DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.
Just like you protect your hands with oven mitts when handling something hot, you also need to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. The Sunshine State does live up to its name, so making sure your skin is protected while visiting Disney World is a must. With all the choices for sunscreen out there it can easily get overwhelming.
We researched and found the best sunscreens for you and your family, no matter what your needs are.
We also included what you should and shouldn’t be looking for in a sunscreen, as well as some other general tips to make your sunscreen more effective so when you’re pulling those all-dayers you won’t have to worry.
What to look for (and avoid) when choosing a sunscreen
- First things first, check the ingredients. There may be some that you are allergic to (for example, many sunscreens contain gluten) or you may prefer a product with more natural ingredients. If you are concerned about these things, check the labels.
- For all sunscreens, doctors recommend using at least SPF 30 or higher and ones that provide both UVA and UVB protection (sometimes called “broad spectrum”). However, if you do pick a sunscreen with a higher SPF, that doesn’t mean using less or applying it less often, so stick to your normal sunscreen routine.
- Now, figure out what you are looking for in sunscreen. This can help narrow down your choices! We have compiled some great options for each of these categories, so take a look below!
- If you have little ones, there are specially-formulated sunscreens for infants and kids that start off white so you can see where it has already been applied before fully rubbing it in.
- For those with darker skin tones, there are plenty of options for sunscreens that won’t leave a white-cast on your skin.
- Natural sunscreens are great for those who prefer organic products and for people with sensitive skin.
- Spray sunscreens are popular for their light-weight feel and ease of application.
- It’s always a good idea to bring some travel-sized sunscreens for reapplication while in the parks.
Best sunscreens for infants and toddlers
For babies over six months of age, you should start applying sunscreen regularly whenever they are outside. These are our favorite picks for baby-friendly sunscreens.
This mineral sunscreen is safe for infants six months and up. It comes in an easy-to-use stick and can be applied to the face and body. Keep in mind that as a mineral sunscreen it can be heavier than others, so make sure to rub it in. Reviewers have stated that this sunscreen did not burn their eyes, which is always a plus when dealing with little ones!
While the description notes this product is hypoallergenic, some reviewers said it irritated their skin, while others found it worked well for sensitive skin. Always remember to patch test new products!
This sunscreen claims to be the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods Premium Care requirements. Thinkbaby’s sunscreen is vegan and cruelty free, and doesn’t have that typical sunscreen scent. The formula is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, giving you more pool time before having to leave to reapply!
Many reviewers who have tried a variety of safe and environmentally friendly sunscreens rank the Thinkbaby sunscreen as one of their favorites. This means you can protect your baby’s skin while helping out the environment at the same time!
BabyGanics Sunscreen is non-allergenic and tear free. It also goes on white so you can see where it has already been applied, then disappears once rubbed in. This listing is a sweet deal as you get TWO bottles, so you can keep one at the hotel and one in your park bag so you’re never without.
The product itself is thick and reviewers note that a little goes a long way. Plus, it’s fragrance-free so those with sensitive noses can use this without getting a headache!
Sunscreens with no white cast
Remember when your mom would smear sunscreen all over your face and you’d be left with an embarrassing white stripe across your nose? No more! Whether you have a darker skin tone or just don’t want to look ashy, we recommend trying one of these invisible sunscreens.
Invisible and weightless, the Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen is a cult favorite. The clear gel formula leaves no white cast, and it can also be applied under your makeup so you don’t have to sacrifice protection. Members of the DFB team recommend this, and can confirm it is an invisible sunscreen that doesn’t skimp on protection!
This listing offers a variety of sizes to fit your needs. Did we mention it includes ingredients like frankincense and hydrating meadowfoam seed that act like a moisturizer for your skin? This sunscreen really does it all.
Avoid looking like a ghost with this sunscreen, which also has a matte version for oily skin types. This hybrid version is great for those with normal skin, as it won’t dry you out or leave your skin oily.
Reviews state it has a more watery consistency, so be sure to work it into the skin while applying to ensure it is fully absorbed. Now you won’t be mistaken for a Haunted Mansion escapee!
If you are looking for something more high-end, the EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen is the way to go. Despite its price it is still a popular choice, and it is also approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
This sunscreen is almost like skin care and sunscreen all in one bottle. With over 30,000 reviews on Amazon, there are a lot of people who love this product, some even going so far as to deem it their “holy grail” sunscreen!
Natural sunscreens for sensitive skin
Dermatologists recommend mineral sunscreens for sensitive skin. These create a physical barrier to the sun as opposed to chemical ingredients in other sunscreens that absorb UV radiation.
The Sun Bum Original sunscreen is a mineral sunscreen with a matte finish, making it great for those with oily skin. If you’re looking for that classic sunscreen with no bells and whistles but for sensitive skin, this is it.
