Essential Sun Protection Picks for the Entire Family

One of the best parts of summer is getting outside and soaking up some beautiful sunshine. But with the sun comes exposure to harmful UV rays that can lead to sunburn and worse. It’s important to find high quality sunscreens and other protective items so that even the youngest members of the family can enjoy the outdoors. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using extra protection for babies less than 6 months old. They should wear protective clothing that covers their arms and legs, brimmed hats, and should stay in the shade. The FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not recommend using sunscreen on babies less than 6 months old unless absolutely necessary.

When it comes to clothing, understanding the terminology can help make better purchase decisions. Look for labels that use UPF levels. UPF is a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB measurement for fabrics. It rates the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin. For example, a shirt with a UPF of 50 allows 1/50th of the UV radiation to pass through and blocks 49/50ths or 98% of the UV radiation from reaching the skin.

Protect your family this summer with our top sun protection picks for the entire family:

Our Kids Sunscreen Picks


Photo credit: badgerbalm.com

Blue Lizard Kids Mineral-Based Sunscreen
Blue Lizard Kids Mineral-Based Sunscreen’s SPF 50+ formula starts with zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum protection from 98% of the sun’s burning rays. The kids’ formula contains no skin-irritating chemical sunscreen ingredients, no parabens, and no fragrances. The sunscreen’s water-resistant formula is made without oxybenzone or octinoxate to help protect fragile reef ecosystems. ($20, bluelizardsunscreen.com)

Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
Created by a mother for her daughter, Goddess Garden is dedicated to providing skincare solutions that are good for people and the planet! Their Goddess Garden Kids SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen features pure, reef-safe zinc to protect against UV rays and organic, plant-based ingredients to soothe and moisturize.($20, goddessgarden.com)

Badger Kids Mineral Sunscreen Cream
This SPF 40 sunscreen from Badger uses an all-organic base of sunflower oil, jojoba, beeswax, and zinc oxide. It’s hypoallergenic, GMO-free, gluten free, and is made with just nine simple  ingredients. It’s also reef-friendly, cruelty free, packaged in a 50% PCR tube, and made using solar power. ($18, badgerbalm.com)

Our Parents Sunscreen Picks: 


Bare Republic Mineral SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray
Bare Republic offers biodegradable and reef-friendly sunscreens that combine antioxidant-rich oils and non-nano mineral actives to offer broad spectrum protection from UV rays. Their SPF 30 Sport Sunscreen Spray formula is free of synthetic fragrances, gluten free, and vegan. ($15, gobareoutside.com)

COOLA Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
Each of COOLA’s high performance products protect and nourish the skin with vitamins and age-defying antioxidants, while remaining free of parabens, paba and phthalates. Their full line of luxury sun and skincare products incorporate a Farm to Face sourcing philosophy, using the freshest and most natural ingredients whenever possible. ($25, coola.com)

Our Clothing Picks


a smiling young boy coming out of the ocean wearing a blue rash guard shirt
Photo credit: nonetz.com

Infant and Toddler Breathable Sun Protection Shirt
Made with a lightweight fabric perfect for summer days, this shirt offers UPF 50+ sun protection. Plus, it meets STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX certification, meaning the shirts have been independently tested against a list of over 350 harmful substances for baby’s health and safety. ($20, greensproutsbaby.com)

Baby Finn Hooded One-Piece Swimsuit UPF 50+
This swimsuit provides complete coverage and added sun protection for the baby’s head and neck. With UPF 50+ protection, the rasy zip front makes putting it on and taking it off a breeze and the snap close bottom allows for on-the-go diaper access. Plus, Coolibar is the first clothing company to receive The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. ($44, coolibar.com)

Kid’s Unisex Rash Guard Long-Sleeve Shirt
This top is made from ECONYL yarn, a 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from nylon waste. By using ECONYL regenerated nylon, NoNetz are able to turn a waste problem into soft, water resistant, high quality swimwear that offers a 50+ UPF rating. For every NoNetz order, they collect 1lb of plastic waste before it enters the oceans. ($40, nonetz.com)

