Sunscreen vs. Sunblock, What’s the Difference?
Between the overwhelming choices for sun protection products out there, finding the right product can be challenging. What most consumers don’t know is that there are distinct differences and benefits between sunblock and sunscreen. Here’s the lingo you need to know:
There are two types of protective lotions – chemical and physical.
Sunblock, the physical kind, contains both organic and non-organic ingredients that sit on top of the skin acting as a barrier between your skin and damaging UV rays by reflecting or scattering UVB light. Look for products with octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate and octocrylene.
Sunscreen, the chemical kind, penetrates the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they are able to reach and damage your dermal layer. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the active ingredients in deflecting harmful UV rays before they reach the protective outer epidermis layer of your skin. Another ingredient to look for is ecamsule, which is a photostable sun protectant that blocks out photoaging UVA rays.
Sunblocks are formulated to shield against UVB rays, while sunscreens protect against UVA. In order to fully protect your skin, choose a broad-spectrum protection formulated sunscreen that will protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Luckily these days, formulas often contain a mixture of both sunblock and sunscreen.