PA+++ vs SPF?

Posted on November 1, 2011


In response to the ABCs of SPF… I’ve been asked the difference between SPF and PA+, PA++ and PA+++ (typically indicated below the SPF rating, as seen in picture above).

The PA rating system is used to indicate the UVA protection. The PA rating system ranges from +(least) to +++(most). There is no UVA protection rating system currently recognized by the FDA in the States. The PA system is mostly found in Asian products.

To recap, SPF indicates UVB protection and PA indicates UVA protection. So while it doesn’t hurt to see the PA rating on a product, please reference the ABCs of SPF to make sure you’re getting the ingredients you need to protect against both UVA and UVB.

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