Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

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No Texas summer is complete without beach trips to Galveston, South Padre Island, or Corpus Christi. No matter where you’re going, protecting you and your family from the sun is a must.

Choosing which sun care product to choose out of the many on the market can be overwhelming, especially when attempting to find differences between seemingly similar products. The differences between sunblock and sunscreen are particularly difficult to uncover, but keep reading to determine which product is best for you.

Before delving into key differences between the two, it’s important to note what both have in common. Wearing either sunscreen or sunblock is 100% necessary when going to the beach or otherwise spending a lot of time in the sun. Both sunscreen and sunblock protect the skin from not only from signs of aging but the dangers from skin cancer as well. The two sun care products do differ in how they go about protecting the skin from adverse effects of sun exposure.

Sunscreen is composed of chemical compounds that absorb sun rays, keeping them from coming into contact with the skin. Sunscreen does not completely block the effects of the sun’s rays but significantly reducing them, keeping us safe from both wrinkles and melanoma.

Sunblock works a little bit differently but still helps us avoid damaging our skin. The product works by physically blocking sun rays from penetrating the layers of our skin. Hence, the name sunblock. Typically, sunblock includes ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide that classic white color we all know and love.

Both provide great protection from the sun, so you might be asking yourself, which product do I choose? Well, you can’t really go wrong with either. Because sunblock actually blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the skin, it technically provides more protection, but not by much.

The benefit of choosing sunblock over sunscreen is not in the protection it provides, but rather its ingredients. Those with sensitive skin can find the products in sunscreen to be irritating for their skin, but zinc oxide and titanium dioxide both have been shown to work even for those with the most easily irritated skin.

Even more important than which product you use is how you apply it. Whether you’re using sunscreen or sunblock, you should choose a product with at least 30 SPF, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

You should apply it at least 15 minutes before going outside, and apply it every two hours. Make sure to apply it to all exposed areas, and don’t forget your ears and your feet!

The next time you’re packing for your next trip to the beach, you’ll be able to tell the difference between the two most beloved sun care products and make the best choice for you and your family. More importantly, you’ll keep your skin safe and be able to enjoy even more time in the Texas sun. Happy travels!

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