Does sunscreen expire?

Using sunscreen is one of the principal parts of a skin care routine. So, as we approach the summer and we are heading outdoors to enjoy the sunny weather some of us will decide to use the same bottle of sunscreen from last summer which is still not empty. But have you ever wondered if that bottle of sunscreen cream from last summers is still any good and ask if sunscreen does expire?

The answer is a definite yes and sunscreen expires just like food and medicine and should never be used passed its expiration date. When sunscreen expires its ingredients can be damaged. But most importantly since the product has been expired it is not effective or much less effective as it was intended for.

This means if you apply expired sunscreen, you are exposing your skin to possible sunburn, sun damage and even the risk of skin cancer. Remember you are using sunscreen to prevent from sun damage and not expose your skin to sun damage, so using a expired sunscreen is actually harmful.

The dangers of using expired sunscreen

So, as we have mentioned expired sunscreen is very unlikely to provide you the protection that it was initially meant to provide you based on its SPF rating. To find out how sunscreen works we have a great article which you should find interesting. So, when sunscreen has expired, it means it will not provide the protection that the skin requires and expose you to numerous dangers.

Additionally, ingredients in sunscreen that are expired will breakdown and this may lead to colour and odour changes. Due to this breakdown of the principal ingredients in the product not only does the product become less effective but in addition it can even be problematic for the skin and cause skin damage in some cases.

How often to change your sunscreen

Obviously we should change our sunscreen when it is passed its expiration date but when it comes to replacing our sunscreen other factors come into play also .We have discussed in the past the importance of how to store skincare products properly.

When we leave our sunscreen in warm places such as inside a car, next to a pool on a hot sunny day or any other place where it is exposed to heat it will likely expire faster due to exposure to heat.

In addition, a good way to make sure your sunscreen is still good is by conducting some tests before using the product. You can try to see of the texture of the product has changed when it comes to appearance. Also check to see if the product has an unpleasant smell. The unpleasant smell is usually an indication that the product has been contaminated with bacteria. When the product has been contaminated with bacteria not only it is less effective but it can also cause problems for the skin.

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