Sunscreen Vs Sunblock

Sunblock Vs. Sunscreen: What Is The Difference?

Dr. Deepti Prasad
Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Deepthi Prasad, MBBS.

Written by Our Editorial Team


As the saying goes, ‘Sun’s out, Buns out'. The sunny weather entices us to go out or at least step into our backyards with a chilled lemonade. Although the sun is a source of vitamin D, overexposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays may lead to sunburns and, in serious instances, may even lead to skin cancer; hence, it is always important to protect ourselves from these occurrences. We can do so by either resorting to sunscreen or sunblock.

harmful sun rays

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Sunblock and sunscreen are two different ways to protect yourself from harmful sun rays. In this blog, we break down how sunblock is different from sunscreen so you can make an informed decision about which product fits you best!

Also Read : Sunscreen Gels Vs Creams: Which One Should You Pick?

What Is Sunblock?


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Sunblocks are also referred to as physical sunscreen, aptly called so because they physically reflect UV radiation away from the body. After all, it contains physical ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide. Sunblocks are thick in consistency and very noticeable when applied.

What Is Sunscreen?


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Sunscreens, unlike sunscreens, do not work by physically reflecting UV rays; instead, they are more of a chemical defence. Sunscreens penetrate the skin and then absorb the UV rays by intervening before they reach the dermal layers. Sunscreens are made of avobenzone, oxybenzone, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate, which are ingredients that absorb rays.

If sunscreen seems perfect for you, then we recommend you try ThriveCo’s Ultra Light Mineral-Based Daily Sunscreen Gel, the best sunscreen for the face. Its ultralight formula makes a perfect sunscreen for oily skin, and it's properly multi-active with ingredients such as 33 kDa Hyaluronic Acid, SunCat DE, Polyglutamic Acid, and Resveratrol, making it a unique formulation that fights in all weather conditions and calms sun-stressed skin.


What Is The Difference Between Sunblock And Sunscreen?

  • Sunscreens are made up of oxybenzone and avobenzone, whereas sunblocks consist of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
  • Sunscreen is lighter and comes in varied consistencies, whereas sunblock is thicker and opaque.
  • Sunscreens work based on chemical reactions by absorbing the UV rays before they reach the dermal level, but sunblocks work by physically reflecting the UV rays.


Source : Pinterest

We hope you understand how sunscreen is different from sunblock so that you can make informed decisions regarding the sun-blocking technology you'd like to try.

About Doctor :

Dr. Deepthi Prasad

Dr. Deepthi Prasad specializes in Dermatology, Cosmetology, and Aesthetic Dermatology and has been practicing for over 15 years. After completing MBBS from Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences Andhra Pradesh in 2009, she earned a MD in Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy from Osmania Medical College in Hyderabad in 2014.




Disclaimer: All the content published on is solely for information purposes. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consider seeking the advice of your physician or a qualified healthcare provider. The information, suggestion, or remedies mentioned on this site are provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.

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