Sunscreen or sunblock?

Sunscreen or sunblock?

Are "sunscreen" and "sunblock" the same thing?  Not exactly.

In fact, they are exactly what they say they are.

Sunscreen filters out some of UV light into the skin, but not all of it.  Sunblock is complete protection (if you apply it correctly).

Sunscreen is more commonly used.  It's colorless when you rub it into your skin and is pretty effective for normal sun exposure.  Be sure to buy a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB waves.

Sunblock, on the other hand, is visible on the skin, which is why people will usually apply on the areas most likely to take a lot of sun, like the nose.

Living in a cloudy climate like Seattle, one might assume skin protection isn't essential, but you can burn on a cloudy day too.  Frequent sunburns can lead to permanent skin damage and even cancer.  Watch out for changes in moles or other irregular growths on your skin, and see a Seattle dermatologist for regular exams to catch potential problems early.

Having a better understanding of what you are putting on your skin will increase the protection that your skin receives. So be sure to check out Angie’s List’s Fun in the Sun sunburn prevention infographic to learn how ultra-violet light affects your skin, and what to look for in an SPF to protect yourself.

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