Putting sunscreen on a toddler is an art form that many attempt but few have mastered. It requires a certain combination of patience, artistry, and quick reflexes. If your toddler isn't the biggest fan of sitting still while you coat them with sun-protecting goop, this TikTok-inspired sunscreen hack could be just the thing you need. Kate Bast, a TikToker who shares parenting hacks, posted a "Beach Baby Hacks" video that has been viewed over 8.2 million times. In it, an adorable little girl sits perfectly still while her dad paints sunscreen across her forehead with a makeup brush. The brush not only allows for even coverage of sunscreen across the face and body, but it's also a creative way to keep your little one entertained and excited to apply sunscreen.
How Do You Apply Sunscreen With a Makeup Brush?
To really ace this hack, it's important to start with the right tools. You want to look for a foundation or concealer brush that is intended to apply liquid products, rather than powders. A brush that is too fluffy will just absorb the product and make a mess. A concealer or foundation brush is best-suited for sunscreen application because its flat, rounded edge allows for precision application and blending. It also helps that these brushes are designed to blend makeup into delicate areas of the face, so they are usually the perfect size to sweep SPF across your kiddo's cute button nose.
To apply, squeeze a dollop of sunscreen onto the tip of the brush and swipe onto the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and ears making sure the product is spread evenly across the skin. Continue the sweeping motion until the product has been absorbed into the skin. The sensation of the soft bristles of the brush will distract your child just long enough to ensure that their face is adequately protected from the sun's harmful rays. Of course, don't forget the rest of their body. Sunburns are painful, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), skin damage at a young age can increase their risk for skin cancer in adulthood.
How Do You Choose the Best Sunscreen For Toddlers?
Choosing the right sunscreen is a major part of the process. Most of the decision-making comes down to personal preference, but it's important to be mindful of some specifics when making your selection. The AAP recommends that parents apply one ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater to their kids before going outside and reapplying the same amount every two hours after swimming, towel drying, or sweating. Broad spectrum means that the sunscreen offers protection against UVA (the rays that cause skin aging) and UVB (the rays that cause burning) rays. Check with your doctor before applying sunscreen to a child under 6 months old.
How Do You Clean Your Makeup Brush?
It's crucial to clean the brush after every use to avoid buildup of dirt and bacteria. While you're at the beach, you can use a baby wipe to remove any excess product or bits of sand, and store the brush in a reusable silicone bag or a travel toothbrush holder until you have to reapply. Once you're home, run the brush under warm water, then add a few drops of gentle baby shampoo and massage the brush tip with your hand. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear and the brush has lost that greasy sunscreen residue. Squeeze out any excess water, and lay flat to dry.