Skin Matters

Why Does My Sunscreen Say PA++?

Don't worry, it's actually really simple and it's definitely not rocket science.

Most people already know about SPF (this is what shields you from sunburn-causing or UVB) rays, but what about UVA? These rays actually cause aging, so you should be diligent about reading-through your labels to see if it can protect you from this or not. An easy way to check? Look for the PA rating.


Why It’s Important

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PA basically refers to the Protection Grade of UVA. This Japanese system of measurement ranking is based on the Persistent Pigment Darkening or PPD reaction at 2 to 4 hours of sun exposure. It’s a term created by the Japanese and is now the system used by brands to measure the amount of protection the sunscreen offers—specifically against UVA rays. The rule of thumb is, the more plus signs (+) it has, the more protected your are from UVA rays. Ratings-wise, PA+ is said to give you low protection against UVA rays and PA++ will give you moderate protection, which is actually good enough for daily wear.


Make sure you check your sunscreens and moisturizers to make sure that your skin always gets the best protection available. Since not all products use the term broad-spectrum, an easy way to check if you’re protected is to look at the SPF level (for UVB rays) and PA rating (for UVA rays). It’s the best—and most responsible way—to have guilt-free fun under the sun!


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PDS is the only specialty society in Dermatology recognized by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP). PDS is not an endorser of any product found in the site.


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