If there’s anything more difficult than getting a clean diaper and a pair of pants on a toddler, it’s getting sunscreen on them.

Not only are toddlers wiggly, but even though sunscreen has never done anything to them, sunscreen is the worst. It’s worse than shoving searing hot pins under your fingertips. When you do manage, you’re only making them slipperier, and the longer it takes, the more difficult still.

I’ve found the secret. Stick sunscreen.

You’d think spray, but sprays are not great- most if not all are chemical based and they all have inhalation risks. That toddler you’re chasing likely has his or her mouth wide open… stick sunscreens also have the minerals evenly distributed throughout the entire product, so there’s no chance that all the zinc will settle at the bottom of the tube (a risk with old cheap bottles of lotion).

The one pictured is the face stick- same formulation as the body stick, but easier to slip in your pocket and sneak attack while your toddler is looking elsewhere. I recommend only trying to apply sunscreen when your toddler is fully engaged in something else. In this case, it was watching the Grand Prix at the Vermont Summer Festival in Dorset VT. I’ve turned on the last 10 minutes of a favorite movie for this task too. No shame people.

Beautycounter sunscreens are family friendly- my two year old uses the same stuff my husband and I do, just wigglier. Cuts down on what to schlep in the diaper bag and the ease of some for me some for you cuts the squirm. She also loves the Protect Lip- she applies it to her lips very thoroughly while I get the rest of her. Knowing what’s in it, I’m OK with it if some ends up on her tongue. I can pronounce everything in it.

In the end, sun protection is 100% worth the effort, but choose the safest product you’ll actually use. For us, it’s Beautycounter because I trust the formulators and the researchers. The stick options are foolproof, easy to carry and eventually she’ll be able to do it herself with little worry that she’s just squeezing the entire tube into a plant.

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