PA? PPD? Broad Spectrum? The ultimate guide to understanding and choosing the best sunscreen

Author: Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

Jeffrey Rivera

Monday 26th of April 2021

What’s the general UVA & UVB wavelengths covered by UPF 50+ clothing brands, such as from Coolibar & Baleaf? PPD rating for UPF 50+ clothing? Have you heard of/tried the Skin Aqua Rohto Newer Model Super Moisture Gel Pump 140g - SPF50+/PA++++, and any information you might have about it’s PPD rating and if it’s PA rating has been tested? Tysm for your time and stay safe :)

Jeffrey Rivera

Monday 26th of April 2021

Hi there. Concerning the UVB wavelengths around 290-320nm & the UVA UVA are long-spectrum rays with wavelengths from 320-400 nm, what UVA & UVB ranges do most UPF 50+ clothing brands cover, in terms of the wavelengths of UVA & UVB? Have you had any experience or any thoughts with an Australian UPF clothing brand known as Coolibar or Baleaf? Their on Amazon, and while Coolibar is a little more pricey, it has protected my skin very well :). One final question for you (sorry I’m so just very passionate about proper sun protection and all of that just like you, so I’m always trying to learn as much as possible in order to be as sun smart as possible, indoors & outdoors), what are your thoughts on the Skin Aqua Rohto Newer Model Super Moisture Gel Pump 140g - SPF50+/PA++++, and anything you might know more specifically about it’s PA & PPD rating? Thanks so much for your time, really enjoyed reading your post, & most importantly - stay safe :)

Jenny

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Hi Jeffrey, I'm actually not too familiar with sun protection clothing but after a quick search it seems they use a different measurement - UPF, which measures both UVA and UVB penetration rates. I also haven't tried the new Skin Aqua sunscreen, but according to its product description it's meant for everyday normal activities. So if you plan to be outdoors all day, I'd definitely use something else instead! Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Amira

Saturday 7th of December 2019

Very helpful post but how do we use the sunscreen simulator when most sunscreens don’t mention the percentage of the uv filters?

Jenny

Saturday 7th of December 2019

US sunscreens are required to list the filters %, and for other brands you can check cosdna, sometimes people list the % there. You can also email the brand to see if they'll provide the info, but you're right, without the % you won't be able to use the simulator.

Justine

Sunday 8th of September 2019

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for writing this guide on sunscreens! I'm in Taipei right now and as someone who absolutely does not sweat gracefully like most Asians – I've been drenched in sweat for the last few days with literal beads dripping down my nose – I really need a sport level sunscreen like the Anthelios. Do you know where I can find the Anthelios sunscreens in store? My Shiseido Anessa has let me down – I have definitely tanned to my dismay – and I don't have high hopes for the Biore UV Perfect Milk that I just bought. I haven't seen any though in any of the Watsons, Poyas, or Cosmeds I've been to.

Thanks again for your blog! It's wonderful to find an English-language blog about Taiwanese fashion and beauty.

Jenny

Sunday 8th of September 2019

Hi Justine, thanks for reading my blog and glad you find it helpful! La Roche Posay in Taiwan is kinda weird in that they're sold in pharmacies and clinics only. Their official site has a list of all the stores that carry their products, as well as official online distributors: https://www.lrp.com.tw/Channels/Location Hope this helps!

Byron

Sunday 21st of July 2019

Hi Jenny, this article is amazing, so thank you! I have just one question that I hope you can answer.

I've been looking around for different places to get La Roche Posay Anthelios XL SPF50+ Comfort, and I keep coming across something that is more readily available in the USA (where I am) and that seems very similar: Anthelios XL Ultra Sensitive Eyes Innovation Cream SPF 50.

One website indicated that the two creams are the same but just with different names, and La Roche's website kind of implied(?) that the Ultra Sensitive Eyes cream has fewer ingredients, maybe? Below are links to the creams on La Roche's website, but the ingredients aren't actually listed. The Sensitive Eyes version is much easier and cheaper for me to get. But if it's not as good, I'll go for the good stuff!

Thank you again, for your boundless dermatological wisdom.

https://www.laroche-posay.com/products-treatments/Anthelios/Anthelios-XL-Comfort-lotion-SPF50-p24079.aspx

https://www.laroche-posay.com/products-treatments/Anthelios/Anthelios-Ultra-non-perfumed-cream-SPF50-p24044.aspx

Jenny

Monday 22nd of July 2019

Hi Byron, glad you found it helpful! So I'm always a bit iffy recommending products that I haven't tried myself or have heard any reviews from my fellow bloggers, but I found the ingredients here and they look pretty good. Here's a comparison between the two: https://incidecoder.com/compare-products/la-roche-posay-anthelios-ultra-non-perfumed-cream-spf50-2/la-roche-posay-anthelios-xl-spf-50-cream-comfort

You can see that they removed titanium dioxide and added Octisalate, which is a safe UVB filter that can also stabilize and improve other filters. Considering the non-perfumed cream is a newer version, has the similar UV filters, less ingredients, protects against pollution, and is easier for you to buy, I'd say go for it! Would love to hear your thoughts on it too!

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