It is also vegan and gluten-free, so if you have an allergy this is a great choice. The formula is light, so you won’t have to deal with that heavy gunky feeling that some other sunscreens have.
Clean, non-toxic, and with no synthetic fragrance, this sunscreen also includes plant extracts that moisturize skin without clogging your pores. It’s lightweight and makeup friendly too!
The formula is fast-drying, non-sticky, and even keeps your skin from heating up as much as it would with other sunscreens! It might sound like futuristic tech, but really it’s just blocking infrared rays, which are part of why the sun feels hot on your skin.
The minerals in this sunscreen act like thousands of tiny mirrors that reflect the sun’s rays away, protecting your skin. It’s also water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. Blue Lizard is a popular brand for those who only use natural and organic products.
It also has TONS of five star reviews on Amazon, with one reviewer stating that it went on easily, protected their skin in the intense Hawaiian summer sun, but then came off easily when it was time to shower!
Running to catch rope drop? Have a member of your family who can’t stand traditional liquid sunscreens? Spray sunscreen could be the best option for you. Just make sure to apply in an area with good ventilation.
For those who want to apply and go, try the Neutrogena Beach Defense sunscreen. The fast-drying formula is lightweight and allows you to apply and head out to the parks lickety-split!
Reviewers noted this sunscreen holds up through sweat and pool water. The best part? It doesn’t create a build up on your skin, so when it’s time to reapply just spray your body again and you’re good to go!
If this sunscreen sounds like a fancy skin care brand, that’s because it basically is! It contains thermal spring water which soothes skin in the hot sun, and it’s alcohol free, which also means it won’t dry out your skin.
It can also be used on your body and face, saving space in your bag because you won’t have to tote around two products! The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen won’t stain your light clothes either, so spray around that white bathing suit with no fear!
If you like a little bit of sparkle and want to shimmer in the sun, grab the Coppertone Glow spray! Why not protect your skin AND look good doing it?
Coppertone is THE classic sunscreen brand that is a reviewer favorite for good reason. And don’t worry — this will give you a nice, even shimmer that’s more “cool 2000s music video” than “1990s clubbing body glitter”.
The Neutrogena Wet Skin stick is not only water-resistant, it can even be applied on wet skin so reapplication is a breeze even if you just got out of the pool! Even though this product holds up against water, it still won’t leave a thick, greasy layer on your skin.
These sticks are not only adorably petite, the size is TSA-approved, which means you can also throw it in your carry-on with no worries!
For those who love the scent of coconut, try the Sun Bum stick. It applies like a deodorant stick but won’t clog your pores, and will leave you smelling like a tropical vacation!
Reviewers love how this sunscreen holds up through sweat, so your sunscreen won’t break down when you’re booking it to your next Genie+ reservation! For those who are more scent-sensitive, you may want to try another fragrance-free option on our list.
These travel packets come in a pack of 24 individual portions of sunscreen. If you’re looking for travel-sized sunscreen but prefer the traditional liquid formula over stick products, we suggest you give these a try!
Tons of reviewers recommend the Banana Boat packets for traveling. The tiny sealed packets help avoid spills in your bag, plus they are perfect for throwing into your bag when heading into the park for your reapplications throughout the day!
To really maximize the effectiveness of your sunscreen, follow these tips.
- Apply early! Dermatologists say that it can take up to 30 minutes for sunscreen to absorb and start to work. Make sure you get yourself covered and give the sunscreen time to set before heading outside.
- Don’t miss a spot. Don’t end up with a sunburn because you forgot to cover your ears! The FDA says the most commonly forgotten areas to apply sunscreen to are the ears, face, lips, neck, and the tops of your feet (if you are wearing sandals).
- Reapply throughout the day. Sunscreen does wear off after a couple of hours. Dermatologists recommend reapplying your sunscreen every two hours, or every hour if you are using a spray sunscreen or swimming.
- Sunscreen is for more than the summer. You should wear sunscreen any time you are outside. Even if the weather is cooler, the sun’s rays are still harmful and can even be more intense in the winter time.
- Test before using. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends testing all new skincare products. For more information on how to safely test a new product, read their tips on testing safely at home.
- Sunscreen is for individuals 6 months and older. The FDA recommends for infants under 6 months to be kept out of the sun, especially between 10 AM and 2 PM when the sun is strongest. While outside, you can protect your baby with clothing, hats, and a shaded stroller (check here for some of our suggestions for stroller canopies!).
- Use more than sunscreen. Don’t forget to incorporate other methods of protecting your skin from the sun! Spend time in the shade or inside around noon when the sun is strongest, check the UV index every day, and cover your skin with hats and sunglasses.
Heading to Disney World soon? Check out this video on the four meals you HAVE to eat while you’re there!
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Do you have a favorite sunscreen? Tell us about it in the comments!