What’s In My Sunscreen: PA+, PPD, Broad Spectrum and Critical Wavelength - What are these sunscreen claims and are they important?
Without a doubt, sunscreen is THE skincare essential you need to apply (and reapply) every day. Trust us, if you want to flaunt that #FilterFree skin when you're in your 40s, or later in life, then make sunscreen your holy grail. No seriously, get up, apply your sunscreen and come back!
If you need a few reasons why every skinfluencer cannot stop raving about the miraculous benefits of sunscreen, then let us tell you this- it is a guaranteed anti-ageing product. Plus it is protecting your skin against harmful UV rays and all. Should be enough to convince you, right?
Now that the importance of applying sunscreen is out of the way, let's talk about some of the claims you can spot on different sunscreens variants such as PPD, PA + and Broad Spectrum, etc.
But before we define them all, it is important to know what are UVB rays and why you need to shield your skin against them!
What Are UVB Rays In Sunscreen?
UVB rays are short-spectrum rays with wavelengths around 290-320nm. They are not your skin's friend as prolonged UVB exposure can cause
- Skin inflammation
- Decrease in collagen
- Sunspots, etc.
It can also result in DNA damage which in turn can lead to skin cancer.
The thing with SPF and sunscreen is that everyone has a different tolerance power when it comes to UVB rays. Not everyone's skin can tolerate the hot sun rays which may result in sunburn more quickly than others. Just make sure you apply a sunscreen that boasts of one (or more) of the following claims- is PPD, PA+ and Broad Spectrum and you’re good to go.
And if you’re going to hit the beach or take a dip somewhere, then make sure that your sunscreen is waterproof as well.
What Is PA+ In Sunscreen?
PA+ is the rating that denotes 'how much' protection a particular sunscreen provides against harmful UVA rays. For eg, if a sunscreen claims that it has PA+, then that indicates that it provides moderate protection as compared to a sunscreen that has a PA+++ rating. Basically higher the PA+ rating, the higher the protective abilities.
What Is PPD In Sunscreen?
PPD or Persistent Pigment Darkening is a popular method of measuring UVA protection in sunscreens. It is used to check how much time does it actually take for the human skin to tan when exposed to UV rays.
For example, if a sunscreen claims that it has PPD 10, then that means that it will take your skin 10 times longer to tan.
What Is Broad Spectrum In Sunscreen?
Broad Spectrum measures the protection against UVA rays by examining the critical wavelengths. The said tests are done in vivo aka willing humans by exposing them to different wavelengths to see how much of the radiation is absorbed.
The wavelength at which the level of the sunscreen reaches a 90% absorption rate gets classified as a 'broad spectrum' sunscreen.
What is Critical Wavelength?
Critical wavelength is the wavelength that determines the broad spectrum of sunscreen & in order to qualify that 90% or above rays should be absorbed in a wavelength of 370 nm or above.
We hope that you now know what to look for in your daily protection against the sun’s wrath. Just keep these pointers in your mind and your future self shall thank you!
- Make sure you apply sunscreen every day and not when you’re on a holiday or bargaining at an open street market!
- Use it as the last step of your skincare routine once you’ve layered your skin with a cocktail of skincare items.
- Do not forget your neck, ears and decolletage. Basically, any exposed skin around your face should be protected with the help of SPF.
- Do not apply less than two fingers’ worth of product because if that’s anything less than that it will not be able to protect your skin effectively.
- Find out which sunscreen type works the best for you (matte, fluid, gel, etc.) and apply it daily.
Give your skin its daily dose of SPF and Wear. Sunscreen. Daily.
With that being said, check out our sunscreen selection here.
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