a bit of research. Totally didn’t know your supposed to use sun cream between March and Oct as the UV is still high even when its cloudy!”

3 Comments

  1. Lottie
    August 13, 2019 / 7:34 am

    Aldi sun cream is good for those on a budget and so is Primark. Sun cream needs 5* UVA protection a lot of common ones like Nivea don’t have that. Also there’s only approx a 2% difference in protection between factor 50 and 30! So you’re better with a 5* factor 30 than 3* factor 50! Sorry for the babbling. I’m just very pale so sun cream is a 365 days a year thing!

  2. June 14, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    This is super helpful H! We are going on a cruise in July and I think Im going to give the Soltan brand a go as it kept coming up. Thanks x

    • Harriet June 15, 2017 / 9:14 am

      Thanks lovely – some awesome suggestions from people! xx

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