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Do I need to wash off sunscreen?

I put sunscreen on my 14 month old this afternoon while he was outside playing. As I was putting him to bed I noticed that I could smell it faintly on him. I know that you have to reapply sunscreen if the child is in the sun for a long period of time, but do you have to wash it off when they are done playing? Or is it like lotion and you simply leave it on?


Asked by YzmaRocks at 11:03 PM on Jul. 5, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 10 (386 Credits)
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Answers (3)
  • Sorry, but wash it off! Sunblock works by blocking UV rays and also free radicals which are sort of trapped in the sunblock. If you don't wash it off than those free radicals can later be absorbed into the skin. Which of course doesn't cause a sun burn, but does contribute to skin damage. Weird tidbit I picked up in an anatomy course.

    Answer by EmKirk at 9:13 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • if mine's dirty i give her a bath. if she's clean still i don't worry about it. there's nothing on the back of the bottles we have that say you need to wash it off, so i assume that it's ok to just leave it on. i do the same with myself (and i'm redhead and burn easy, i wear it all the time). if i've been super sweaty or playin in the dirt or in a pool i do take a shower, but if not then i just wait and shower in the morning. i've noticed that even after being washed in clean breeze tide and the blue sparkle snuggle that the clothes she had on with sunblock still has a slight sunblock smell.

    just to ask, you are using sunblock and not sunscreen, right? you can still get a major burn using sunscreen. the SPF for sunscreens is usually in a single digit, and sunblocks have a higher (up to 100) SPF.

    Answer by Tarable525 at 12:49 AM on Jul. 6, 2009

  • Yes, it's sunblock. I just call all of them sunscreen because that's what I grew up calling it. Thanks :)

    Answer by YzmaRocks at 1:43 PM on Jul. 6, 2009