When Does Sunscreen Expire and Is It Safe to Use?

Has it been some time since you have bought new sunscreen? If you’ll be able to’t keep in mind whenever you purchased the bottle you are utilizing, it is most likely time to buy a brand new one. 

Before you head to the park, pool, seashore or yard this summer season, it is necessary to make sure that your sunscreen hasn’t expired. Yes, SPF does expire, and when it does, it could depart you weak to a sunburn or different skin damage as a result of it isn’t going to work as properly. Having efficient sunscreen is significant as a result of not solely will it maintain you from burning your pores and skin, but it surely’ll cut back indicators of growing old and your danger of pores and skin most cancers. 

Take care of your pores and skin this summer season (and any day the solar shines) by ensuring your trusty sunscreen will really work.

Read additionally: Should You Use Chemical or Mineral Sunscreen? 

When does sunscreen expire? 

The Food and Drug Administration mandates that every one sunscreens keep their full energy for 3 years — so, if in case you have leftover sunscreen on the finish of the summer season (say a heavier sort for out of doors adventures), you ought to be ready to safely use it for 2 extra summers. 

Some sunscreen producers print the expiration date on the bottle or label, however not all do. When you purchase a bottle of sunscreen, examine for an expiration date. If it would not have one, write the date of buy in everlasting marker. 

Also pay attention to the period-after-opening symbol, which tells you the way lengthy a product stays recent as soon as opened. It usually appears like a jar with the lid off and a quantity, which signifies the variety of months after you open it that it is usable.

Theoretically, if you happen to’re using sunscreen within the really helpful method — placing it on any naked pores and skin whenever you go into direct daylight for any size of time, and reapplying it periodically — you should not have a lot left over 12 months to 12 months.

If you could have a bottle of sunscreen that you simply’re undecided about, use your greatest judgment: When’s the final time you keep in mind utilizing that sunscreen? Does the bottle itself appear outdated? If you assume it is over 3 years outdated, it most likely is. 

Other hints that your SPF is perhaps ineffective embody: 

  • Consistency: If the sunscreen may be very watery or chunky, it could be expired.
  • Color: If it seems an uncommon shade, it is most likely expired.
  • Smell: If it smells completely different than it did whenever you purchased it (or smells bizarre generally), it could be expired.

Can you employ expired sunscreen?

A mom putting sunscreen on her daughter at the beach

Expired sunscreen will not hurt your pores and skin, however it would enable the solar to hurt your pores and skin.


Uwe Krejci/Getty Images

Using expired sunscreen will not harm you instantly — as in, it will not do something to your pores and skin — but it surely might set you up for a gnarly sunburn. And, as you already know, sunburns point out unprotected solar publicity, which is instantly associated to your risk of developing skin cancer and untimely growing old. 

The expiration date is there for a purpose: to let you understand if that sunscreen remains to be efficient. It’s all the time a good suggestion to purchase a brand new bottle of sunscreen if yours is expired. And if you happen to’re into tanning underneath the solar, attempt a sunless self-tanner instead.

The data contained on this article is for academic and informational functions solely and just isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. Always seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier relating to any questions you could have a couple of medical situation or well being targets.

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