Sunblock VS Sunscreen

Most of us know the importance of using  sunscreen to protect our skin from ultraviolet rays(UV rays). However, there is often the misconception about sunscreen and sunblock. Although they might be similar in offering protection against the sun, they actually differ in their mechanism of action.


Just like what the name has suggested, sunblock works by physically blocking out the sun’s UV rays.  Hence, sunblock serves as a physical blockers of the sun’s UV rays. The two important active ingredients found in sunblock are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.

For Titanium Dioxide, it offers protection for UVB and short UVA rays while Zinc Oxide blocks out both UVA and UVB rays. Generally, in comparison to sunscreen, sunblock is better tolerated by most skin types as the active ingredients used in sunscreen might cause irritation to the skin. However, one major disadvantage of sunblock is that it tends to leave a whitish tint behind when applied to the skin.


On the other hand, sunscreen works by chemically absorbing the UV rays at the skin’s top layer and converting them into energy before they penetrate further into the skin. Some common chemical UV filters include Aminobenzoic acid derivatives, Benzophenones,  Cinnamates and Salicylates. Find out more here. In addition, sunscreen is able to offer coverage for the full spectrum of UVA rays and UVB rays

Sometimes, chemical ingredients are combined with that of physical blockers to obtain better coverage against UVA and UVB radiation.

With all these information, you are now able to decide whether sunblock or sunscreen is best suited for your skin!