Sunscreen versus sunblock: is there a difference? As it turns out, there is a difference between the two, and it’s an important one! Because this is a topic a lot of our clients ask us about, we wanted to put together an entire blog post covering all the details.
What is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a way of preventing some of the sun’s UV rays from penetrating the skin by using ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone, which is why sunscreen many also be referred to as “chemical sunscreen.”
UVB rays are typically known for causing sunburns, and that is primarily what sunscreen can guard against. But UVA rays can cause premature aging of the skin, and not all sunscreens include UVA protection.
What is Sunblock?
Unlike sunscreen that uses chemicals to absorb the UV rays that hit your skin, sunblock provides a physical barrier to these rays, which is why sunblock is often referred to as “physical sunscreen.” Sunblocks generally use titanium oxide or zinc oxide to get the job done, which makes tends to give sunblock a thicker consistency than sunscreen.
Choosing Between Sunscreen and Sunblock
Both sunscreen and sunblock can help prevent burning and premature aging if you choose the right product. Many people are sensitive to the ingredients in sunscreen so they opt for sunblock instead. Then again, many people prefer the thinner consistency of sunscreen over sunblock so that’s a factor in their decision.
If you’re spending a day at the beach and you’ll be in and out of the water and toweling off, you might find it’s easier to regularly reapply sunscreen than it is to apply sunblock. Some people like to use sunblock on particularly vulnerable areas like their noses while applying sunscreen on the rest of their body.
Using a product with an SPF of at least 30 is recommended because it will block 97% of UVB rays.
If you’d like to hear more about the best sun protection options for you and your skin, stop by so we can find the perfect product for you!