Yes, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock…and yes, they’re both beneficial to your skin health.

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Sunscreen and sunblock are very beneficial, but there is a difference between the two products.

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I didn’t realize until very recently that sunscreen and sunblock are similar, yet very different. Do you need both of them in your medicine cabinet and makeup bag? The short answer is yes. Can you use them at the same time? Yes. You don’t have to, but to be honest, I’ve layered them before.

Here are the differences between the two formulas:

Sunblock: This formula reflects the sun’s rays and prevents them from penetrating your skin. This is why, in some ways, they provide more protection than sunscreen does. Your average sunblock contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which tend to be less irritable for those with sensitive skin.

Sunscreens absorb and reduce the effects of harmful UV rays. Whereas sunblocks reflect the sun’s rays off of your skin, sunscreens do exactly what their name implies: make a protective screen over your skin. These products can contain benzophenones, salicylates and cinnamates. These ingredients help fight off UVA and UVB rays from the sun. In case you didn’t know, these rays can cause premature aging, wrinkles, skin discoloration and can even lead to skin cancer. Sunscreens labeled broad spectrum are the most ideal, because they protect against UVA and UVB radiation.

Both products provide protection from the sun, but sunblock is going to be a better option for those with sensitive or easily irritable skin. You also want to make sure you’re reapplying your product every two hours, and using an SPF of at least 15. The higher, the better, with 50 SPF being what experts and scientists consider the best level of protection.

Also, keep in mind these are products we should be using year round. Sunscreens and sunblocks aren’t just valuable in the hotter months; you can still get skin damage from the sun’s harmful UV rays in the fall and winter. has a great selection of sunscreens, sunblocks and SPF products available on our site. Be sure to get yours today! Keep your skin happy, healthy and safe!

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