A very common but unimportant misconception is that sunscreen and sunblock are the same but they’re really not. But the reason that I said it’s an unimportant misconception is because regardless of whether you’re using sunblock or sunscreen they both have the same ability to protect you from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. But sunblock and sunscreen work differently and they’re made of different chemicals but to make this easy for all of us, let’s think of sunblock as the newer, chem-free sun protection products which have been around for a few years and let’s think of sunscreen as the traditional, carbon based sun protection products that have been around for about forty years. Sunblock works by actually reflecting the light from your skin, almost acting like a mirror so that the ultra-violet rays just bounce off, as opposed to sunscreen which coats your skin and acts like a sponge and absorbs the damaging ultra-violet rays to protect your skin. Both sunscreen and sunblock need to be re-applied every two to three hours and after you sweat and after you swim. But if they both have the same SPF, if your sunblock has as SPF of 30 and your sunscreen has an SPF of 30, they’re both going to give you the same level of sun protection. But there’s just one important difference and that is, traditional sunscreen needs to be applied 20-30 minutes before you go outdoors in order to get the protection. With sunblock, these newer chemicals which coat your skin and act like a mirror work immediately so you get immediate sun protection as soon as you put them on. And that’s the reason a lot of people prefer sunblock to sunscreen.