As a native Floridian, one of the most common bits of knowledge that are a must for all that live in the sunshine state is proper protection from the sun. To most people, sunscreen and sunblock are the same thing, right? Wrong. They are commonly referred to as the same thing, but they actually serve two difference purposes. Take a look at some of the main differences below to see which one works better for you.

The Language

Half of the people who buy sunscreen or sunblock aren’t even sure what the acronyms SPF, UVA, and UVB mean. If you aren’t sure, SPF is short for Sun Protection Factor. SPF is used to estimate the amount of UV (ultra violet) rays it can take to cause sunburn on human skin with a protective sunscreen. UVA is for Aging, and UVB is for ‘Burning’. A good way to figure out the right SPF for you is to take the SPF number and multiply it by the time to burn without protection, the result is the time to burn with protection. So, take an SPF 15 x 10 min = 150 minutes of protection.


Sunscreen is a chemical type of protection that enters the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they are able to reach your dermal layer, avoiding any skin damage.

Sunblock, on the other hand, is used to protect skin from UVB rays. For full protection of your skin, find a brand that offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Woman's Foot With Sun-shaped Sunscreen

How to Use Sunscreen & Sunblock

Sunscreen and sunblock should be applied to skin about 30 minutes before heading out in the sun. This will give it the time it needs to fully absorb in the skin. Believe it or not, you only need about 1 ounce to apply on your body.

Do you need to reapply?

Again, don’t forget to decide which type of sun protectant is best for you. Reapplying may be necessary depending on the activity you’re doing outdoors. For example, if you are swimming or sweating, we recommend reapply often.

Whether you use a UVA or UVB sun protectant, or both, using sunscreen regularly during outdoor activity will significantly reduce your chances of developing any skin related risks from the sun.

What is your preference in sunblock or sunscreen and why?