Sunblocks and sunscreens are the primary sun protection products on drug store shelves. The difference between sunblocks and sunscreens is commonly misunderstood. Sunblocks reflect the UV rays; while sunscreens absorb them into the skin.

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Sunblocks most commonly come in cream or lotion form. Most contain zinc oxide, red petrolatum and titanium dioxide. These ingredients work together to block harmful UVA and UVB sunrays from penetrating the skin's surface. Due to the rich texture of sunblock, it's believed to be more effective than sunscreen - even if both have the same SPF number. For best results, use popular sunblock brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena.

The sunblocks should be applied at least 15 minutes before you're exposed to direct sunlight. Remember to reapply your sunblocks every hour when you're in the sun for lengthy periods. If you tend to sweat heavily, or when performing water activities, don't forget to choose a waterproof sunblock with a high SPF number to effectively protect your uncovered skin.

Coverage with sunblock should include any exposed areas - including your nose, ears, collarbone, shoulders and the tops of your feet. Since some sunblocks are rich, they may clog pores and cause acne breakouts. However, new sunblock formulas have been designed to provide non-greasy, light sun protection. If you avoid sunblock because of its sticky nature, try a spray sunblock. They're hands free and ideal for even coverage. And yes, you'll run less of a chance of sand sticking to your backside.

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