Japan PA System for UVA Protection Revised

In 1996, Japan Cosmetic Industry Association introduced the 3-levelled Protection Grade of UVA (PA) system to measure UVA protection, which is based on the widely used (and also Japan-developed) persistent pigment darkening (PPD) method.

The Japan Cosmetic Industry Association has adopted the new in-vivo ISO 24442:2011 (UVA) test method in 2012 and will be officially used in January 2013. The newly revised PA system will now be 4 levels (previously 3): PA+ to PA++++.

Protection Grade PPD
PA+ 2 to less than 4
PA++ 4 to less than 8
PA+++ 8 to less than 16
PA++++ 16 or above

What does that mean for sunscreens in Japan? Beauty products with sun protection currently labelled to be PA+++ will need to be repackaged/reformulated/relabelled in order to comply with the new UVA labelling standard — that is, if they want to remain competitive. Many major Japanese cosmetics manufacturers have already announced their new PA++++ sunscreens for 2013.

Kanebo’s ALLIE Extra UV Gel (Mineral Moist) N, Shiseido’s Anessa Face Sunscreen BB, and Rohto’s Hada-Labo UV Creamy Gel launched last year are going to be relabelled to PA++++ (no change to ingredients)… which means their current UVA protection is already PPD 16+!

The rest of Shiseido ANESSA and Kanebo’s ALLIE sunscreen lineups will be reformulated to PA++++ — new sunscreens to be launched in February 21 and March 1 respectively. The exceptions are ALLIE Extra UV Protector (Whitening) N and ANESSA Whitening UV Protector which will remain PA+++.

Aside from reformulations, Kanebo is also releasing a few new sunscreen gels and daytime moisturisers with PA++++ this coming spring. They all use a combination of physical and chemical filters.

Shiseido will be launching a new sunscreen gel called ANESSA Perfect Gel Sunscreen A+, a luminising daily use sunscreen cream-gel with PA++++ that gives skin a smooth finish. All upcoming Shiseido ANESSA releases are fragranced.

Rohto is expanding its Mentholatum Skin Aqua sunscreen line to include Mentholatum Skin Aqua Sara-sara UV Shower, a sweat-absorbing aerosol sunscreen — but everything else remains the same. Oxy will have a new line of 3 sunscreens formulated especially to keep men cool and dry — all are SPF50+/PA+++ only. The entire Mentholatum SUNPLAY sunscreen line will be refomulated to PA++++ (except Baby milk). All will be released in mid-Februrary 2013.

The only sunscreen from Kose’s Fasio line being reformulated to PA++++ is Fasio Airy Shield UV Gel but the company is also adding 3 new sunscreen gels and creams that are PA++++ in February 2013.

No announcements about new sunscreens from Kao (company behind Biore) yet.

If you have a favourite PA+++ sunscreen that you can’t bear to part with (especially if it is by Kanebo or Shiseido), now would be good time to stock up! Be sure to keep your eyes on RatzillaCosme in early 2013 for detailed information on all PA++++ sunscreens!

The content was written for RatzillaCosme.com. No paid/sponsored content. If you buy through links on this page, RatzillaCosme may earn a small commission.

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7 months ago

Hi Ratzilla, do you know what it means when the PA rating is not listed for a Japanese product which has an SPF value? Does that mean the PPD value is less than 2?

4 years ago

I don’t know if you still check comments on old articles but I had a question, how much more protection does the extra + give you? I really like the one that I use that has PA+++ and I use it for my daily drive to and from work. I wonder if I should be using my other sunscreen that has 4 instead, but I love the feel of the PA +++.

4 years ago

Hello again ratzilla! Soo lately there’s been a lot of talk on how chemical sunscreens are carcinogenic and that the findings are debatable.
People are saying things like they don’t want to use something that gives them cancer that is supposed to protect from the sun’s cancerous rays….
So a lot of them are leaning towards physical only sunscreens.
PS-are you perhaps a chemist?


6 years ago

Do you think PPD 16 or above is enough? I’ve seen some sunscreens from Europe that reach PPD 30 or more. Is that a big difference from PPD 16?

8 years ago

Your site is so informative, really appreciate the information! Can you recommend an all physical sunscreen for very dry skin, PA+++ or PA++++? Prefer zinc oxide. Preferably one I can purchase in Hong Kong where I live? Thanks!

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