You probably have a bottle of sunscreen from last summer sitting in your bathroom or a drawer somewhere, and you’re probably also wondering whether you can use it again this summer? If this is you, you’re not alone! We’re going to break down sunscreens and their expiration dates for you!
Sunscreens contain chemicals, otherwise known as the active ingredients, which eventually deteriorate over time and compromise the effectiveness of the product. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the FDA requires that all sunscreens retain their original strength for at least 3 years, which means you are usually able to use your leftover sunscreen from the summer before.
Some sunscreens may have an expiration date on them, but if they don’t then it’s recommended that you write down the date that you bought the sunscreen so you will know when it’s time to throw it out. Keep in mind that storing sunscreens in hot temperatures, like in your car on a hot day or in a beach bag, will accelerate the deterioration of the product. If there are any obvious changes to the colour, consistency or smell of the sunscreen, it should be discarded.
Keep in mind that if you are using sunscreen generously and frequently, a bottle will not last long. As recommended by the Mayo Clinic, a liberal application to cover all exposed parts of your body should be about one shot glass (1 ounce or 30 mL).
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