Child applying sunscreen

Should You Rub in Sunscreen? (The answer might surprise you.)

Published: 03/07/2021

Fact: the day you start obsessing over slathering sunscreen on your entire family, is the day your parenting game is leveling up. If you’re reading this, ! Welcome to the club. And kudos to you for wanting to make sure you’re doing it right. It’s no small thing to worry about. Not only is your child’s skin more vulnerable (it hasn’t developed natural defense mechanisms yet), they also tend to spend A LOT more time in the sun. And sun damage is cumulative – meaning it builds up over time, increasing risks for skin problems.


So, let’s talk about application. Depending on who you ask, you may get a different answer on this one, and it can be a little confusing at first. But after chatting with our team of experts and doing some independent research of our own, one answer reigned supreme: visible, even layers are best. (Note: This advice is in reference to mineral sunscreens, not chemical sunscreens. But mineral-based sunscreen just so happens to be best for sensitive skin according to the American Academy of Dermatologists.) 


We know, we know, it’s not the answer some of you want. It’s so satisfying to watch sunscreen disappear into an invisible shield of sheen, right? But what you’re not seeing is that rubbing it in too much leaves holes in that shield you’re trying to create. It’s kind of like t-shirt fabric – stretch it too far and you’re going to be able to see through it. Stretch your sunscreen too far and harsh UV rays will find those holes and then penetrate and harm your child’s skin (sunny with a side of sunburn, anyone?). 


The best method is this: rub it in a little bit, enough to spread the product but not so much that the white cast disappears entirely. Yes, this means you’re going to look a little... ghostly. Try to have fun with it (maybe it’s a forcefield to protect your kiddo from UV invaders?) and learn to love it! It’s visible proof that you are protecting your family’s skin (and at least you’ll all be in it together). 


And for more info for your new parenting level-up moment, check out these posts:

Summer should be fun. What’s not fun? Worrying about whether you’ll be nursing a burn later. Stay safe, stay protected and start making those memories! 


Hello Bello offers a variety of gentle, non-irritating mineral sunscreens (lotion, spray, and stick) made up of reef-friendly ingredients to protect all of baby’s favorite sea creatures. It’s also water-resistant up to 80 minutes and made with non-nano zinc oxide, the only FDA-approved sunscreen ingredient that provides broad-spectrum protection against all 3 types of UV rays (UVB, UVA2, and UVA1). It’ll leave a bit of a white cast, but remember: if you can see it, it just means you love your skin! 


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