Despite the indisputable use of sunlight, heat and fresh air, one cannot completely discount the cunningness of the ultraviolet. The scorching rays of the sun can be very dangerous, especially for a growing body, because the children are not fully formed protective mechanisms, and therefore the risk of burns and inflammation of the skin is several times higher than in adults. That is why, when going on a beach holiday every thoughtful parent must take care of the availability of high-quality sunscreen for children. Suitable cosmetic for the delicate skin of the skin – otherwise the risk to turn pleasant leisure into a real nightmare is great.
In just a couple of minutes without additional protection, the shoulders, back, and nose of the baby can become covered in red spots, which eventually transform into painful, itchy blisters. How to prevent an accident and choose the best sunscreen for children that will provide reliable protection from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation? What ingredients must be in the composition, and which should be avoided? Tips for children’s dermatologists will help to understand the range of modern cosmetics for young lovers of sunbathing!
What is SPF? The norms of sun protection indicator for children’s skin
Each sunblock in the sun has a special mark with the SPF index, which can vary in a wide range from 2-4 to 50+. This figure is calculated for each cosmetic based on the concentration and intensity of the chemical and physical filters contained in the cream – the larger it is, the better the protective properties of the selected cosmetics. So, creams and lotions with SPF from 2 to 4 block about 50-60% of the total ultraviolet spectrum, from 4 to 10 – 70-85%, from 10 to 30 – 90-95%, and from 30 to 50+ – not less than 95-99% of the rays.
Since children’s skin is very sensitive to sunlight, quickly inflamed and reddened, it requires a higher content of effective sunscreens. The fact is that melanocytes – dermal cells that synthesize pigment and are responsible for an adequate response to sunlight – do not function enough in children’s skin, which means that the child’s defense mechanisms simply cannot cope with intense ultraviolet radiation, resulting in skin blistering and blistering. That is why the SPF index of cosmetics for kids does not fall below 30, and in most cases even reaches the maximum level of 50+.
Light-skinned crumbs from birth, as well as babies whose age has not yet reached 3 years old, should choose the sunscreen for children with SPF factor 50 and 50+. If the child is dark or has already managed to significantly sunburnt, you can slightly reduce the protection – for the prepared skin, the SPF range from 30 and above is considered safe. However, it is always better to be safe and choose the cream “with a margin” – the sun can be very insidious!
The composition of sunscreen for children
High-quality children’s creams for sun protection should, first of all, contain a complex of high-intensity, but absolutely safe filters that block the harmful effect of ultraviolet radiation. Since the sun’s rays combine a spectrum of different lengths, one substance cannot cope with it entirely — a harmonious combination of complementary components is required for this, each of which will be responsible for its range:
- UVB filters. It is these substances contained in sunscreens that protect children from sunburn and skin inflammation. Spectrum B rays are responsible not only for the synthesis of vitamin D and the natural darkening of the dermis during tanning – their excess can lead to blistering, itching and other unpleasant symptoms. Reliable filters hinder this process, in no way affecting the production of the necessary vitamin for the growing organism.
- UVA filters. These components are much thinner than their “brothers” because the effect of the long-wave spectrum is not so obvious. These rays are not responsible for the manifestations of burns after a long stay in the sun – they penetrate into the deeper layers of the dermis, destroying it from the inside. Outwardly, such manifestations will not be immediately noticeable, however, with long-term and regular isolation; the skin will gradually drain out and lose its natural elasticity and firmness. To prevent these effects can special filters that block the processes caused by the UVA-spectrum.
High-quality creams for children should have a special mark, confirming the presence of both groups of filters in the composition of cosmetics. As a rule, such a mark is applied directly to the tube and looks like this:
- UVA / UVB or SPF / UVA (guarantee of reliable UV protection of various spectra),
- PA + (the greater the number of pulses, the more effective the cream).
