Many people don’t realize there’s a difference between sunblock and sunscreen. True to its name, sunblock reflects the sun’s rays, thereby blocking them from reaching your skin. Sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs instead of reflects UVA and UVB lights, the radiation that causes sunburn and skin cancer.
Sunblock contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide that is highly effective of protecting against skin cancer. Sunblock often appears white on skin while Sunscreen is “invisible.” To find out if a Sunscreen or Sunblock is effective at protecting skin look for these few ingredients oxybenzone, octyl salicylate, or octyl methoxycinnamate. There is a catch, though. Sunscreen dries out after a couple hours so you need to reapply frequently.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 15. People with fair skin or at high risk for skin cancer may want to go higher. The higher a sunscreen’s SPF rating, the longer it protects against sun exposure. Products labeled“broad spectrum” often contains several different sun protection ingredients in order to cover a broad range of UV radiation. Many researchers and scientist argue whether Sunscreen or Sunblock is better. Reading the ingredients and looking for a “broad spectrum” is the best choice in protecting your skin from skin cancer.