Understanding Your Sunscreen Label: SPF, PA, and Broad Spectrum Explained

Understanding Your Sunscreen Label: SPF, PA, and Broad Spectrum Explained

  • By Srishty Singh

New to sunscreens? You have landed on the right page. Think of this blog as a crash course in everything sunscreen – from understanding SPF terminologies to picking the best sunscreen for your vanity. Without further ado, let's get started.

What Is A Sunscreen

A sunscreen shields your skin from sun damage by warding off UVA and UVB rays. There are two different categories of sun protectants available in the market. Scroll ahead to learn their differences.

1. Physical or Mineral Sunscreen: A physical sunscreen is infused with zinc oxide or titanium and forms a protective barrier on the dermis. This shield (so to say) reflects harmful UVA and UVB radiation like a mirror – preventing sun damage.

2. Chemical Sunscreen: Infused with ingredients like Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl, Hexyl Benzoate and more, this sunscreen soaks up harmful radiation like a sponge – releasing it in the form of heat. It thus protects your skin from burns, pigmentation, and photoaging.

 Why Do I Need To Wear Sunscreen Everyday?

A generous slather of sunscreen helps avert skin damage. Ahead, we list all the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day.

1. Prevents Sunburns: Wearing sunscreen helps block UVB rays that burn your skin.

2. Keeps your skin youthful: Excess sun exposure fastens your skin’s ageing process by depleting collagen. For those unaware, collagen is a type of protein responsible for your skin’s structure and integrity. This is why we recommend wearing sunscreen every day to keep fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet at bay.

3. No more dark spots and patches: Being under the sun increases the risk of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Continued exposure to UV rays increases melanin synthesis in your skin cells, leading to localized discolouration. Keep these concerns at bay with sunscreen every day.

 Okay, But Why Do I Need Sunscreen On A Cloudy Day?

Skipping sunscreen on a cloudy day? This is your sign to remedy the situation STAT. Unfortunately, UV rays penetrate the thickest of clouds and wreak havoc on your skin. 

 SPF Glossary: Reading The Label

In order to pick the best sunscreen for your skin, you need to understand all the SPF jargon. Here’s a detailed guide for reading the label. Keep scrolling to make an informed decision.

SPF: SPF or Sun Protection Factor determines the degree of protection offered by your sunscreen. Experts suggest that you should pick a sunscreen with SPF 30 (or more) that blocks approximately 97% of UVB rays. Similarly, an SPF 70 Sunscreen offers 99% protection from all UVB rays.

PA: PA determines the grade of protection offered against UVA rays by your sunscreen. PA ++ ensures moderate protection, PA+++ offers good protection and PA++++ offers high protection against UVA rays.

Broad Spectrum: A broad-spectrum sunscreen offers protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

 Best Sunscreens On Foxtale

Well-versed in SPF jargon? It’s time to pick a sunscreen for your vanity. Ensure that you have an infallible knowledge of your skin type before making this choice.

1. Foxtale’s Mattifying Sunscreen

Skin Types: Oily & Combination Skin

The featherlight formula ensures protection against UVA and UVB rays, preventing burns and tans. It absorbs into the skin easily, bestowing it with a delectable matte finish. The best part? Niacinamide at the heart of this formulation regulates sebum production, prevents clogged pores and brightens the skin. The perfect sunscreen for oily and combination skin, grab a tube only for INR 595.

2. Dewy Sunscreen

Skin Types: Normal To Dry, Extremely Dry

Rejuvenate dry skin with Foxtale’s Dewy Sunscreen! Its innovative formula contains three health-boosting Vitamins that uphold barrier health. With a rating of SPF 70 PA++++, the sunscreen doesn’t budge on sun protection all day. We love the brightening effect that Niacinamide in the formulation grants to the skin.

3. Ultramatte Sunscreen

Skin Types: Oily And Combination 

 A sunscreen and primer in one? Sign us up. This breathable formula cloaks blemishes, pores and creases while preventing sun damage. Foxtale’s Ultramatte Sunscreen boasts a water-resistant formula that won’t run with sweat or rain, making it the perfect fit for summer and monsoons. Use it to create a smooth, even tone canvas before getting your glam on.

4. Glow Sunscreen 

Skin Types: All 

A sun protectant that enhances your radiance – Foxtale’s Glow Sunscreen is a consumer favourite. It keeps tan and sun damage at bay while boosting your skin’s brightness manifold – thanks to Niacinamide and Vitamin C in the formula.

 How To Use Sunscreen For Best Results

How you wear sunscreen plays an important role in its efficacy. For all our skincare beginners, here are some tips and tricks to follow for the best results.

1. Apply Your Sunscreen 15 Minutes Before Stepping Outdoors: According to experts, sunscreen takes about 15 minutes to absorb into the skin.

2. Apply Two Fingers’ Worth Of Formula: Don’t be stingy with sunscreen. Studies show that two fingers’ worth of sunscreen is enough for a single wear. Alternatively, a shot glass (30 ml) of sunscreen adequately covers your neck and face.

3. Reapply Without Fail: If you have been outdoors for a while, reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Conclusion: To pick the best sunscreen, you must know these terms like the back of your hand. 

SPF or Sun Protection Factor determines the degree of safety against UVB rays. Alternatively, PA stands for Protection Grade of UVA.


1. What is SPF 50+PA++++ on my sunscreen?
Ans) SPF 50+PA++++ determines the level of protection guaranteed by your sunscreen. SPF 50 means that your sunscreen blocks roughly 98% of harmful UVB radiation. On the other hand, PA++++ ensures high protection against UVA rays.

2. What is better PA+++ or PA++++?

Ans) PA+++ provides good protection against harmful UVA rays. On the other hand, PA++++ ensures exceptional safety from UVA radiation.

3. Is SPF 50 good for daily use?

Ans) Yes. Experts suggest that you should opt for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more.

4. What is the best SPF for Indian Sunscreen?

Ans) Try Foxtale’s SPF 50 Ultramatte Sunscreen. Available in 3 hues, the formula offers formidable sun protection all day.

5. How to pick the right sunscreen?

Ans) Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays, Additionally, you can narrow your search based on the skin type.


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