With the approach of summer comes the need to protect our skin from UV rays. While most of us understand the importance of using sunscreen, a frequently asked question is whether sunscreen has an expiration date.
So, does sunscreen ever expire? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Sunscreen Has an Expiration Date
Sunscreens have ingredients in them specifically created to counteract the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on the skin.. However, over time, these ingredients can break down and become less effective. In addition, exposure to heat, light, and air can cause the sunscreen to deteriorate and lose its potency.
Thus, sunscreen manufacturers include an expiration date to indicate when the product no longer guarantees protection.
What Happens When Sunscreen Expires
When sunscreen expires, its active ingredients break down, leaving your skin vulnerable to UV rays. In addition, expired sunscreen can also become thicker and harder to spread, making it difficult to apply evenly to your skin.
How to Check if Your Sunscreen is Expired
Examine the packaging for the sunscreen’s expiration date to determine if it has expired. Most sunscreens will have a shelf life of around three years, although some may last longer.
If you can’t find the expiration date, a simple way to test the effectiveness of your sunscreen is to place a small amount in the palm of your hand and rub it between your hands. If the sunscreen is still effective, it should be easy to spread and should not leave a white residue.
In conclusion, sunscreen does expire and it’s important to replace your old sunscreen with a new one every three years or sooner if you notice a change in its texture or effectiveness. By using fresh sunscreen, you can ensure that your skin is protected from the harmful effects of UV rays, and enjoy a healthy, sun-safe summer.
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