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Skin Care Tip: Check Your Sunscreen’s Expiration Date (And Yes, it Does Have One)

October 1, 2012

We are careful about checking the expiration dates of many items in our homes: milk, juice, cold medicine, meat, and even baking soda. But how often do we think about checking the expiration dates of our sunscreen? How many of us even knew that sunscreen expires? Believe it or not, sunscreen does have an expiration date, although it’s not as frequent as milk.

Skin care experts say that most sunscreen is good for about three years and will keep you protected from harmful UV rays while enjoying the outdoors. After a few years, the potion will lose its efficacy and you may endanger yourself by using outdated sunscreen.

Expiration dates aren’t the only thing to consider, however. Most bottles of sun protection advise consumers to store the container in a dark, cool place. Sunscreen left in a hot trunk or perhaps even in a laundry room that has poor ventilation may not be as effective as sunscreen stored in a closet.

If in doubt, the best thing to do is purchase a new bottle. Most people don’t find it difficult to go through an entire bottle of sunscreen in one season, but if you aren’t a frequent sunbather, just make sure to keep an eye on the date next time you decide to fetch your lotion in preparation for an afternoon of outdoor fun.

If you aren’t sure which kind of sunscreen is best, or what SPF you should use (most dermatologists recommend an SPF of 15), consult your skin care specialist for expert advice.



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