Decoding the label: What is PA rating in sunscreens?

UV rays from the sun don’t do any good to your skin. So, whether you are basking on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or running a random chore, lathering up sunscreen is important. If you are on the hunt for the right sunscreen for your skin, you might have come across something called PA rating. But what is PA sunscreen? Scroll through this article to find answers. 

What are the different levels of PA in sunscreen?

Every sunscreen has a different PA rating. You will come across the levels of PA in sunscreen:

  • PA+ sunscreen can block 40-50% of UVA rays. 
  • PA++ sunscreen can block 60-70% of UVA rays and lasts for about 4-6 hours. 
  • PA+++ sunscreen provides good UVA protection, blocking up to 90% of UVA rays, and lasts for about 8-12 hours. 
  • PA++++ sunscreen provides a superior level of UVA protection, shielding over 95% of UVA rays and lasting up to 16 hours.

What is the meaning of PA?

Several skincare guides will recommend you check the PA rating while buying sunscreen. But what is PA rating in sunscreen? The PA index, or Protection Grade of UVA, is a metric of how well a sunscreen protects from UVA rays. It is calculated based on the lowest dose of UVA required to cause discoloration on the skin within 2-4 hours of sun exposure. PA is derived from PFA (Protection Factor of UVA).

Also read: What is SPF?

How to choose a PA rating for your skin

The PA index indicates the level of protection against UVA rays in sunscreen products, where higher PA values mean better protection. Sunscreens with PA ++++ offer the best protection against UVA rays and provide longer-lasting protection.

If you know what is PA++++ sunscreen, you will understand that they are ideal for outdoor activities because they help shield the skin from the harmful effects of UVA rays more effectively.

You can find the best sunscreen with the highest PA rating by concentrating on the following factors:

  • Broad Spectrum: The best product will offer protection against both UVA and UVB radiation. 
  • SPF Level: Look for SPF 30 or higher for optimal UVB protection. Remember that a higher SPF is usually indicative of an increased PA rating. 
  • Safe Ingredients: Choose mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. - These ingredients effectively reflect and disperse UV rays away from the skin.
  • Water Resistance: Wearing sunscreen can be ineffective if sweat or water washes it off. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen to get long-lasting protection from ultraviolet rays.

What is PA++++, and is it enough?

PA++++ sunscreen is highly recommended for folks with fair skin or sensitive skin and for those considering spending ample time outdoors. It offers the highest level of UVA protection that is currently attainable. Once you understand what is PA++++, you will realize that it acts as an additional defense. So, it can substantially decrease the risk of skin damage by providing an extra layer of protection against UVA rays.


The Pink Foundry Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen has PA+++ and is everything that you want to stay safe from UV rays. This non-greasy product won’t block your pores and help maintain a healthy complexion on your face. So, remember to apply it before stepping out in the sun. 

Also read: SPF 30 VS SPF 50 Sunscreen - Which One is Better and Why?



1. Do I need to wear sunscreen every day?


A lot of people wonder whether they need to apply sun protection on their skin every day. Remember that sunscreen is a product that you can’t compromise on during any time of the year. Whether it’s greasy summers or chilly winters when the sun rays feel good on your skin, applying sunscreen is important. Even on days when the sun seems to hide behind clouds, you must layer your skin with sunscreen. 


2. Should people with oily skin wear sunscreen?


A popular myth in the world of skincare is that people with greasy skin should skip sunscreen. If your skin produces too much oil, you need to be careful about what you are putting on it. But you don’t have to completely eliminate sun protection from your skincare regimen. All you need to do is find a lightweight sunscreen. If you have oily skin, you should apply non-greasy sunscreen that won’t block your pores and contribute to acne breakouts. 


3. What is the ideal SPF in sunscreen?


Sunscreens starting from SPF 30 to higher are good for the skin. They are ideal for adequately protecting your skin against sun damage. Apart from protecting from the risks of skin cancer, it will also keep your skin younger. Regular use of sunscreen will keep hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and fine lines at bay. All visible signs of aging will be away from your face with good sunscreen in your skincare regimen. So you will be able to notice a youthful glow on your face all the time. 


4. Which is the best sunscreen for me?


The best sun protection item will be able to reflect UV rays before your skin absorbs them. So, we suggest embracing a chemical sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide. The Mineral Matte Tinted Sunscreen suits all skin types with a lightweight and non-greasy texture that won’t block pores. 


5. What is the right age for applying sunscreen?


Sun protection is necessary for both kids and adults. It can be a good practice to start wearing sunscreen in teenage years. But everyone should perform a patch test before including sunscreen in their daily skincare regimen.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Our bestsellers