Doctor insights on:
Difference Sunscreen Sunblock
None: Both do the same thing in blocking out rays of sun. ...Read more
Sunscreen/sunblock: The difference between is how good they are at screening out harmful radiation from the sun. Blocks are stronger and thus more effective at keeping out those harmful UV rays. Blocks are also usually more visible. For instance, the white zinc oxide life guards use on their nose is more of a block. Nothing is 100% though, so hats with wide brims and lightweight clothing works well too! ...Read more
Shield vs filter: True sunblocks essentially create a shield to effectively block out the sun with zinc oxide being one of the most common preparations. They tend to be opaque. Sunscreens are chemical agents which filter out undersireable wavelengths of the sun and come in a variety of strengths and formulations. They tend to be clear. The diagram represents the spectrum of coverage. ...Read more
Nope: Sunscreens work via 2 possible ways: 1) chemical blocks that breakdown the uv rays as they pass through the skin and 2) physical blocks that prevent the uv rays from getting to the skin. I recommend the physical blocks (zinc and titanium) because they have a very good safety profile and work very effectively. If you are going to be in the sun - use a minimum of SPF 15 - follow product directions. ...Read more
Sunscreen / Block: Sunscreens work via 2 possible ways: 1) chemical blocks that breakdown the uv rays as they pass through the skin and 2) physical blocks that prevent the uv rays from getting to the skin. I recommend the physical blocks (zinc and titanium) because they have a very good safety profile and work very effectively. If you are going to be in the sun - use a minimum of SPF 15 - follow product directions. ...Read more
SPF: The degree of protection by physical barriers will depend on the type of fabric and how much of the suns rays are able to pass through. Specialty clothing, found at sports supply and camping stores, are lightweight and offer varying degrees of protection. Chemical barriers and the degree of protection they afford depends on ingredient (i.e. zinc oxide, PABA, etc) and concentrations ...Read more
SPF 25 is fine.: The SPF refers to how much time one can spend in the sun without burning, on average of course. Typically we'd burn in ~10 minutes without any sunscreen. SPF x 10 then gives us the time we can spend with sunscreen. So SPF 25 gives us ~250 minutes, or ~4 hours. SPF 50 would give us ~500 minutes (~8.5 hours). For practical purposes, then, SPF 25 is usually high enough. ...Read more
What it's made: Of is the main difference. Spf number is most important. Higher numbers higher protection. ...Read more
Sunscreens: The new ratings do not include a term, sunblock, any more. Sunscreens can protect against both ultraviolet a and ultraviolet b cellular damage to your skin. Some of the older ultraviolet a agents were found not to be stable in the sun! Newer generation sunscreens have photostable uva blockers. The old term of sunblock referred to the white mineral zinc oxide cream that people put on their noses. ...Read more
Both are great: Sunblock normally consists of a physical blocker like zinc or titanium oxide which block and reflect both uva and uvb rays. Sunscreen usually means a chemical screen that interacts with the uvb rays to prevent sun damage. A combination of both us very common, but for very sensitive skin, a block is sometimes better. ...Read more
What do the SPF numbers on sunblock/sunscreen mean? How do I know what the right amount of SPF is for me?
Sunprotection factor: Spf means sun protection factor and is a measure of the amount of protection from the sun a sunscreen provides. So the higher the spf the more protection it gives from the sun and the longer you can stay out after application. It is difficult to say exactly how long you can stay out based on the spf only as it depends on sun intensity. So the higher the spf the better generally speaking. ...Read more
How can I convince my kids to wear sunscreen/sunblock? Any tips (anything would be appreciated, please!)?
Just do it: Your children are not in control of their lives-you are. When you put them in a car seat and buckle them in it is to protect them from injury. Sunscreen is no different and can be just as life saving. I have a father-in-law with end stage melanoma. His mother didn't use any sunscreen. Make the decision now to do what's right for your children. Someday they'll understand the love behind the lotion. ...Read more
I don't want to get darker so I bought SPF 50 sunscreen but some people told me that sunblock makes you not get darker. Is that true?
Sunblock or sunscreen to prevent getting darker? Any specific drugstore available ones you can recommend?
SPF 15 or higher: The higher you go on the spf, the longer it protects your skin. Try one that is waterproof and blocks both uva and uvb types of sun rays. Wearing a hat with a visor when outdoors as well as long sleeves and pants also helps! Many make ups also have sun protection in them now. You can put the sunscreen on after your shower in the am to remember to use it, too. ...Read more
Hi doc what should I use sunblock or sunscreen I do not want to get any darker also what should I use for swimming too sunblock or sunscreen?
Yes: Sunscreens have a shelf life of three years. After this, they start to lose their stability and efficacy. You should see an expiration date on your bottle of sunscreen and should use it before that date. If you don't see an expiration date, write the month and year you purchased it on the bottle and toss after three years. Do not use any sunscreen that has become lumpy or has turned an odd color. ...Read more
Sunscreen: Sunscreen combines organic and inorganic chemicals to filter the light from the sun so that less of it reaches the deeper layers of your skin. Like a screen door, some light penetrates, but not as much as if the door wasn't present. Sunblock, on the other hand, reflects or scatters the light away so that it doesn't reach the skin at all. ...Read more
Zinc oxide: Many of the sunscreens available in the us are banned in europe due to concerns about carcinogenic risk of some of the ingredients. However, the risk of skin cancer after a sunburn far exceeds any potential risk from sunscreens. The safest sunscreens are the barrier sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium. ...Read more
Skin Cancer: Sunscreens protect your skin from the harmful uv rays of the sun. In addition to damaging the quality of the skin, they can cause cancers to develop. I recommend the physical blocks (zinc and titanium) because they have a very good safety profile and work very effectively. If you are going to be in the sun - use a minimum of SPF 15 - follow product directions. ...Read more
Not really: The fda has recommended that the term sunblock be dropped as it is often very misleading and can result in patients believing they have more protection from the sun than they actually do. I agree, a good sunscreen with an spf of 50, that contains both a uvb protector and a metal such as zinc or titanium oxide for uva. That's all you need if you reapply it frequently. ...Read more
2 things: You need 2 things: a good uvb protector. This is what the spf rating refers to. Octinoxate is wonderful and safe. No more than a 50 spf. Anything higher is useless and to full of other chemicals. You must have a metal in it such as zinc or titanium. These protect against uva rays. Higher spf is nonsense. You must reapply them frequently and avoid the sun to be affective. Wear a hat and be well! ...Read more
Lots!: Put on sunscreen about 20 minutes before heading into the sun. Then reapply every 2 hours (more often if you get sweaty or wet). Make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both uva and uvb rays. Also- remember your hat and sunglasses! ...Read more
Sunscreen: Sunscreens work via 2 possible ways: 1) chemical blocks that breakdown the uv rays as they pass through the skin and 2) physical blocks that prevent the uv rays from getting to the skin. I recommend the physical blocks (zinc and titanium) because they have a very good safety profile and work very effectively. If you are going to be in the sun - use a minimum of SPF 15 - follow product directions. ...Read more