SunBLOCK and SunSCREEN: what is the difference?
Although not many are aware, sunblocks and sunscreens are not the same and in this article I am going to explain the basic difference between them and how they work to protect your skin against UV rays.
Sunblocks reflect UV rays and act like a protective barrier against UV A and UV B rays. They offer a complete protection meaning that they don’t let any UV ray to reach your skin. Sunblocks have a thick consistency and they appear to be white on the skin. If you want to know more about the chemicals used read Differences between sunblock and sunscreen and What is the difference between sunscreen and sunblock.
A Sunscreen, like the name says, is a screen or a filter that protects your skin by absorbing UV rays. However, acting like a filter means that it allows some rays to reach your skin while others are totally blocked. Because some rays reach your skin you can get tanned if using a sunscreen. They usually are less visible than sunblocks when applied on skin.
Sunblocks protect against UV A and UV B rays while sunscreens shield you against UV B but not all offer protection against UV A rays. That’s why, when buying a sunscreen it is important to look for the “broad-spectrum” words on the label (this includes both UV A and UV B rays).
You can watch a brief video on the subject from DermTV, one of my favorite sources of skincare-related information.
So, which one is for you?