By Kate Scheetz

Many people are surprised to know that not all sunscreen works the same. There are 2 types of sunscreens. The first group is called physical blockers and their name makes sense because this type of sunscreen literally blocks the sun’s ultraviolet rays from being absorbed by your skin. There are 2 primary sunscreen ingredients that are known as physical blockers; they are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. You can look on the back of any sunscreen bottle under the active ingredients heading to see what types of ingredients are in your sunscreen. On the other hand, the second class of sunscreens are called chemical blockers and they work a bit differently. Sunscreens with chemical blockers absorb the ultra violet radiation emitted from the sun and convert this energy into heat within your body. Some common sunscreen ingredients that are chemical blockers include aminobenzoic acid, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. Remember, when our bodies absorb too much ultra violet radiation from the sun without the protection of sunscreen, this is what causes a sunburn. Furthermore, both types of sunscreens, physical and chemical blockers, are considered safe and effective to use, so no matter which kind you choose, make sure you lather up as things start getting nicer outside!