Does Sunscreen Expire?

If you're like many of us here at UV Skinz, you probably have a box or bag full of miscellaneous sunscreens somewhere in your house. But does this sunscreen expire over time? Today, we go over whether sunscreen expires and what to do if it does.
Sun care products, including sunscreen

If you're like many of us here at UV Skinz, you probably have a box or bag full of miscellaneous sunscreens somewhere in your house that are expired. If you're wondering if sunscreen expires, the answer is yes, sunscreen does expire and should be either recycled or thrown out at that point. 

Today, we go over FAQs about sunscreen expiring as well as what you can do with expired sunscreen. 

When Does Sunscreen Expire?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all sunscreens have to provide the protection they are rated for at least 3 years. This means that you are safe to use any sunscreen that you have purchased within the last three years as long as it has been stored properly and you apply an adequate amount.

Many sunscreens come with expiration dates labeled clearly on them which makes it easy to tell when it is no longer safe to use. But if you can't find an expiration date on your sunscreen, we recommend writing the date you purchased it on the bottle so that you know when three years have passed.

Can You Use Expired Sunscreen?

It is not recommended to use expired sunscreen. Over time, the active ingredients in sunscreen can break down and become less effective, which can reduce its ability to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. We don't recommend using expired sunscreen.

What Happens if You Use Expired Sunscreen?

Using expired sunscreen can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, or other skin problems. This is because expired sunscreen can develop harmful bacteria, lose its texture, or change its consistency. It is important to follow the expiration date on the sunscreen packaging and replace any sunscreen that has expired or has been opened for more than a year.

How Effective Is Expired Sunscreen?

According to Live Science who spoke with a dermatologist about this matter, expired sunscreen can be less effective at blocking UV rays, increasing the likelihood of sunburns. 

What Can You Do with Expired Sunscreen?

You should properly dispose of expired sunscreen. Don't pour it down the drain and don't try to use it as a moisturizer. Read the label on your sunscreen bottle to see if it's recyclable and throw out the sunscreen in the bottle.

How to Determine If Your Sunscreen Is Still Good

To make sure your sunscreen is still "good," you can check out the texture, color, and smell of the sunscreen. If the sunscreen has changed colors, has a strange odor, or has become thick and difficult to apply, it may be time to replace it.

Additionally, if you notice any skin irritation or sunburn after using sunscreen, it's possible that it has expired and you should toss it. 

How Can You Ensure Your Sunscreen Stays Safe? 

In order to assure your sunscreen stays safe as long as possible, it is important to store it in a cool area out of direct sunlight. If you notice any obvious changes in the color or consistency of your sunscreen, no matter how long you've had it, assume it is no longer safe to use and buy a new bottle.

The Importance of Properly Applying Sunscreen

No matter how new your sunscreen is, it won't protect your skin if it is not properly applied. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that most adults use no less than one ounce (a shot glass full) of sunscreen per application. This means that if you have a standard-sized, four-ounce bottle of sunscreen, you will use around a quarter of it with only one application.

These numbers imply that if you're staying properly protected from the sun and you go outside at least four times every three years, you will use your sunscreen far before it expires. But, if you happen to find an old bottle of sunscreen or are simply unsure whether or not the sunscreen you have is still good to use, it's always best to play it safe and get a new bottle.

Stay covered and sun-safe with these incredible broad-spectrum sunscreens we offer here at UV Skinz.