Athleta Pacifica Illume UPF Relaxed Top (for women)
Relax in style with this top made from Recycled Polyester, a material sourced from post-consumer plastic bottles that helps lessen the impact on the world. Rated UPF 50+, this shirt is perfect for water spots and comes from a B Corp Certified company. ($64, athleta.com)

LumaLeo Clothing from Coolibar
Made with GOTS certified organic cotton and sustainable bamboo, the LumaLeo collection includes a wide range of everyday products for men, women, and kids that have UPF 50+ protection. ($29–$89, coolibar.com/lumaleo)

Our Sun Hat Picks


Sunday Afternoons SunFlip Hat – Infants
Protect your baby’s head and ears with this infant-friendly sun hat. Made with 100% recycled main body fabric (solids only), this hat wicks moisture, dries quickly, and has a UPF 50+ sun rating. ($22, rei.com)

Harbour Swim Hat
This bucket-style Harbour Swim Hat has a wide brim to help keep kids’ head, face, and ears shaded from the sun’s harmful rays and is made with fabric that has a UPF 50+ rating. Plus, this sun-safe swim hat is made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles! ($25, welovefrugi.com)

Genevieve Sun Hat (for women)
Both stylish and eco-friendly, this hat is made with hemp and a recycled polyester blended sweatband. It offers UPF 50+ safety under its wide brim and comes in two chic color options. ($45, prana.com)

REI Co-op Sahara Sun Hat with Cape (for men) 
Made to reflect their love for people and the planet, this hat is made with bluesign®-approved materials that conserve resources and protect the health of the environment, workers and wearer. Plus it offers UPF 50+ protection. ($40, rei.com)

Adults’ SunSmart Brim Hat
Made with 50% recycled polyester and 50% Elasterell-P with Sorona, a partially plant based fabric that provides stretch, this UPF 50+ rated hat is the perfect option for any adult. ($35, llbean.com)

Our Sunglasses Picks


Roshambo Baby Shades
These baby shades are BPA, phthalate, lead and latex free, and are small parts tested as safe for babies. They are polarized and offer 100% UVA/B/C protection. Plus, they are “virtually unbreakable” and include a one year full damage and lens replacement guarantee. ($20, roshambo.com)

Kids BioSunnies
Made for kids 4–9 year old, the frames of these sunglasses are made of wheat straw, which are the stalks that are left after wheat is harvested. They are UV400 rated polarized lenses which provide full UVA and UVB protection and come in a variety of colors. ($20, wildwoodeyewear.com)

Roshambo Junior Shades
These trendy junior shades have a polarized lense and offer 100% UVA/B/C protection and shatter resistant lenses. The frames are Certified BPA, lead, cadmium, phthalate, and latex free. Roshambo Eyewear is also certified as a carbon neutral e-commerce store and uses plastic-free packaging. ($25, roshambo.com

Sunski Seacliff Sunglasses (for women) 
Feel stylish and sustainable this summer with Sunski shades. The lenses are polarized, block 100% UVA/UVB/UV400 wavelengths and pass the FDA basic impact test. The frames are made from scrap plastic that would have otherwise ended up in landfills and a portion of proceeds is donated to 1% for the Planet. ($58, sunski.com)

Blue Planet Amador Sunglasses (for men)
These glasses come with eco-friendly frames made with Blue Planet’s Eco-Process, which reuses 60-75% recycled and reprocessed content as well as natural beech wood. They offer polarized lenses with 100% UVA/UVB protection in a fashionable aviator style. Additionally, for every pair of glasses they sell, they donate a pair of corrective glasses to a person in need. ($70, blueplaneteyewear.com

No matter what your summer plans are, come prepared with sun protection for a great and safe time!