Do your kids squirm when you try to put sunscreen on them?
I know… a stupid question right?
Not only does all the squirming make the job harder, but it can be easy to miss patches.
Below, we've collated our favourite tips on keeping sunscreen application easy and fun for everyone involved.
Dot's and Squiggles
Let's start with something really easy. Next time, instead of rubbing it on your hands first, try to start by squeezing it out in dots and squiggles on their arms. You can even play a connect the dot's game with them by having them rub it in while you squeeze it out (better double-check they cover everything though). This makes the process more enjoyable instead of just a chore.
Make Funny Noises
A great addition to the dot's and squiggles method is to make some funny noises while you do it. You'll find that not only will you be able to go through the process with giggling instead of squealing, but it'll be more fun for you too.
This one will work great for your next beach trip. When it comes time to pull out the sunscreen, offer your kids the chance to do your sunscreen if they sit still while you do theirs. Better still do each other at the same time. You will need to check their work, but you'll be surprised what they will endure for a chance at rubbing wet goop all over your face.
Makeup Sponge or Brush
Here's one from tiktok. Use a makeup brush applicator or a makeup sponge to apply the sunscreen. It may take a little longer to get full coverage, but kids love it. It'll be the most giggle-filled sunscreen session you've ever had!
Use a lot at once
Now we admit this one won't stop the squirming, but it will make it much faster. Simply put, don't hold back on sunscreen. Use big squirts and you'll find it's much easier to get complete coverage.
While they are strapped in
It's hardly worth mentioning, how much more difficult your children will find it to squirm around when they are strapped into the car or a stroller.
Give them options
As children get older they love to feel a level on independence and like they can make their own decisions. Even toddlers like being given options. Ask your kids questions, give them options and they will feel much more in control of the process, and you'll find everything just goes smoother. We suggest offering them a couple of different brands of sunscreen or ask them if they'd prefer the sunscreen put on at home or in the car, you'll find these are a great start.
Let's be honest, parenting is hard, don't be afraid to take advantage of the TV or some other distraction to keep them occupied while you apply.
Glitter is exciting for kids. Applying a very small amount of glitter to the sunscreen can work surprising wonders with their enthusiasm for putting on sunscreen.
Applying sunscreen doesn't have to be a chore, it can be a special time for your kids. Find a great sing-along song and sing it together as you apply. You may even find your child looking forward to the next time you need to apply.
Use a Light Mineral Formula
Thicker formulas are harder to apply and feel less pleasant and greasy. Try a lighter mineral formula, these are generally better for sensitive skin and more pleasant on the skin. Soléo Organics everyday sunscreen is a great option.
Older Kids & Teens
Teenagers bring a whole new level to every parenting adventure. The silence that once spoke of mischief becomes the new normal, populated by one-word responses.
These ones should help with your older kids.
Tinted sunscreens are a godsend for all parents of teenagers. Sunscreen has never had a 'cool' reputation, and really can't compete with the idea of tanning. At least not until someone came up with the idea of tinted sunscreens. Tinted sunscreen lets people get that bronze-tanned look, without damaging their skin.
You may find that some simple education on why sunscreen is so important can make a big difference. Especially when it comes to UVA radiation. Understanding that UVA radiation from the sun causes wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and general skin damage, may make a big difference in their willingness to practice sun safety.
Utilising your Fridge
On a hot day, anything cool can be good motivation. Put your sunscreen in the fridge for a bit before applying it and you'll be surprised by how much nicer it can make the application. Just make sure your sunscreen isn't sensitive to cool temperatures.
Finally, our last tip has more to do with preparation. Letting them know your expectations in advance can make a pretty big difference too. If they understand what is expected of them and why it can give them more of a sense of their own independence. You'll just find it's a bit easier and you have to remind them less often.
Sunscreen doesn't have to be a chore. Depending on how you handle it, it can be a game, a chance for extra mum time, or an opportunity for you to teach your children how to live responsibly. Whatever you use it for though, we hope our tips help you keep your family safe in the sun.