In addition to the sun protection factor, in the summer period of delicate baby skin, complex care, nutrition, and care are also required. Therefore, choosing a cream for children, you should pay close attention to the presence of moisturizing and nourishing complexes, natural oils, soothing and regenerating extracts, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial substances. The following components have proven themselves well:
- Aloe Vera – compensates for the lack of moisture in the dermal cells and protects the baby’s skin from drying out;
- chamomile extract – relieves inflammation and redness after prolonged exposure to the sun;
- calendula extract – has a pronounced soothing and anti-inflammatory effect;
- olive oil – provides fast cell regeneration;
- Panthenol – relieves soreness and itching, if the tan was unexpectedly intense;
- Vitamins A, E – nourish children’s skin, thereby increasing the protective mechanisms of the body.
Tip! Despite the obvious benefits of natural oils and extracts, most of them in some cases can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, before you go to the beach, you should test the new cream – suddenly it will not only not protect the child from the sun’s rays, but also become the cause of spoiled rest. To do this, apply a drop of cream on the inner side of the wrist and watch the reaction for several hours. The presence or absence of a red spot in the application area will tell you if suitable sunscreen for children.
What else should you pay attention to?
Children’s skin is sensitive not only to ultraviolet, but also to irritating chemicals, so when choosing a sunscreen for young sunbathers, you should be especially careful to pay attention to every little thing. What nuances in no case should not be missed?
- Shelf life. The first and, perhaps, the most important thing to check is the current shelf life. You should not buy a cosmetic product, the expiration date of which is coming to an end or has already expired – it may be not only useless but also extremely dangerous. The use of expired creams and lotions is fraught with a high risk of irritation, inflammation and allergic reactions, and the protective functions of such products are in great doubt.
- Age criterion. If the selected sunscreen for children does not indicate the age of the children for whom it is intended, then it can be used at least from 3 years old and older. For newborn sunbathers, we need products with a special, adapted composition. As a rule, such cosmetics have special notes that allow you to navigate in the “target audience” – from 0 or 0+, from 6 months, etc.
- Safe composition. The composition of the cream for children must comply with safety requirements, be hypoallergenic and, if possible, as natural as possible. The use of toxic chemical components, concentrated flavors, dyes, and other harmful substances is unacceptable!
- Kids are extremely mobile, and this means that sunscreen should be applied and absorbed just the same at lightning speed – otherwise the active child simply will not allow carefully and scrupulously processing each skin area and losing the necessary protection from the sun. Thick, viscous creams and gels, although they create a denser protective film, are absolutely unacceptable for children – it is better to pay attention to light sprays, milk or lotion.
- Insolation duration. The time spent in direct sunlight is directly proportional to the SPF index. To measure the safe interval, you should carefully observe the reaction of the skin to the sun without using a protective cream – as soon as severe redness begins to appear, you should immediately go into the shadow. As a result, the number of minutes spent under direct sunlight without additional protection should be multiplied with SPF. The resulting figure will tell you how many minutes you can spend in the sun, after treating the child’s skin with the selected cream.
- Water resistance. Some creams are washed off immediately after bathing, while others withstand persistently excess moisture. Of course, you should choose more waterproof cosmetics – no kid wants to update the protective layer of cream during the game. However, one should not forget that even a super-resistant formula is sooner or later washed away! Therefore, apply sun-protection cosmetics to the skin at least once every 1-2 hours (non-water-resistant composition should be renewed many times more often – at least after each swim or excessive sweating).
Important! Even the highest quality and intensive sunscreen for children do not guarantee 100% protection against sunburn and inflammation of the dermis. Therefore, going with children to the beach, you should take into account the immutable rule of a safe tan: in no case you can not belong under open UV rays at lunchtime (from 12:00 to 16:00) – in hot weather, this period is considered unsafe even for adults not to mention babies.
Choosing a sunscreen for children, you should not rely on reviews on the Internet or be guided by dubious ratings compiled by the manufacturers themselves – it is much more reasonable to simply examine the composition of the product indicated on the tube. And special knowledge will help you to understand how safe and reliable the bottle you like!