We Did It For You: Your Summer Sunscreen Q’s Answered by a Famous Derm Mommy?

Dr. Marnie Nussbaum is a Board Certified Dermatologist who specializes is non-invasive aesthetic rejuvenation (think anti-aging). She’s been featured as an expert in top publications like Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, and Byrdie, where she doles out advice on a skin-first approach to beauty. Another core speciality of Dr. Nussbaum? Being a mom, specifically to two fast-growing children: a six-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. Which is why we went straight to her when we had big questions about Summer sunscreen. Here’s what you need to know:


Is there a certain type of sunscreen that’s super easy to apply to kids?

I really love this Super Goop Mineral Mist. Not the Chemical, but the Mineral. Super easy. It’s the only one that my kids every sit still for and it’s non-aerosol. It seems like it’s a spray but it has minerals.


Are sunscreen sprays, in general, safe to use?

I don’t love aerosol sprays. I like the non-aerosol. EltaMD also makes a spray that’s non-aerosol that’s great. For the face, though, I always use a bar or a stick. The spray never really works getting on the face. I like COOLA. I love their Mineral Baby Stick. I use those for my kids And I also put it on the back of their necks and tops of their ears.

Is there a medical reason you should use lotions over sprays?

With lotion, you know you’re getting better coverage and covering all the areas evenly. But, when you’re using non-aerosol spray you can usually get the same coverage.


How far in advance do you have to put sunscreen on your kids before they cannon ball into the pool?

I usually say 20 to 30 minutes prior to going outside. And then, re-apply every two hours or sooner if you get wet or sweat.


Are waterproof sunscreens real?

Nothing is waterproof! They’ve actually outlawed the use of the word “waterproof” so a lot of sunscreens say water-resistant. But, it’s only usually either 60 or 80 minutes. So always reapply even if you get wet.

What about SPF clothing? Is that real?

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I love SPF clothing. It’s actually called a UPF. You just have to check to see how many washes the UPF that you buy is good for. There are some that last 30 washes, some that last 60 washes. Make sure you know because how many times you wash it can decrease its level of effectiveness.

Can I use my kids’ sunscreen and can they use mine?

I always say, as long as they are mineral-based it’s totally fine. The chemical ones are tricky with the little kid because the ratio with sunscreens–we’re not really sure how much gets absorbed but the mineral-based ones are fine for both. I wear baby ones all the time.

Ok, but what if my kid DOES get burnt?

Take a lukewarm bath, not cold, but lukewarm to dissipate the heat. And then I would say use a cream with aloe and your dermatologist may prescribe a cortisone cream if it’s really bad.  If it’s blistering always contact your dermatologist.