Sunscreen vs. Sunblock

Here is quick rundown for the differences:

Sunscreen. It’s a familiar term you hear when you’re headed to the beach, pool, or planning a trip that involves being outside in direct sunlight. However, have you ever heard someone refer to it as sunblock? Did you know that there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock?

Don’t worry.  We’re here to clear things up for you. Let’s first dive into a few common misconceptions.

SPF.  It stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the SPF, the better...right?  Not quite. Many believe the higher the SPF, the less of a tan you'll get.


SPF 15 knocks out 93% of UVB rays

SPF 30 catches 97% of UVB rays

SPF 50 filters 98% of UVB rays

What? That's right. Going from 30 to 50 SPF only gives you a 1% increase in UVB protection.

Sunscreen is designed to filter UV rays and prevent sunburn. It will not prevent the production of melanin.  This means that your skin will tan with a SPF-30 or a SPF-50.


I’m still confused. What exactly is sunblock and how does it differ from sunscreen? 

Sunblock is a physical barrier on your skin. Commonly known as mineral sunscreens, they act like a shield because they sit on the surface of your skin deflecting the sun's rays. Sunblock prevents you from being able to tan.  Think of sunblock as a near equivalent to wearing a long sleeve shirt at the beach, blocking the sun from reaching your skin.


Sunblocks contain the active ingredients titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or both.

If you have sensitive skin, this type of sunscreen is typically advised. 


So why is Pacific Strand SPF 30?


Generally, it is recommended a minimum of SPF 30 for everyday sunscreen and SPF 50 for long stints outside.


Pacific Strand avoids the two ingredients that have been known to harm the ocean reef, Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.


Pacific Strand uses chemicals, does this mean I am going to get cancer or that it is bad for me?

In short, no. But many myths and misinformation surround sunscreen.  

Myth 1: Sunscreen causes cancer.
False. There is no medical evidence that sunscreen causes cancer. However, there is overwhelming evidence that UV rays from the sun (and tanning beds) do cause cancer.
Myth 2: I have dark skin. I don’t need to wear sunscreen.
False. Dark skin is just as susceptible to sun damage.
“It’s just harder to see sun damage on dark skin,” Patel says. Skin cells respond to UV rays by releasing pigment. This pigment, which we think of as a sunburn, is harder to see in darker skin. “Your skin color is not the same as SPF sun protection,” Patel says.
Regardless of your skin color, apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before going out in the sun, and don’t forget to reapply.

Still don’t believe it? Check the source here


By: Brooks, Creative Director at Pacific Strand 

Follow us @PacificStrandCo



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