Can Adults Wear Baby Sunscreen?

Sunscreen is essential for a day outdoors. It should be one of the first items on your list of things to bring to the beach or slather on before a hike. With all the sunscreen options out there, how do you choose which to use? Some may choose a brand that they’re familiar with, some may choose to do some research first. If you’re in the latter group, you may find yourself asking if baby sunscreen works on adults.

Most people choose a sunscreen based on the SPF (sun protection factor). While sunscreens with a higher SPF are expected to offer more UV protection, it’s not always the safest choice, especially when deciding on a sunscreen for babies. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) states that high-SPF products require higher concentrations of sun-filtering chemicals than low-SPF sunscreens and some of these ingredients may post health risks when they penetrate the skin. Being aware of what ingredients are contained in the products that you use is important. 

erbaviva - Baby sunscreenWhen Erbaviva formulated the sunscreen, along with offering UV protection, we wanted to keep it as natural as we could. So we developed a sunscreen that both babies and adults could use - therefore, adults CAN use baby sunscreen! Baby sunscreen still contains active ingredients that protect both baby and adult skin from the sun’s rays. The biggest difference between kids and adult sunscreen is that baby sunscreen is usually a mineral or physical sunscreen as opposed to a chemical one. This means that it contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient used to protect the skin from the sun’s rays. If you want to read more about Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen, we have a blog post comparing the two. These ingredients sit on top of the skin instead of being absorbed into the skin, making it safer and cause less irritation than other chemicals used in conventional sunscreen.

Originally, Erbaviva's sunscreen was marketed as a sunscreen for both adults and babies but with the launch of our new mommy and baby packaging in July of 2017, we released a new “adult” sunscreen – still the same formulation as the baby sunscreen with the only difference being the packaging – so consumers have a choice in a simpler packaging or a more kid-friendly version.

Erbaviva’s SPF 30 broad-spectrum natural sunscreen contains 20 percent zinc oxide. The goal when developing the sunscreen was to offer the highest possible SPF protection without the use of unwanted chemicals. In an article from New Hope, Denis Dudley, MD, an endocrinologist, recommends that a product contain 20 percent zinc oxide when used alone (which is challenging to find in most products) and 15 percent when used with 7.5 percent titanium dioxide.         

                  erbaviva - Baby sunscreen         erbaviva - adult sunscreen

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably already using sunscreen for babies or a physical sunscreen due to the fact that mineral sunscreens are less of a skin irritant. Even if a sunscreen is labeled as Baby Sunscreen or a sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin, we suggest reading the label because ingredients matter!

So the next time you’re shopping for sunscreen, don’t steer away from purchasing baby sunscreen as it’s usually made without harmful ingredients. Just make sure that it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen or protects from both UVA and UVB rays and take a look at the label. If you’ll be in the sun for an extended amount of time, don’t forget to re-apply.

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