We all know what SPF is and the importance of wearing sunscreen right? right? If you are on the fence (I am looking at you dark-skinned people) you need to read my extensive post on the importance of sun protection here.

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When it comes khổng lồ skincare, Korean skincare is the deep kết thúc of the pool & their approach khổng lồ sun protection is no different. Korean beauty culture prizes smooth even dewy skin which has influenced their innovation with sunscreen formulas. With the increasing popularity of Korean skincare products particularly sunscreen it is important khổng lồ understand the different UV protection labels used khổng lồ measure sun protection và how it differs from SPF.

To get started here is a summary on how exposure to UVA and UVB rays is damaging to lớn your skin in different ways.


UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin causing wrinkles and other signs of premature ageing without any physical signs



UVB rays, on the other hand, affect the superficial layer of the skin causing burning

How Sunscreen Works

To understand the rating systemsused on your favourite products, it’s important to understand how sunscreenprotects your skin.

Sunscreen rating systems

There are two systems used to lớn measure sunscreen protection against UV rays. Sun protection factor (SPF) is the most frequently used to measure sun protection in North America và Europe. The second less popular system is the page authority system based on the persistent pigmentation darkening kiểm tra (PPD test)used in Asia.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF )

This is the most common rating system and measures how well your skin is protected from UVB rays. On average, it takes 10-20 minutes after exposure to sunlight for the skin khổng lồ burn. This means that a sản phẩm which with an SPF of 15 will keep your skin from burning 15 times longer than without sun protection which translates to lớn 150 -300 minutes of protection. Hence the reasons you need lớn reapply your sunscreen.

SPF 50 protects from UVB & broad-spectrum means it protects from UVA

Broad Spectrum SPFs, on the other hand, protect you from both UVA and UVB rays so look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

A sunscreen with an SPF 15 blocks about 94 per cent of the UV, SPF 30 products block about 97 per cent of such rays, & SPF 45 sunscreen shields against about 98 per cent of rays so those that have much higher numbers are not really providing much extra.

PA ++

Korean sunscreens use a different rating system from the SPF number called the page authority system which measures the màn chơi of protection from UVA rays. The greater the number of plusses after the PA, the more protection you get from UVA exposure. This rating is based on the PPD test, or the persistent pigmentation darkening test and measures how much exposure to UVA rays your skin can tolerate without darkening. The PPD values are not standardized system across all countries and vary depending on the region.

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The results from PPD are converted to lớn the pa system with a range from PA+(one +) lớn PA++++( four +). The maximum page authority rating has a PPD value of 16 and means that you can withstand at least 16 times more UVA radiation before tanning. Since UVA rays do not show visible damage, they penetrate deeply into the skin.


This is what each pa rating means:

PA+ = Some UVA protection.

PA++ = Moderate UVA protection.

PA+++ = High UVA protection.

PA++++ = Extremely High UVAprotection.

If a product’s PPD = 16 or higher, page authority = PA++++, when shopping for sunscreen the greater the number of plus signs on your sản phẩm the better protection it provides.

Challenges of the pa system

Although the page authority system works it has some drawbacks when compared to lớn SPF. First is that there is no agreement on how the page authority values are achieved since it measures UVA rays darkening the skin which is not uniform.

Not all skin turns brown from sun exposure, or at the same rate which means the rating is inconsistent. It is also difficult to determine the difference in sun protection between a PPD of 20 & PPD of 40 which would both be rated as PA+++ or PA++++.

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Why Korean sunscreensare better

Korean sunscreen has a great texture which is important when you need to lớn layer products & unlike regular sunscreen, Korean sunscreens are light, & easily spreadable. They incorporate other skincare benefits like hydration, antioxidants và skin tone-evening ingredients.They use newer & innovative ingredients unlike western sunscreens have not incorporated new ingredients since the 90s.Their formulas have more “photostability, larger molecular form size which reduces skin penetration(less irritation ) & a broader absorption spectrum
Which is a bettermeasure of sun protection SPF or page authority +?

SPF testing is regarded as more scientific & easily replicated. While pa + factor is more subjective, however, if you are looking for a hàng hóa that gives you the greatest bang for your buck you can’t go wrong with a Korean sunscreen. So although the process of testing for PPD is variable evidence shows that they are effective & as long as you use one with a high page authority + factor you are good.

Have you ever wondered about the difference in the measurements between SPF and PA + let me know in the comments?