Meaning of sunscreen labels: your comprehensive guide to sunscreens

Whatever your skincare goals and skin concerns are, one of the most important things to ensure your skin is well maintained and healthy is wearing sunscreen. Here is a comprehensive guide to sunscreens from UVA, UVB, SPF numbers to PA++. Every question you had about sunscreen, answered!


Ultra Violet A

UVA makes up the majority of the UV light that reaches us. Although both UVA and UVB are bad for skin, UVA is more of a threat than UVB. UVA is associated with aging and pigmentation, damages our skin’s genes, and one of the causes of skin cancer. It penetrates deep into the skin layer. Even on a pleasant or a cloudy day, when there is no sun, UVA rays are there. UVA rays even penetrate glass. So your skin is exposed to UVA rays all day, every day.


Ultra Violet B

UVB causes sunburn and redness. Although it does not penetrates the skin, but it can be damaging to the skin. UVB protection is measured by the sun protection factor (SPF). SPF is a better predictor of protection against UVB.


Sunscreen Protection Factor

A sunscreen with SPF 50 will protect the skin until it is exposed to 50 times more UVB radiation than that is required to burn the unprotected skin. The SPF indicates a relative amount of time from sunlight or how long you can stay in direct sunlight before the skin starts to burn.

It is a bit mathematical, but we've got you!