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Putting sunscreen on a baby is a little like wrestling an alligator. And even when you’ve toted the perfect beach tent, all the requisite beach needs, and even a sun hat they won’t rip off after five minutes, sunscreen is an absolute must-have. Throughout my tenure as a mom of babies and toddlers, I can attest to trying all the formulas in hopes of making the process easier. I tried gloppy and slippery creams that dripped into eyes—and made me worry I’d drop them right into the sand. I tried sunscreen sprays that inevitably sent more SPF protection into the wind than on their skin. I tried everything and never found anything that was better than just ok.
Recently though, I stumbled upon a brand new baby sunscreen that is a total gamechanger. Bare Republic Baby Sunscreen with SPF 50. The mineral formula is awesome, but I’ll get to that in a second.
What sets this little miracle apart is the applicator. Designed to glide across baby’s skin without tugging or pulling, it features a spongy top with holes to evenly distribute the lotion, almost like deodorant, but better. It’s seriously soft and does a stellar job spreading the product to every adorable roll and fold. As a sunscreen connoisseur, I’ve never seen anything else like it. It’s also just novel enough that older kiddos want to put it on themselves. (Of course, parents have to check their work, but hey, the more autonomy the better, right?)
When it comes to the formula, it’s equally impressive. Like all of Bare Republic’s products, it’s reef-friendly and free of all the nasties like phthalates and parabens. Instead, it’s packed with natural ingredients like non-nano zinc oxide, vitamin E, cottonseed and chamomile extract to help soften and soothe skin and can last up to 80 minutes in the water. Unlike others, it’s not at all greasy and leaves an almost powdery finish that has no fragrance at all.
I’m not making any guarantees, but this could be the baby sunscreen that changes your entire outlook on the often frustrating process. And if you want to use it on yourself? Go ahead. We totally get it.
A version of this article was originally published April 27, 2021. It has been updated.