Is there any difference between sunscreens and sunblocks?
Yes, there is!
People often use the two terms interchangeably. But they are indeed different Though both, sunscreens and sunblocks aim to protect the skin against the harmful rays, how they do it makes all the difference.
Sunscreens absorb the ultraviolet radiations of the sunlight eliminating their harmful effects. When applied, it’s transparent on the skin and is absorbed easily. However, it tends to break down with time and thus needs to be reapplied frequently to ensure continued protection. Some of the main ingredients included in sunscreens are PABA, avenobenzone, octocylene, salicylates and cinnamates. If you are a more technical person, I suggest you copy and paste these ingredients into Wikipedia for more technical information.
Sunblocks on the other hand, reflect the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. In the past they were usually opaque on the skin and had a white look. However, some of the newer varieties are transparent. And unlike sunscreens, sunblocks don’t break down for a much longer period of time and do not need to be reapplied often. they have powerful ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that block the UVA and the UVB rays of the sunlight.
There are an extensive range of sun care products in the market. Many these days have other beneficial ingredients in them that also help your skin.
If you have to spend a lot of time under harsh sunlight, then you should use a good sunblock that will stay on for a long time without you having to reapply every two hours. Some of the latest varieties are more transparent so you won’t have to worry about the white film on your skin.
Whatever you choose, be it a sunscreen or a sunblock; make sure it provides ‘broad spectrum’ protection against sunlight!