What are SPF and PA Ratings in Beauty products?

What are SPF and PA?

As Asians (Pinoys), we are always looking for beauty products that offer sun protection. We love the beach but wear sunscreen to protect our skin. So what are SPF and  PA ratings? Especially that PA which is quite new at least for me 🙂

what are spf and pa?

First the basics… What are UVA and UVB rays?

UV stand for Ultra Violet radiation which is basically the invisible electromagnetic light emitted by the sun that reaches the earth (sounds technical? Yeah, I know haha)

UVA rays account for 95% of the ultraviolet light and their levels stay the same the whole year round. They penetrate clouds even glass and of course, the skin.  They are the main cause of skin ageing, wrinkles (photo ageing) as well as tanning and they contribute to skin cancer.

UVB rays on the other hand are the main culprit of skin reddening and sunburn.  They vary by location, season and time of day with the peak hours between 10AM to 4PM.  They damage the skin and play a key role in the development of skin cancer and contributory to tanning and photo ageing.

Now, SPF and PA helps protect us from these UVA and UVB rays… that is why it is important to know how they work and the amount you need.


SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and refers to their ability to deflect UVB rays.  Most people start to get sun burn after 15 minutes without sun protection. SPF extends that protection BUT does not stop sunburn completely!

SPF 20 provides 20 times longer to get sunburn than without sunscreen. That is: 20 x 15 minutes = 300 minutes protection from sunburn.  SPF 50 provides 50 x 15 minutes = 750 minutes protection.

Also, SPF 10 screens 90% of the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 15 blocks 93%, SPF 30 protects against 97%, SPF 50, 98%.  The recommended is SPF 15 & up for adequate protection.


PA means “Protection grade against UV-A.”  This is Japan’s measurement of protection and is found mostly in Asian products. The PA ratings are either:

  • PA+ offers the least protection, it protects us from low to medium UVA radiation
  • PA++ for moderate protection, ideal for exposure to medium UVA rays
  • PA+++ offers the strongest protection, designed for exposure to very strong or direct UVA rays

So in short, SPF protects us from UVB rays which cause sunburn and skin cancer.  PA protects us from UVA rays which cause tanning, skin ageing and wrinkles.


Always wear sun protection when exposed to sunlight to keep your skin looking young, light in color and protected from skin damage.  Use only beauty products that give you sun protection!

The best part is that our Nworld products are equipped to protect our skin from sun damage.  Our Nlighten Cloud Cream and Nlighten Body Cream have SPF 20 and protects from UVA and UVB rays. Our Nlighten CC Cushion is equipped with SPF 50 and PA+++ which offers superior protection from UV rays.

So that is the answer to the question – What are SPF and PA? Time to apply what you have learned by using our Nlighten products to protect your skin for a more beautiful you!