Sunscreen or Sunblock: Which is Better?

It’s Sunblock VS Sunscreen! Which side are you on?

You must have heard people using or you should have read various articles mentioning sunscreen and sunblock as essentials for protecting your skin from the harsh sun rays. People usually use these two quite commonly as substitutes but the fact is that sunscreen is disparate to sunblock with different purposes and protection standards. This might be something new to your ears but yes, it’s true. These two aren’t similar and hence to use one on the place of another, is not an act we will support.

So, how are they different?

Before we jump over to the above question, let’s understand some terms first that will make it easy to differentiate sunscreen from sunblock.

What is SPF?

For many people, the term SPF is considered as a standard or measure to evaluate the shield strength of a product. This is correct in some ways but there is another side to this story as well.

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Sun Protection Factor or simple SPF, measures the maximum quantity of the ultraviolet radiations that a product can prevent from penetrating in your skin. Both sunscreen and sunblock with SPF above 30 are recommended for effective results.

Sunscreen and sunblocks are usually available in a gel or cream form and these forms are the best one to consider if you want to make them a part of your daily lives.

Sunscreen VS Sunblock

Sunscreen has a defensive property. The chemicals in sunscreen get inside your skin and prevent the UV rays from damaging the dermal layers of the skin. Sunscreen absorbs these rays before they reach the bottom of your skin. Ingredients in a Sunscreen such as avobenzone and oxybenzone are vital in absorbing the highly dangerous UV rays.

Sunscreen tends to lose its absorbing power only after a single application. It breaks down if exposed to the sun for a long time. In order to make sure that you are protected for a long period of time, you must reapply sunscreen at least two to three times during a day.

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On the other hand, Sunblock works completely differently. It stays on your skin, when applied, and acts as a barrier to block the ultraviolet rays. Sunblocks usually have zinc oxide and Titanium oxide that do this job perfectly well. Unlike sunscreens, Sunblocks are quite visible on the skin when applied. You do not have to apply sunblock frequently during the day because it can stay on your skin for a long time. Only on a single application, sunblock forms a barrier against the UV rays by making sure that they reflect away from the skin.

There are some really famous brands that add both sunblocks and sunscreens in various proportions, in their sun protection products. But yes, it’s not advised to use one over the other.

Sunblocks are thicker than sunscreens because they are formulated to save the skin from ultraviolet rays. Sunscreen shields the skin from ultraviolet rays.

What should you use?

Both of these two serve the purpose which is to protect the skin against the sun, so how to choose which one is best for you? According to the experts, every user should consider their skin type before buying these two products.

If you have a sensitive skin, that gets affected really easily, zinc and titanium oxide in sunblock are the best chemicals for your skin. They are harmless on sensitive skins and are easily tolerated. These two are such harmless chemicals that they are even used in skin protection products for kids.

Sunscreens have oxybenzone and avobenzone which can prove to be very harmful to people with skin diseases such as rosacea. People with skin that’s easily prone to allergies should avoid sunscreens because they contain preservatives and fragrances.

Before you choose a sun protectant for yourself make sure you read the labels so that you can save your skin from chemicals that might end up hurting your skin.

Other than your skin type, your habits and lifestyles also are some of the deciding factors that can help you choose between a sunscreen and a sunblock. Some people, who move a lot. choose sunscreens because they are easy-to-use and act as a quick solution to save your skin against the sun. People who go for a swim every day should also apply sunscreens to save their skin.

Protect your skin so you can walk, tension-free, under the sun

In simpler words, the choice is up to you. Remember to consider your skin type and don’t forget to read labels before you buy a sunblock or sunscreen for yourself. Make a habit of applying any of these two regularly and walk in the sun without any fear.

Filed under: Skin Care, Tips and Myths


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