Beauty Skincare

Soakin’ the Summer Sun

Sunblock or sunscreen? Here’s a lowdown on the difference between the two and what works better for your skin.

The summer season is here in full swing and so are the much-awaited vacations and loads of outdoor fun. While some people enjoy the sun and love the sun-kissed (read tanned) look, experts caution against tanning. If you are one of those who enjoy the outdoors, especially during the warm summers, you risk getting sunburnt. Most of the times, the effects of the sun are not immediately visible on the skin but lead to irreversible damage. But fret not, and don’t leave the sun out of your plans this summer. All you have to do is protect the biggest organ in your body from the harmful rays of the sun by applying a sunscreen or sunblock. Sunscreen or sunblock, you may ask? Are they similar or different? Not sure which one to pick? Here’s a guide to sunblock and sunscreen and what works better on your skin.

SUNBLOCK is also referred to as physical sunscreen, physical blocker or mineral sunscreen. It sits on the surface of the skin, acting as a shield. It blocks and deflects the sun’s rays so that the UV rays do not penetrate the epidermis. The active ingredients present in the sunblock such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide keep the sunlight from penetrating deeply into the skin.

Sunblock can be used not just by people with dry, oily or combination skin, but also by people who have sensitive skin. However it is always recommended to do a patch test before you apply it for the first time. Thicker in comparison to sunscreen, the non-oily lotion must be gently rubbed into the skin evenly. Unlike the sunscreen once you have applied the sunblock, you need not pause and wait for it to sink into the skin.

SUNSCREEN is also referred to as chemical sunscreen or chemical absorber and is more commonly used for protecting the skin. Sunscreen acts as a sponge and gets absorbed into the skin where the sunrays get converted into a less damaging form of radiation. The active ingredients present in sunscreens such as aminobenzoic acid, octyl salicylate, padimate O and others are known to be effective sunburn protectants.

Not considered safe for people with sensitive skin type, most of the chemical ingredients found in sunscreen are known to result in itchiness, irritation or skin reaction. A thinner formula in comparison to a sunblock, the oily lotion can be sprayed onto the skin and more easily absorbed into it. However it is generally recommended that you wait for at least 20-30 minutes and let it sink into the skin before you step out.


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