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What is the difference between Sunscreen and Sunblock?

Houston Sunscreen and Sunblock In today’s day and age, most people are knowledgeable about why they should use a sunscreen. But with so many on the market how do you know which one is going to give you the best protection? Not all sun protectors are created equal.

Sunscreens can be classified into two types: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens are easier found on the market today, containing chemical ingredients that act as filters to reduce ultraviolet radiation penetration into the skin. They simply offer a “screen” to prevent sunburn. However, because there is some penetration of UV radiation, there is plenty of room for healthy cells to absorb it and either die from the cellular damage or the cell will mutate and cause a skin cancer.

Physical Sunscreens are most often referred to as “Sunblock” because they contain mineral ingredients which physically “block” ultraviolet radiation. It is like putting a thousand tiny mirrors on your skin to help reflect the harmful radiation away from your skin. Traditional physical sunblocks were cosmetically unacceptable to many people because they were often messy, greasy & left a white tint to the skin. However, many of the newer physical sunblocks on the market today are very appealing and can be worn by all skin types and colors.

Let’s talk numbers now. SPF 7? 15? 30? 100? The higher the SPF, the better, right? Not so. Owing to consumer confusion over the true degree and duration of protection offered, labeling restriction measures are proposed in the United States in order to limit unrealistic claims about the level of protection that one truly receives. The fact is that you must wear a minimum of 25, but whether it is SPF 25 or SPF 100, it still has to be reapplied every 2 hours if you are in the sun for long periods of time to protect your skin from further UV damage.

Bottom line: Wear SPF 25 (or higher) daily that has a mineral (physical) ingredient as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as one of the main active ingredients and reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection. Below is just a small list of some of the ingredients that are out there on the market. As you can see, there are only a couple of physical sunblock ingredients that help block UV radiation, but these are the most important to keep your skin looking young and reducing your risk of skin cancer.

Active ingredients found in CHEMICAL sunscreens:
  • Aminobezoic Acid
  • Avobenzone
  • Benzophenone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Ensulizole
  • Homosalate
  • Meradimate
  • Octisalate
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Oxybenzone
  • PABA
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Trolamine Salicylate
Active Ingredients found in PHYSICAL sun blocks:
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

Has the damage already been done? Visit the Vitenas Skin Institute today to discover how you can reverse the signs of sun bathing!”