SUNBLOCK VS SUNSCREEN - HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT'S BEST FOR YOUR SKIN

Have you ever been to a store willing to buy a product to protect your skin from the sun, and wondered…Sunscreen? Sunblock? What’s the difference and what’s the best for my skin?

Sunscreen and sunblock are two different types of sun protection. There are three things that make them different from each other:

  1. Hypoallergenicity
  2. Texture and consistency
  3. Protection against hyperpigmentation

Most sunblocks contain titanium or zinc dioxide, that’s why they are usually thicker and you can’t see through them. Dr. German Covo, our dermatologist, and myself, recommend sunblock to protect your skin from hyperpigmentation secondary to sun damage. You'll find sunblock much more effective than sunscreen if this is your objective, because it won’t allow UV rays to penetrate your skin. Sunblocks usually do not contain insect repellent nor fragrances, reason why in most of the cases they are hypoallergenic.

On the other hand, sunscreen contains chemicals that might absorb harmful UV rays, such as oxybenzone, but it’s usually not thick enough to block all of the rays for long periods of time, so you should reapply often. If you are sensitive to certain chemicals, we recommend you check the label of  the sunscreen you choose, some of these contain fragrances and insect repellent, as well as other ingredients you might want to avoid. Sunscreen is usually light and slightly oily, perfect for a day at the beach as long as you are not allergic to its ingredients.

As health, antiaging and skincare professionals, we suggest you use sunblock on your face, and sunscreen on your body, always having in mind the different ingredients they contain, checking for chemicals you might be allergic to, and making sure you choose a broad spectrum product (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with a SPF of at least 50. Reapply constantly, and have fun in the sun, responsibly!

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