Sunblock vs Sunscreen: Which One is Effective?

Sunblock vs Sunscreen

Are you curious about the disparity between sunscreen and sunblock? I'm sure you've encountered these terms while browsing your favourite stores or scrolling through Instagram, where they're often recommended for your skincare regimen. 

While the words are commonly used interchangeably, you might wonder if there's a distinction between the two. And if there is, which one should you choose? Moreover, what are these products even used for? Don't worry; we've got your back! 

Understanding the differences between sunscreen and sunblock is vital to selecting the optimal sun protection. The fundamental difference lies in their mechanisms of action. Sunscreen functions by absorbing the UV rays before they can reach your skin, while sunblock forms a barrier, thwarting the penetration of UV rays into the skin. By understanding, you can make an informed decision and ensure adequate sun protection.

 Prepare to be amazed as we delve into the clear-cut differences and a few similarities between sunscreen and sunblock. This blog post is tailored to provide a comprehensive understanding of both and help you make an informed decision. 



Sunscreens are packed with different active ingredients that do the heavy lifting when absorbing those pesky UV rays. We're talking about oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These bad boys need a little rubdown on your skin to work their magic and don't leave any visible residue behind. But watch out for the sneaky ones that may contain oils and give you a shiny or greasy look. 

Now, here's the lowdown on sunscreen risks. The chemicals in these products can sometimes be harsh and irritate your skin, especially if you're one of those sensitive skin folks. In addition, those oils can be troublemakers and clog up your pores, leading to unwanted acne. But hey, on the bright side, they're usually lighter and more comfy. 

So, when you're on the hunt for the perfect sunscreen, keep in mind that some protect you from UV-B rays only, while others got your back for both UV-A and UV-B rays. So, be a label detective and read those little guys closely to ensure you get the protection you need. 


Unlike sunscreen, sunblock packs a punch with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These superheroes work their magic by blocking those UV rays instead of getting all cozy with your skin. So, they leave a visible residue and need a thorough application to protect every inch. But the cool thing is, these ingredients are super skin-friendly and can be used without any worries, even for folks with sensitive skin. 

Differences between sunscreen and sunblock: 

Ingredients in Sunscreen 

Sunscreens are packed with chemicals that work together like a superhero squad, shielding your skin from those harmful UV rays. These chemicals absorb the sun's rays, preventing them from sneaking past your skin's defences. They're like the trusty bodyguards of the summer season.

Two heavy hitters you'll often find in sunscreen are avobenzone and oxybenzone. These active ingredients keep those UV rays at bay. But hold on, some people have sensitive skin or allergies to certain chemicals, like the infamous para-aminobenzoic acid (or PABA). For them, sunscreen might not be the best choice.

Sunblock is like an impenetrable shield against the sun's rays. It forms a protective barrier on your skin, reflecting those UV rays like a boss. No absorption here, just pure defiance! 

Now, before you slather on that sunscreen or sunblock, take a peek at the label. If you're not a fan of oily or fragrant adventures on your skin, make sure to opt for a sunscreen that's free from those unwanted extras. You deserve to feel comfortable and smell like... well, yourself! 

Ingredients in SunBlock 

Regarding sunblock, two active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These dynamic duos are the powerhouses behind sunblock's defensive prowess.

The thickness of sunblock is a telltale sign of its ingredients. Sunblock boasts a rich and substantial consistency thanks to zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This texture sets it apart from sunscreen, making it a popular choice for sensitive skin users. You see, these powerful ingredients are known for their gentle nature, causing less irritation compared to the components found in sunscreen.

Some may see the thickness of sunblock as a disadvantage, fearing that it will be challenging to spread and apply all over the body. But worry not, for the rewards of the sunblock's protective shield far outweigh any spreadability concerns.

Sunblocks often carry a unique trait—they tend to be mostly opaque. Simply put, sunblock becomes visible on your skin once you apply it. Now, this may not be everyone's cup of tea. Some may find it less appealing. However, fear not, for some brands offer sunblocks with reduced visibility, allowing you to protect your skin while keeping your appearance on point. 

The Tale of Thickness: Sunblock vs Sunscreen 

Sunscreen has a thinner consistency, formulated to be effortlessly spread over your skin, ensuring an even application. Think of it as a smooth, invisible shield that works magic against those UV rays. If you're searching for reliable sun protection, BPDE Sunscreen SPF50+ is considered one of the best sunscreens in Pakistan. 

Now, let's shift our attention to sunblock. This mighty warrior boasts a different strategy. It's thicker in nature, creating a physical barrier between your skin and the sun's fiery assault. This added thickness allows sunblock to provide enhanced protection against UVA and UVB rays, leaving you with a sturdy fortress of defence.

Remember, sunscreen and sunblock have a common weakness—they can degrade over time. That's why it's crucial to reapply regularly, especially when spending extended periods outdoors. 

When it comes to choosing between the two, it's worth noting that sunblock tends to offer a higher level of protection compared to sunscreen. So if you're trying to ward off sun damage and seek maximum defence, sunblock might be your loyal companion. 

Sunblock Is More Effective 

Sunblock often contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, the ultimate physical barrier between your skin and the sun's harmful rays. 

On the other hand, sunscreen relies on chemicals like avobenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, among others, to provide the sun protection we need. While effective, they have the potential long-term effects of consistent use on our bodies. Sunscreens also require more frequent reapplication and time to absorb into our pores, as they do not create a physical protective shield like sunblock. 

Another advantage of sunblock is its ability to provide greater protection against sun-induced conditions like pigmentation changes and rosacea. In addition, unlike chemical sunscreen ingredients, zinc and titanium are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. 


While sunblock and sunscreen shield you from the sun's harmful rays, they employ unique ingredients and offer distinct applications.

No matter your skin's sensitivity, you can select any reliable product. Simply verify that the labels proudly boast "broad spectrum" coverage with a minimum SPF of 30, ensuring comprehensive defence against UVA and UVB rays. And for added convenience, opt for water-resistant formulations to keep you protected even during water activities.