You may have heard the terms 'sunscreen' and 'sunblock' used before, but have you ever wondered what the difference between them is?
The difference is in the active ingredients. Sunscreens contain organic chemical compounds such as avobenzone, octisalate, oxybenzone, and many others. Whereas sunblock contains mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These different types of ingredients result in differences in the way they provide sun protection. Sunscreens rely on the chemicals to absorb the UV radiation, convert it to heat and then release it into the skin. Sunblocks act by physically blocking the UV rays by acting like a shield for the skin.
So which one is better? Dermatologists in an article from Health.com report that both sunscreens and sunblocks have their pros and cons to them. Those who have sensitive skin may prefer a sunblock as the chemicals in sunscreens may be more likely to irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction. Healthline also recommends that those with skin conditions, such as rosacea or allergy-prone skin, to avoid sun care products that contain fragrances, preservatives, oxybenzone, or para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which are commonly found in sunscreens. However, the best sunscreen or sunblock for you is the one that you actually use and reapply!
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