TIP: PROTECT BABY’S SKIN FROM THE SUN
While keeping your baby’s skin moisturised is key, protecting their delicate skin from sun damage is just as important. Cape Town-based dermatologist Dr Vanessa Lapiner says the best way to protect your baby’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun is to keep them away from the sun. “For babies up to six months old, use physical barriers against the sun, such as long-sleeved clothing, hats, umbrellas and other covers, and a mineral-based sunscreen cream such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which reflects light and isn’t absorbed by the skin. More important than any physical or chemical barrier against sun damage is keeping your children out of the sun during the hottest part of the day – between about 10am and 4pm,” Dr Lapiner advises.
For older toddlers, chemical sunscreen creams, which are made with larger molecules to enable less absorption, can be used. Chemical sunscreens work by changing the sun’s UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin. “Look for those containing the organic sunblock mexoryl or the blocking sun filter tinosorb,” advises Dr Lapiner. “These have properties that both absorb and reflect rays, and have the lowest incidence of skin irritation.”
Remember, the rule of thumb is that your child can never have too much sun protection.