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What does the PA in sunscreen stand for?
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What does the PA in sunscreen stand for?

The SPF rating found on all sunscreen labels is a measurement of the protection a sunscreen offers against UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn. However, the SPF rating does not indicate how much protection the sunscreen offers against UVA rays. The label may state that the sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, but the SPF rating measures ONLY the level of protection against UVB rays. Based on the SPF number alone you don't know how much protection you are getting against the deeper penetrating, more damaging UVA rays.

UVA rays are the long rays that penetrate the skin more deeply and cause skin wrinkling, leathering, and other signs of sun damage or "photo-aging." Until recently, there was no rating system for the level of protection a sunscreen offers against UVA rays. But now some newer sunscreens list a PA rating, which refers to the amount of protection the sunscreen offers specifically against UVA rays. PA rankings are listed as PA+, PA++ or PA+++. The more plus symbols the label has, the more protection the sunscreen provides against UVA rays. For maximum protection, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays and look for the PA rating on the label. Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.

Our Favorite Sunscreens with PA rating:

Revaleskin Night Cream IS Clinical Super Serum Advance+
NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen SPF30/PA+++ StriVectin-SH Age Protect SPF30/PA+++