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Sunscreen (also known as sunblock) is a lotion, spray or other topical product that helps protect the skin from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and which reduces sunburn and other skin damage, ultimately leading to a lower risk of skin cancer.

The best sunscreens protect against both UVB (ultraviolet radiation with wavelength between 290 and 320 nanometres), which can cause sunburn, and UVA (between 320 and 400 nanometres), which damages the skin with more long-term effects, such as premature skin aging.

Most sunscreens work by containing either an organic chemical compound that absorbs ultraviolet light (such as oxybenzone) or an opaque material that reflects light (such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide), or a combination of both.

Typically, absorptive materials are referred to as chemical blocks, whereas opaque materials are mineral or physical blocks.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Sunscreen", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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