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What Is PA in Sunscreen? Everything You Need to Know

What Is PA in Sunscreen? Everything You Need to Know

Have you noticed a ‘PA +++’ symbol on your sunscreen? I always wondered what it indicated — considering the number of plusses varied from product to product, it intrigued me even more. That’s when I found out that a sunscreen’s SPF, aka ‘Sun Protection Factor’, only protects you against UVB rays; not UVA rays.

UVA rays are longer in wavelength. This means that they penetrate deeper into your skin and age your cells faster. They’ve been linked to cancer too.

That’s where PA comes in.

What Is PA Rating In Sunscreen?

What is PA in sunscreen? Let’s run through what I’d established at the start. PA, short for ‘Protection Grade of UVA’, tells you how much protection a sunscreen offers you against UVA rays. PA is different from SPF. SPF only provides and measures UVB protection. Now you know the meaning of PA in sunscreen.


Serving SPF 30 PA+++, the MyGlamm Superfoods Kiwi & Coconut Sunscreen is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers high protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It has a non-greasy texture that is so lightweight and refreshing, you will find it a delight to reapply throughout the day. It contains hydrating ingredients like kiwi and coconut extracts and so it also works as the best moisturiser with SPF.

What Does PA+++ Mean?

What is PA+++ meaning? The ‘plus’ symbols placed in front of PA denotes the level of protection offered against UVA rays.

  • PA+ : some UVA protection
  • PA++ : moderate UVA protection
  • PA+++ : high UVA protection
  • PA++++ : very high UVA protection

Now you know what is what is PA +++ in sunscreen.

Importance Of PA Ratings

UVB is linked to sunburn, blistering, and inflammation (mainly impacting the superficial layers of the skin) while UVA rays cause you to age faster. The latter can cause wrinkles and lines, making you susceptible to skin cancer, and damage your DNA. That’s why it is important to ensure that sunscreen offers PA protection as well. Do choose one with high PA protection while you’re at it.


The ideal sunscreen for oily skin, the Organic Harvest Sunscreen – SPF 50 broad sunscreen offers SPF 50 PA+++ and gives a matte finish after application. Oily skin types can benefit from it to stay protected from sun damage and keep skin shine-free. It is also water-resistant and sweat-proof.

How Protection Grade In Sunscreen Works

Protection Grade in sunscreen makes sure your skin doesn’t tan or display premature signs of ageing due to sun damage. The more plus signs used after the acronym PA, the more protection you get from UV rays. PA is mainly focused on preventing damage from UVA rays. This type of UV ray is mainly responsible for causing your skin to tan and darken.

How To Choose A Sunscreen With A Good PA Index?

  • Go for a sunscreen with the highest PA rating.
  • Look for sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. Nothing lesser makes the cut.
  • Make sure it is water-resistant.
  • Look for a sunscreen that’ll suit your skin type. A lightweight, gel-based one for oily, acne-prone skin or a thick, hydrating one for dry skin.

If you’re looking for a hydrating sunscreen for dry skin, opt for the St. Botanica Aloe Vera, Green Tea & Cucumber Sunscreen SPF 50. It’s infused with natural ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber. It has a lightweight formula that comes with SPF 50 PA+++ rating to prevent sun damage and keep skin soft, smooth, and supple.

What does PA mean in sunscreen? You know now can finally make an informed decision and purchase a sunscreen that offers you all round UV protection.


Featured Images: Instagram

Also Read:

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Sunscreen Tips For Different Skin Types


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