Dermatologist Dr. Laura Scott: SPF 101

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Meet Dr. Laura Scott. She is a Dermatologist, mom of four, and our go-to expert for all our baby skin care questions! She took some time, not sure where she found it with four little ones (BIG THANK YOU), to give us all a little review of all things SPF and skin care. Let’s be real, we need the expert and she is here to give us all the insight. Read through below for insights on mineral sunscreens, when to apply, how often and other fun facts on ingredients and staying protected.


Dermatologist Dr. Laura Scott


It’s officially summer, and though our summer may look a little different this year, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for sun protection when we get the chance to be outdoors! Spending time outside is really so great for our kids (and ourselves) and is one of the things we can continue to do safely and still respect social distancing guidelines, but it’s important to make sure we’re also protecting our littles from the sun as well.

Sun Safety: Why Protect Your Skin from the Sun?

So, why is skin protection from the sun important? Research shows that as much as 25% of sun damage occurs before age 18, and only continues accumulating after that. And while sun damage for some can look like wrinkles and age spots, what we really want to protect against is skin cancers that are sun-induced, like basal and squamous cell carcinomas, and the most-dreaded, melanoma. For these reasons it’s important to establish good sun-protection habits early!

How to Protect Your Skin from Sun:

Whether you are heading to the beach for some sandy fun, spending a day in the park or in the backyard jamming out on your homemade drum set, it’s important to protect you and your kiddo’s skin from the sun. There are many great ways to reduce sun exposure and protect against sun damage. Some of the basics of sun protection include:

  • Avoiding the sun when it’s strongest (think mid-day)
  • Playing in shade if possible – large umbrellas and shady trees are your new best friend
  • Wearing hats and sun-protective clothing when feasible
  • And of course - sunscreen! Start wearing sunscreen everyday

Sunscreen for The Groms:

Finding a sunscreen that kids love (and that is effective) is a huge win! So, what should you be looking for in a good sunscreen for kids? The best kind of sunscreen means it doesn’t burn or sting eyes, doesn’t cause irritation, and is easy to apply and rub-in. For babies and kids, this means selecting a mineral sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen.

Dr. Laura Scott's daughters


Which Type of Sunscreen to Use:

Are you wondering what’s the difference? And which type of sunscreen is best? There are two types of sunscreen: Mineral vs Non-mineral (also called chemical). Mineral sunscreens have zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as the main ingredients; these are minerals that work like tiny shields on the skin to protect it from the sun and reflect UV rays off. They have a low chance of causing any irritation or allergic reactions and are too large to be absorbed in the skin. Chemical sunscreens will have ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, homosalate, and more. They are absorbed into the skin (and small amounts have been shown in the bloodstream as well) where they need 15-20 minutes to start working. While most of the harm we know about in humans is related to skin irritation and allergic reactions to these ingredients, there are animal studies that suggest these may be endocrine disruptors as well.

It’s for these reasons that we reach for mineral sunscreen for our littles, and if your kids have particularly sensitive skin, make sure to also choose a fragrance-free option. Baby Bum sunscreens are all 100% mineral, fragrance-free, non-nano, and plant-based.

Dr. Laura Scott's daughter using Baby Bum sunscreen

When to Apply Sunscreen:

We apply before heading outdoors to play, and depending on what kinds of activities we’re doing, reapply about every 2 hours or if we’ve wiped any areas of the body. Having multiple formulations is really handy for applying and reapplying (and for different preferences as well)! We love using the sunscreen lotion for our initial application at home, the sunscreen stick for reapplication (especially handy on the face) and the mineral sunscreen spray for the body! The spray is really a unique one, as it’s a pump spray as opposed to aerosol, so there’s no risk of inhaling it (or any of the chemicals associated with aerosol sprays), and because you can see it you can be sure you won’t miss any spots! What’s your favorite way to apply sunscreen?” - Dr. Laura Scott

Thanks Laura, for informing us, answering all of our questions on our Instagram and being our go-to mama.