SPF 50+ PA++++? Here's What It All Means!

Sun protection is part of our daily routines, but what exactly do all those letters, numbers, and plus signs mean on the bottle? Here's a simple explanation PLUS our current K-Beauty Sunscreen faves!


SPF or Sun Protection Factor indicates how well the product blocks UV rays. The higher the SPF number, the longer it will take to burn or tan than it would without sunscreen. So, if you use SPF 50, it will take 50 times longer to burn or tan than without sunscreen.

In that case, the higher the SPF, the more protection right? Not exactly. It is important to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays, and sometimes the higher the SPF, the more exposure to UVA rays. It is recommended to use a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher depending on your planned sun exposure time. Going out for a short walk? SPF 15. Going for a longer hike? SPF 30. We recommend making a habit out of wearing SPF 50. SPF 50 blocks 98% of UV rays if used as directed and applied every 2 hours. Now that's sun protection.

Read more about sun screen and SPF from the Skin Cancer Foundation.


PA is a sun protection factor included in so many Korean makeup and skincare products. It stands for "Protection Grade of UVA," and it does just that, protect your skin from those pesky UVA rays. PA is a rating system and those plus signs tell you just how much protection you are getting. PA+ provides some protection while PA++++ is the max amount of protection currently available. With this range of ratings, your skin can be anywhere from 2 to 16 times more protected from UVA rays than you would be without sunscreen.

This article from Color Science describes PA in-depth.



1. Natinda Daily Perfect Sun Cream SPF 50+ PA+++

2. Daily UV Protect Calamine Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++

3. Alpch Nouveaubase Thanakha Sun Block SPF 50+ PA++++

4. Shinsiaview Aquaring Sun-Bye Cream SPF 50+ PA++++


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